I try very hard not to write about me personally but every time I try to sit still and do stuff right now, I just can’t. So I’m going to have a vent. Tune out now, you have been warned! This isn’t a seek for pity, not by any means, anyway you’ll understand soon.
I read a post on Facebook recently about meditating. The person who tried this actually managed to empty his brain of all thought for a few seconds, and it scared him silly. I found this quite amusing, because wondrous things can happen when you sit quietly with no expectations and just ‘be’. Until you learn to do it, it sounds like a load of rubbish, but I truly believe that’s part of the reason I’m still around today and as healthy as I am for my age. I learned to let go of stress.
That’s all well and good until I came back last Monday from my usual four kilometer walk. The first one for a few days after having our lovely guests staying, and hurricanes spoiling my favorite track with felled trees, and a busy snorkeling schedule which is much more interesting than walking. I thought, ‘oh no, the grass cutters are here’, so raced about to sort out the snorkeling gear we’d abandoned last night due to the plague of displaced ants and mosquitoes bigger than I’ve ever seen before. I also thought ‘I’ll use up the water in our emergency water container’ now the danger has passed. Tank water is good while it’s in the dark of the tank, but once light hits it, it goes off very quickly. We only ever pour off enough to fill our water bottles and if they’re not finished they taste stale the next day. So I thought I’ll use that water for rinsing the snorkeling gear, being good recycling and not wanting to waste it. I carried the container outside, no problem, tipped half of it into a bucket, no problem, sat it back down, a slight niggle, which I quickly dismissed. I rinsed out the gear, all at high speed because the mower was on it’s way, and the bloke with the weed eater was already doing the hedge line. For some reason I carried the bucket of water to the clothesline and wrung out the togs. I guess I didn’t want grass in the water I was using. But when I went to peg them up, couldn’t stand up. I was bent double, trying hard to, but it wasn’t happening for me. Hmmm. I managed to straighten out and finished my task and thought ‘that’s odd’. I had to have a wee chuckle because it was just like something you see in the movies. I’m quite fit, so that was just a glitch, right?
Now if anyone knows me, a little thing like a twinge in my back that renders me unable to straighten out, is not going to slow me down. I had an ant problem to contend with, and in doing so, I vacuumed the lounge and pantry with plenty of fly spray pre loaded so they wouldn’t survive that one. All was good except I couldn’t unplug the vacuum cleaner, and I had to get down onto my knees to do this, and then wind up the cord. It was ten o’clock by now, so I immediately took paracetamol, and thought, ‘a shower will sort me out’. I stopped taking paracetamol years ago when I realised how bad it was for me, and it’s only ever reserved for emergencies, that is, when reduced to tears from pain. Proceeding to get undressed, I had my special Lycra walking gear on and to my amazement, I couldn’t get my clothes off. Oh god, the agony. I instantly needed the loo, and now completely understand what those high weird toilet seats that go over the whole loo are for. It’s okay I had a sink bench and a window frame to hold onto! I managed a shower but had to abandon drying my lower legs and toes, and gave up on the idea of washing my hair. I found a dress to wear which I thought would be much easier than shorts, and anyway by now the idea of elastic anywhere near my back was terrifying.
So what does one do when reduced by their own bodies inability to conform to it’s owners commands? I messaged my lovely husband of course and texted ‘could you make sure you pick up more paracetamol on the way home today?’. No response, he was in a meeting. I waited patiently for two hours and then texted again ‘Have you seen my special purple anti flam from New Zealand, I thought it was in the fridge and I can’t find it?’. The response back was ‘Have you hurt yourself?!!!’ Ah no, not really, just put my back out a little, I think. Okay I’ve said it so now there can be tears. No, I didn’t need a doctor, I just needed the anti flam which was hiding in the fridge somewhere that I couldn’t bend to!
