Seven weeks ago, to the day, I launched a jump on my snowboard and landed it with my back. I’ve never actually experienced pain worse than the moments and hours afterwards and that’s saying a lot because I got all of my pubic hair lasered off without using numbing cream, my ex-boyfriend was really into slapping me in the face during sex (I’d slap him back and “accidentally” hit him really hard in the ear. He always complained that I had bad aim. Clearly, he wasn’t that smart.), and my brothers used to put me in a cardboard box and push me down the stairs.
When I was getting taken off the mountain in a sled behind a snow mobile while strapped down to a backboard, the pain was so agonizing that it occurred to me that I might not be able to snowboard for the rest of the season. (Rest of my life?) Instead, after a lot of ice and an overdose-worthy amount of Motrin, I woke up the next morning and decided to go snowboarding. Screw the pain. I wanted to ride.
I then applied the same approach to pretty much everything in my life.
- Spin class? Yes, please! That agonizing pain that starts about thirty minutes into my workout? Nothing a bottle of wine won’t cure. (Seriously, there's nothing better than getting REALLY dehydrated during spin and then going straight to the bar. I highly recommend it.)
- High heels? Hell yeah. The higher the better. It doesn’t matter if each step feels like a dagger shooting through my spine. I’m taller. And hotter. Because limping is totally the new fake tits.
- Lifting heavy things? Silly geese. I didn’t even do that before I got injured. That’s what boys are for. Duh.
- Running for the bus? Unfortunately, this one happens far more than I’d like. But I do run. And I do catch the bus. And then I sit in the handicapped/old people section and tell myself that if someone questions my shit, I’ll just force them to touch my back which is oddly sweaty after running a hundred yards and has morphed into a single throbbing, pulsing knot.
- Snowblowing and shoveling three feet of snow that’s covering the enormous driveway? Okay fine. I only do this because the boys in my ski house apparently hate me and therefore don’t or won’t, but I roar that snow blower to life and I blow the bejesus out of that snow. Nevermind that the snow blower doesn’t actually push itself like how it looks when someone else is doing it. (I know. I had no idea either!)
- Tennis? Why not? Sure my back seizes up so badly that I end up lying down on the court for ten minutes afterwards, but please note the word “afterwards.” Yup. I will play for 90 minutes without letting my partner know it feels like a boa constrictor is wrapped around my back and slowly suffocating me. Because heaven forbid someone think I’m a wimp.
Okay fine. That last one was a bit too much, even for me. So after the tennis game from hell (my partner said “just one more rally” forty-five times until I was sure I was going to have to be airlifted out of there), I called my doctor and made an appointment.
Anyway, long story short: I get to the doctor yesterday. She takes one look at my back and goes, “Um, your vertebrae is sticking really far out and really far to the side of your spine” and then immediately drags my ass down some secret back stairs to see the orthopedist. Without an appointment!
Then the orthopedist makes me bend over (not like that), twist to the side, touch my toes, and some other stuff, tells me I have a compression fracture in my spine, wraps me up in a brace, tells me not to "do anything dumb,” and sends me on my way.
So anyway, yeah. That snowboarding fall I took in January? IT BROKE MY BACK. Oopsie!
And now I have to wear a back brace. Which isn't nearly as sexy as it sounded when Judy Blume wrote about it in "Deenie." I know. I was disappointed too.
A few thoughts about the back brace:
1. It acts like a corset. I can drink as much booze as I want because this thing sucks my tummy in harder than a fat chick at the public pool. Which is awesome because, according to my behavior last night, there’s nothing like finding out your broke your back and ignored it for seven weeks to make you want to drink.
2. It’s hard to parallel park. No, not with the brace. Just in general.
3. I now think it’s totally appropriate to run into someone I barely know at a crowded restaurant and lift my shirt up. So yeah, nothing’s really changed there.
4. It makes me stand up straighter. Which means that if I were ever to tell my mother about my fall or broken back, she’d likely be delighted.
5. Because no one can really see it, I’m not getting NEARLY the amount of sympathy (or presents) that I would like. I mean, if you broke YOUR back, I’d totally send you flowers and wine. (Mostly just WINE though.)
Anyway, enough about this. it snowed three feet in 24 hours yesterday in Tahoe, so I’m off for the weekend! (What. He just said “Don’t do anything dumb!”)
(Yup, I'm smiling.)