Lately, I haven’t been diligent about going to Zumba as I was in the winter. I think that partially has to do with it being SUMMER and half-day FRIDAYS! But on Friday, June 10th, I finally decided to go back. I was super excited about going as my friend was going to be joining me. The first time I’ve ever participated in a Zumba class with a friend. Yay!!
Well, I arrived late!! OoooPPpps! Only by a few minutes, but enough time passed that I had to find a new spot. The class was going, my friend was on the opposite side of the room, and I had to jump right into the class. [I hate that!]
About half-way into the class something unexpected happen. I FELL!! Now, I’m pretty used to falling. You get used to it after being a klutz for 27 years, dancing for half my life, having ARTHRITIS, and well, just being part of my family. We’re KNOWN for it! However, this fall caught me off guard. I didn’t even know there was a slippery spot on the floor and of course, I found it. Its like a magnet; calling my name, on purpose. Anyway, I fell. Took a dive and I didn’t realize it. If you can imagine someone stepping on a banana peel and falling, that was ME!!
Similar to this:
LANDED FLAT ON MY BACK. LIKE A PANCAKE. Landed on my lumbar vertebrae all the way down to my tailbone. I drew a RED box around the picture and the area that was affected, so you can get an idea of what I’m talking about…
After the song ended, the instructor stopped the class, asked if I was okay, moved me to a different spot, and blocked off the 3 foot by 1 foot area that was SLIPPERY! It felt like someone lathered it with a thick layer of lotion. GAH!
Now, being who I am; I brushed it off. No big deal. I just fell. I kept DANCING!! As the class went on, my back kept getting sore. I pushed through it, kept going, but didn’t go all out. I took everything slower. I stopped participating in any movement that involved my back. I didn’t want to damage the injured area but kept my feet and arms moving.
I went home immediately and iced it, took some pain killers [A LOT OF THEM!] and rested. I elevated my legs and kept any weight off my back. I also went to bed early.
I didn’t sleep well that night. My left hip was killing me. I slept with pillows between my legs in order to relieve some of the pain. Didn’t work, so as soon as I could, I got up. I literally ROLLED out of bed to get going. PAIN KILLERS are a great motivation to get up and I NEEDED those pain killers. As I walked to get those pain killers, I cried. My pain level had reached a 10.
I haven’t felt that level of pain since before I was DIAGNOSED! I couldn’t help thinking “Had I really done that much damage? Did that one instance change EVERYTHING?!”
As soon as I could, I went downstairs, grabbed some ice, and iced my back immediately. When my husband came down, he switched out my ice packs, made me breakfast and took care of me.
A couple of hours later, Hubby noticed I was whimpering. I was wincing every time I was FORCED to move. It was getting worse throughout the day. The more I STAYED STILL, the more pain I was in. So, he gently forced me to go upstairs. Then, he lovingly forced me to get dressed. And then we went on a walk around the block.
It wasn’t a GLAMOROUS walk. I felt like this:
When normally I feel like this:
However, after my LONG 1 block walk, I felt a little bit better. I ended up being a 8. A HUGE IMPROVEMENT OVER 10. SEE!!!
So, we kept going. We took it slow. I walked like a penguin at an elephants pace. It was Bad; Embarrassing; Humbling. The pain in my tailbone felt as if the muscles around it were rubbing against it. The pain in my hip was pretty severe, but we worked through it TOGETHER.
I waited until the following Wednesday to tell Dr. Rheumy about the fall. It was at my Remicade treatment and he actually wished I had called immediately. I didn’t want to overreact, especially as my pain level was coming down, albeit, slowly. They ended up taking 5 x-rays and were contemplating administering my Remicade medication. However, they found nothing on the x-rays and I was lucky that the day before the BIG FALL, I had 21 x-rays taken, so they definitely had something to compare. He of course, wants me to get some MRI’s done, but that will happen in a few weeks, when I’m in a much better health insurance plan and MRIs are covered! FINALLY!! Can you say JULY?!?!!
So, in the last week or so, I have been taking it slow, but still moving. I had my Remicade treatment and I have finally hit a 2 [my normal]. Before the treatment, I was at 6 or 7.
So, what did I take away from this BIG FALL?
That my husband truly meant in SICKNESS and in health. I am forever grateful for the way Hubby helped me since that day. He continues to encourage me to continue on with my daily exercises like walking and stretching, but forgiving when tasks take 3 TIMES THE NORMAL LENGTH.
Each day is a new battle. Most recently I developed an eye infection and a sore on my tongue, but I take each day as it is; a new day.
That even though I am used to my Zumba class, I need to get there early. I need to assess the spot where I will be practicing and make sure it is safe for ME!
Being honest with your Dr. Rheumy is vital to the relationship. And at least calling them to let them know is just as important. At first I was hesitant to say anything for fear of overreacting, but after some wonderful encouragement from some twitter friends, I took the plunge and I am forever grateful for the advice. Being stoic isn’t everything.
Take things slow. Even though your normal pain level is a 2, I still have ankylosing spondylitis. I got lucky with this fall, but what about the next? I have a chronic condition, but it doesn’t mean that I need to get there any faster. I must take things slow.
That my back could be much, much worse, and I am very lucky we caught this disease very early.
Encouragement comes in all forms. I would like to thank my family, friends, and twitter pals for the wonderful, kind words, prayers, and thoughts. I truly believe it strengthened my back and my thoughts faster than I could have ever done by my self.
Until next time,
If you’re a newbie here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS Feed to be notified of a new post. Welcome!
Pictures courtesy of:
- Cartoon: http://writespassage.blogspot.com/2010_04_01_archive.html
- Skeleton: http://wapedia.mobi/en/Human_skeleton
- Pain Mgmt Scale: http://www.lourdes.com/patient-guide/pain-mgmt
- Old/young woman: http://blogs.babycenter.com/mom_stories/hi-im-lindsay-im-33-years-old-and-i-have/