Blessed Be the Temporarily-Handicapped


Three-day weekend! Wow, it’s just sprawling out before me… a three-day orgy of free time and lack of obligations! Wooo-hooo!

Actually, it’s true that I don’t have any plans. I haven’t even sat down yet and thought of my weekend to-do list. Every weekend, there’s something around the house that needs to get done. Some of it I simply cannot do right now, because of my dumb wrist. (I can’t paint the office, for instance. Holding a brush would be really painful! I also can’t work a screwdriver or wrench very well, so I’m going to have a hard time hanging hardware in the bathroom or changing out the showerheads.) The rest of it won’t happen because I can’t afford to do those things yet. Not until that $8,000 tax credit check arrives… IF it arrives. I’m still unsure about that. I won’t believe I’m getting it until I have the check in my hands. But once I do, I can’t wait to hire some guys to build my back porch, paint the kitchen, put in a new RV gate…! I’m excited to get it all done.

I’ve been trying to play it off, but I’m having lower back problems in a big way these days, too. I think I just don’t want to deal with it. I’m already annoyed about The French Disease as it is. If I have to go to someone about my back, too, then that’s just too many things at once. I know keeping my back healthy is really important, but… I’m hopeful that if I don’t overdo things it will get better on its own without medical intervention of any kind. (I’m not that into going to a chiropractor anymore, because I’m a little doubtful of it… does it help, or hinder recovery?)

When I walk, pain radiates through my right hip. And I do mean radiates. It starts on the back of my hip… the further I walk, it spreads to the outside of my hip. After awhile, it’s also hurting on the front part and a little bit of numbness goes down the front of my thigh. Clearly a nerve is being pinched somewhere in my spine. I know this feeling, unfortunately. So I know what it is. Son of a BITCH.

And now, when I sit, I have just a general achiness across my lower back, banding over both hips. It’s so uncomfortable right now. The hip pain has been going on for about a week now, I guess (I notice it the most when I try to work out and during the nightly dog walks around the neighborhood) and now I’m admitting to myself that yeah, it could be a problem. Not just some little “kink” I can walk off or stretch out. None of my regular back stretches are helping right now. I’m stuck. Either it’s going to plateau and get better over the next few days or so, or I’ll have to drag my unhappy ass to another doctor to get treatment for THIS thing, too.

I can’t stress enough just how annoyed I feel right now. How I am so sick and tired of things going wrong. These are little things, granted. This isn’t “buying-the-house” stress, and its not “losing my job” stress… and fortunately, it’s not even close to the scale of problems going on in Haiti. My God. All I need to do is log onto Yahoo and I feel instantly humbled (and horrified) by what’s going on over there. So yes, I am putting this into perspective. I definitely don’t want to be a whiner, or try to get sympathy. Hell no.

Even so, it doesn’t mean I like having things to deal with, one after another. I don’t enjoy being the person with all the ISSUES, all the time. Oh, if I’m not depressed, I’m dealing with losing my car in an accident. If it’s not that, I’m out of money. Next I have a tendon problem in my right wrist, forcing me to wear a huge, stupid brace. And now if I have a new back problem, too? Wonder what’s next? Let’s see… I’m due for something like an ear problem, or kidney stones or something. Oh, fun times! Maybe people will think I’m playing it up for attention! YAY!

I say that last statement because that’s how it all went down in ’93 and ’94, when I had my ruptured disc/ sciatica incident. People don’t expect 17-year olds to have major back problems that prevent simple things… like walking further than 10 feet at a time. I had a temporary handicapped pass so I could park blessedly closer to buildings on campus and everywhere else, and I can’t tell you how many times I got really dirty looks from people who watched me get out of my car! Once I got the cane, it eased up a little bit and people seemed a little more amiable to the idea of a teenager taking up a handicapped spot. But back problems are rarely something you can see from the outside… so it’s easy for people to not totally believe you when you describe the pain you’re in. At my pharmacy job, I kept a tall stool behind the register so I could sit down between customers because I can’t tell you how painful standing (and attempting to force my torso to be straight rather than hunched over at the hips) really was.  Sitting down, even for a brief moment or two, was awesome.

And yet, my co-workers would often take the stool for themselves. One time I had to go in the back room to retrieve a fucking Precious Moments figurine someone had bought, and my stool was just gone when I got back. It turned out this other girl I worked with took it out to the card section, where she was doing inventory. I was shocked! It’s not like she didn’t know I needed the thing. When I confronted her and took it back, she seemed a little pissed off, even! I used to wish pain on people, just so they could understand what I was going through. I know it’s awful to think bad thoughts like that, but damn it: it was hard not to sometimes.

Even today, now that I have gotten better with that particular problem (at least, I think so), because of my experiences back then I tend to take notice of cars that are parked in those handicapped spaces. So many times, there is no plate or rearview mirror pass. I’m no Sherlock Holmes, but I highly suspect that assholes are just pulling in there so they can run into a store “real quick” and not thinking for a second about people that actually need to park close. Not because they’re lazy, but because it’s a necessity. I loved that time when I saw a jacked-up pickup truck with huge tires and stickers all over the windows parked in a spot outside a restaurant. My friend and I sat by the window and saw the jackass who drove the truck return to it, and just hop on up into the cab and drive away. I was so upset I really wanted to go out there and scream at him as he drove out of the lot. There were so many times when I couldn’t park in a handicapped spot when I needed one, because all the spots were taken. The thing is, it’s really NOT the assholes with jacked-up trucks most of the time. Actually, it’s people with the temporary passes like the one I had. And if you see them, they often have a cast, are using a walker, or some other outward sign that yes, they need the spots. In truth, sometimes there just aren’t ENOUGH spots for all the people that really need them — because so many people have problems! It’s strange, when you stop and think about it. At any given time, how many people around us are 100% in top health? We’re a society full of sick, injured and disabled people. An aging population is growing every year, too… those spots are only going to get even tougher to park in soon.

