Tuesday, September 16, 2014

On becoming an old man

As time passes, so do we.

I was recently reminded that I'm getting older. While we've taught our children to be polite, I can tell they're lying when they say I'm still young. I know they think I'm old. But I still appreciate the gesture of them being polite and trying to boost my confidence. And maybe get a free toy.

So where does all this talk of being an old man come from? I totally wrenched my back on Saturday. Even today, just a few days later, I find it difficult to talk about. I don't want to be an old man. I see my parents and how old they are. I see my grandparents and how old they were before they died. I see so much age around me and I refuse to accept that I'm getting old just as fast as they are. So when I reached over to pick up that remote and my back seized up, I thought I was going to die.

Okay, so I'm being dramatic, but it hurt. A lot. Like a 9 out of 10 on the pain scale. It hurt bad enough I laid down on the dirty basement floor in my nice clothes in an attempt to reduce the pain. It didn't go anywhere. I rolled around on the foam roller like a half-dead fish but it still hurt. So I somehow muscled my way back up the steps and laid down on the floor up there and had my wife stretch out my back. It didn't help.

It didn't help to see the look on her face either. She kept looking at me like I was going to die. Was the pain on my face that noticeable? It must of been because she kept asking me if I needed anything. What I needed was somebody to take the damn knife out of my back. What I needed was that thing from Back to the Future.

I eventually got some cream rubbed on it and went to bed. I tossed and turned all night. Barely made it into any sort of standing position to use the bathroom. Which seemed to happen every 3 hours. Yet another sign I'm getting old, right? But I made it to the next morning.

And then I promptly called had my dad drive me to the emergency room. I felt like a damn kid again. It brought back memories of him driving me to the doctor one day and I'm barfing out the door. Or the day the Bears were playing in the SuperBowl and he cut his wrist changing oil and needed stitches. For a few brief moments at least, I was a kid again.

That all changed when I rolled into the ER. It's not a place I go nor is it a place I like to go. People go to the hospital to die. I hate it. Not the people that work there or even the patients. It's just the principal of a place that's sole purpose is to heal those so ill they can't take care of themselves. I don't like that. And sitting there in pain on a gurney wearing socks, underwear, and a giant t-shirt split down the back didn't make things any better.

Hearing the Code Yellow over the PA didn't help either. I can only hope they're okay. But I would like to thank them for making me realize that my back pain wasn't that big of a deal. At least not compared to whatever they had going on. So as I sat there and tried to distract myself, I pretty much just worked up my blood pressure beyond where it needed to be.

A group of nurses finally came in and got more info from me. Did this happen, did that, does this hurt, etc. The PA came over and poked my back a bit, diagnosed me, then left. The nurse continued asking questions and had no idea what lichen planus was. So that was a nice distraction for a few minutes. And the last nurse, or scribe, asked a few more questions after that. I found it odd that she took notes on her glove. Guess it's easier to keep that handy than a tablet.

After shift change a male nurse came in for my medication. Got to take a Valium and got a shot in my ass. Although he said it was in my hip, I'm pretty sure it was closer to my ass. After staying alive for 15 minutes I was cleared for discharge.

While I'm not 100% better, I will say that I was reminded that it's okay to ask for help. As much as I hate it, it's O K. Even when it's a pain in the ass like my shot, if it takes care of things, then do it.


John Zeleznik said...

I feel for you bro...you're talking to the guy that has an artificial hip at age 41. When we went to Disney a few years back my hip was so bad that my father had to push me around in a wheel chair, so I sympathize with you. Get better, will you?

Anonymous said...

You have lichen planus? I had it in MD after digging in the dirt all summer on an archeology site. Took a year to get rid of it. Hope yours goes away sooner than that.

Glad your back was good enough to run this wkend. I am so proud of you and your accomplishments!