Well, yesterday, Friday, the verdict came down from on high. Okay, not really on high, it was delivered to me in a sterile doctor’s office the size of a walk in closet. My back has been broken. In two places at least. Small fractures really. And as the Doctor put it “If you have to have a broken back, then you are in the best case scenario.” When I asked him what he meant he informed me that there is no damage to my spinal cord and very little chance that it my spinal cord will be affected.
I was more than upset to hear this news. You see, my dear reader, I was trying to get a note from him saying I was fully fit to go back to work. He said he would prefer if I took a bit more time off and let my soft tissue around my lower back heal as well as let my bones start to repair themselves a bit more. When I asked him how long, he said at least three more days. I wanted to punch him. Of course doing so would mean I would have to stand up, step down from the exam table, ball up my fist and try to twist my body at the waist to get my full body weight behind the force of my punch. Even thinking about that sort of action while sitting there on the thin paper covered table made my back throb with stabbing pain. Even though I was loaded up on pharmaceutical grade pain killers, the pain told me I would be unfit to perform that particular task. Lucky doctor.
He then proceeded to examine my broken and bruised body. I did my best to not flinch, yelp in pain or rip his face off for touching the places that my steps so happily chose as their own punching bag. Given, the steps punched me only once, but once was enough to put me on my ass for a week.
After the Doc visit, I went to my part-time job, I gimped down the aisle trying to ignore the stares of the customers in my direction. After all, it’s not every day you see a six foot tall, 190 pound, long haired biker stumbling through the door of a fine dining establishment. I’m sure my shambling caused more than a few diners to clutch a bit tighter to their purses. Hell, I even saw a few scoot away from the aisle I was making my way down.
I ignored them and focused on the business owners who were standing at the back of the restaurant staring at me. The chef was grinning and nodding, his wife looked blankly at me. When I got to them I informed them I would miss another shift of work due to the fact my Doc would not sign off on my return to work slip. The chef then informed me that when I called and left my message that I would not be able to come in to work on Wednesday, he did not recognize my voice and that he had to have other people listen to it to make sure it was me. I laughed because I knew why I sounded like an alien being tortured at area 51. It was the pain I had been going through.
When I left the restaurant I then went to my primary job. I informed my supervisor of my plight, he informed me I needed to get some paperwork from administration to have filled out. FMLA paperwork. Bureaucratic paperwork that makes going back to work more difficult. The one thing I want to do, work, requires me to get permission from others so that I can do it. I’m sure there is a reason for this, but I’m sure I’m not smart enough to understand it even if it were explained to me. It’s okay though, because I know I will do exactly what I need to do to get back to doing my job(s).
By the time I got home, almost six hours after I left to go to the doctors to get a clean bill of health, my painkillers were wearing off, my gimpiness had gotten worse and I was exhausted. I made my way upstairs, climbed into bed while trying to not inflict more pain on my body and promptly fell asleep.
When I woke up from my nap, almost ninety minutes later, a brief thought entered my mind that I may be wrong in believing I was ready to go back to work full time. I then told myself I was hallucinating and I couldn’t be wrong. Which is about the time I started to count down the hours and minutes that I actually get to go back to work. Which is about the time I started to fall asleep again. I’ve repeated this behavior for the past twenty-four hours.
On the bright side of everything, I’m actually healing. My body is not in as much pain as it was a few days ago or even yesterday for that matter. The insanely blinding stabbing pain I’d been experiencing has been replaced with a less blinding stabbing pain. Also, truth be told, the meds are helping. But even without the meds I see small improvements not just every day, but every several hours. Not too long ago I couldn’t even put my own socks, pants, shirt and shoes. Now, can do all of those, true, not as quickly as I could pre-flight attempt on Tuesday morning, but I can perform these simple duties. Also, yesterday morning was the first time since the front step incident I was actually able to sit down in a chair, on a couch or even in my bed. Big success there. If you don’t believe me, try doing nothing but standing or lying flat on your back for three and a half days. It will drive you nuts and make your feet extremely tender.
So, in conclusion, I’m on the mend, I’m bored, and I’ve written way too many blogs about this one incident. But, I needed to do something, after all, I’ve read books, watched movies, television shows, played video games and driven the people in my life batshit crazy with my stubbornness of not asking for help and not allowing them to help me. Why? Simple, I don’t really like to ask for help, need help or want to be helped which is a principle I’ve had for years. A principle I do believe at this point in my life I need to reassess. I don’t want to, my pride screams inside my head every time I even think about asking for help. It is no secret that my pride has been a problematic issue in the course of my life. Hell, I’d say that my pride is most likely the primary culprit in all my previous fights, arguments and disagreements.
All of this brings to mind a night not too long ago when I was sitting in a truck, smoking a cigar, drinking a sprite and talking to a good friend who told me I need to put my pride to the side. That my pride is my biggest weakness and if I didn’t get a handle on it, I’d be falling a long way down. He, of course, was right. So right now, so many days and hours after my accident I finally understand what has been said to me over and over again in not so many words. Let others help you, get out of the way of your destiny. Get out of the way of Gods plan in your life. Just do what you can and let others help.
The platitudes go on and on, but the message is always the same and when I seem to lose sight of it, I end up taking more steps backwards. So, okay, I’m giving in, I’m raising the white flag in surrender. I give up. I’m setting aside my pride and I’m now just going to do what I can and try not to work myself into exhaustion anymore. I’ll let my future unfold in the manner that God wants because if I don’t I know I will end up right back here, flat on my back staring at the ceiling and wondering how in the hell I got here once again.
Have a great week… again.