Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I'm entering my second adolescence.

For the second time in my life I am catastrophically clumsy.  I didn't get the memo.  The one where it tells you that when you hit peri-menopause you enter your second adolescence.  I trip,slip, bump into things, drop dishes, stub my toes and fall up the stairs.  Not down, but up.  My dork factor is at 11.

In the space of two days, I gave myself a black eye with the chest freezer door and pinched a nerve in my neck rolling over in bed.  If they'd happened at the same time I could have done a great impression of a pirate with a health insurance claim.

This is NOT me sporting a jaunty cap,
I have a cold pack over one eye
Dorky McDorks a Lot
There's nothing quite like believing you've paralyzed yourself to push you directly into hysterical hyperventilation.  Still half-asleep, I realized that my chin was stuck looking over my left shoulder.  When I tried to move it at all, sharp stabbing pains shot through my neck and then stabbed down into my right shoulder blade.  David was awakened by the sounds of my panic.

"Wha...  what is it??"

"I can't move!  I can't move!"


"My head, it's stu... stu... stu..."  If I could have moved my head at all, I would have searched the room for a paper bag into which I could  hyperventilate/vomit in terror.

"It's okay, it's okay.  You need to breathe."

"Can't! I CAN'T!!!"

Now I would have slapped me at this point.  David didn't of course.  I was still trapped on my side, so he would have been slapping my head into the bed.  If I'd been sitting up, he might have been able to slap the neck loose if he hit me from the other side. There must have been lots of the whites of my eyes showing because David was starting to look pretty terrified himself.  He managed to get me sitting up - my head still trapped looking left.  I had those hiccuping sobs going - still half asleep and by no means rational.

"What if it stays like this?!?"

"It's not going to stay like this."

"You don't know that!!  YOU DON'T KNOW!!!  Did we write about this in our living wills?  I've changed my mind, don't pull the plug."

"You've pinched a nerve.  I'm going to get you some anti-inflammatories."


"I'll be right back.  I promise.  Just breathe."

It took David 33 seconds to come back with drugs.   "Now I'm just going to go downstairs and heat up the bean bag for you.  You need to stay calm."  He helped me lie back down.

I was awake enough then, that I tried to put on a brave face. I didn't claw at him, I didn't wail.  I wasn't going to be a baby about it.  The panic was still there, but fuck it!  I could pretend that it wasn't.  I counted while he was gone.  While counting to 197, I deliberately moved my head through the pain so that I could at least look straight up at the ceiling.  There were some crunching sounds, but as I was much less panicked with my head facing up, it was totally worth the pain.  David came back, armed wtih a cold pack, a heating pad and his lap top.  "Hey!  You're looking at the ceiling!  How did you do that?"


"It says that you need to alternate ice and heat.  Muscle relaxants are helpful.  You can have massage." 

If you are in desperate need of massage therapy or chiropractic adjustment, you will injure yourself at 4:00 a.m. on the Sunday of Thanksgiving Weekend.  I was on my own until Tuesday.  Sure, we could have trundled down to the ER, but it was a pinched nerve; they would have pumped me full of drugs, but not much else.  

This injury also coincided with the beginning of tech week for my latest play.  I had to be in rehearsal that night - it was a slapstick comedy.  To ensure that I wouldn't move my head when I was at rehearsal, David took me to Shopper's Drug Mart to get me a neck brace.

"I'm going to look like a dork!"

"Yes, but you will be a dork who won't hurt herself more."

If you ever want attention?  Show up anywhere with a neck brace on.  Complete strangers will ask you what you've done.

Now, 10 days later, after two massages and a chiropractic adjustment I have almost full mobility and the complete certainty that I won't survive paralysis.

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