I have balance problems because of the spinal cord injury. Sometimes it looks like I’m on the deck of a ship in a massive storm. I stumble to one side, often relying on a wall or piece of furniture to keep me from ending up on the floor. I’m sure people who don’t know me and see me in public think I drink. And I fall, sometimes, quite often. It depends on how much pain I’m in or how tired I am on a given day.
Almost two weeks ago I fell outside. It was my own fault. I hate not being able to do anything I want to do so, when there was no one around to stop me, I did something.
My youngest son cut down a few trees for me the day before and I decided I was going to move one of the smaller limbs away from my mulberry tree. It was caught on a couple of branches of my tree and, although it wasn’t hurting the mulberry, I didn’t want to leave it.
Of course my son and my husband had already begun moving the brush and logs from trees that had been cut down. But neither of them was in the yard right then. I was unsupervised! I could prove to myself (and later to them) that I am still strong and able to do manual labor. And it would have all gone really well if not for the part where I had to walk.
The limb I was moving was only a few inches around and I’d already carefully removed it from the branches of the mulberry tree. I had slid it out about 10 feet into the yard. All I needed to do was turn it and drag it back another 10 feet and it would be with the rest of the brush. A piece of cake! Easy as pie!
Then, without warning, I was laying on the ground with my face in the grass. It happened so quickly I didn’t even realize I was falling until it was over. I believe I caught my foot under the end of the limb and, when I tried to step forward, I tripped myself. Did I mention my feet and legs are usually numb so I didn’t feel my foot under the branch?
After a moment of catching my breath and reassuring myself I was fine, I tried to get up. This was when I started thinking that having my husband or my son with me would be just great. Of course I wouldn’t have needed their help getting up because, had they been there, they wouldn’t have let me move the darned branch in the first place.
I called my, and I use the term very loosely, Service Dog, Remy, and he immediately came galloping toward me. Then he galloped right past me, around the hill, past the garden, and back to the far side of the yard. Yeah. I definitely need to spend time training him.
Eventually I got to my feet and into the house. I was really sore for the next couple of days and I honestly thought it was getting better. But it isn’t improving much.
My doctor called because she’d gotten a note that I’d fallen; I called for a refill on one of my pain medications and mentioned it to the nurse. She thinks, based on how things have gone, that there are a couple of micro-fractures in my lumbar spine.
There’s really nothing they can do at this point. The usual “I fell” therapies of moist heat, medications, and rest should help. If things get worse or don’t improve in time they’ll consider more drastic measures.
But in the meantime…I really need a break! The garden is going crazy and so are the dogs. I need to do a complete cleaning inside but I can’t escape the constant need to work outside. When I do try to rest the dogs decide they must, MUST go out.
My husband is, as always, a huge help to me but there are things he cannot do and things I wouldn’t let him do even if he were up to it. No one touches things in my garden without me being right there! And, as for cooking, he’s great at bringing home takeout.
So, for the next couple of days I’m going to be a complete baby. I’m going to rest and do as little as possible. As long as I don’t feel guilty about not doing things.