How I Spent My Spring Vacation*
*Or, Things You Think About While Lying Flat on Your Back for Ten Days
Well, I may not be completely “back” just yet, but I am at least vertical once again–if only for a couple of hours a day. YIPPEE! Talk about an ordeal. I wouldn’t wish that kind of pain on anyone, nosirree. Not even the nastiest bully from grade school. No, not even the most loathed former boss. Not even the rudest clerk at the video store. Or even the most reviled ex-boyfriend (He of the Black Leather Pants). Yes, it was that bad!
And I am thrilledl to finally return to the world of blogs and blogging! It feels like eons since I’ve written on (or even looked at) this site, or any of the other blogs out there I so enjoy reading. I promise to catch up on them all over the next week or so. But before I even begin to write about my unanticipated interval of Great Bed Rest (aka Grevious Back Relapse)–or GBR, I want to share a recipe I discovered as soon as I returned here:
Blogger Twice Marinated in Wet, Salty Broth
1) Get Ricki to hurt her back, badly. Result: first marinade in wet, salty broth (also referrred to as Crying Jag Number One).
2) Get the HH to write a short note explaining her absence (no easy feat, considering the blog-shy HH).
3) Have Ricki return to the blog about 10 days later, read the parade of amazing, supportive and sympathetic comments from readers and other bloggers. Result: second marinade in wet, salty broth (also referred to as Crying Jag Number Two).
4) Allow Ricki to marinate for about 5 minutes before she returns her attention to the blog.
5) Accept her heartfelt gratitude for your wonderful, generous outpouring of good wishes, which is appreciated beyond words.
6) Wrap carefully and store in a safe place. Will last indefinitely.
In other words, THANK YOU ALL for your comments and kind thoughts while I was away! I have missed you all, and am very, very happy to be “back.”
And so. . . what the heck happened, anyway??
Well, the official diagnosis is a one-two punch of, first, a bulging disk (sometimes erroneously called a “slipped disk”), followed almost immediately by an inflamed facet joint (the latter occurring due to an overly strenuous exercise regimen prescribed by a zealous physiotherapist, only ONE DAY after the original injury! Definitely a no-no).
I had thought the initial pain was pretty bad, but the second injury catapulted it into the realm of “no adjectives available.”
It’s true, the HH and I have no children, so I never had the experience of childbirth as a reference point for that particular brand of agony. Nevertheless, I can only attempt to express the depths of physical torment inflicted by this back attack: for the first three days or so, each time I even ATTEMPTED to get off the bed, I would be overcome with an immediate draining of blood from my face and I’d begin to black out. If not for the deft and sturdy embrace of the (relatively) strapping HH, I would have surely ended up in an unconscious heap on the floor. And though he’s not especailly musclebound, the HH was, thankfully, still strong enough to lift my mumblemumbleundisclosednumber-pound frame back onto the bed.
["I really hated it when you were sick, Mum."]
As it turns out, the word “vacation” in this blog entry’s title, above, is not merely a euphemism. You see, here in Ontario, colleges run year-round, offering three full semesters (including one through the summer months). I happen to be one of those weirdos trailblazers quirky teachers who prefers her holiday in the winter, and who teaches all summer. Given my oft-declared abhorrence of winter, being able to curl up by the fireplace, hunker down, and just do nothing when the snow makes its unwelcome appearance is a privilege I truly appreciate.
And while I did spend the last 10 days or so lazing around, reading, sleeping as much as I felt like (more than I felt like, actually), and being waited on hand and foot (I am eternally in your debt, Oh Great HH), it was not, by any stretch of the imagination, akin to a “vacation.” Being stuck in bed with nothing to do but follow the aimless peregrinations of my (painkiller-enhanced) thoughts did, however, allow me to formulate some interesting observations.
Here’s what went through my mind as I contemplated my lot over the past fortnight or so:
Never begin an exercise routine for a sore back the day after you first injure it. Never. NOT EVEN IF THE ZEALOUS PHYSIOTHERAPIST TELLS YOU TO. You will regret it. You will rue the day. So, never!
Dogs are strange and wonderful creatures, and I love them more than ever. Throughout the Great Bed Rest, every day and all day, Elsie and Chaser held vigil at the foot of my bed. Not quite close enough for me to touch them, but close enough so that I knew they were there. Eventually, we three began to sigh, heave, and sleep along the same diurnal pattern, until the HH came home. (“Um, don’t mean to hurt your feelings or anything, Mum, but we were actually just worried that we might not get fed any more–not that we weren’t concerned about you, too, of course.”)
When you are stuck in bed, staring straight up at the ceiling for over a week, the stucco finish begins to look strangely like snow.
When you are stuck in bed, staring straight up at the ceiling for a week and the stucco finish begins to look strangely like snow, the actual snow outside will melt, and so when you finally get up again, it will be spring!
The HH is one helluva good sport. Can’t cook worth a dime, unfortunately, but nevertheless one very sweet guy. He took care of daily housework and chores, walks for The Girls, feedings (theirs and mine), hairwashing (mine), as well as other less appealing ablutions. He came home from work at lunchtime each day to ensure I had food and a break, and also to confirm that the house hadn’t burned to the ground in his absence (an outcome I would have been helpless to prevent, in any case).
Finally, I came to the clear realization that this GBR would never have occurred at all, had I not gained all the weight I’ve been earnestly trying to lose since I began this blog. And so, this latest episode has prompted a reaffirmation of my resolve: I must get healthy!
It’s with renewed determination that I return here to focus on all three: DIET, dessert, and dogs.
And, of course, all of you. Thank you all for continuing to visit, for reading, and for commenting (I love hearing from you!).
And while the latter part of the Lucky Comestible posts will have to wait until I can stand a bit longer, I’m looking forward to scanning my files and posting about some previous exploits in the kitchen as the back continues to heal.
Yes, it’s great to be “back”!
(Oh, and I promise never to write the word, “back,” in quotation marks, ever again.)
["Glad you're feeling a bit better, Mum!"]