Monday, March 28, 2011
Wanna see my scars?
I am happy to report that I have lived these 36 years mostly free of debilitating injury, managing to keep my body strong and limber through years of yoga practice and a generally healthy mindset. My bounce back is pretty good and I don't tend to wallow in misery when something is amiss, in fact I will usually work through whatever ills I may experience in my day to day life.
Though every once in a great while something will give way and I'll be forced to sit out a few innings, stewing over my lack of mobility and Wolverine-like healing abilities.
Monday of last week started off innocently enough. I woke up, made yoga and left the house to spend a bit of time with my lady. A bike had fallen in the hallway as I was exiting the house and to avoid tripping up I stepped over and twisted my body in a seemingly normal position. One would think after an hour and fifteen minutes of yoga that I'd be limber and loose and able to traverse the span of a bike, but not this time. The universe decided differently as she generally tends to do when we're not expecting it. I didn't think much of the low level throb in the small of my back until I stepped down the slope at the end of my driveway and felt like I'd taken a knife in the spine. My whole being seized and I couldn't move for a solid fifteen seconds. "Oh fuck, this is bad. This is really bad." I said to myself as I tried to step one foot in front of the other finding some small relief in the fact that the searing pain gave way to slightly less searing pain and discomfort. I naively thought that over the next hour the pain would ease and I'd be good as gold but apparently my immortality is as based in reality as a skeleton bonded with adamantium. I'm no Wolverine. I'm no Superman. I'm a man who's getting older and as much as I hate it, I have to face the facts.
There have been only a couple of times in my life when I couldn't take off my own pants before bed. As an infant i didn't have that life skill stored away and happily relied on my caregivers to do it for me. The last time was a couple of years back when I had my hernia surgery and basically was living with a stitched up abdomen and after the first day or so it wasn't all that bad. Tender but bearable. Well now I can chalk up a third round of inability to disrobe because on the night of said back injury, try as I may, I could not get those damned pants off with ease. I swear to God it took me at least five minutes a leg and then another minute to kick them off and by the time they finally exited my body I was so exhausted from the strain that all I could do was lay there moaning and feel sorry for myself. This was bad. This was really bad. There was little sleep that night as any movement sent shudders of incredible white hot pain through my mid-section and to my head so mostly I just lay there wondering, why me?
I have heard that when you break your hip it feels as though you are falling apart down the middle. This wasn't as extreme as all of that but it was a reasonable facsimile for sure. Truth be told it fucking sucked.
Little by little over the following few days my back began to realign itself. Sleep became easier and walking became less of a constant reminder of my failing body on that fateful day. With the help of mindful awareness and the imbibing of a couple particularly strong weed filled brownies I began to regain my strength and confidence in the body's ability to move freely.
And still a week later I feel a tightness and heavy strain in this ever so delicate part of my frame. I sit and sleep with a certain comfort but over time it seizes up and getting to my feet can be a bit of a working groaning process if I'm not paying attention and even when I am. I am confident that I won't be joining any heavy contact sporting teams any time soon, which is fine because I'm not really in to that. But I am in to freedom of movement and not having to be ultra-careful all of the time.
And this is where the learning comes in.
I half-jokingly say that I'm getting older and all that, and as much as that may be true i also believe that you are as young and limber as you choose to be. This isn't to say that our bodies don't crap out a bit after sixty years or that you should be able to bounce back after a bad accident. Shit happens and i guess I have been spoiled with very little happening to me. But with what has, I am glad that i don't spend much time playing the victim because most of us know that is a waste of life. I know that shit happens for a reason, however subtle and hard to pinpoint and I know that this fun little adventure in handicapped land has been good for me. It has caused me to slow down and to be more aware. It has given me the opportunity to dive into a deeper and different form of yoga practice. It has given me reason to appreciate what i have a lot more.
To think that i have "suffered" is delving into some fairly selfish and ignorant thinking. There are able bodied 25 year old's who have lost the ability to walk or hold their children. There are good hearted folks out there who are living with sickness that I wouldn't even want to imagine having for a minute. My week long little strained back issue is nothing because I still walk, talk, feel and fuck. I still work and I still write. I still love and I still enjoy life. For a brief moment in time i was "crippled" and it was disconcerting but here I am now writing about it with a sense of humor and in the spirit of letting go. I'm good and I will get better. I will carry on.
And holy crap do I ever appreciate that fact.
Take care of yourselves friends, appreciate what you have and what you can do with it because in a second, with one unaware movement it can be taken from you. Try not to end up like this guy, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WM8bTdBs-cw, even if but for a week.
Be well and healthy. Thank you I love you.