"Suffering is part of our training program for becoming wise." -- Ram Daas

When I was ten years old I read the book "Born to Trot" by Marguerite Henry. It told the story of a boy named Gib who dreamed of racing horses, but had to spend a year in the hospital. As a child I thought how horrible it would be to be trapped inside for so long while life outside went on without you. To watch the sun rise and set through your windows, and to try not to go crazy.

Well, now I know first hand what it is like.

"IN-VALID". I hate that word. But it does apply to my back, hips, and legs. They are definitely invalid, right now. Perhaps forever. They don't work. I can't walk, my pelvis won't support my weak, shaking legs. I can hardly make it to the bathroom, and sometimes I can't. I tried my first pair of Depends the other day - at 50 years old. Humiliating. I felt like my grandmother in the old folks home. In fact, she was more mobile than I am right now. It's like I turned into a 105 years old overnight.

It's day 5 in this bed. I am trapped. I can barely roll over without wrenching pain. Five days ago I went to the hospital in an ambulance. They dosed me with steroids and pain killers and sent me home. Those drugs have long worn off.

It started a week before when I was taking a shower. I simply leaned over to scrub my legs and ZAP! My back fired up in that horrifically-familiar way, and just like that I could hardly stand. Took me 15 minutes to get out of the shower. Greg wasn't home, so I was alone and had to get myself into my bed, still soapy. It was awful, but I was a tiny bit better the next day and felt somewhat optimistic, but then a few days later another ZAP, ZAP!!!! My entire sacro illiac was on fire, and I collapsed altogether.

Now, it's been five days in one bed, same sheets, not able to get to the bathroom, hardly eating, taking tons of pain medications, sweating, trying not to cry because it hurts - my hair is so greasy and my breath is so bad, things are so gross I hardly even recognize myself.

Every now and then I get really scared. The reality of what has happened to me comes down like a weight, and I panic. I can't move. I can't walk. Is this what my life has become? Will I never make art, cook, garden, walk Faye, play music, or travel again? Everyone says no, you'll get better, which is really sweet, but they've been saying that for 12 years and look where I am now.

I am hoping and praying I can get some kind of surgery. In the past I poo-pooed surgery because I had heard some pretty grisly back surgery stories. But now I have nothing to lose. Back surgery could not make me worse off than I am now.  I am hoping they will admit me today, or tomorrow, and I can be in the hospital with good drugs, until the operation. Then, please please please please let the surgery work.

The idea, the dream - of having a healthy back, being able to DO things without fear or pain, is.....paradise.

I am not ashamed to say that just imagining that makes me cry like a baby.

Think good thoughts for me. I love you all. xoxoxoxoxo

ps: When looking up the name of the boy in Marguerite Henry's book I came across a bit of her own medical history that most likely inspired the character. From Wikipedia:

"Unfortunately, Henry was stricken with rheumatic fever at the age of six, which kept her bedridden until the age of twelve. She was unable to attend school with other children due to her weak condition and the fear of spreading the illness to other people. While confined indoors, she discovered the joy of reading."


Stephilius said…
I'm so sorry you're going through this, dear friend. Though not as severe as what you're dealing with, I know this situation all too well; I'm going for an MRI this morning, myself, also considering surgery, belatedly. I pray that you - we - get some relief from all this, and get back to some idea of normal - soon! xoxo