October

I hurt my back nearly two weeks ago. I was moving tons of wood to recycle — some asshole dumped it in the woods behind my house and I’m all about clean communities. There wasn’t even wood to steal for the fireplace, so screw the dumper.

Or —

I hurt my back two weeks ago, bent over drying my legs after a shower where I actually washed them instead of thinking the soapy water would magically do what the washcloth couldn’t, all of you are nasty.

It’s the second one. You knew that, right?

I stood up and the shower curtain as my witness, I fell back down. I lay there for a really long time noticing how unclean the base of the wall was. And crying. There was lots of crying.

For the next few hours I cried and tried to stretch it out (not my idea. I wanted to lie down, but the dude who shares the bed with me said I needed to stretch or it’d tighten and get worse). I could not stretch it out. When I tell you it hurt too bad to move, let alone raise my arms, believe me. It hurt to breathe. It still sometimes hurts to take a deep breath and it’ll be a full two weeks tomorrow. What keeps it from getting better? I’ve been able to stretch since it happened. I’ve been to urgent care and gotten a few muscle relaxants. Is it the bed? Is it the bag I carry to work? Is it stress? IS IT BEING VERTICAL?

There’s something about being incapacitated. I haven’t been that dependent on someone in a long time. I remember having food brought to me after I’d had the boy, but that was only because I wasn’t supposed to be up and down the stairs. Now that I think about it, Carlos made me a makeshift pulley to help me get out of bed after the first baby so that I didn’t need him to help me. I may have complained about being embarrassed to be so reliant. This time I was embarrassed but also angry. I hadn’t DONE anything. At least the other times I’d had another human come out of me.

We went to Target yesterday and I had a list. I meticulously stuck to the list (until the teenagers started throwing shit in the cart that I hadn’t planned on or budgeted for). Somehow I forgot to write down heating pad. I need a new one since the last one started smelling like fire was going to start coming out of it if it was plugged up more than two minutes. Death by heating pad. The only thing worse would be an almost death by heating pad. Remember Arnebya from high school? Girl. She almost died when her heating pad caught fire. She was able to put it out but nobody has seen her since. Five years from now there’ll be something sordid added to it like she was freebasing or running down the street naked because she was high and thought she heard the ice cream truck. I didn’t remember about the heating pad until I got home and realized my back was throbbing. That little bit of pain free time made me forget. And I mean I genuinely forgot. I sat down and thought, hey, heat would feel good. Aw, damn!

It’s funny to realize you’re pain free after you’ve gotten used to hurting, after you’ve spent so much time on the bathroom floor, unable to move, telling whomever you believe in that you’d do anything to not have this pain, or that you won’t do whatever you did again, wishing you had a damn Clorox wipe because how is the damn wall behind the toilet this dirty? Do they only clean halfway down? It doesn’t hurt nearly as much as it did two weeks ago. It doesn’t hurt as much as it did two days ago when I was afraid I’d aggravated it. If it still hurts this week though, I’ll make an appointment with the chiropractor or physical therapy. The doctor didn’t give me anything for pain so I’m borderline OD-ing on ibuprofen. The muscle relaxants are stronger than what I’m used to, though, so I can only take one at night; otherwise I’d be splayed across my desk or snuggling random people on the subway. That’d lend itself wonderfully to the whole ice cream truck chasing theory.

Tomorrow starts a new week, one in which I will probably steal my coworker’s pillow (it helped so much. I need a new office chair, clearly) and her Salonpas patches even though they smell like liniment. Here’s to less pain, better movement, fireless heating pads, and somebody cleaning the bottom of the bathroom wall.

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