…anything and everything
My back problems started up again with a vengeance several weeks ago. I’ve had bad days and slightly better days and some excruciatingly frustrating days when a week’s worth of progress dissolved into nothing. Except on the worst days, I can do anything. Slowly, slowly, with careful form and frequent breaks I can do anything I need to do. But I cannot do everything. So it comes down to figuring out what I really need. What is the everything that is necessary? And it comes down to being willing to accept help with enough of that everything that I am capable of completing anything left over.
So these days life is kind of painful. But today I’m grateful for:
knowledge: This time around I know what doctors I trust and where to go for help. That seems like a simple thing but the last time I was in this position it took quite a bit of struggle to figure out where I needed to go. I joke that I keep a file of recommendations for any friends with back pain so they don’t have to search for the right pain specialist, physical therapy practice, acupuncturist, massage therapist, or neurosurgeon.
effective painkillers: ’nuff said.
a flexible job: I can work from home as much as I need to. It’s not as effective as getting regular face to face time. But I can do it.
accommodating co-workers: They’ve really stepped in and helped me out. From setting up meetings I should be hosting, to tolerating my stupors (painkillers do a number on me!) and inconsistent presence they have been extremely patient and kind.
my mom: She came down during the first week when things were at their worst and she cleaned and did laundry for me. I always tell myself that I need to keep my home at a level of cleanliness that I could stand if I were suddenly to be stuck inside and unable to tidy. I was reminded of that the first day when I was flat on my back and staring at cobwebs on my ceiling. They were driving me half insane!
my friends: It’s a good thing friends aren’t a zero sum game because I’d feel guilty that I was hogging all of the most amazing people for myself. My friends are just awesome. From my friend who came over and vacuumed and tidied my kitchen the first day I realized I was pretty much immobile (see the above issue with a home unprepared for its sole occupant and caretaker to take ill) to friends who’ve realized I’ve gone too long without human contact and have come by to visit (especially when they bring their kids!) to friends who’ve brought me ginger ale to calm the nausea my pain meds cause to friends who have given me rides to my home teacher who gave me a blessing and has helped get me out of the house to stay sane to my visiting teachers who this week came and changed the sheets on my bed, whisked away my laundry and brought it back the next day clean, folded, and labeled I have been well cared for.
Soon I hope to be up and around again – returning all the favors. It’s going to take a while.