All I really did was THINK ABOUT IT.
Last Friday evening, I made arrangements with my nephew for him to come over and help me put new vinyl flooring down in my bathroom. Now, in years past, I wouldn’t have thought twice about doing this by myself; however, I have learned through experience that my back just can’t take the abuse of being on my hands and knees for more than a few minutes at a time. Getting old is not for wimps.
I woke up Saturday morning with a “nagging backache”. Nothing too terrible, I was able to move freely, but bending over to feed the cats, tie my shoes, etc. reminded me that I’m not 20 any more. Since my nephew bailed on me, no actual work got done on the floor. The most strenuous thing I did all day was hook the garden hose up to the sprinkler and water my flowerbeds.
By Sunday morning, I could barely walk. The 20 feet from the bed to the bathroom was a new adventure in pain. I made myself do what had to be done, and as the day wore on the muscles in my back gradually loosened up. I managed to wash two loads of laundry and go to the grocery store in the morning, and spent the afternoon sitting poolside at my sister’s. I even had my sister carry my groceries into the house for me. I didn’t even THINK ABOUT doing anything strenuous. I went to bed (after taking a large dose of Excedrin Back and Body formula) with every intention of going to work on Monday.
My back had other plans.
Monday morning (yesterday) I woke up to discover that during the night, the muscles in my lower back had tightened up to where I couldn’t even roll over in the bed without breaking a sweat. You know that cramp that you sometimes get in your foot? The one that makes your toes curl up and your foot take on a claw-like appearance? That’s what my back was doing. I literally slid off the mattress onto the floor, and crawled on my hands and knees to the bathroom. Instead of going to work, I went to the doctor first thing (I was the second patient at the Doc-In-A-Box). He told me that he could actually SEE the spasms in my back when I moved. He prescribed Skelaxin and naproxen, told me to use a heating pad several times a day, and sent me on my way. I had the prescriptions filled, came home, and played couch potato for the rest of the day. My son came over and fixed me dinner. He even did the dishes.
I started out last night sleeping in my bed, but a nature call at 2 AM made me realize that things were getting worse during the night, so I moved to the recliner in the living room. That seemed to help some, in that my back didn’t get any worse after that. It didn’t really get any better, either. I didn’t go to work again today. This is eating away at my available paid time off, which I was saving for next month when my daughter will be home on leave.
Unless something pretty miraculous happens in the next 20 hours or so, I don’t see myself going to work tomorrow, either. My office is on the second floor of the building; the bathroom, copy machine, fax machine, coffee maker, and postage meter are all on the first floor. No, there’s no elevator. I estimate that on an average day I make at least 30 trips up and down the stairs — and I just don’t see that happening as soon as tomorrow.
Time to hobble back to the couch, and the heating pad. I took some pics at the pool on Sunday, so I’ll try to get them posted later this afternoon. It helps to move around a little bit, but I can’t sit at the computer for too long. I can’t sit in any one place for too long – the secret seems to be getting up and moving for a few minutes, then sitting down for a few minutes. If I stay in one place too long, everything locks up.