When Life Changes The Game On You

We don’t always like who we become as a result of the situations life forces us into.
I’m not enjoying either my life or who I’ve been of late. I’ve had back issues now for a month. My back has never been a problem for more than three or four days. A month? For three weeks now I’ve been sprawled most of my waking hours on my floor. I’ve had to ask friends to run for groceries, and I’ve even begged them to clean my place, take my laundry down, and more. To call this injury “debilitating” for at least two of the four weeks, even until this past weekend, would not be overstating it.
An injury like this is a lesson in how to lose your pride, and fast.
I had a low moment, several of them, yesterday. I found out along with the rest of my office, when we had an “insurance staff meeting” that I could’ve been off on short-term disability for the last three weeks. Now it’s probably too late to even bother opening a claim, but it goes to show you what an idiot thing making assumptions are. (I had assumed I’d forfeit two weeks’ pay before benefits began. Nope, I’d not have forfeited a single day.)
The money would’ve still been incredibly tight. But I wouldn’t have cried several times with dread in the last week as I steeled myself to go endure a work day in pain, like I have this last week. I could focus on myself and healing. Sigh. What’s done is done now, but I’ll open a claim anyhow in case this should ever happen again. Sigh.
I’ve been a little caustic around here lately, I probably would’ve torn a strip outta a few people with the election looming anyhow, since that’s just the way I like to roll in political times, but I’m really frustrated that I’ve been feeling so negative so long.
I’m angry, too. Very angry this is happening, very angry it’s taking so long to heal. I’m very resentful that I’m being so angry, too, as I know other people have far greater adversity at this time than I do, but that’s life, isn’t it?
I’ve spent my year changing myself. I’ve lost 50 pounds! That’s supposed to make a back healthier! But, no. Here I be. It’s very frustrating to know you’ve empowered yourself, taken control of your entire life in an attempt to better yourself, yet you’re still whipped in this capacity, for this long.
On the upside, things are finally improving. It should be a matter of days, but I also thought that three weeks ago. I’m better than I was three weeks ago, at least.
But I want to enjoy myself. I want to kiss a boy. I want to have fun. I don’t want to be scared I’m going to get hurt worse. I don’t want to worry about surviving a work week. I don’t want to ask for help anymore, and more importantly, I don’t want to need help. I just want to feel like myself again.
People don’t understand how much a debilitating illness or injury affects your entire existence. It changes everything. You don’t have the means to make more money, so if money’s tight, so are your options for treatment. Your reality completely revolves around not only how you feel but the regimen you must undertake to change how you feel.
And people change the way they deal with you, too. People mistake you trying to vent about how you feel to you seeking advice from them for how to deal. For example, I’ll bitch about how long this has been compromising me. Then someone will say, “Well, I found shiatsu really helped my back. You should try it.”
Everywhere I go, every person I see, I get unsolicited advice. And it always comes down to throwing more money at my back — get a massage, try acupuncture, buy a new office chair, do this, do that — and instead of helping, they’re making it worse. Why? Because then I start thinking of how much money I’ve lost in recent weeks from opportunities I’ve had to pass up, and how insecure I am about my financial future right now. (This is true of most sick and injured people; they don’t HAVE money so stop suggesting solutions that NEED money. Bring ’em a fucking casserole if you really want to help.)
It probably says a lot that I haven’t felt much like writing this month, and when I have, it’s been political rants against politics-baiting right-wingers who are posting just to irk me, it seems. Which is fun. Back-to-back, it seems like a bit much.
But that’s all right. We all have our coping mechanisms. Mine are rants.
Rants only get a girl so far, though, and this girl wants her healthy back to return. After all, the prospects of sex might just improve if I’m actually able to participate in the act or something.
My immediate goal is to be well enough to go check out Vancouver’s awesome Parade of Lost Souls, one of the coolest events of the year, and it’s this Saturday. It might be a naive goal, but I’m trying for it anyhow. Well, I have some stretching to do. Go figger.

