Growth Spurts: Pain and Perspective
A few Saturdays ago, I had big plans for the day. I had a huge to-do list, since our big yard sale/fundraiser for our adoption was just a week away. I had items to gather, donations to sort, errands to run, signs to be made, etc., etc. I was ready to hit it hard. But first I needed to clear some workspace, so I gathered a few items to take out to the recycling container in our garage. To get to it, I first had to weave through all the bikes and such in the garage, which I did just fine on the way there. But on the way back, I weaved in such a way that caused a sudden and severe pain to pierce my lower back, resulting in my doubling over and gripping one of the bikes, unable to move.
I had experienced this pain a few times in previous years, and I thought that if I just stayed there without moving for a couple of minutes, that the pain would at least lessen so that I could walk into the house. But that didn’t happen. I ended up yelling (several times) for my husband to come help me. By the time he heard me and found me, I was in tears and in excruciating pain. There really wasn’t a good way for him to help me; I just needed him to be there with me. No matter how I tried to move, it hurt so much.
Eventually I was able to shuffle inside, but I spent most of the rest of that day in a standing position, because it caused the least amount of pain. My massive to-do list became an impossibility, and there wasn’t anything I could do about it. And unfortunately, this was the case for a few days to follow.
That particular week was supposed to have been filled with lots of physical labor (lifting and moving boxes, organizing and pricing yard sale items, etc.), but instead I found myself with a very limited range of motion. My husband and children had to do so much to help me; I couldn’t even put on my own socks and shoes. It was a very humbling experience.
I admit that I like being independent; I don’t like having to ask for help. But this painful experience gave me some new perspective. I couldn’t help but think about those who have long-term or permanent disabilities and have no choice but to depend on others for help with daily activities–some far beyond just needing help with socks and shoes. A lot of those people have kids and run households, just like me, and they are able to do it while also dealing with a disability. And not all of them have a spouse who is as available as mine is to help them with these tasks, but they still make it happen. Amazing!
I was fairly certain that my injury would be healed within a week or two (It was.), but I hope that my new perspective will stay with me much longer. I take way too many things for granted.
Carrie Bevell Partridge is thankful for doctors, medicine, and the physical therapy she received at NewSouth NeuroSpine!