My body is slowly disintegrating on me. My lower back currently resembles the floor board of the ’79 VW square back that Mom drove when we first moved to the States – rusty with bits of daylight showing through. We had to step carefully into the car so we didn’t fall through and lift our feet whenever we went through a puddle less they be soaked. We loved going through puddles. We’d often shout at her from the un-seat belted back seat, “Puddle! Puddle! Puddle!” and shriek when she would oblige, as our feet were suddenly immerged in muck and mire. It was awesome.
The disintegrating back - not so awesome.
The back is the result of years of abuse and neglect. Apparently when you fall off a stage at seventeen, while flirting with some boys, and the only medical care you seek is that of the orthodontist because your lip is embedded in your braces, your back remembers.
It remembers the time, age twelve, at Brother's Cub Scout meeting when you slipped outside to play hide and seek tag with the older brother of some Cub Scout in the dusky evening, and you ducked out between two cars, got hit by a bicycle going 30mph, knocked into the air and landed in a heap on the street. The stupid Band-Aid you put on your knees and elbows and the ice you put on your concussed head, they did nothing for the discs that still remembers what it felt like to fly through the air and use the pavement as brakes.
Your discs might also be particularly upset with the patio you helped Mom and Himself removed one summer. It seems if you use a sledgehammer improperly and follow it up by moving several tons of concrete, your back hates you.
Likewise, it hates you if you are up on a twenty-foot ladder helping to cut the massive tree in the backyard and you’re playing a game of “OH MY GOD! YOU’VE GOT A BUG ON YOU!” with Brother and he yells it out from his ladder when you’re at the top of yours and you jerk backward, and fall twenty feet down and land in the brush below, a ladder on you, legs tangled in the steps… Well, when your back wakes up from the shock forced by the concussion the whole body is in, it’s going to remember. And it is not going to be in the least happy about the situation.
One day, you’ll do something innocent, like trying to scrub a floor and your back, those discs will scream at you “REMEMBER WHEN YOU WERE YOUNG AND STUPID?” and up and quit on you. Or your discs won’t completely quit, they will just decide to protest, throwing little spasms and awkwardly timed muscle seizures that generally cause you to walk like an eighty-year old constipated man or cry out like you’re suddenly in labor.
My yard with the house half way up the hill – or halfway down the hill, depending on my direction and my mood – my yard with loads of potential has become a mountain of impossible challenges. A simple walk up to the mailbox has become a minefield. One step wrong and Tigger the Dog is going to have to play Lassie and find me help. And the odds of that dog doing much else but whining my face off, are not good. I should probably layer up each time I step outside in case I do fall, can’t get up and have to lie there until I’m rescued from the snow or ice or whatever Mother Nature has decided to throw at us this week.
A Band-Aid isn’t going to make this go away. Neither, apparently, is a pill that makes me floppy like the Scarecrow in Oz or a drink that makes me chatty and bouncy and fun. Both still leave me moving like a constipated eighty-year old man. I guess I should be the grown-up I look like get some kind of help. I’m pretty sure that none of this was in the manual of ‘When You Grow-up…’
I’d like a do-over. Please?
My name is ej. I'm a girl. I say that because with the short hair and the short initials, folks aren't always sure. More brilliant insights to who I am in About me