Normally when John goes away for a few days to play with trains, I wallow in silence for 24 hours. Not this time. The day after he left, I slid out of bed and landed in a crouched position like Spider Man. Now, ole Spidey would have used that position to leap to someone’s aid. Not me! I just groaned — loud and long. Aaarrrggghhh! When this kind of thing happened in the past, I’d say I threw my back out. Truth is, I didn’t throw anything. Couldn’t throw anything but a hissy fit! Gussy Goodness! This was my vacation, and I couldn’t stand up straight! Umph! Upright at last. That’s better. Don’t move, and you’ll be okay. I moaned with the first step and got it down to a whimper for the second. That’s it. Keep moving before you freeze up.
I don’t know what your philosophy is, but I’m of the opinion that when you stop walking, you die. I was determined to go for my morning walk if it killed me. First, with John away, I fell in the chair and turned the computer on to get the weather forecast. There wasn’t a rain cloud in sight except for the swirling green and yellow blob of the hurricane off the Florida coast. I could make it to the creek and back by the time it moved 10 miles. Another groan, and I’d levered myself out of my dad’s office chair, thanks to its sturdy arms.
“Are you sure you should walk?”
“Hush! I’m going, no matter what you say.”
I managed to get dressed, although my feet were about 11 inches further away than they were the day before. Getting sneakers tied stretched my arms and my credulity. I staggered to the front door, whined at the first step, and opened my eyes wide when rain hit my glasses. What? As defined by the computer monitor, this was not rain. The effect was the same, whether you called it invisible rain or solid mist. By shuffling my feet carefully, I turned around in slow motion on that step and lurched back for a wind breaker.
The second me in the conversation above won the argument, and I set off. As often as I can, I use Marla as an excuse to catch my breath after climbing the steep hill. Marla is often taking dog Albert for his first walk of the day. They were already at the stop sign. I took it as a sign to stop. We humans had a nice chat, and I headed home after a quarter of my usual walk. I went out to the porch, determined to ride the exercise bike to make up for it.
“Are you crazy?”
“No, but it helps.”
I should have been more careful, taking into consideration my body’s refusal to move without discomfort. Somehow I climbed onto the seat and began to pedal. Not too bad! The argument from my artificial knees masked the pain in the back. After five minutes I felt virtuous enough to quit. I got one foot on the deck, the other still on a pedal, and the pointy seat poked my back like a dull spear. Aaarrgghhh! I couldn’t stay that way until John got home two days later. One shift, and the handlebars moved to pin me further back. Instead of looking like Spider Man, I resembled Gumby, bent at impossible angles. I might have been turning green, as well. I don’t know how I extricated myself, but I certainly knew better than to kick the bike.
Son John $ arrived mid-morning, and I was looking half human after a warm shower. When we headed out to lunch, I couldn’t stop a moan going down the two garage steps. Another escaped when I fell into the car. Nobody heard me when I got out at the Mexican restaurant in Maggie Valley. The pleasure of the spicy food made me forget my woes until I had to stand up again. Thankfully the place was full of people enjoying themselves, and the noise covered the now-familiar groan of Anne’s changing altitude.
The most painful part of the day was getting on the bed. It took five minutes for me to realize I wasn’t hurting, and then I went to sleep. It was after 3 in the morning when I woke and moaned myself out of bed. If I wrote about the past day, I could postpone having to get back in bed. That worked well. There was an added bonus. Audible rain began to fall. Marvelous! I would not check the forecast, but I would assume the hurricane had arrived in the mountains. I don’t walk in real rain, and I am determined this will last until walk time is over. Now for a cup of tea, the press of a button to cancel the alarm, and I’ll brave the bed for a long autumn’s nap. Yes! I’m on vacation, and I won’t have to move, no matter what I say.
Below is what I have to look forward to when the rain is over: