The 3rd Dimension – So little to say and so much time!!!

The Cripple
May 10, 2011, 7:00 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Hey all – it’s been awhile since I’ve posted around here (3 months to be exact)  and I just wanted to update myself on an insight I had recently due to an unfortunate accident. I was just sorting some laundry on the floor yesterday morning – everything just about normal as always when all of a sudden I felt a jolt of pain around my left lower back and upper leg area. I wasn’t even in any weird yoga position either I was just kneeling on the floor – not bent very far at all- sorting clothes in a bag at almost arm height relative to where I was. For that split second I thought I just twisted a muscle so I shook the leg thinking it would go away but it burst into excruciating pain. In that moment all of a sudden I was a cripple. ANY kind of pressure – no matter how slight – I put on that leg started the cycle of pain over again. As bad as leg cramps are this was much worse as the cramp wasn’t in the leg – it was in the lower back internal core connector muscle/ligament approx. Fortunately as of today it has gotten a LOT better so I really think it was just a muscle cramp in a very inoppurtune location. I don’t have any numbness or pain shooting down my leg indicative of spinal damage, no loss of body functions indicative of disc damage, and overall all the equipment is working – just the connectors are a bit sore. For that I am very appreciative and grateful. Today I have no pain in that lower left back area – like it never happened. I am just stiff and sore from many other compensating muscles having been put to work in the lower back.  It was a big change from yesterday though when I could hardly walk – and that short experience turned my sheltered and happy little world completely upside down.


1- Pain & Suffering

I remember just trashing around on the floor rolling around trying to move shortly after the leg pain incident. Eventually after rolling over myself over the very painful area (which felt like rolling through a bed of knives) I was able to get my right thigh in a position to leverage the rest of my body into standing position. Putting all my weight on the right leg once I got standing (after playing angles with the wall) felt odd but it was a much better alternative to the painfest on my left. It dawned on me though that I was basically like this one computer game – left 4 dead – as my mobility was severely hindered. I managed somehow to painfully limp myself to another room and into the shower. I was thinking a really hot shower would calm down the pain and everything would be back to normal. It was such a sobering experience trying to get all my clothes off though. At one point I dropped things out of my pockets and it seemed like they went down through a black hole – never to be acquired again. Now I understood how elderly and mobility impaired patients felt when they dropped something. It wasn’t just a minor inconvenience sandwiched with light cussing and muttering under the breath. It was like watching a small animal die. I just felt a part of my soul sink as items fell to the floor and I realized it would take too much time/pain/effort to get them again.

Eventually I was able to reach the shower and turn on the hot water. Not much changed – it felt better – but only psychologically. Physically I was still in a world of hurt. Eventually I got out of the shower and somehow wallhugged for 5 minutes before getting back to my room. I remember this trip taking about 15 seconds… When I finally got to the bed I lied down and had to thrash around looking for a pain free position. When I eventually found it I was victorious yet defeated.

2 – Insight

As I just laid in bed curled up in some fetal position wrapped in a bath towel I just stared at the walls and had thoughts enter my head. All my life given my youth and big dreams and passive/aggressive vigor I never gave a thought of how much life would be different if I suddenly couldn’t move. Sure every so often after some appreciation or gratitude fest I’d have a passing thought, “oh how I am glad I can see – that I am not bilnd!” that would quickly go away once the next trivial distraction presented itself. It was alot different though when it’s the real deal. All of the lofty plans and such in my head instantly crumble as they can’t manifest through a crippled body.Reno trips? eh gone. Mobile casino project? Forget it. Going out to get food – impossible. Doing what you want? Fruitless. Craigslisting and getting deals on stuff you want- a thing of the past. Events coming up with other people – ordeals to be dealt with. Kneeling down and picking something up – a death sentence.

Things that were once acceptable or ignored suddenly become major issues – for example people…

People who were just background noise before suddenly all seemed like asshats as you would limp from one place to another and these people would just sit and stare then go back to what they were doing. Never in my life have I felt such a primal desire to be cared for again like a baby. To have people understand my pain and not just stare transparently through you. Everything regarding my lifestyle depended on that one node of me being in a mobile healthy state. Without that I felt like an odd kind of death would seem creep over as you no longer have the power to fulfill the hopes and dreams which are the underlying purpose of your existence. You are now some pawn in a chess game to be used and abused at will. All of my assertions in life have always been from a point of strength. I now realized how vulnerable I was if people were to take advantage of me at my moment of weakness. People can feed you poison, abuse you and you’d have no recourse regardless. Sounds that annoy you and music that chafes at your being can be played and you can’t do anything about it except scream and cry in some sort of surreal helplessness. At your weakest people don’t care about you and only have their own best interests at heart. Save for a few of those who are general empathetic your welfare only matters once theirs is sated – and even then since they cannot FEEL as you do as they give you the crumbs and dirt of life and comfort themselves in their own satisfaction that they “did something good today.” This coming from a man who always advocated the save yourself first then save the rest philosophy. I still believe in it – but not in the same way I did before. In a sense I think it’s made me somewhat more empathetic to how much we as people take for granted. Makes me more aware of the suffering that plain ignorance causes. It’s like that whole thing they say about evil and how not doing anything is just as bad/equivalent as the evildoers themselves.

3 – closing reflection

I won’t lie being a cripple – even for that one day – sucked major balls. I rested for a while and eventually it didn’t hurt as much to walk so I started walking very slowly -out of my room – to the door – to the outside – to the car ( mind you it was only my left leg) – to driving the car – to exit the car – to limp over to the door – to Sizzler! What absurdity – to glorify an event that takes place as nothing special to all mobile people…  To limp through the lines- place an order- limp with the plastic tray and drink and soup bowls and plates that feel like they weight 4,000 lbs on your sore back – to sitting down at the seat closest to the food bar – to getting a taco and beans and fried chicken wings and salsa/guac that likewise felt like lifting a 90 lb barbell back to your table – to getting your food – to tasting a burger on a buttered bun and feeling like you just climbed Mt Kilimanjaro. The victory of having the juiciness run down your face onto the fries in completely acceptance and happiness and a sense of underlying dread – in which this may be the last time you might be able to do things independently ever again if the pain came back and things took a turn for the worst.

I looked at a diagram of vertebrae today and saw how many connections to major bodily functions lied alone in the human spine. We are more fragile than we think – our world hurtling through cold dangerous asteroid filled space being not much more than a shelter of thin glass. At least I think so when I am at my weakest. It is ironic to the core that at our strongest we lose all ability to appreciate our own strength – concentrating only on the negatives and the unknowns which lie before us. It is sad we can never stop to appreciate the joy of knowing what you have until you lose it (even temporarily).


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