Saturday, February 23, 2008

Old Lady Back Attack

It's happened before and it happened again on Thursday. I threw my back out.

"Why did you throw it away, Grandma?" Joseph, age 4, asked when I told him.

"I hurt it," I explained, "looking for the carrot peeler."

In the past I've done it by reaching under the bed, putting on a boot, or brushing my teeth. You just feel it POP, with a pain so bad it makes you cry out loud. It happens to 60% of us, and it is excruciating--way past my normal fibromyalgia stuff. You get to know the spectrum from crippled in agony to bad pain to crippled uncomfortably. Keep thinking of those "faces of pain" charts you see in doctor's offices. :( :( :(

I know how to treat a back attack, with rest and muscle relaxants and controlled movement within hunched and creeping limits. The first day I couldn't lift the folded laundry off the bed. Yesterday I couldn't sit up in a chair as I'm doing now. I've been through this before.

Only, this time I notice I'm seeing everything through the prism of age. This can't just be a normal back attack; it's the beginning of life on the way to a nursing home. First, a wheelchair and turning the downstairs lav into a shower (because the stairs feel like Everest at the moment). Next, someone to come in and help me w/ ADL (activities of daily living). Oh, why not just smother me with a pillow.

That time may well come; but this prism of age colors every perception before its time. When younger, I'd do things. Now, when I do something I think, "How spry for an old lady." When I was young and tired I'd think, "I'm tired." Being old and tired, I think, "I'm feeling my age." The prism can be a realistic motivator, as realizing I don't have forever to accomplish a goal. But the colorings can also act as their own kind of crippler, as thinking, "What's the use, I'm too old to.. learn Chinese... improve my guitar... write a bestseller..."

Guess it's just part of growing older: the prism casts these shadows, and that's the way it is. Meanwhile, contrary to psychological effects, my body is showing some surprising resilience here. Otherwise I wouldn't be able to sit here and type. Yay. Good old horsey.


Post a Comment

<< Home