After eight years of life without any significant back pain, I’d forgotten how threatening an injury can be to one’s mental health.
This past week and a half, I’ve gotten all too clear of a reminder.
A couple Fridays ago, I twisted my tailbone out of joint while plugging in a power cord. It has never the heavy lifting for me that’s caused injury; it’s always been the quick, careless movements.
I spent that first weekend out of commission, but my spirits were good because I figured all would be better by Monday. Then I got to Monday and the pain seemed worse. A visit to the chiropractor had me feeling much better. Then, on Tuesday, I drove 90 minutes north for a camping trip. I’ve been walking crooked and slow ever since.
Saturday night, wave after wave of spasms kept me awake and in agony.
As I write this I’m back home and feeling a bit better about my ability to address the pain. I have another chiropractor appointment today, and I suspect I’ll be going for follow-up visits for the rest of the week before I’m back to normal.
I have to admit: My attitude has tanked because of all this.
Erin and the kids have had to pick up all the chores I usually do, which makes me feel badly. The biggest torment for me is a feeling of uselessness, and I’ve been pretty useless, though I’m very grateful to Erin and the children for picking up the slack without complaint.
I’ve been more short-tempered with people than usual, and that makes me feel badly, too.
The build-up of bad feelings inevitably leads to depression for me, and here it is. I’m not feeling doomed, and I’m sure as hell not feeling hopeless. I know this too shall pass, and the experience reminds me of how lucky I am to have full mobility most of the time.
When I can’t get off a couch, bed or chair, I can’t help but think of people who are permanently disabled. I can’t help but feel for my father, who has been left partially blind and in need of a walker after a series of strokes and heart attacks.
I’ll get to the chiropractor and get this fixed. I’ll also resume routine appointments to keep the back in check.
The black cloud currently over my head will lift.
But I’m reminded of how fragile the body and spirit can be. I’m sure I’ll appreciate the reminder in the long run.
For now, I’m just ready to get past this.