Sunday, January 27, 2013

Hellfire, Damnation, and Spit

My left leg has been on fire for three days running, a result of a pinched sciatic nerve, making the slightest movement painful and walking nearly impossible. I move -slowly- from one point to another hunched like an old woman, dragging that leg along like a sack of coals. There is something about intense and constant pain that alters the personal landscape. Inconsequential moments loom large: how many steps from the bed to the bath, how many minutes to prepare a meal, how far from sofa to sink and back while trying to carry a plate. The things I do without thought, with no more than passing attention suddenly have all my attention.

I sit on the sofa and survey my domain in a new light. I watch the morning sun shimmer through hanging window decorations. Two red glass birds and a prism of dried flowers cast the sun across the floor in a rainbow of colors. Dust motes dance in the beams and settle on the furniture. Dusting, however, will have to wait, as will washing up and vacuuming and polishing. For a rather active woman, this forced halt of things needing doing is both a curse and a blessing. It's hard to let work wait and freeing to sit idle, dreaming in the sunshine. The afternoon sun pours through the west window and lays itself across the end of my bed. I lie myself down in its warmth and try not to think about how hard it will to get up again.

There are other things I am reluctant to put off but must. There will be no babysitting for a few days, no playing on the floor with the Bean, no carrying her upstairs to bed, or outside to play in the snow. There will be no snuggling Baby Lily as she drinks her milk or tries out her voice at every point of eye contact. There will be no scurrying about trying to tidy the house or make dinner before my work-weary daughter and son-in-law get home at night.

I've had acupuncture and physical therapy, TENS treatments and massage. I've used ice and heat and Arnica gel. I've tried gentle Yoga stretches and bed rest. Finally I've resorted to some heavy medication to give me surcease. In a few days I hope to come back with far less time on my hands to write a poor-me post!




11 comments:

Brian Miller said...

oh i am sorry...its not easy being incapacitated as well...i know when my mom broke her leg a few years back it was brutal on her to have to sit and be cared for...hope this passes quick for you...

Molly said...

Oh Pauline! I feel for you having just had my own chance to really appreciate how easy it is to get most things done most of the time. I hope the meds work and bring you relief soon. Meanwhile, enjoy the enforced relaxation. You can be sure all the chores will still be there when you're better able to manage them!

Out on the prairie said...

Wishing you well

Brian Hayes said...

Sorry for you Pauline. It happened to me years ago. Drowsing along on relaxant prescriptions helped somewhat. Nothing else worked but several weeks going by. Wish you well.

Marc Leavitt said...

Pauline:
I share your pain. About three years ago I had a severe attack of sciatica. Nothing helped, including acupuncture; time was the cure. Hard though it is to believe right now, this too shall pass.
All the best,
Marc

Joanna Jenkins said...

Sending great big healing vibes your way. i can't imagine that pain but if you're not up for babysitting and playing with Bean it must be terrible, I am so sorry.

Hang in there and be well.
xo jj

Barbara Shallue said...

Pauline, I'm so sorry and I hate that I'm just reading about this! I've had sciatic nerve problems before and I hope yours has gone away by now! Saying a prayer of healing for you!

Pauline said...

Brian M - it's dragging on far longer than I'd anticipated. I can't seem to shake the muscle spasms. Being laid up when I feel I'm needed is not a good feeling!

Molly - since I posted this I've had lots of advice. I wish even one bit of it worked for me :(

Thanks, OOTP

Brian H - I am rediscovering that fact, though a week after posting this I am still sofa ridden and uncomfortable and unable to care for the wee ones.

Marc - unless you've felt it too, it's hard to imagine the pain, isn't it? Waiting it out...

JJ - the worst of all this is not being able to care for the girls.

Thanks, Barbara :)

Judith said...

So sorry, Pauline.
Like so many people, I've been there, and know firsthand how awful it is. It does seem to me, though, that there was an exercise or two (from a physical therapist) that helped at least a little.
Unhappily I'm sure the stress and tension of wanting to help and be with the little ones is NOT conducive to gentle healing. It's easy to say Relax a little, and mighty hard to do, but it might be quicker in the long run?
Much love, no hugs for now!

Molly said...

What a bummer! No more advice, just wishing you better!

Kerry said...

Presumably you are better now, 4 weeks later? I've never had acupuncture, but it sounds like you've tried that along with other options. Hope it worked!