Monday, July 10, 2006

Slip Sliding Away....A Hard Lesson

Remember that song from oh I don't know the 70s or 80s?

When I was a kid I remember my mother was singing that song while we were hiking along a river bank and well...yeah she started slipping sliding away in the the mud! LOL I have learned now that this is no joke!!!

Back in June I had a deadline to get out my fundraising letters for the upcoming marathon. Well if you know me you know that I am not a fast writer like my sister (who happens to be a TV journalist and reporter). It actually takes me a long time to think of what I am going to write, to start it, and then once it is written I take a long time tweaking it. In addition, it is very difficult for me to handwrite something (thanks NF2) and I had to hand address 50 letters! It took FOREVER!!!!!!!

Anyhow, as a result I stayed up through the night. When I am more tired or just wake up my balance is HORRIBLE!!!! I can't even remember now but as I was walking down the carpeted stairs of my home in the early morning of June 15th I literally SLIP SLIDED AWAY! Perhaps I was too tired to catch myself on the railing like I normally do or maybe my legs just gave out. I really can't remember. Yet, I DO recall landing on my tailbone scary hard!

I have never fallen quite that hard before and I was in pain sleeping. I could not lie on my back and to turn either way in bed sent sharp pain spasms through my lower pelvis area. In addition, it hurt to bend or sit which reminded me of the sensation I experienced immediately following a bone marrow draw.

I still went to practice that evening but was rather stiff. Fortunately a teammate was interested in communicating with me and learning some sign so I was able to walk slower. I think I took friday off as we left to visit my parents. Saturday the 17th it was not getting any better and I had a hard time keeping up with my dad and Harley on our walk with the dogs. Still in pain on Sunday (father's day), I was still committed to walking the dogs and I could keep up with my dad and Harley that day.

On Monday I went into the Urgent Care center for xrays as I began to have a deep seated fear that I may have damaged myself seriously and that I better get the scoop before I do something irreversible on our upcoming vacation. FORTUNATELY nothing was broken or fractured!!!!!! I just had an extreme bruise of the coccyx which takes weeks to heal.

The doctor at the center was going to prescribe pain medication but I already take a medication that makes me drowsy enough. I did not feel like spending my entire vacation in a lethargic or catonic state. Therefore, I requested some celebrex which helped greatly when I took the medication but I am still sore.

This thursday will be 3 weeks since the incident and although I have been practicing for the marathon and I do not experience sharp shooting pains, I am still sore. I only have 2 celebrex left and I am clearly going to need to get some more as I have not completely healed yet.

For those who have been around me over the past year, now you know why it is terrifying going down the stairs for me (especially if the stairs are concrete!!). Today I had a jolt of fear run through my spine as I again nearly slipped going down the stairs! Luckily I was able to catch myself and prevent the fall by bracing myself with my arms between the wall and handrailing. My stomach dropped at the moment as if I had near head on collision with an automobile. That is how scary falls can become when you are balance challenged and hurt yourself.

For this reason, when I go down the stairs I exercise great caution and probably look like an elderly person. In my house however, I get a little too comfortable running around in my bare feet. I used to be a person who would run up and down the stairs so it is hard to not forget what I could do before and want to jump back into my old skin (self).


Steven said...

I know how you feel! I still have a little balance left, but used a cane for a couple months after the tumors started really affecting me, until I could adjust.

I have the same problem of "not thinking" and trying to do things the way I used to. Last week I was on the cell phone to another agent, and was trying to carry a large, but light box through the front door at the same time. The corner of the box caught on the door frame and that was enough to completely blow my balance. I actually was able to quickly end the phone call before crashing onto the tile floor, my right knee taking the force of the blow.

It really gets me frustrated and angry, but you have to get up and keep going. It's hard sometimes to put it behind you and put the smile back on your face, and people who don't have to deal with this just don't understand. It's frustration and anger more than depression.

Rebecca said...

Yes I often get frustrated with it. At the moment that it happens I get angry for feeling drastically aged so early in life. I often need safety precautions like an elderly person. What can be even more maddening is wanting to cry about it but I cannot even do that.

At that point I realize there just is nothing I can do or I am in a situation where I am rushed or in front of people.

We had a small gathering for a BBQ (a poker party of Harley's friday night). Someone brought the veggie tray outside on the deck table and then the poker moved inside the house. By then it was dark and I had to go out to retrieve it. My toes on the right foot did not quite make the 2nd step on the deck and I tripped sending the veggie tray flying! Good thing it was plastic and not glass!. Of course the whole thing got dumped and was wasted. I tried to give the dogs the veggies and they would not eat them!

Anyhow, my point was I had to get up quickly and put a smile on my face. There was no time for feeling sorry for myself, swearing at the top of my lungs, or visibly getting angry about it.

You are correct though, people who do not have to deal with it DO NOT understand. I have been in other situations over the past 2 years where people have stared at me as if I was drunk (and even a few people have asked that!) or they think something must be seriously wrong with me because my gait must appear abnormal. Out of the blue and minding my own business I have had people come up to me and ask if I was ok. Or people wonder what the heck is my problem and why it is such a big deal to go down stairs and do it slowly or why I am terrified of jumping on an escalator traveling at warp speed (especially if it is moving in a downward direction!).