8 thoughts on “When Life Changes The Game On You

  1. chuckp

    As Bill Clinton would say, I feel your pain. At one time I was so fucked up I couldn’t walk more than 5 minutes, with a cane, before I had to stop and sit down. I guess I was lucky in that I had health care that paid for doctor visits. What I got out of that was pills that mostly made me fuzzy, and some physical therapy. The PT helped, but not as much as finding a good Chiropractor. (Shit, more money! Sorry about that.)
    The thing I found is that it all comes down to core strength. So keep up your yoga, and give these exercises a try http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/core-strength/SM00047
    Feel free to flame me for the semi-unsolicited advice. It’s just that I find your writing more interesting when you aren’t bitching about how bad your back feels.

  2. A Scribe Called Steff

    Butterfly– Heh, thanks. I appreciate it and know you relate. You’re one of those who makes me feel a little selfish for being so self-involved, since I see how well you’re coping with your own deal, but I guess we’re all in the same boat to varying degrees. 😐
    Chuck– It’s ALL about the core! You’re absolutely right. That’s where I’ve fucked up, and it’s where I need to improve.
    My chiropractor’s a former professional football player who’s just incredible. Unfortunately I was so fucked up that he couldn’t get me aligned. I’m going back for my first appointment since things worsened and have improved, though, so I’m sure tomorrow will be a pretty amazing adjustment. πŸ™‚
    I’ll get almost all the money back, the trouble is, I haven’t got it to spend. Sigh. I have a physiotherapist recommendation, but I’m going to see about the swimming, yoga, and just general ab work.
    I’m consciously trying to suck my pelvic floor muscles in the whole time when I’m walking or sitting at a desk these days, and it’s starting to help already.
    Finally, I’ve opted today to take the rest of the week off and file a short term disability claim. It’ll be tough to make ends meet, but I think I can get by if I do. Eventually the money will arrive and I’ll feel rich, but broke until then. Maybe, though, my back will get all better.
    [It’s healing quickly — work is the problem; I can’t sit for long periods, it fucks me up. Sigh.]
    I think yesterday/this morning was kinda the darkest-before-dawn moment for me. I think I’m at the tail end of this shitty period, so I’m being hopeful these next few days will be just the ticket to wellness.
    So no worries about the unsolicited. Heh. I just had to vent a bit this morning.
    (Funny how one would do that on their blog. Geez.)

  3. The Butterfly Temptress

    Never ever feel selfish, my friend. Pain is pain is pain. I do not in any way begrudge someone else of their life experiences. Seriously, we all have crap in our lives.
    The way I see it, we’re all free to whine (for back of a better word) about the shite that happens. We’re human and damn it, sometimes whining feels good. It’s a release of sorts.
    It’s when you get stuck in the whining rut that we lose the right to bitch and whine. If you are making changes to get out of the rut, go ahead, whine away. Just make sure you keep moving.
    You don’t whine. You just vent. But you keep moving while you do it. So I say, vent! Whine! It sucks to be where you are with your back, etc. Blow off the steam and be okay with it because you’re moving forward.
    P.S. Forgive me for droning on in your space.
    The Butterfly Temptress’s last blog post..Tagged by Subheart

  4. A Scribe Called Steff

    Thanks, Katee.
    Thanks, Jack. Done and Done.
    Butterfly, don’t apologize for leaving intelligent comments, you goof. Have at it. πŸ™‚ I’ve never put a word-limit on my postings and won’t for comments, either.
    Thanks so much for the support, and right back at you. πŸ™‚

  5. jade

    Steff, I hope your doing very well, I think about you and wonder how your back is doing, I haven’t read anything your back for awhile, but curious as to how your doing overall.
    I hurt my neck and back lifting on my Grandfather this week, so, I was sitting here on the sofa and thought I’d re-read some of your journal entries, and this is one I found right away.
    Hope all is very well. Your in my thoughts. xx Jade


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