I broke my back

Today was better

Today was better. Not great, but definitely a LOT better. It was all partly due to a really, really simple solution to a problem I didn’t realize I was having:

I wasn’t putting my back brace on high enough. It was about an inch too low. 

So, as a result, it was squeezing my hips instead of crushing my intestines. 🤣

Ironically, the latter is what I want right now. The core pressure keeps my vertebrae aligned and relieves the weight of my upper body from my spine. When it was just a little tiny bit lower, it allowed my back to move just ever slightly, which caused my muscles to engage and spasm every time I moved. Now that I am in the brace’s python death grip, I feel immensely better. I feel way more secure and safe.

I’ve been able to get much more work done today too, which is wonderful. Tomorrow I think I’m gonna try working down in my office again. I went downstairs and sat in my office chair. It was a lot easier to get in and out of than the kitchen chair and our folding chairs. And, the setup down there is much more ergonomic than our kitchen table. 

T-81 days.

I broke my back

I’m a trapped turtle

Today was so exhausting. I worked as much as I could, but just sitting at the table poking keys on my laptop for several hours is as tiresome as chopping down trees all day. 

I feel trapped. I can’t even get out of bed at all without putting on the damn turtle shell. It’s a 5-10 minute process every time I put it on, and Amber has to help me roll into it. 

I can’t wait to just get out of bed. Just decide to get out of bed — and be able to sit up and get out of bed.

T-82 days

I broke my back

Peaks and valleys

Yesterday started off really great, went deep into the pits of hell, but came out good in the end. I managed to walk out onto the front porch to drink my coffee yesterday which was amazing. It helped restore a tiny sense of normalcy to my life.

Then, just a few short minutes later, I started a huge fight with Amber over a really simple miscommunication.

After a lot of regretful behavior on my part, Amber took to the kids to spend the night at some friends and family, which we already had planned, and then she came back and we worked through what had happened. 

After talking through everything, I came to realize that my anger was really misplaced and compounded fear. I was hysterically paranoid that she was being dishonest with me over something that was plainly and clearly a tiny miscommunication. I let all my fear, anxiety and exhaustion from everything that happened the entire week boil over and explode at Amber.

I apologized profusely to Amber, and we talked about everything we had just gone though and how it had affected us. We even discovered the root causes of some of our conflicts that have plagued us our entire marriage. In the end, it was very cathartic and healing. We still have a lot of work ahead of us, but I’m so glad I’m in it with her. 

T-84 days.

I broke my back

Time for a goofy picture.

The hot flashes. The hot flashes are so stupid and awful. I feel like I have early onset menopause! Every 30 to 60 minutes somebody turns the heat up to 90 degrees. I haven’t gone full Pedro from “Napoleon Dynamite” and shaved my head bald and beard off, but I’ve contemplated it many times. 

The Gabapentin is the one giving me the heat waves. The Methocarbomal gives me the dizzy spells. But they’re keeping the pain at bay, so I can’t complain too much. Other then those, I’m taking Extra Strength Tylenol. I have Oxycodone but I’m trying to only take it if the pain is so much I can’t handle it anymore. 

T-85 days…

I broke my back

Mixed Emotions

You know that scene in “Inside Out” when Riley has a core memory that is full of sadness and joy? That’s how I’ve felt for the past few days. 

I’m incredibly happy and thankful that I wasn’t hurt worse than I was. I was so relieved when they told me there was no spinal cord damage indicated. I’m so grateful it’s “just a broken back.” But I’m so sad about how incredibly hard my Amber has to work to take care of me. I know exhaustion was an exit she passed 60 miles ago, but she’s still going. 

I’m sad for the things I’m not getting done at work and my little side hustles. But I’m so thankful for my coworkers who have stepped up to take the load. I’m sad about the projects around the house that I’m won’t be able to work on for months, but I’m so thankful for the folks who have offered to help out. 

I was downright exuberantly gleeful that I could stand up long enough to make a cup of coffee this morning! But I was heartbroken when my boys gave me a hug this morning and my littlest said “I can’t hug you. I don’t want to break you more.”

I know this is only a season, and honestly I’m not taking this too hard. I’m just coming to accept this will be a season with a mix of joy and sadness, and that’s ok. 

T-86 days.

I broke my back

So, I broke my back.

*record scratch*

*freeze frame*

Yup, that’s me. You’re probably wondering how I ended up in this situation. LOL

On Sunday my son Zach had a birthday party to go to at the new skating rink in the old CompUSA in Regency. Since Amber has bad knees, and I used to skate a lot when I was younger, I decided I would take him.

We rented our skates, got them laced up and headed out on the floor. Since it was Zach‘s first time in rollerskates, it took him a while to get accustomed to them. For me, it only took about three laps around the floor to get my legs under me. 

I noticed that Zach was still on the carpeted area, heading over to where the party was, and he was hugging the rail the whole time. I decided to take a break, and go walk him over to the party. 

When I got to the exit, I grabbed ahold of the rail, but my feet went out from under me, and my legs flew under the rail. I landed on my butt hard, and I screamed as I felt a pain in my back like I’d never felt before. It was like someone had hit me in the back with a sledgehammer.

I was immediately afraid I had done damage to my back and/or spinal cord, so I laid down and didn’t move until someone called 911 and an ambulance arrived to take me to the hospital. 

The kind folks at the skating rink got me my stuff and a mom from the party took care of my son until Amber got there. 

They took X-rays and CT scans, and I was told it’s a compression fracture of the L1 vertebrae. It’s only about 20% and it’s on the opposite side of the spinal cord, so fortunately I won’t need surgery. They fit me with a brace and are giving me pain meds.

I thought ok, awesome, easy breezy. Ha ha ha. Not exactly. It’s like I’m relearning how to walk. The “brace” is more like a full body cast that covers my entire torso from neck to nether region. Fortunately I don’t wear it when I’m laying down. 

I’m hoping to go home today, but it’s gonna be a lot. It’s really starting to hit me emotionally just everything I’m not going to be able to do. I’m not going to be able to finish installing the dishwasher. I’m not going to be able to install the lights in my kitchen. I’m not going to be able to clear my side yard and plant a garden this spring. And that’s just the fun extra things I wanted to get done over the next few months. 

On top of that, I don’t even know how much this whole stay is gonna cost. Anyway, I’m doing ok, but I’m not good. Love y’all!