The morning I found out I was pregnant with my third child my spine filed a grievance with the union.
We tried to come to some sort of agreement, but my stomach was unable to accommodate its demands. I was a monstrosity. I needed the jaws of life to get out of my car. And once I was out chaos ensued. Mothers covered their childrens’ eyes; penises spontaneously detached and jumped into traffic. I was like Quasi Moto’s less nimble pregnant sister. I was huge and I lumbered around like a monster and I had a 1 and 2-year-old who unapologetically needed me to constantly lift and carry them and my back was simply in shreds. But once this came out of me
it only took a few weeks until I was able to walk with slightly less intense pain radiating down my legs and around my back.
For three years, I have tiptoed around my back issues. I give it anything it wants; terrified I will anger it. It is moody and annoying and didn’t listen when I told it I thought we should see other people so I just have found a way to make the most of this abusive relationship.
I remember my 20s fondly, when I could sit on the toilet for more than two minute intervals before both feet fell asleep. Once I found $100 bill on the sidewalk and spent $300 in chiropractor bills because I neglected to use my 17-point system of bending over to pick it up.
And things were going fine until Tuesday. Maybe it didn’t like me running on the treadmill. Maybe it was jealous about all the attention I had been giving my triceps. Maybe it was just being an asshole. Whatever the case, it revolted.
At first I thought I pulled a muscle working out. It progressively got worse over the next day, when I had the audacity to sneeze. If you have back problems, you’ll understand exactly why I scramble into the elementary school tornado drill position every time I feel a sneeze coming on. If I don’t make it all the way down before the sneeze I have to scan the floor because it feels like I just shot a bowling ball out of my butt hole. Anyway, I was on the floor with my fingers interlocked behind my head when I sneezed and despite me assuming the position, Satan stabbed my back with his fiery tongue.
I felt several explosions. A spasm/charlie horse ensued and my entire right leg went numb. I peed my pants. Not kidding. Legit – peed my pants right there on the kitchen floor, ladies and gentlemen.
“Are you just doing this to get out of laundry?” Nick asked skeptically, standing over my body.
He actually wasn’t that far off. My thought process went from ‘am I going to live’ to ‘what will this get me out of’ pretty quickly.
The next morning I went to the chiropractor. The receptionist put me in a room because my screams were scaring the other people in the waiting room. The sneeze heard ’round the world resulted in two herniated discs and a pinched nerve.
I laid flat on the floor of our playroom on a bed of ice. Like a giant shrimp cocktail, but not lucky enough to be dead. I prayed to anyone who would listen – God, Allah and Michael Jackson – to make the pain stop. Also, and somewhat more importantly, to blind my nose to whatever smelled like wet Coonhound balls wafting up from the playroom carpet. I had never come this close to it and I was afraid of what was entering my nostrils.
Like any good Millennial I elicited public sympathy via a Facebook status. Within minutes the cavalry arrived. Friends offering playdates. Neighbors picking up my kids from pre-school, a pre-school who, by the way, let me drop them off early and pick them up “whenever I could”, no questions asked. Back braces and chickens magically appeared on my doorstep. My Mom had her suitcase packed before I even hung up the phone. A suitcase which contained dinner. That’s how she rolls – a woman prepared to make chicken and noodles for six on a moment’s notice.
In a word, my friends and family are amazing. I am better because of the overwhelming help and support that came flooding to me when I asked.
Also I now get to rock this hot fashion statement:
I’m on the road, but I have a lot of chiropractor appointments and physical therapy sessions ahead of me. The sad news is that my running days may be a thing of the past… and Michael Jackson help me if I feel a sneeze coming on.