Yesterday, I decided in a great slip of faith that the best way to identify with the mates in my life who are suffering from extremely limiting life issues, needed to be something I share an affinity with. So, while walking on the dock, toward the edge where I thought I would jump in with my family and cool off for the day, I took a firm step on slippery ground and began a slip to end all questions about what it means to lose the ability to do certain things I previously took for granted.
I managed to catch myself in some kind of Half-in-half-out of the water kind of pretzel and sat while several young adults and children came rushing over and asked if I was ok, in a way that you would a 95 year old man who was in need of great pity and unable to walk so why is he out here, kind of compassion.
My reaction was typically masculine (AKA stupid) and I shooed them away with the assurances that this was no big deal and that my leg and arms were supposed to be in this position. So they left. I was then sitting on the dock humiliated and hurting trying to figure out how to untie this pretzel I was now imitating.
I managed to shift my body and get both legs into the water and sit there in order to support the lie I had just told about bring okay a few seconds earlier. I checked the knee I had just bent in a way that I had thought no longer possible at my advanced age (apparently 95) and was relieved to see that it did indeed bend and no bones were visible on the surface. While sitting there the pained knee gave way to a growing inflamed feeling in my lower back on the right side. "Not good," I thought. The next thing I realized I was no longer able to move without immense pain. So I sat there and as my family realized I was missing they gravitated around me from the water and the doc and they encouraged me to get up and get in the water so I could work out the pain. After some convincing I decided to stand and try to walk over to the opposing edge of the dock and jump in.
I rolled over and pulled my legs out of the water. Forcing myself though the pain to get to a standing position. The pain then made it hard to catch my breath at this point and I, instead, turned and walked off the doc. It was a painful walk. Pressure on my right leg put so much pain into my lower back it affected the way I was breathing and all I knew was I wanted to get back up the hill to the trailer and find an anti gravity something that would take the pressure off.
Noah's girlfriend, Alexis, ran to get my wife who made her way over to me quickly with my sandals and together we worked our way up the hill and to the ibuprofen. Tonya convinced me that I cold not take the rest of the bottle right away but that it needed be dosed out in smaller increments to actually be helpful.
The rest of the evening was me trying to find a place or position that would prove remotely comfortable. There were none really. I managed to sleep a bit because I was pretty tired from working the night before. But then settled into my new reality of managed pain.
I am still in a great deal of pain today. Discovering the limitations gifted me by my little slip of reality yesterday. But it will pass with time. For those who have injury that never really heals totally and who live with managed pain to never know a baseline of normal health again, you have my renewed prayers and sympathies. I get to share, in some small way, the "ugh" of your existence for a time. Renewed today in me is the longing for the truth that Paul expresses in 2 Corinthians 5. “For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling,”
2 Corinthians 5:1-2 ESV