Sunday, April 1, 2018

Back When We Were Invincible

X-ray image of the back and pelvis
Lumbar region
As I stretch out on my recliner with ice packs on my lower right back, I recall the day I damaged my right lumbar vertebra.  It was January 12, 1987, when a rare ice storm had blanketed our town, leaving everything damp and slippery. 

Walking down stone steps carrying items for breakfast, my right foot slipped up and my right buttock slammed down.  It hit the steps hard, along with other parts as I rolled on down.

The resulting bruise was the size of a legal-sized envelope and as black as black could be.  Can't describe the pain, which lasted for a long time.  And now, thirty-one years later, I recline with ice pack on L-3 and a bottle of Ibuprofen on the counter. Didn't go to the doctor because the roads were impassable for three days. And doctors in Ireland were one to a town. A nurse friend looked at it, frowned and said to head to hospital if I felt a moving pain up, a clot.

Not black as black like mine

But this post is not about me.  It about all who live in this retirement community who also manage to experience their own ice packs and pain.

Lewis Pearce, an eighty-eight year old gentleman and friend, has had three knee surgeries. Walking with a cane, Lewis lights up when he relays what he enjoyed so much when he was eighteen. "I went skating every night and man, could I skate!" He could circle the rink, leaning over at the curve and sliding his hand along the floor. "I was as slick as that polished floor! And it was worth these crippled knees!"

Other residents talk about swing dancing at the USO every night.  One woman had a huge garden every year and drove a tractor to plow up the soil.  Another man rode a Harley, even after he skid out. Others did... They loved those experiences which enriched their lives and gave them memories about which to smile.

The worst was my mother, who worked alongside my father on the farm.  She did the work of a man.  In the last years of her life, I swear every bone in her body throbbed from over use and arthritis.  But this put food on her table for her family. She was invincible back then.

We all were young, thinking we were almost invincible.  And maybe we were in our own perspective.  And, it was worth it. 

Except for the fall where my fall has taken me out after many years, letting me know that I was young once, but even right after that, I was invincible in my own way.

Anyone out there who once knew invincibility?



42 comments:

  1. The invincibility of youth sure wears off and we feel it for the rest of our lives sometimes. I guess we each have to decide if it's worth the agony.

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    1. It is the way of being young. Knowing and not knowing has to be weighed and making some choices.

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  2. Oh yes. I plead guilty to being deluded about my invincibility. That illusion/delusion gave me some wonderful memories to hoard though.

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    1. Same here. even after the fall, I had so many travels and experiences that still are in my mind.

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  3. Oh yes...invincible...and we were never going to grow old...we were sure of that. That first fall on an icy sidwalk where I landed on my tail bone was more than likely the first site of osteo arthritis...that fall down the concrete stairs at work that left me with both legs throbbing but without the common sense to go get an x-ray probably gave me the second site. Many hard knocks...maybe if I had hit my head it might have pounded some sense into me lol.

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    1. No, I got a concussion and still not have any sense. Man, you took some bad hits!

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  4. We still are invincible as long as the spirit is willing. Flesh be damned.

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    1. Flesh be damned, true! Spirit is willing, but my body says "Oh, yeah?"

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  5. Some of us were scared of our own shadows when we were young. Only in age did we gain confidence. I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing.

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    1. That must have been such a suppressor. Watch how you step going down stairs!

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  6. Wow !!! absolutely fantastic blog. I am very glad to have such useful information.

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  7. I don't think there is anyone who HASN'T known invincibility and now sits every now and again with an ice pack or hot water bottle to ease one ache or another. Yet don't we all still feel a little invincibility? When the pain has gone, however temporarily?

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    1. Yes, that is true, at least in some way. Sports figures--oh how they must hurt! Between shoulders, knees, backs, and all joints, athletes put their bodies through a torture.

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  8. Theres no use complaining says my CEO every so often, not how I feel and I'm not a complainer. Now I've got 30 plus dislocated shoulder but before the "incident" YEAH I was Superman just didn't realise it.

