Threatened Buoyancy

I’d like to think that I bounce back pretty fast. Not a lot actually gets to me. I’m hardly Pollyanna—I’m much too cynical for that—but I usually can roll with life’s punches.

Last Tuesday and Wednesday, though, tested my limits. It wasn’t what was dumped on my lap, but how much of it. Even feathers in sufficient number and weight can kill. I have mentioned that I have recently had difficulty walking. There were all sorts of tests, I was put into physical therapy (which only seemed to hurt it more), and given pain pills to help out when things got bad. After 4 weeks of physical therapy, I was still in pain, so I went to see my doctor again.

This was last Tuesday. On the way from the lobby to the office, I tried to walk too fast, twitched, and twisted my leg. It almost gave out on me and I did an embarrassing bandy-legged dance for balance. I won, but at the cost of a great deal of pain. Consequently, my blood pressure was really high. My doctor pulled notes and talked with me and then began flinging monkey poo at me.

First, he thinks it’s sciatica. The physical therapy did nothing, so he’s sending me to a specialist, a physical medicine doctor far, far away (for someone who doesn’t drive). Second, getting to this doctor means relying on the kindness of others or public transportation. I’m not one of those schmucks who thinks he’s above public transit. But getting on, finding a seat, and especially getting off the bus are all anxiety-inducing affairs, any one of which could cause me severe pain. Third, my blood pressure, which is always great, has spiked since the summer…when my leg and back started hurting. Consequently, my doctor put me on blood pressure medication. I haven’t picked it up yet. Fourth, I have to have X-rays. More money, more time, more bus rides. Fifth, because I’m not walking and not working out anymore, and I certainly haven’t curbed my eating habits, I have gained weight. This lovely doctor’s office visit gave me a number to go with my insecurity. (Frankly, it’s lower than I thought it would be). Sixth, after all this is done, I’m probably back in physical therapy (more pain, more bus), or get to have injections, or if it’s REALLY bad, I have surgery to look forward to.

Feeling old and broken, I hobbled home, got into bed, and took a nap, thinking that I would have perspective when I woke up. Nope! I was just as depressed. I read, played video games, texted with friends, nothing worked. I eventually went to bed thinking that I would gain perspective by morning.

Wrong! I couldn’t shake it off. I’m not old, I’m not broken, I’m normally in great health…until 2014, apparently. But I felt like Yoda with a broken back, shingles, and rheumatoid arthritis. I was Eeyore, sighing, moping, head in my hands, all that.

My crush, Prince Scientist passed me the next morning giving me side eye. I went to wash my cup in the break room…and he was there washing his cup. I asked if I could squeeze into the other side of the sink. He said sure, and gave me the water. He asked how I was, I lied, I asked how he was, he said good and thanked me for asking…and I never once looked at him. Then there was a pregnant pause. I could have said something, but I was so in my own head, so depressed, so anxious, that I didn’t. I finally went to say something and was interrupted by someone applying for a spot on my team. She was having a busy day, and every time I tried to schedule her to take our test, she told me she wasn’t free. Finally, exhausted, I said, “Tina, you’re giving me angina!”

Prince Scientist was standing next to me the whole time. Hovering. Laughing. Finally, he filled his cup with hot water and must have passed really close to me, because I actually felt him go by. I asked if I was in his way and, still laughing at my angina comment, he said I was fine. He looked at me, I smiled back, and he lingered. Tina started talking again. Prince Scientist hesitated. The ego part of me hopes it was waiting for Tina to stop talking so he and I could walk back together.

She didn’t. I told her I would catch up with her later, and followed my Prince. But, with my leg, I’m just not fast enough. He was walking slow at first, but I manage to hide my limp, so it probably looked like I was being even slower on purpose. He sped up, and I watched him trail in front of me all the way to my desk.

It was a rough day, but I eventually regained my buoyancy around noon. I can only take this sciatica stuff one step at a time. And I found out that Prince Scientist is in training for at least another week.

So, not all is lost. Not even my buoyancy.


~ by Darren Endymion on January 5, 2015.

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