So, I was visiting with a “friend” – and when I say friend, I mean the guy I was briefly involved with – and I decided on Saturday night that I would take a quick shower. I never take “quick” showers but, when you’re with the same person in the same 3 room apartment going on the second day, any kind of escape from all that alone time may seem welcome. (I know that it also means, when you’re only a little over a month into the relationship, that seeking such immediate escape is probably a very bad sign.) I collected my gear, my lovely smelling bath products, and headed into the bathroom. Water turned on, all alone, I got into the tub and positioned myself under the spray.
All was going according to plan. I shampooed my hair, I conditioned my hair, I reached for my Olay Beauty Bar to wash my face while the conditioner sat. I soaped up my face. I dropped the soap. And then, anyone who knows what a klutz I am can see what happened next.
I tried to get the soap out of my eyes, and the conditioner was running INTO my eyes. So I poked around with my wee foot, looking for the missing soap bar, and BAM! Flat on the ass, directly onto my coccyx. Which as you may know is kind of like the bone from our vestigial tails. Unfortunately, I don’t HAVE a vestigial tail, just the bone and, despite the fact that I’m fairly well-padded in the assbone area, ceramic tile can break through even the best of booties. It hurt.
So I sat there for about 3 minutes, chubby, soaked and nekkid, and, when I was ready, I gingerly got up. noticing that it hurt quite a bit to put weight on my left leg. The pain was tolerable, though, and caused only the most minimal of flailing and moaning. so I finished my shower and got out. I was a little gimpy, a little sore, so I took some naproxen and got on with the night. I was supposed to go home Monday, but by Sunday morning I was in more pain (probably the night’s athletic activities were not the best choice), so I went home. Slept all day. Got up Monday, which was a holiday (thank you, Christopher Columbus), and felt like my ass was about to fall off. There was a creeping numbness coming on in the areas that would hit a saddle, were I so inclined to mount one. I thought nothing of it, however, and relaxed with my laundry for the day. As the day wore on, though, it became clearer and clearer to me that something possibly serious was going on. I couldn’t twist, I couldn’t really bear weight, I was having a hard time getting up and down from seats and sofas. Naturally, I limped and crawled over to Google, to be told that I might have the tragic and permanent Caudal Equine Syndrome, which is basically the deadening of the nerves in the back which can cause permanent paralysis. THAT kept me up all night.
Tuesday morning, while I was sitting in a meeting, I turned to the right side and heard/felt a “pop” in my lower back, toward the left. Within a few minutes, the creeping numbness became a complete lack of ability to feel anything on that side, from my ass to my knee. I got up and excused myself, nearly fell in the middle of the floor, and gimped my way to the medical office. I also about wet myself, because I couldn’t tell that I had to go to the bathroom. Which was fun. The building I was in at that moment is across the parking lot from the hospital, so they called 911 and within 10 minutes, I was in the ER, in a gurney in front of the nurse’s station because they were so packed, and thus my current adventure began.
Sorry for the amazingly dry back story (har har, see what I did there?).
I spent close to 2 days down in the ER, and was then transferred upstairs, medicated and in pain and freaked out, to the room you see above. I mean, mostly, when you go to the ER because you fell, you don’t get ADMITTED. They don’t put in an IV. They take an x-ray or a CT and give you some anti-inflammatories and send you home with a referral to an orthopedic surgeon or something. I was put on bed rest with a “bed alarm” (I shit you not) to alert the nurses if I got out of the bed without assistance. I was humiliated into using a bed pan to pee. Tell you what, that makes you think long and hard about how much fluid you’re taking, especially when the aide on duty is a man.
I have now been here one full week. I don’t have Caudal Equine Syndrome, thank God, but I do have nerve compression, and herniations, all up in my lower spine, so they’re sending me to a sub acute rehab for physical therapy. The higher my pain level goes – which I prefer to numb, because at least with pain you know the nerve isn’t dead – the lower the number of pain meds I get ordered, which apparently makes sense in the medical world but not in mine. The food is hit or miss (I will be reviewing it on The Epicurean). The people do their jobs, and do them well for the most part, although I hear whispering about my addiction history and my perceived motives for wanting pain meds, which I did not ask for in the first place but which I have discovered work really well in keeping me sane. I would like to go home.
I just came back from a walk to the fire door, 2 doors down from my room, with one of the physical therapists. I am now sitting in the hard-ass chair next to my bed, as opposed to in my bed. I cannot get comfortable no matter what position I take. Just waiting for the nurse to come around with the med cart so I can wash up, because yeah, I can’t even do that effectively right now. My one true wish is to smoke a cigarette (my good friend Cristina brought me a Logic, which has helped I don’t know how many medical professionals avoid getting punched in the face) but I want a Newport more than anything.
And that is my bed rest plan. If you’re going to try this at home, make sure you’re in reaching distance of the telephone so you can call someone to get your chubby wet nekkid ass off the shower floor and into some clothes. I mean, just in case you don’t want to be a dumbass and actually wait until there’s a really big problem.