I am a proud person and don't like people seeing me weak or vulnerable. Sometimes I have no choice.
Last night the plan was to get dinner with my friends Neighbor John (so as not to confuse him and my brother John) and Amanda (who I have known since college and who has been so sweet and supportive with the whole back thing) at a local grocery store that also has a little dining area. After, I wanted to stop by the bar where my friend Kevin was DJing cause it has been a long minute since I have seen him.
Midway through my grilled cheese I knew I was in trouble. I had shifted in my chair and felt that familiar, searing pain. I whispered to Amanda that something was wrong. Eventually, it got to the point that anytime I moved you could see it on my face. I try to keep the panic and pain hidden.
The employees of the store called last call and I knew I was in trouble but had a few minutes before they were gonna kick us out. I asked Neighbor John if he could walk me home.
We waited until most of the other patrons to leave before I tried standing up. Immediately my legs started shaking as red hot pain moved through my back. My friend (inculding one of Neighbor John's friends) huddled around me wanting to help. They offered to get me a cab but I knew the motion of the cab would be too painful. They asked if I needed to go to the hospital, but the ER would have just given me pain meds and sent me on my way, as they tried to do last time.
Tears began to roll down my face; part pain, part embarrassment. Neighbor John said that he didn't realize that my back pain was this bad. Another patron (who I think was a doctor) asked if i needed help. Amanda asked the staff if they had an ice pack. Bless her she remembered.
With the ice pack I was able to take a little edge off the pain, enough to get to my feet. Amanda, John's friend, and John all helped me shuffle out of there. What would have normally been about a 10-minute walk to get home took much longer. But thanks to my friends I got home.
I am still in excruciating pain (fuck you Percocet... you have one job...) and unable to move well. I can't sit, i can shuffle a few steps before I need something to support me. I am even wearing my corset to help limit movement and provide a little support. Also, corsets are great for securing ice packs.
Today is my brother's 35th birthday. Instead of being able to celebrate with him, instead of being able to enjoy the sunlight, I am in bed trying not to move. But that gives me time to be thankful for everyone in my life who sees my pain and knows that I am fighting to stay afloat.