Sunday, January 30, 2011

Bustin’ Arse

Last Monday at skate practice, we raced around the rink on our toe stops. With knees bent for balance and maneuverability, the voice of Miss Corliss, my first ballet teacher echoed in my head with “Never step on pointe with a bent knee – you’ll have big, ugly knees!” One second, I was rounding turn two, and the next second, airborne and then immediately, intimately acquainted with the wood floor. The fall was not forward onto padded knees and elbows like we practice, but onto my backside, which we avoid. It hurt enough to make me dizzy.

Time became fuzzy. People came over to help. I rolled onto hands and knees, which felt better. Someone from the training crew (HiLee?) had me lay flat on my stomach. Ice was offered and declined, and when the dizziness subsided, I crawled/scooted to the center of the rink to get out of the way. Caitlyn hung with me, providing welcome (and possibly unthanked) company while I assessed my body parts. And then, like a cloud passing, it didn’t hurt anymore. Well, not much, anyway. I finished practice. Putting all my weight on my left leg hurt, which was a practical reminder to stay balanced over both legs.

Falling was purely a matter of time, and based on some of the commentary now filtering in, my odds-making friends had been quietly making book on it happening months ago. It took a solid six months longer than I figured it would, which makes it worse, as I should know by now how to fall. Whatever. Stuff happens.

After practice I hobbled to the car (or whatever you call a CR-V). It hurt getting into said vehicle, but once in, it was okay until time get out. The queasiness in my stomach cancelled the idea of supper, and prompted a choice to hit bed early. It hurt laying on my back and it hurt to roll over. I don’t think I moved all night, but I have long had a special talent for sleeping relatively motionless, and if I slide out of bed sideways like a paper doll, making the bed is a breeze in the morning. This talent was perfected in high school when I fancied myself some sort of efficiency expert for the precious three minutes saved per day. No, I am not kidding.

Tuesday morning delivered mostly major stiffness. Oh, and screaming pain if I moved either of my legs laterally. Putting pants on hurt. Finally dressed and at work, I moved more deliberately and slower than usual, which mostly means I was not flying through the office like a tornado. The co-workers probably appreciated the absence of my usual high speed travel. Sitting was not a problem, so, armed with my extensive medical education from Word of Mouth College and WebMD-dot-com Medical University, a broken coccyx was ruled out, as everyone I know who broke theirs (there are many) listed that as the primary symptom. I could (and did) sit all day. Walking around or standing was less fun and more painful, so it was avoided. I made it to belly dance class after work.

Tuesday night it snowed and Wednesday morning there were several inches on the ground. I got ready for work, slowly. Stuff still hurt when moved certain ways, so putting on socks felt like a feat worthy of Cirque du Soleil. While Moose did his business outside knee-deep in snow, lacking a practical snow removal tool like, say, a snow shovel, I swept the walk with an indoor broom. The sweeping motion was most unpleasant and my pelvis screamed at me in painful bursts and stabs which made my stomach churn. I looked at the feeble broom, and across the suddenly expansive yard to the snow-covered CR-V. I considered my four bald tires (pointed out by the oil change tech back in the fall with a cautionary note to replace them before the winter weather), and the incline of my driveway. The idea of clearing the walk, car, and driveway to reach side streets of unknown condition felt like a challenge akin to climbing Mount Everest. A call to the office yielded a roads report and calendar update. Two people out of ten had made it in, and some were coming in late. I had no meetings on the calendar. It was settled – sick day for me.

Thinking my pelvic area would soon stop hurting with rest, I took it easy and gave it a chance. The snow and ice caused Wednesday’s skate practice to be cancelled. Thursday, while hobbling around the office in semi-slow motion, it occurred to me to call my chiropractor, not for an adjustment, which seemed too painful a proposition, but for an x-ray. He has spinal x-rays from my initial visit there and would have something for comparison, if needed. Unfortunately, as so often happens , I got busy doing the work my bosses expect of me in exchange for a nice, steady paycheck.

Suddenly, the clock read 5:30 and I was a half-hour late for the museum fundraiser. Instead of a grand entrance perched upon my usual three inch heels (a clever ploy to avoid hemming too-long pants, with the added psychological benefit of making me feel model-tall), I slunk in wearing sensible low heeled boots that handle well on ice, and my newest fat ass wool pants from Goodwill. Derby has helped several teammates lose a pant size or two, and unfortunately, I am finding them. The closet now holds, at best, three pairs of pants that fit without danger of busting the back seam open upon sitting.

Casual Friday had me wearing a skirt, boots, and a hoodie to work because none of my jeans fit and sweat pants are not allowed in the office. While laboring over a newspaper ad schedule, with a new sore throat and earache, I sneezed, which caused my pelvis to feel like it was splitting in half. And because I almost always sneeze in pairs, I waited for the other sneeze to fall. It came with another shot of pain, which settled it – somebody was going to look at this. The chiropractor is closed on Fridays, so my primary care doctor won the raffle.

Upon hearing the symptoms of my feeling-fractured pelvis, along with the bonus sore throat, earache and super-sensitive scalp, the nice lady on the phone said, “Well, if you can sit, it’s not a broken tailbone.” One of the doctors at the night clinic near the mall had an open appointment at 6:10.

They did the usual vitals – weight (up six pounds?!?!), temperature (98.6 – a full degree high for my norm), blood pressure (110/64) and a throat swab. The x-ray showed a broken coccyx, (better than a fractured pelvis!). The (cute) doctor sent prescriptions to Walgreen’s through the magic of the Internet.

Walgreen’s was like a scene from a movie. The electronic doors opened and greeted me with the strains of The Ramones “I Wanna Be Sedated.” I swear I am not making this up. I laughed the whole long walk to the Pharmacy window where I received my medicines and a lecture from the pharmacist about Hydrocodone. On my way out, I noticed beer in the cooler. Dang! Good music, beer – Walgreen’s may become my new hangout.

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