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Traction- It’s the next best thing to a vacation

On Thursday I was performing my customary chore of unloading the dishwasher when I felt a little twinge just below my right shoulder blade.

Within minutes it turned into a full fledged spasm.

Unloading the dishwasher.  I get a spasm.

When did I turn 90?

I popped a couple of Ibuprofin, and went about my day, a little more surly than usual.

By mid-afternoon I could barely move.  In my desperation, I was shoving quarters at the children like they were a slot machine, begging them to push the 3 prong back massage thing-a-maj-igy into my shoulder blade.

Fiddledaddy happened upon this little scene.  “That does it, I’m calling the doctor.” We have a wonderful chiropractor in the area and he was able to see me immediately.

Fiddledaddy determined that it would be best if he chauffeured me, since I was moving at the speed of smell.

I stood in my kitchen, and looked down to fasten my watch, when all of a sudden a pain shot through my back like I had been stabbed.  Repeatedly.

Childbirth couldn’t even compare.  (Albeit the epidural that was administered to me at 7 months and continued until I gave birth did take the edge off.)

I’m never one to suffer in silence, but I do prefer not to scare the children.  However, I must have squealed as I was transfixed to the counter, with tears shooting from my eyes.

“I can’t breathe.  I can’t breathe.”

That was perhaps what sent all of the children scurrying for the far corners of the house, with cries of “MOMMY’S GONNA DIE!” (I suspect they inherited High Strung from my side of the gene pool.)

Fiddledaddy was the calm in everyone’s storm.  He got me quieted down enough to catch my breath, and ushered us all out to the van.

We arrived at the doctor’s office, and Fiddledaddy helped me inside.  From the looks of me, body parts should have been falling off as I approached the check-in desk.

Then Fiddledaddy went back to the van to field questions.  The saddest comment came from the back of the van where an uncharacteristically quiet Cailey sat with quivering lip.  “If Mommy is going to die, don’t tell me.”

Broke my heart when Fiddledaddy told me later.

In the office, my doctor determined that I had knocked a rib out of place.  “What?  I was unloading the dishwasher.”

It was at this point that I decided I’d have to come up with a much better story.  Like I had injured myself saving a family from a burning building.  Or I had thrown myself in front of a moving vehicle to rescue a cat.

I later determined that my injury stemmed from the hideous dresser tipping incident on Monday.  The one where my son was nearly crushed because I had failed to secure his chest of drawers to the wall.  The dresser was quite heavy, and I was at an odd angle as I tried to heave it back in place.  I’m very sure that’s where I misplaced my rib. (And everything is now securely bolted to the wall.)

It’s not as good as a burning building rescue, but it will have to do.


I was then placed face down on a torture table with a smallish sized hole for my nose and one eye.  Electrodes were then attached to my back and the switch was thrown sending 4000 volts (give or take) of electricity into the affected area.  Once I recovered from the initial shock, it felt like thousands of tiny fingers massaging my back.  Which was kind of nice.

While I lay there, I could hear that my entourage had settled in to the waiting area. In the mayhem, Jensen had left the house sans shoes, so my family was limited as to places they could go to kill time. Then I heard Jensen telling everyone within earshot, “ACTUALLY, I HAVE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM.”

He was in new territory.  A bathroom he had never soiled before.

Fiddledaddy then loaded everyone back up for a quick trip to the McDonalds drive-thru.  Because it didn’t look like Mommy would be cooking any time soon.

When the timer went off, signaling I was cooked, I was instructed to get off the torture table.  “Um.  Couldn’t you just flip me?” And the words “I want a muscle relaxant” may have drifted from the hole beneath half of my face.

The medical assistant said that she would see if the doctor could “adjust” me there.  Other patients were on their own torture tables in the same room.  The doctor came in and said that I would indeed need to be moved to another room.

“I’m going to scream aren’t I?”

“Don’t worry, I’ll shut the door.” He’s hysterical, my doctor.

I managed to get myself out of the hole and into a private room where I was “adjusted.”  In other words, the rib needed to be moved back where it belonged.

Just kill me.

I am not a fan of the adjustment.  It just seems wrong on so many levels that my back should crack like that without the benefit of my being unconscious.

But I was a trooper.  Sort of.

