Monday, September 04, 2006

The Kink In Our Best Laid Plans

We've known for a couple of weeks that Labor Day '06 was going to be chock-full-o-activity. We had plans to attend a party at my aunt's, then hop over to Jackson for a surprise party for David's best friend. We thought we'd leave on Friday so that we wouldn't be rushed, spend a leisurely weekend with all our people, and then come back this way Monday. It was going to be a thing of beauty, the weekend of the Labor.

But things didn't go as we planned. I had a crazy week - and when Friday rolled around, I was nowhere near ready to leave town. Not by the longest shot. I called Mama and told her we'd be heading her way on Saturday.

Saturday morning I woke up Very Task Oriented because I think we all know that if you're leaving town, your house must in fact be spotless so that All The Thieves can enjoy it while you're gone. I got out the vacuum, ran it over the rugs in the kitchen, den, and dining room, then threw a load of clothes in the wash. I made up our bed, unloaded the dishwasher, and headed upstairs to get out a suitcase for the trip.

I don't know what I did, exactly, or why a movement that I've made countless times in my life (the highly, deeply complex Reaching-Around-The-Door-For-A-Suitcase Move) suddenly went horribly wrong. But something in my neck / back / shoulder region caught, and all I could manage to say was, "OOOOOH? OOOOOOOH!"

I thought at first that it was a fluke, but when it became increasingly clear that my torso would in fact never be straight again, and that any attempts to straighten it would result in mind-numbing pain, I slowly made my way back down the stairs and proceeded to hobble into the bedroom, onto the bed - no, wait, that soft surface is wrong, all wrong - then back to the den, and slowly - slowly! - SLOW-LY! - made my way to the floor.

Alex, bless his heart, was just as confused as could be. He kept leaning waaaay down so he could look in my eyes and say, "Mama? You all right, Mama? You hurt your neck, Mama? Your back hurt?"

To which I replied, "Grrrmph. Grrrrrrmph. Hurt. Mama hurt. Yes. GRRRRRRRRRMPH."

About that time David came in the room to see what all the fuss was about (I'll tell you what it was about! I'm OLD!), and he got me some Advil with a diet Coke chaser. He tried his best to work out the kinks in my neck and back with his mad impromptu masseur skillz, but then Alex wanted to help by running one of his toy cars up and down my spine.

And thus ended my brief and ineffective physical therapy session.

For the next thirty minutes we debated what to do. One thing I knew for sure - aside from the fact that I would never stand straight up again - was that I could not get in a car. Cars require sitting, and I could not, under any circumstances, sit. So the car was not an option. David was concerned about leaving me at home, but I assured him that as long as I could get back and forth to the bathroom, even if it was slowly and awkwardly, I'd be fine. He asked me to show him that I could in fact get up off of the floor, and never one to back down from a challenge, I decided that I'd show him, oh yes I would. And GOOD.

So I gingerly rolled over on my stomach, took about four minutes to make the move to all fours, grabbed onto the side of the coffee table, and gradually pulled myself up to a semi-standing position while I attempted to blow my unkempt hair out of my face. And as I stood there in all my hunchback splendor, radiant in my t-shirt and decidedly unsassy pajama bottoms, just as lovely and put-together as the day David married me (AHEM), he looked me over and said, "Yeah. So THAT makes me feel a LOT better about leaving you."

Eventually, though, I convinced him that I'd be fine. I tenderly asked Alex if he'd be sad if I didn't go with him, if he'd be okay going with just his daddy on the trip, and he answered me with, "OKAY! BYE BYE, MAMA! BYE BYE!"

Clearly, he was all broken up about it.

And as a result of all of those events, I have been by myself for the last two days. That doesn't happen very often around here.

So after a couple of really hot baths, liberal doses of muscle rub stuff that stinks to high heaven, stretching exercises prescribed by my personal occupational therapist (okay, it's Emma Kate, but she is licensed and all), a couple of magic pills that helped me sleep pain-free, and a hearty portion of blog reading (I read every single link. I did!), I'm all better now.

Sitting up and everything.

And not doing any more of that risky empty suitcase lifting anytime soon.

Oh no ma'am.


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