back

I write to you from the hospital, where I’m busy being temporarily disabled. My back decided it had had enough of holding up my body, so it went on strike, in very dramatic fashion — an ambulance had to be summoned in the night, to rescue me from the place I’d become trapped after attempting to walk around my house and nearly fainting from pain. The many astute observers in the emergency room astutely observed that I was more or less unable to sit, stand, or walk without screaming. (Cue horror film soundtrack.) So they sent me upstairs to the regular part of the hospital to lie down quietly, though after two days in the hands of the nurses and physical therapists I can in fact walk, using a walker, without screaming but not without sweating and breathing heavily. Then I have to go back to bed for a while, lie on an ice pack, and think about nothing. I’ve become very good at thinking about nothing. I could probably choose to regard this entire incident as a sign that I needed to think about nothing a whole lot more.

You might assume that three days of lying flat on my back would give me plenty of time to write something more interesting than “My back got hurt and I have spent three days lying flat on my back,” but you would be wrong. That is exactly as interesting, at this stage of my temporary disability, as I am prepared to be. Don’t worry, though, I’m sure that soon enough I’ll forget how to think about nothing instead of something.

among the pills they give me a glacial erratic

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8 thoughts on “back

  1. susandiri says:

    you’re in my prayers, Melissa, & I hope your humor takes note of every stage, to appreciate your resilience!!

  2. aloha Red Dragonfly. you go to great lengths for your poetry once again I see. no doubt a speedy recovery will enable even more poetry so I encourage this development.

    as you are thinking of nothing I suggest looking into meditation. as the practice of thinking of nothing becomes—wow. that is when not thinking of nothing. and as they say, you’re breathing anyway, might as well meditate.

    I will recommend yoga, gentle yoga, eventually too. especially for unfun back disability prevention. however not now. now you have to do it the way you’ve started. on a horse of another color.

    in the middle of a stream never dismount to change the color of your horse. wait till you have crayons at the edge of the bank. as they say. more or less. and as is well documented, oil and water do not mix. however oil and vinegar are great on fresh wet salad. a dash of garlic. some hot peppers. raw other stuff. and I digress.

    be becoming well and get there expediently please. the spring is desperately in need of a good red dragonfly such as yourself. how else will blades of grass wobble and small birds warble??

    red pepper seed words
    the gardener’s well being
    a hot salad

    even if you don’t like salads I do mean get well.

    be well. walk in beauty. and have fun. Especially in a Hospital. run a muck even. aloha rick

    • Oh yes, I know all about the link between meditation and thinking of nothing, although I might argue that meditation is closer to not taking your thoughts too seriously than to thinking nothing. That was probably what I was doing anyway. The first couple days I was here were two of the least anxious days I’ve had in a while. I just sat back and let other people do the worrying for a change. I should do that more often.

      Coincidentally I am just about to eat a lovely hospital salad with oil and vinegar dressing. I will think of you. 🙂

  3. Peter Newton says:

    I know about backs — having an iffy one myself. Damn things have a mind of their own. R & R works wonders. Wishing you well. –Peter

  4. Mary Frederick Ahearn says:

    Sending good thoughts your way where they can float and hover about you as you take a rest from thinking – take care, Melissa.

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