Sunday, September 13, 2009

Fugue in ouch major

Just when you think you're immortal, or at least not decrepit, your back goes out or an old injury twangs your last nerve, such is the case with me the past few days.

About 20 years ago while wearing heels, I skidded across the slick, tile floor in Sears at Northland shopping center in Columbus, Ohio, ending up on the ground with my right ankle ballooning to Goodyear proportions, which was ironic since I was sitting on the wet floor next to the automotive shop where Goodyear tires were prominently displayed. A cashier rushed to help me up and was followed closely by the chief of security and a very apologetic janitor who forgot to put out the "wet floor" signs. The janitor and security chief helped me to the security office where the store manager met us. He had already called the local Doc-in-the-Box down the street. An ambulance took me to the clinic where an x-ray revealed my ankle was unfortunately not broken, but would have to be casted because the ligaments were stretched and torn in places.

I haven't thought about that incident in year, about 20 years, certainly not since the cast came off and I could drive again. Friday morning my ankle hit me with a wave of pain that nearly turned my stomach inside out; it was a good thing I had not eaten yet. To make matters more interesting, my lower back refused to bear me upright without help, the help being the walls between my bed and the bathroom. I wasn't in so much pain I couldn't breathe, but there was enough discomfort to make every movement an orchestration of dissonant and quickly stifled howls. I had typed most of my pages the night before and decided a few yoga stretches and more sleep would set me to rights. I woke again in enough time to finish my required pages and crawl back into bed for more stretches and sleep and by 8 p.m. my back and ankle had reset their levels to a moderate aching throb.

Sitting up for any length of time provides ample reminders of my ankle injury and the lower back pain from carrying to term four fairly large babies. Standing and walking aren't too difficult once I get going, but lying down and resting after yoga stretches have helped the most and quiets the worst of the muscle spasms. This in turn has had a direct effect on my writing -- I haven't been able to write. I'm saving my energy for the week of work ahead and I am almost clear of the worst of this bout of "Introduction to Age: The Painful Years." At least, I don't have arthritis.

Actually, the cold and damp weather is what brought on the aches, spasms and howling pain, so it's obvious a little arthritis has crept into my bones and must be repelled and set adrift to pirate someone else's life. I have a list of enemies ready for use if necessary.

It's difficult to be reminded of injuries decades after the events, but it is inevitable as gravity and time take their taxes, or rather, balloon payments. I have a couple things on my side: blind faith in my own healing powers and knowing enough yoga to combat the worst of the pain and relax the muscles. After all, it worked with sciatica. Stretches and rest cured the sciatica in two days -- thirty years ago. So, I'm back to blind faith.

Things could be worse. I can't think how right now, but I'm sure something will come to me.

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