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Carol Perkins: A toothache hurts, but a backache is grueling

Good friend Susan Chambers, who knows about backpain, commiserated, 'I bet even your eylids hurt,' she said. And Carol says she was right.
Next earlier Carol Perkins column: Carol Perkins: Firepit brings back memories of 'creek days'

By Carol Perkins

A toothache hurts, but a backache is grueling. The pain brings out the evil side of me: short-tempered and sharp- tongued! Even the weather channel on mute gets on my nerves.

A tinge of back pain began a week before the onset of "down and out." I should have begun taking better care of my back at that point instead of sitting at the computer a few hours at a time or binge-watching Poldark. By last weekend, I could barely walk to the bathroom. Even then, I wanted to cry or kick something (although I couldn't raise my leg high enough to do that) but tried to hold myself so Guy wouldn't think I was dying. I couldn't fool him, however.

"I think I need to take you to ER."

"I can't even walk to the car. I wouldn't be able to get into the car. Just let me lie here and ease the pain away." However, resting was impossible with electric pulses darting across my lower back, taking my breath away. "I will have to wait this out. It usually takes a week." I am not one to dash to a doctor even when I should.

I have had bouts with my back over the years but thought I was finished with them. "Spasms brought on by stress." That is the x-ray results. "Plus, your hips are uneven." No wonder I limp half the time.

"I don't have time for this!" I declared to myself. The truth was I didn't have time but was going to discover that Time was what I did have because nothing that I planned to do was going to get done!

Getting dressed was a chore. Putting on my tennis shoes-impossible. Dr. Kelly grimaced when I came into her office in my sandals. "I can't get anything else on," I moaned as I lower myself, ever so slowly, onto the table for therapy. "Can I just stay here?" I begged.

Even walking from the bed to the recliner-a long journey. As my good friend Susan said, "I bet your eyelids even hurt." She was right.

Susan knows about back pain, so when she learned about my condition, she came rushing out with a back brace. "Will it go around me?"

I couldn't get up from the recliner, so she and Guy heaved me up, put the harness around me and secured it with Velcro. It came up under my arms and below my thighs. I moved like R2D2. The only time I took it off was to go to bed. I would have worn it to bed but couldn't lie down with it on without my legs shooting straight up into the air.

Being down in the back does one good thing: it makes those of us who suffer from this appreciate being able to walk, to climb, to get in and out of a bathtub or a car, to reach up for something on a top shelf, to sweep the floor, to go to the grocery store and walk the aisles, and to put on a pair of tennis shoes and tie them. I know I will be able to do that in a matter of time, but until then I will look at those who never will be able to do that again and know I can endure an enormous amount of temporary pain if it brings me back to myself in the end.

(My new book, A Girl Named Connie, is available at Blossoms Florist and Boutique Unique, 507 Happy Valley Road, Glasgow, KY 42141, Phone 270-629-3597; the Edmonton/Metcalfe Chamber of Commerce, 109 E Stockton Street, Edmonton, KY, Phone 270-432-3222; and the Lighthouse Restaurant, 1500 Sulphur Well/Knob Lick Road, Sulphur Well Historic District, KY 42129. Phone 270-629-3597. And Also on Carol Perkins, PO Box 134, Edmonton, KY 42129. Phone 670-432-5756

This story was posted on 2016-10-20 14:47:40
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