I don’t know how I did it. I wasn’t doing anything outrageous or fun, because I cannot remember the last time I did anything outrageous or fun. I was just sitting in my cozy home office, in my ergonomic chair, working on a computer at my spacious, organized desk, typing. And yet, I still managed to hurt myself.
One wrong move. Perhaps a twist to reach for my phone or encourage my cat to get off my keyboard, and I pinched a nerve in my back with such dexterity that I spent the next two days completely immobile. You know what two days those were? Saturday and Sunday. Go figure.
I’m not complaining (totally complaining), but you really don’t appreciate what your back does for you until it refuses to do it any longer. For a period of time, completely at your back’s discretion, it punishes you with every move you make, every breath you take (sudden urge to sing The Police there, but it hurts to sing).
There is absolutely nothing sexy or graceful about the way I put on socks on the average day, much less pants (I’m aware), but when my back wouldn’t bend and my balance was wobbly, it was a sorry spectacle for a few days. Only my dog, Scout, witnessed it. She stared up at me with smug judgement with what I am sure was a smirk on her furry face. Her empathy was tucked in the dog cookie jar atop the refrigerator, which I couldn’t reach for two days, so she appreciated every opportunity to watch me fail at something. She also pooped in the laundry room knowing full well I couldn’t bend down to clean it up. War. It’s messy.
The Carpenter’s job constantly involves aches, pains, strains and bruises, so he was rather amused to see his fragile, delicate spouse hobbling about. He was super helpful. He moved the TV remote just far enough out of reach that I couldn’t get it. He made dinner, but let me wash the dishes because “standing is good for your back.”
He offered a running commentary of my slow pace throughout the house with gems like, “are you going to take all day?” He’s a special person. In all fairness, he did get me some topical pain medication. That was nice. Love. In sickness and in health. Right.
But then, the Carpenter came home from work in pain, having strained both of his rotator cuffs and his neck. I get it, he works construction. Lifts stuff. Hits stuff. Moves stuff. Rips stuff down. He’s physical. Yeah, well karma ripped him down. Bam.
What a pair we were. I sympathize with our daughter, who walked past our bedroom door one evening to hear disturbing noises, something akin to large animal sounds in mating season. Deep baritone groans, moans, followed by, “can you rub this on my back?” “Ohhh, that’s so good.” Also jokes like, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up,” followed up with “well, I can’t bend to get you, so enjoy the floor.” Laughter is love (our daughter may be single forever now).
February is the month of romance, so I’ll be grateful for a spouse who always has my back, and occasionally, rubs pain relief on it. We can share a heat pad and a sofa and watch movies where couples have steamy romantic lives, and we’ll laugh at them. Fiction. Fakers. Pass the Voltaren.