I threw out my back and the funny thing about this (not ha ha funny, just funny) is that it’s not a gradual thing, although the doctor would have you believe otherwise.
One second you are walking, maybe even skipping, along with a bounce in your step, looking all around you and stopping to smell the roses when all of a sudden…
Now here’s the thing: you really have no clue what you did to go from frolicking peasant girl to a total and complete incapacitated excuse for a human being. You weren’t doing the 100 foot skiing drop in the Alps or lifting a 100 kilo box of books when your mother warned you not to.
You were basically just living.
And when it comes to throwing your back out, no matter how smug or self-assured you may be about your overall well-being, safety standards and physical health etc., you are not safe. No one is. Just like me, it can happen to you.
So as I lay in my bed last night, yelling out orders to my kids, all the while trying to direct “Mason Land” without the need to move, I wondered how long I could sustain a motherly presence from within my bed. It seemed to be going well for the first two hours of homework (I thought that Chanuka was supposed to be a vacation!) and seemed to still be sustainable all the way into story time.
But as any mother of boys knows all too well, story time slowly transformed into wrestling time which meant that my boys decided to wrestle each other on my bed while I lay there, helpless, a mere obstacle to the body slams they convinced me are just for fun. I asked them why they needed to wrestle on my bed and was told that evidently I have the only fun room in the house. The. Only. One.
This method of laissez faire parenting only worked because I didn’t need to move and because I have a dominant directive voice. Anyways, that’s what I kept telling myself.
As luck would have it, I wistfully remembered that I hadn’t cleaned up from supper, we hadn’t lit Chanuka candles and that I was late for my sister’s Chanukah party. If nothing else, I must get up and light Chanuka candles. It was the last night of Chanuka and I really couldn’t disappoint my sweet brood of big brown eyes all looking at me for some kind of direction that involved more than Morse-code blinking and the wave of my right arm.
This is where I realized that having back pain as well as Jewish-divorced-mother guilt doesn’t seem to work. As the guilt kicked in with a plethora of voices in my head, all sounding surprisingly like my grandmother, I kept thinking about how the kids needed Jewish role models and positive experiences to grow up normally. Not to mention that they had struggled enough and that they didn’t need to deal with my back injury plus when did they all start looking so skinny? They really should be fed again or something Jewish like that.
So I slowly sat up, feeling the wave of pain rush over me and thinking that if I ever wondered what someone feels like right before they faint, this is about as close to that feeling as I would ever get.
My phone rang.
It was my mom wanting to know when I would be going to my sister’s party. I told her that considering my current situation, I would probably make it by next Chanuka.
I slowly waddled down the stairs, moving very much like a woman in her ninth month of pregnancy, unable to make any sudden moves or to reach anything outside of a 45 degree arm reach circumference. All of the toys on the floor and the untidy living room in front of my direct vision became as achievable and manageable as the start-up business in China I would love to pursue.
We lit the candles together, singing off tune because I found out last night that it actually requires strength in your back to do more than yodel (truth peeps). I put the food away and sauntered/waddled back upstairs to re-assume my post of ruling dictator via: “the blink of an eye and the wave of an arm.”
This is where I have to interject with a very convincing argument in favor of being a full time, working mom. You see, by working full time, it teaches your kids independence so that when you throw your back out they aren’t left to wander the streets staring blankly at the neighbors and muttering in barely audible tones, “Are you my mother?”
And like all days, good or bad, they eventually end and morning arrives.
I rolled out of bed with a renewed commitment to the cause many of us call “work” and made my way to the car, ignoring the unsightly mess around me on my way out the front door, the same way a dictator would ignore the barren wastelands in his overtaxed country on his way to his golden palace far, far away.
It’s raining but there is no way I am putting on boots: the bending, tugging, pulling and straightening up again, is just not worth it. And miracles of miracles, while carrying my computer laptop bag that weighs way more than it should, I feel a click and a release of pressure that diminishes the pain radiating into my legs and neck. This doesn’t mean that I can move. It just means I can be still and not contemplate becoming addicted to pain killers.
And as I write this post with my wet feet splurching inside my shoes, I want to make sure you all realize that this post has no educational value unless you want to message me privately and receive lessons on how to be an effective parent by proxy.
This post is also not meant to elicit pity responses because I actually find this whole situation rather amusing in a sadistic sort of way.
The point of this post is to make sure all of you sinners out there know that God punishes those who are evil and don’t follow in his way….not.