Yesterday morning, I started nagging my husband about making a decision regarding our summer vacation. We were getting nowhere, so I finally said, “If it’s too expensive for all of us to go, why don’t you go alone,” and then something happened; my back froze. I had just placed my right foot through my gym pants when a shooting pain caused me to grab the wall, so I wouldn’t collapse.
Angry at myself, I forced my left foot into my gym pants and hobbled to the kitchen.
I turned on my coffeemaker, microwaved some milk and waited, fingers pressed hard against my lower back. There was no way my damn back would stop me from working out. The coffee finished perking and my spasms escalated to the point where I started barking orders at my poor husband. “Get me Advil. Carry my mug. I have to lay down.”
“You can’t workout,” Duke said as I turtled down the long hallway to our bedroom.
“In a few minutes, I’ll feel better,” I said.
I swallowed 3 Advil, and waited fifteen minutes, expecting to jump into my car and head to the gym to start three sets of squats, lunges and leg presses.
An hour went by, and I couldn’t get out of bed. It was impossible for me to sit. I felt claustrophobic, stuck in my room with no one to help and then I thought of others who suffer on a daily basis. I had visions of healthy men and women injured in a car accident or at war. Those with amputated limbs, now dependent on a wheel-chair and others’ help to get around.
I thought of Brenda, a blogger friend, who is undergoing chemotherapy, and all the unpleasant side-effects she has to suffer.
I thought of how marriages change when one person is ill for a long period of time. How do most spouses react? Are they tolerant for a while, then they no longer want to help?
All these thoughts came to mind, and while I was stuck in bed for half the day. I picked up my phone, and called an 85-year-old neighbor, just to see how she was doing. I felt selfish that it took me feeling sorry for myself, in order to find the time to call this kind old lady and check on her.
So to all of you who are suffering, my heart goes out to you. I admire your courage and shall stop taking health and mobility for granted.
Have you thought about how you would deal with a long term illness? How you would cope with not being able to do the things you used to do? What about your relationship?