Just when I thought we were out of the woods, the unimaginable happened. I threw my back out.
I had a college professor once who threw her back out and she missed an entire week of class. And the entire week she was out, I wondered what exactly it meant to throw your back out. Now I know. And it sucks.
It happened on Saturday. I was leaning over to change Bette’s diaper when a pain shot through me. I then realized I couldn’t stand back up. Or turn in any direction. Or reach for anything. I was stuck where I was with an un-diapered, wriggly baby below me.
Jay helped me hobble to our bedroom where I spent the rest of the afternoon lying on the floor on a heating pad. Melanie and Alex had stopped by to visit, so instead of having a nice, normal family visit downstairs, we moved the party to my room, which is just so my family.
Growing up, there was always someone who was immobile – whether drunk, wrecked, or genuinely sick – and smack in the middle of things whenever my family got together. And still, the party just went on around them. So me lying on the floor surrounded by family in my very messy bedroom was actually pretty close to normal for us.
We chatted and caught up until it was time for them to go. Jay helped me get into bed and I stayed there the rest of the weekend; hoping, praying, and willing myself to feel better by Monday, when Jay would have to go back to work and I would be on my own with my ankle biters.
The rest paid off. I was at least able to walk around by Monday. And Melanie and Alex generously came back by to help me for a few hours before they had to return home.
All the time in bed the last week gave me a chance to do some things that I never seem to be able to find the time to do. I went through the cookbooks I received for Christmas and made notes on recipes I would like to cook. I re-watched Pride and Prejudice which I have had a hankering to do for about a month. I also finished reading Amazing Grace: The Life of William Wilberforce and Writing About Your Life, both of which I enjoyed.
But the downtime also tended to a much deeper craving I have had lately: time away. I have been craving time away. Time away to think, read, and write. Time away from all the needs, all the responsibility, and all the teaching and training.
And I had always imagined a weekend getaway to the beach would be the best way to accomplish that, but for better or worse, being stuck in bed last week did provide some time away. And I feel better, not just physically but also emotionally. I am probably not going to start cleaning out my closets or tackle a big project because of it, but I do feel like I have regained some balance and gotten my equilibrium back.
It was a week of rest, and I feel rested. It was a week of quiet, and my soul feels much quieter. And even though I felt very bad for most of it, last week did my heart some serious good.