There has been a parade of people stopping by to take Dawg out for walks this weekend. Every time someone new comes in, he looks woefully at me with the covers pulled up to my nose, looks back at New Person, and says, “Can I go with you? Mine’s busted.”
I got hit with the crusciatus curse on Thursday night. Either that, or someone has a voodoo doll of me and they are doing nefarious things with it. I had friends over, and it was an hour from “there is a little twinge in my back” to “seized up with crippling pain.” They wanted to spend the night, as I was clearly in bad shape, but I didn’t want any witnesses. The only thing worse than being in that much pain is watching people who are miserable just from watching you be in that much pain.
I was raised by a doctor and am also law-abiding, so I would never, ever, ever take someone else’s prescription pain medication, officer. But let’s just say if someone hadn’t kindly brought me a small present around 9:30 that night, it would have taken me much longer than an hour and a half to make it from the floor, where I was lying face-down next to Dawg, to my bed. Even with narcotic assistance, I spent twenty white-knuckled minutes holding onto the door frame of my kitchen, with the pain so bad that my ears were ringing and my vision narrowed to a tunnel, and then a little tiny pinprick. All I could think of was how much worse it was going to hurt if I actually passed out and fell.
I moved, slowly, wall-crawling from one surface to the next, trying to avoid any false steps; when your body has decided to betray you like that, though, it doesn’t need a a false move to trigger a debilitating contraction. I tried to breathe through them and start counting, reasoning that even about-to-pass-out-kind of pain wouldn’t come in waves much longer than ten seconds or so. I’d get to, oh, twenty-eight and be in a cold sweat, take a deep breath, and then try another step towards bed. I had my phone in my pocket, and a dozen people I could have called for help, but the thing is, nobody could have done anything. It would have been unthinkable for anyone to touch me. The only way out was through.
It was okay lying still, but when I got up before dawn the next morning, the reverse process was even more painful and precarious, and took even longer. I decided it was easier to stay up for four hours until urgent care opened than it was to go back to bed and have to get up again. I talked to Dawg. I read a book. I drank some coffee. I put on everything but socks, which I flat couldn’t manage. The doc gave me three kinds of meds and told me to rest. It’s taken a day and a half for them to kick in. I’ve had back spasms before, and there’s nothing fun about them. Hell, I’ve had back surgery before, but this was something entirely new. I’ve never experienced anything like this level of debilitation. There are few things I hate more than feeling helpless. Damnation.
So, of course everyone has been really nice, and although I haven’t needed a thing except sleep, Dawg has needed lots of love, being so little and all. Audrey came over to play with him and even gave him a bath. A friend who will give your dog a bath is a true friend, indeed. Hearing her reason with him on the other side of the house in the bathtub was the highlight of my week. He took it pretty well. He smells good, too. Julia stopped by to take him walking, and brought me stacks of magazines, which is all you really want when you’re laid up. The neighbors have been by bunches of times, both the grown ups and the kids, to keep him entertained. They’re fabulous that way. Approximately a thousand people have told me I should have called, could have gotten them up in the middle of the night, absolutely must call if I need a rescue.
I won’t need to, though. 48 hours later, I can slowly stand up, shower, eat a chocolate bar, and even type. It still hurts, but it’s finally starting to ease. By tomorrow I should be able to make it up and down the front steps again, which means I can walk Dawg by myself.
Mom’s here tonight making me soup and reminding me that she has back troubles too. Every time I told her how bad it was, she said, “Well of course, that’s exactly what mine was like last time.” I am having none of it. “I am going to need us to acknowledge that mine was pretty much the worst pain that anyone, anywhere, has ever had,” I told her. “I totally win for pain on this one.”
Just for tonight, though. I’ve turned the corner, I think, and it’s the kind of thing that, once it’s gone, it’s gone. Curse is lifted. Like it never happened.
I want a do-over on the weekend though.