Do they make these in a red glitter model?
When I was nine years old, I fell backwards down the basement stairs – coming to rest in a heap on the cold cement floor.
I couldn’t move.
I tried to get up.
I tried to push myself up.
I tried to drag myself across the floor.
But I couldn’t move.
And then my mom tried to pull me up by grabbing onto my arms and dragging me.
But that didn’t work either.
I was paralyzed.
So I laid my head down on the floor and closed my eyes. What I have always remembered most about that night is the soothing and calming feel of the cold cement against my cheek.
So soothing I didn’t cry.
Or make a sound.
I just laid there silently in the stillness.
I thought about that floor Monday as I sat in the doctor’s office listening to the latest prognosis on my back.
For the last six months I have been unable to stand upright on my own for any extended length of time. Or walk without being in pain. Or get through a day without relying on pain meds of some kind. I’ve been in and out of doctor’s offices and gone through a whole battery of x-rays and scans. And physical therapy. And traction. And an epidural.
But in spite of all that, for the last week, I have been (for the most part) unable to walk without the aid of a cane or crutches. Those who see me like this ask what happened, what I did, what suddenly brought this on - seemingly (to outside appearances) overnight.
It wasn’t overnight. So, I tell them about my backwards fall down a flight of stairs; the severe bruising in my spinal column and two fractured disks, and now, 45+ years later, the accumulative repercussions of the injuries on my back from then to now. (It’s a long and depressing list.)
Yes, it’s been bad for a while now, but I’ve been really good at denying how bad it was and hiding the reality of my pain and the increasing difficulty in standing or walking; not just from everyone else, but also myself.
Because I don’t want it to be real. I want to be able to make it go away by sheer force of mind and will if nothing else. (Which isn’t working.)
I remember laying on that floor and being unable to move. At nine, I didn’t know to be afraid my inability to get up could be permanent. Today I do. And that in itself is really, really scary. Terrifyingly scary.
And so I stick my fingers in my ears and close my eyes and wish my cheek was against the cement coolness again so I could make it all go away like I did back then.
There is no surgery option to “fix” this. Nothing to make it go away completely. It’s in the black and white of x-rays and MRI’s, and numerous specialist’s interpretations.
And I don’t have a plan. I always have a plan for dealing with stuff like this, but I don’t now. I don’t know what to do or how to do it. And that’s scary too.
It just really, really f*cking sucks.
For right now, that’s about all I can come up with to say.