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    1. Yikes. We didn't know back then. Wisdom always comes post-event. Wish we could both fly.

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    2. Aw well I look on the bright side, lol. Maybe if I drink enough Red Bull it will give me wings and you too Susan!

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  9. So sorry about your back. I hope it stops hurting soon. Back pain is no fun. I had one of those awful you're not so young anymore moments a few years ago with my knee. I twisted it a little and it took a while to get better. The doctor said that's what happens when we're not so young anymore.

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    1. Dang. Knees are so tricky and vital. How many times a day must a doctor see and say this?

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  10. Ouch! Hope you're feeling better soon.
    I would have loved to have seen your friend skate.

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    1. Oh, so would I! He is a sparkling person even now.

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  11. Dear Susan, I hope you feel better soon and that your back will recuperate enough that you will not need to take over-the-counter pain meds or prescription meds and will be able to walk up straight. When I had four bulging disks in the lumbar area back in 2016 and 2017, I felt miserable. I knew then I wasn't invincible. But when it really hit me was in 2006 with the arrival of Meziere's. I could do nothing about having the acute rotational vertigo episodes. I could control only how I responded to it. Then I really knew that I had no power over something that had taken control of my life. Peace.

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    1. We don't have power. Only God sees and knows the long picture.

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  12. Just read this verse in Psalm 119:71 during devotions.

    "It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes."

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  13. This is beautiful, Susan. I remember the day I smacked my right arm against a boundary on a volleyball court. My hand was swollen and bruised. Since then I've had bursitis in my right elbow and shoulder and "writer's cramp" in my right wrist. I used to play both court and beach volley ball, go free climbing up boulders and even was a catcher for a season on a softball team. Hence the bursitis and the weird knees and back. But I don't regret it (except maybe the court volleyball). It's all experiences and those experiences shape who we become. <3

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    1. Those experiences are part of the composition that is me and you.

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  14. Well, sure. right up to the moment my doctor told me I had type 1 diabetes. At the age of 60. With absolutely no family history and being previously super healthy. I still walk for an hour daily, at age 80.

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  15. Yes, yes, this. This post is so true. I remember how I used to work before yet now I have all these back pains and require multiple Dr visits in a week.

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    1. So sorry that your back has taken you down. You have company.

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  16. Hi Susan - I do hope it eases ... and I really do need to start doing more exercise ... thanks for the reminder re getting older and coping - cheers Hilary

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    1. We are not immortals. Pain always reminds me of that.

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  17. Ahh, found you at last. I've been looking at another blog of yours which is no longer in use and thinking you'd left the blog world.

    As for back problems, I share your pain and have done for a long time. The only respite I get is from visits to a chiropractor. Not a cure, just an easing for a week or two. Not much fun, is it?

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    1. Not a cure, but then cures for former invincible people are just temporary. I haven't posted on Chronicles of Samuel for a long time, but Susan Kane, Writer is still active.

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  18. I'm watching my 2nd oldest think he is invincible...and hoping he outgrows it very soon. ;)

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  19. Ah, yes, the invincibility of youth. Those were the days when I accepted just about any dare and pushed my body to the limits, but it only takes one misstep, one mishap, to make us realize we only have one body, so we'd darned well take better care of it. I still do most of the things I want to do, but I do them much more slowly. And yes, I'm a fan of heat packs.

    I hope your back feels better soon.

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    1. You are so right! It takes only one misstep and one mishap.

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  20. Good to remember one is not alone, says I who took a bad fall today. And how great those women are who just keep going through the pain, like your mom. I will probably be on the couch for a few days.....

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    1. Yesterday I was in the recliner again, curtains drawn and room dark. Migraines do that. I hope your couch is comfortable.

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  21. So many live with pain. You have my sympathy.

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    1. Thanks. Pain reminds us all that we are still here.

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Go ahead...it won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!