UPDATE: Turns out that this back thing might be a bit more serious than I thought. I was rid of it (except for tenderness) for a couple of days. It came back and it's pissed. I am pretty much stuck in bed right now and laying on my side trying to type, drink water, nibble on something, and wait for the back brace to get here. My brother brought me some Advil (a no-no for me) and I am taking them only at the worst of the pain. If things don't get better after a couple of days with the brace, I will have to call my doctor. Until I work this out, posts will be sporadic.
I will be doing a post on Free and Faith, even if it takes me all day to get it written. Please visit that blog when you get a chance.
A while back someone asked users of Reddit when they felt they officially became "old" (or something to that effect). My answer: The first time I stood up and everything hurt for no reason. That was then. Today, I know better.
My heart and spirit might feel thirty but my body feels its physical age. Maybe even a bit older. I wasn't able to type this post for the past couple of days because I couldn't even sit up. My back has betrayed me.
I was about to get out of bed one morning but felt a bit unsteady. When my balance is off, I wait til it comes back 'on'. I learned that the hard way. So I'm wide awake and ready to get the day started but had to wait until I knew I wouldn't be walking into walls. After about half an hour, I was ready. My back was not.
My back wasn't really hurting before I sat up. It felt a little bit sore like I had slept wrong, but nothing awful. Then when I sat up, everything locked. I have never felt such pain like that. I literally could not do anything without feeling as if someone had a grip around the lower part of my spine and was daring me to move.
So there I am, sitting partway up in bed, waiting for relief. That wasn't going to happen. After a bit, I managed to turn so that my legs were on the floor - thank God I sleep right on the edge of my bed - but, nope, I wasn't going anywhere further for the time being. Every thought of a movement induced pain that was like the opposite of an orgasm. Just pain like I have never experienced - and I once cracked a rib by sneezing when I had a cold that kept me constantly coughing or sneezing.
I'm not sure how long it took me to move a bit, rest a bit, move a bit, etc. Finally, I was able to grab hold of the bedside lamp pole and hoist into a standing position. Let me back that up - I was able to hoist myself into a crouching position. And I had to stand like that until the pain crept away just a bit.
Here's the fun part of this story. Remember, I was just waking up. What's the first thing most of us do when we wake up? Hang out for a while, having conversations with our backs? No. I had to pee. I had to pee like a pregnant woman drinking a Big Gulp. I had to pee so bad that I think I lost calories not peeing myself.
Somehow - and I'm not kidding when I say I'm not sure exactly how - I managed to creep slowly out of the bedroom and to the bathroom. The problem then became how to get into position. I could hardly get my underwear down but when I did, I couldn't get over the toilet low enough to pee. Eventually, I just held my breath and dropped down onto the toilet. I felt so pretty, let me tell you...
I cannot describe the pain that went through my back. It hurt to pee. It hurt to be sitting, but I couldn't get up right away because moving to do so hurt worse than the sitting. I knew there was no way I was going to make it into the shower that morning.
Now, I have had rare and occasional mild spurts of lower back pain over the past - I'm guessing - two years? Usually, this happened after sitting too long in one position or while sit-slumping. When it happened, I would take my time standing and then stretch out a bit. Or prop my hands against the wall with my feet back in a pushup position. My back would relax and behave. Not this time.
I have no idea how long I sat on the toilet but I had time to contemplate calling my SIL for help. Of course, my phone was in the bedroom so I wouldn't be able to buzz her in and my front door was locked so the manager would have to let her in... Ugh.
Finally, I managed to clean myself up and get off the toilet but the effort made me crave morphine. I would have crawled if I could have made it to my knees. I ended up taking a few steps at a time, holding onto counters, door frames, and walls until I made it back to the bedroom. All I could do was sort of fall onto the bed and just deal with the screams from my back.
And that is where I lay for about three hours, no kidding. And keep in mind that I am doing IF so I hadn't eaten for 18 hours when I first woke up. Now I'm at almost 21 hours and I didn't care about food but I wanted coffee like an addict wants crack.
"Hi, my name is Trudy and I'm a 'feine fiend."
My best friend called and I was able to answer the phone. She told me to try either to get flat on my back or into the fetal position and to totally relax all my muscles. When I could get up at all, she suggested I put a heating pad on my back. (I don't have a heating pad. Stay tuned to see my substitute.) She also told me to stay down until I could move without pain. "You're making it worse by moving all around the apartment." (Like I was just sprinting around the place...)
Her advice worked. Sort of. Laying flat on my back didn't help like it had in the past. A fetal position, with a pillow between my knees, felt better. I was able to spray magnesium oil towards the area - sort of - and after a bit, I managed to make a "heating pad".
The heat helped. Sort of. I still couldn't make coffee. I lay in bed for hours, sipping bottled water through a straw and dozing off and on. Every now and then, I would test my ability to move and I managed to get to the bathroom a couple of times.
At some point during this bed rest, I was just suddenly able to move without crying. I don't know what did it. My back still ached in that spot but I could ease myself out of bed and get around if I walked slowly and carefully.
After almost 28 hours of nothing but water, I grabbed myself some sliced brioche (it makes great oven toast!) and honey and some more water and went back to bed.
My back has remained sore but only occasionally seizing up the past couple of days where the pain lasts half an hour to an hour or so. The problem area is still very tender and I am overly aware of every move I make.
Since I am broke because, you know, groceries and bills and end of the month, I put this on a credit card and cannot wait until I get it:
Of course, this part depresses me!
It was the most affordable-but-decently-rated one I could find on short notice. I will get a heating pad next. I don't know what I am going to do about a couch. My futon sofa is the absolute worst thing to try sitting on with a kinked up back. It sits too low and is made for dorm rooms not nursing homes.
Ain't this a blip? Just last month, I was thinking that although I'm getting 'up there' in age, the worst thing about my health is my sarcoidosis. Nope. My back is apparently jealous and wants the first place ribbon for that. It's in the lead.