So my whole day was on a loop: move a little to stretch, drink water, visit the loo, recover in the fetal position lying on my side in bed, then move a little to stretch again. I really tried to concentrate on my course, my blog, and all my other projects that are pending. But it was futile. When my lovely husband came home he had visited the ‘Pharmacy’. The Pharmacy here in Bermuda is a wonderful place that stocks everything from nappies to the latest surf shoes and is a delight to spend time in. I like the octopus sweet n sour gummy lollies they sell, and I can even get UK adapter plugs there. My lovely husband brought home something called ‘Tylenol’ and ‘Salonpas’ and a hottie with a cougar fluffy cover. All these are foreign things. Or at least new to me in Bermuda. I had to Google the Tylenol to find out its just extra strength paracetamol, the Salonpas is a heat pad that you peel off the cover and slap on wherever you need it that works for eight hours, and the hottie, well it’s twenty seven degrees, so I’m unsure what that is for! The Tylenol says two tablets every six hours, but not more than six tablets in twenty four hours. I know the pain was dulling my ability to think but my maths isn’t that bad. There’s a gaping hole of six hours without pain killers there somewhere. Thinking about it today, I guess I can take ordinary paracetamol in the gap, but it reduced me to tears again last Monday.
So heat pad on, Tylenol in my for the eight hour sleep ahead of me, and a comfortable position, and amazingly I slept pretty much the whole night. In the morning I really couldn’t move. After a stagger to the proverbial morning bathroom visit, I dragged myself back to bed to ‘read’ for a while. My poor husband was by this time torn between getting to work, dealing with the renewed ant explosion in the pantry, and making sure I didn’t need professional help. As the day wore on I realised I could do more and more, so by mid afternoon felt pretty good. No intense pain, I did the dishes, cleaned the ants for the forty-millionth time from the pantry, and got my blog done and dusted. That felt pretty good. I even walked to the gate and back to check the letterbox! By evening when he returned, I had tidied the place up a little, to where I could bend to anyway, and looked what I call ‘peachy’. As night drew on, I got sorer and sorer, and conceded to another dose of Tylenol, another heat pack and managed to watch a movie flat on my back in bed.
Wednesday, I was a bit stiff to begin with, and moved gingerly at first, then sneezed. Holy mother of god what kind of punishment on earth did I have to endure for that one? I learned what the hottie was for and spent most of the morning reading in bed clinging to the new cougar device for all its worth. I made myself get up and shower and a have quiet walk to the gate and back. I’ll do it again later for another stretch. My Tylenol is in, but I don’t think it’s helping much at all, however I am a bit more relaxed and that’s got to equate to something. And that purple New Zealand anti flam is worth every penny it cost last time I was home.
Each day I’m getting more movement, and less pain so I know I’m on the mend. Self diagnoses through the Internet though can be dangerous as according to Google I have had a herniated disc or a strained iliopsoas muscle this week, or both. Treatment is exactly what I’m doing, so it’s all good. And I have noted the ‘visit your GP’ warning if things aren’t improving!
Thursday I tried driving, and it was all good except the parallel parking challenge. I don’t know how much petrol I wasted looking for angle parking. By the time I got out the car a few times, I knew I was beat and conceded to staying home again Friday. Saturday I was climbing the walls with boredom, so my lovely husband said ‘could you manage a movie out?’. Yes, yes I could definitely do that, all I was doing was sitting around anyway. We went to the Bermuda Underwater Institute to watch the NASA sixtieth anniversary documentary. What a fabulous, thought provoking film. A must to see if you get the chance. I felt like a real person again, but Sunday only managed to ’help’ with the laundry and a very short walk around St George. I wasn’t even allowed to hang it out. Today I have gone back to real paracetamol, not that weird Tylenol stuff, and I have much more movement and much less pain. I wonder if the other tablets just didn’t suit me? I plan to be better very soon and have been to the gate twice already!
Now amongst all of this incapacitation, the weirdest thing happened, and I swear I’m not hallucinating. George, my adopted pet lizard, who has lost his tail three times, came into the lounge to see me. I cross my heart he really did, and got a nice piece of chicken for his effort. Wondrous things can happen when we learn to sit still and acept that we can’t control everything that happens to us. I got a lizard visitor!
More soon – Sally