Laverne's View / Lifestyle & Retirement

Laverne's View: Hell – Not On the Map, But I Was There!

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I have no idea how I injured my back, but the results landed me flat out in knife-twisting agony for nearly three weeks. I’ve had back problems before but nothing compared to this torture – not even back in 1985 when the medics came, hoisted me off my bedroom floor and carried me to the Emergency Room, where the doctor instructed me to sit up and when I said I couldn’t he said, with great annoyance, “Of course you can; you just don’t want the pain.”

The man was brilliant.

So here I was, writhing in agony, hurting too much to read, write, watch TV, or eat; unable to do anything but look up at the ceiling, moan, and wipe an occasional tear from my cheek. Experimenting with new positions took on a whole new meaning.

My doctor promised relief.

“I haf a proceedchure,” assured Dr. Mengele. “You vill be my last patient Vendesday (so no one vill hear your screams).”

My friend, Joanne, drove and then listened to my cries and labored breathing as Dr. Mengele pummeled and kneaded. And when it was over, with sweat pouring down my face, I threatened, “You’d better be able to show me a baby.”

I was given a prescription for a muscle relaxant. Instructions on the bottle warned not to drink alcohol, because it might intensify the effect of the drug. I thought, “…….and the bad part of that would be…………….?”

About a week into this ordeal, in a drug induced state, and still on my back, I began to discover little activities that held my interest. I examined my hands with the curiosity and wonder of an infant who’s just discovered his feet. I noticed the lifeline on my right hand is longer than that on my left and wondered if that meant it would live longer. I spent an entire day pushing my cuticles back so far, they currently reside under each first knuckle. I counted the age spots on my hands and arms which took me through days nine, ten and eleven. I watched the cobwebs on my ceiling fan circle around and around and, incredibly, never drop off. I braided my chin hairs.

I discovered I can’t drink water lying on my back, and no matter how careful I am, it’s impossible to peel a hard boiled egg on my chest without having the shells slide off onto the sheets. In addition, I came to understand why nobody has ever approved the manufacturing of a Chest Top Computer.

My pain was more severe than usual one morning, when I discovered I’d been sleeping on a Kentucky Fried chicken wing my daughter had loving attempted to feed me the evening before.

My cousin Phyllis prescribed her own home remedy. “Buy a car like mine, with heated seats,” she suggested. “When I had back pain problems I spent the better part of most days driving in my car. I would have never left it, but I don't like fast foods so I had to go home for meals,” she continued.

I liked her idea a lot, but my HMO wouldn’t approve it.

The only plus to being out of commission was a weight loss of seven pounds, but I gained it all back the first day I was able to make the trek down the hall to my refrigerator.

I’m presently up and around. I still have pain but it’s really bizarre how everything is relative. What I’m now experiencing is an incessant nagging, aching, stiffness that infringes on the quality of my every waking moment. But hey, compared to what I had before, it’s Nirvana. 
__________ 

Editor's Note: Laverne H. Bardy is a syndicated humor columnist. Visit her at www.LaverneBardy.com. She's the author of “How The (Bleep) Did I Get This Old?” Her articles appear regularly on AfterFiftyLiving.com. She blogs for the HuffingtonPost.com and is also a columnist for RetireEarlyLifestyle.com, Shrewsbury.net, and WritersBeat.com. Copyright, Laverne H. Bardy, published with permission. 

Laverne H. Bardy’s humor column, Laverne’s View, has been syndicated with Senior News Wire Services since 2004, and is read in newspapers throughout the United States, Canada and India. She wrote for 50 Plus Monthly, a regional New Jersey newspaper, where loyal readers laughed at her humor from 1999 to 2009. Currently she blogs for Huffington Post’s “Fifty” section, and writes for us here at  www.AfterFiftyLiving.com, as well as www.RetireEarlyLifestyle.com and www.Shrewsbury.net.

Laverne began her writing career in the mid 1970’s, when she was asked to write and edit Hotline, the Parent/Teacher newsletter at the school her children attended, in Livingston, New Jersey. During that same period she wrote one play, collaborated in writing another, and worked with the Livingston school system’s psychologist to write a series of Behavioral Modification skits that were presented to parents and teachers of the student body.

Laverne wrote human interest stories for West Essex Tribune and The Newark Star Ledger for a stretch then went on to join the staff of Northern Horizon’s newspaper.

Some publications Laverne’s work has appeared in are Reader’s Digest, Mature Living, Montage Magazine, Northern Horizons,Woman’s Hockey, Big Apple Parents’ Paper, The Daily Record newspaper and New Jersey Jewish News. Anthologies include Chocolate for a Woman’s Courage, Rocking Chair Reader, Bedpan Banter, Story House, and Craft of the Modern Writer. She is currently working on a book, How the (Bleep) Did I Get This Old?, a compilation of her columns, life stories and ramblings. Laverne was interviewed by Bottom Line Retirement, twice.

When she is not writing Laverne gives talks and humorous readings in coffee shops, libraries, and for various organizations and workshops. Some of her topics include: Growing up in the Fifties, How to Get More Humor in your Life, and The Joys of Aging. Talks about the joys of aging don’t usually last more than thirty seconds.

Laverne was nominated for publication in the 2006 edition of Marquis Who’s Who of American Women.

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