Friday, February 11, 2011

Replacement Parts

Xander, the quiet, assertive alpha of the pride

Forget hovercrafts.  Forget personal jet-packs, Jetsons-style air cars that fold up to the size of a briefcase with the press of a button.  Forget computer menu food, warp-drive engines powered by dilithium crystals ("She canna take much morea this, Cap'n!") and transporter rooms that could beam us from one side of the galaxy to the other in the blink of an eye.

Forget about all of those great things in the future I was all but promised as a kid.  Want to know what I want?

Replacement body parts.

In particular, I'd like to place my order for a new lower back, please.

Like, now.  (Please.)

About 6-7 years ago we were in western NC visiting our daughter.  The afternoon had been spent at a friend's house, prepping for a cook-out.  I'd gotten up and down a lot, but had done ZERO heavy lifting. While standing in line for food something in my lower back gave and I felt like my spine was about to snap.  Cautiously, I walked a few feet away and collapsed on the ground.  I spend most of the evening on the host's living room floor, my legs resting on the seat of a chair.

There's something about the feeling of your back being just a hair away from snapping that shakes your whole world view.  It's almost as bad as the intense pain that follows as your back muscles either spasm to keep the spine in line or the vertebrae crushing down on that nerve your badly deteriorated disc is supposed to keep safe.

Ah, memories.

Sunday afternoon I committed the most grievous sin of reaching sideways to put a small dish in the sink. That old *SNAP*ing feeling came back in a head-swimming rush and I've been in pretty bad shape ever since.  Most of Sunday and all of Monday were spent in bed.  Tuesday I walked shuffled up to the grocery store with Bonn.  Wednesday I actually made it into werk but Thursday when I went to get out of bed I didn't so much stand as I slowly crumbled to the floor where I tried stretching my back out while on my knees.  (Then, when I went to leave the house, I found it was snowing and there was no way I was going to shuffle the 45 minutes to the bus stop.  One too-slick patch of anything was going to find me laying prone on my side/back/face without any hope of getting up again on my own.)

Today my back is...stiff.  I'm willing to take incremental improvements, even if they tend to fluctuate from morning to evening and back again, provided they are improvements.  (Not like I have much of a choice in the matter, really.)

As you might suspect, all writing has been put on hold for about a week.  Other than typing "Owwwwwwwww..." there's little to be gained by having me in front of a keyboard for too long right now.

-- Tom