Over the past few years my ongoing back issues have become predictable and a little worse. I’ve figured out what the triggers are for it and how to offset some of the inevitable pain that shows up when that damned degenerating disc slips another .0000001% away, but the simple fact is I can’t stop it from happening.
I know what time of year it will occur and I can tell when it’s coming on, but there are still days when I get surprised.
In the past I’ve been home when it happened – the “catch” or sometimes the outright “blowout” that sends me to the floor in excrutiating pain. In the past it’s happened while everyone is at home, but the last time this really happened – before I started exercising maniacally – I was in the car in a grocery store parking lot with Leah in the backseat.
My reaction to that level of pain is typically lightheadedness, bright lights, difficulty breathing and eventually passing out – and it all happens pretty fast. This time, in the car, I had to NOT do that. I couldn’t do that because of Leah. Because I was already in a seated position, it made it easier to manage, but the familiar responses were all there. Luckily I could keep it together to make two phone calls – to Husband to come and get me and to my Dad to come get Leah and pick up Benjamin from school.
I walk around waiting for the other shoe to drop most of the time. It doesn’t rule my life, but it does change how I do some things.
People tease me because I always (ALWAYS) have my iPhone in my hands. I may or may not be on it, but it is always with me – even at home. Actually, especially so at home when I am by myself or with the kids. Many think it’s because I have an addiction to social media. While that may be partially true, it’s not the real reason.
The real reason is because it’s my security blanket. I know that if something happens I can get a hold of someone – even if it’s 911. And there are times in the history of this back adventure where that has been necessary.
The security blanket doesn’t solve everything. In the past few years I’ve recognized that because of some of this I am limited – and fearful – in certain situations.
I used to love to travel – even if it was alone. Sometimes especially if I was alone. Business trips and trade shows were fun for me. Not so much now. Knowing I will be by myself for several days begins to make me anxious. I formulate back up plans and back up plans to THOSE plans – just in case. I know where hospitals are, what friends or family are in those cities.
At the end of the day, I know that I am something of a dependent person now. It’s hard to think that way – knowing there are times when you will completely suck as a wife or mother or daughter or friend. I don’t do it well and I don’t like watching what it does to the folks around me.
But for now this is how it is. When Husband and I were first dating and married, I had to help him learn how to accept help and support – that the world didn’t need him to do everything himself.
Seems like the universe is making me learn the same lesson.