Friday, June 10, 2016

In Sickness and In Health

Our pack out begins one week from today, and so I have spent the last three weeks focusing on preparations for that big day.

Getting ready to pack out is no small task in a 3-story house. There are endless piles of welcome kit sheets and towels to be carried up and washed.  Our own bedding for 6 people needs to be carried down, washed, folded, bagged, labeled and then carried back upstairs to the air freight staging area.
Vases to be washed, closets to be purged, papers to be shredded, toys to be sorted.  Up and down the stairs, room-by-room, drawer-by-drawer, until it's time to make dinner.

You don't have to do all of this, of course. You can leave the movers to toss everything together and trust that it'll all get to you mostly intact on the other end.  But that just makes the move-in at the next post more complicated, when you find one snow boot packed in a box with your bottle opener, three partially used candles and a ziplock bag full of random coins.  Oh, and you'll finally find every missing tupperware lid and unmatched sock tucked away in that box, but it won't matter because now, on this side of the globe, their other halves will have disappeared. No, best to do as much sorting and purging as you can before the movers ring the doorbell.

That is how I found myself halfway under a bed awhile ago, trying to pull toys and books and stray candy wrappers out from underneath. My butt was in the air and my shoulders were wedged under the mattress as I twisted to reach those last few legos so I could pack away the bin.  A tiny red lego lay tantalizingly out of reach, but I didn't want to get up and walk around to the other side of the bed for the sake of one small lego.  So I reached harder.

That's when I felt the pop, and I knew I'd done something very not-good to my back.

It's been up and down from there.  I've been in bed some days with a heating pad, but other days, I've felt more or less okay.  Yesterday I taught one class at the gym and worked out with 3 separate clients, and I felt pretty good.  I figured the worst was over.

We had a going away reception to attend last night. It was lovely, except for the fact that while I was sitting there chatting with one of the guests of honor, I felt a searing pain travel from my lower back down to my knee.  It kept getting worse, and the other guests looked at me strangely as I wriggled around in my chair, contorting myself in an effort to find a pain-free way to sit, sweating and gulping in air.

It didn't work. I finally excused myself and hobbled home.

This morning, I couldn't stand up straight.  Trying to walk was agony. One leg was painfully contracted and I could see my leg muscles spasming under the skin, all freaky and alien-like. The ibuprofen I've been taking didn't even make a dent in the pain.

I found out the meaning of those "in sickness and in health" vows B and I took almost 22 years ago.  It turns out he really meant them. He cancelled all of his morning meetings and took me to the doctor.  It's normally just a 5-minute walk away but it took us about 20 minutes to cover the distance, him cracking old lady jokes and me clinging to his shoulders, holding back tears while he half-carried me into the office.

Turns out I've herniated a disc in my back or some such thing. I am now hopped up on pain meds, lying on the couch while my husband waits on me.  Seriously, this hurts.  I've pushed out babies without an epidural so I know from pain.  This is about a 9.5 on the scale o' pain, and the only reason I wouldn't classify it as a 10 is because it's only affecting half of my body.  Pushing out a baby without an epidural, by the way, is about a 9.7. But then at least you get a snuggly little baby at the end of the day.  With this, I'll just get 2 more muscle relaxers.  Which by the way, are they even working?  Because I still can't stand up without lightning bolts of pain shooting down my leg.

So, to recap: T minus 7 days until pack out, and I can't even stand up without doubling over in pain. On the plus side, though, B just made the trek to Starbucks and brought back my favorite drink. I love that man.

I wonder if we had something in our wedding vows about how to handle pack out in a situation like this.






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