October 27, 2015

The Garden Hose Won and My Back Lost

As the oldest daughter, I learned to pretend to be calm when bad things happened to my younger siblings, like my sister falling off her bike and shoving her two front teeth into her gums.  So I was surprised to hear myself crying hysterically while I talked to a 911 operator.  I had to crawl to the phone because my back muscles were spasming so badly I could not stand up.  Two days earlier I had fallen on my patio while wrestling with a garden hose.  I did not stand up straight after I connected the hose.  I think I tripped over the hose as I took a big step to regain my balance.  The black rectangle shows the small space I had to maneuver in.  When I am inside I prevent falls by clearing the space I have to work in.  Now I will transfer that strategy to outside.  A friend put that stiff garden hose on the curb for garbage collection.  I will buy a more flexible hose in the spring.

Five years ago a bone scan showed my lumber spine have osteoporosis I am glad the CT scan the ER doctor ordered did not find any fractures.  However, intense back spasms made it impossible for me to walk.  Fortunately, 36 hours of taking a muscle relaxant while in the hospital made it possible for me to return home with home health services.  Once I got home and wanted to do more than sit up in bed I noticed the muscle relaxant made me really tired.  When I stopped taking the medication my back got much stiffer.

My back is especially stiff in the morning.  I have to lie on a heating pad, do gentle leg lifts under the covers, and take an extra strength Tylenol so I can do more than hobble around the house.  After I sit for 30 minutes I have to lie down and do gentle back stretches.  My home health PT finally had me walk outdoors.  After walking about 6 car lengths, the hip muscles that I fell on started to burn.  The only thing that relieved this burning was taking the small steps I use when I walk on grass.  What a bummer.  Thank goodness I start out-patient PT soon.

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