What the hell am I rambling on about here? I’m seriously getting pissed off about handicapped parking spots, aren’t I? Yes, it appears so. I guess it’s a slow blog day.

In other news, did you catch the great double-episode stretch of 30 Rock last night? No? Well, you suck, then. Why do you suck? Because that show is awesome, Tina is a genius AND…AND… in the first episode last night, James Franco was on there playing himself. Well, a version of himself that is hopefully not true to life. If so, James Franco spends his time fucking Japanese body pillows. That’s just not a savory lifestyle… it doesn’t play well in the heartland. My point is this: when did James Franco become awesome? My sister and I discussed this the other night, in earnest. First he does Pineapple Express and almost steals the whole movie (he had tough competition from Danny McBride, though!). Then he hosts SNL a few weeks ago, and nails it. And now he is on 30 Rock? He’s really funny — and being funny makes you cute!

He’s now next to Andy Samberg on my “celebrities I would like to bang” list. Congrats, Mr. Franco! You’re making it to the big time, now. And I’m not even a fuck-pillow! Wow.


5 responses »

  1. I thought Franco was awesome way back when he did James Dean. That’s when I first fell for him. Also loved him in the flick he did with DeNiro, then in Annapolis and Flyboys… Deuces Wild, which I watch all the dang time… he’s also the only reason I even watched the Spider-Man movies…. and OMG!

    they’ve made a movie from one of my favorite books and he’s IN IT!!!!

    Sucks that Julia Roberts plays the lead. Man, they just ruined that true story for me.

    Re: the rest of this post, I am thinking that the thing a college prof once stated rings true: “If you have a lot of stress during a particular year, you are going to be sick a lot the following year”. Basically, everything you have been through has shot your immune system to hell, and your body is now crapping out on you. I think you should use your 3 day weekend to rest- A LOT! I think the things you’re experiencing are all of that other crap manifesting and taking it’s toll on you physically.

    Oh, and I talked with my instructor friend last night about her hand- turns out she was diagnosed with the SAME THING! as was every woman she met in the elevator at the doc’s office that day.

  2. Re: Jen’s comment. I am completely f-ed for next year health wise…

    I get so mad about people who park in handicap spots who don’t look like they need them, and who don’t have the tags or temp passes to do so. I actually have gotten into arguments with people over it in the middle of the street and I don’t even need a handicap space! Same problem with the expectant mother space some people have. I once saw a guy park there and as he was leaving his car a woman, heavily pregnant, came walking from about twenty spots away. It looked like she was about to pop! I let the guy have it.

    I feel like you, it’s one thing after another, after another with me. Pretty soon people are going to stop listening to me because I always have something wrong going on. You however have had some major things to complain about so don’t worry about bitching. 🙂

  3. Jen– It’s funny because I don’t think I have seen any of those James Franco movies, except the Spiderman trilogy. He actually came to my attention, talent-wise, when I finally watched all the episodes of Freaks and Geeks. (Man, that show was terrific!) I never really gave him a second thought. But now… yeah, I have to admit that when a guy can be insanely silly, it’s a huuuuuge turn on for me. And hey… if we were playing that Six Degrees game, after the 30 Rock stint he is now 3 degrees from me (thanks to the Tina Fey connection of course). Or is it 2– I bet Kristen’s Dad met him while he was on set. Interesting!

    And you might have a real point there with my body spitting out all the crap from the past year… it would make sense. I carried way too much stress around last year, and I knew it. But I didn’t know how to get rid of it at the time. Oh, and the French Disease (I like calling it that because, as RaeAnn pointed out, it sounds like something “waaaay more worse” than it is, which is of course hilarious to people like us) is very common. At my 1st therapy appointment today, the therapist said he sees more women come in for that than carpal tunnel.

    Vegas– Amen, sister. Just be very careful, take your vitamins and drink lots of water so at the very least the stress manifestations could be minimized! Call me anytime you want to commiserate with someone else getting the shit kicked out of them by residual stress! Ugh!

    I could see you telling off the assholes who use handicapped and pregger-lady spots, because you’re cool like dat. I’m usually a coward, to be honest. So I admire that you actually do it and say something! Maybe I’ll try it sometime now, knowing my friends do it, too. I don’t mind being a follower in this case.

    And the same goes for you… don’t you worry about bitching, either. That’s why we have these blogs, and why we share the URLs with only certain people. 🙂

  4. I never watched Freaks & Geeks. Couldn’t get into it. I even forgot about it, until seeing several mentions of it, of late. It was him as James Dean that reeled me in. I love me some James Dean and to see such a look-alike… that was enough. Then I grew to appreciate him as himself.

  5. Okay, missus, you are scaring me with your back. I know it’s a pain to deal with, but I don’t want it to get any worse on you! That’s your SPINE back there, you know? i wish I could come down there and paint for you. I actually don’t mind painting if I have all the right tools and everything.

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