My doctor recommended rest, lots of Tylenol, and a return visit the next day.  As he wrote in my chart he said, “My wife is going to read about this, isn’t she?”  (Shout out to Stacey!!!!)

“When I can find the humor, you better believe it.”

The children seemed relieved that I was alive during the ride home.  Finally Emme asked, “Mom, are you going to be able to cook dinner tomorrow?”

I’m glad her priorities are in order.

Later that evening I was reassuring my Cailey that I would be just fine.  Sensing a tender moment afoot, her daddy asked her why she was so scared that I would die, and what would she miss about her mom?

Without hesitating, “Her cooking.  Daddy, you can’t cook.”

Gee.  And not one word was spoken about how fabulous I am at doing laundry.  I sense that my tombstone will read:

Here lies Fiddledeedee
Beloved wife and mother.

Her cooking will be missed.

And btw, I’m fine now.  And have fully resumed my kitchen duties.  Although, I have been successful in receiving extra help from the offspring if I moan and groan just enough.  A stray tear here and there doesn’t hurt either.

I’m not above melodrama.  If it gets me a little extra help in the kitchen.


21 Responses to Traction- It’s the next best thing to a vacation

  • *sigh*

    I was feeling down the other day, as I was given a homeschool co-op application form that asked what my areas of “expertise” were.

    (I didn’t feel that, “I can holler and get everyone’s attention without benefit of a magaphone.” qualified.)

    All my boys came to the “rescue” with, “at least you can cook”.


    Sorry you had back trauma, and glad you are feeling better.

  • I injured my rotator cuff while carring someone else’s baby into church (she was in one of those car seat carrier things). I guess her eensy mother was used to carrying something that weighed 90 pounds (give or take 60 or so). But childless me is a wimp! Now I get to have surgery. After carrying a baby! Yikes!

  • I had a similar, though not as serious, incident last week sorting laundry of all things. Who knew housework could be so dangerous? Thankfully ibuprofen and an Icy Hot patch for a couple of days took care of it.

    I’ve never been to a chiropractor. The idea scares me to death.

    I love the way you told this!

  • I dislocated my rib shortly after the birth of my 5th child. I was carrying her through McDonalds in her carrier while corralling the other 4 out the door and twisted just the “right” way. I didn’t get to the chiropractor for 2 days (since the event happened on a Saturday) I thought I was going to die. I actually slept sitting up for 2 nights. And holding her to nurse was excruciating! It was sweet relief to have it popped back into place and be able to lie down again. I feel your pain.

  • I think you should have your kids unload the dishwasher from now on, since it is proving hazardous to your health. 🙂 Glad you are feeling better!

  • I ruptured a disc during a sneeze. How’s that for humiliating? The thing was all ready injured through the trauma of bending, twisting and lifting in the strenuosities of laundry, sports equipment, rearranging closets, and groceries.

    But a sneeze? Really? I needed a burning building story too.

    Glad to hear that you are on the mend.

  • A true blogger.

    Way to take one for the team.

  • My kids would be fine if I kicked it, I mean, their dad makes “special soup” from ramen that they adore (blech)…and he can heat up chicken nuggets like no one else can. LOL

    Glad to hear that you are on the mend though!

  • I did that once flipping a mattress. Just proves household work is dangerous and should be left to paid professionals. (or small children if the first can’t be afforded).

  • I am sorry that happened, but amen for melodrama.

  • Oh my gosh, I’m glad you are O.K.

    And I think it’s awesome that your chiropractor knew you would blog about this…

  • Honey, you are back to kitchen duty MUCH too soon! You should be milking this for ALL it is worth. This should get you at least 3 nights of takeout food!

    To make you feel better, I’ll share with you my worst ever chiropractor story. I was walking out of a friends apartment wearing new slippery shoes (and I’d had a wee bit of champagne), slipped, flew up in the air, and landed on my tail bone. Ugh. I actually blacked out. The next morning, Jimmy drove me to the chiropractor and the poor doctor had to pop my tailbone back into place by performing a procedure that involved…a rubber glove. I will say no more.

  • Girl…you need to write a book. So glad you’re okay now, but I don’t blame you for dragging it out a bit. LOL

    BTW….I have decided to try blogging again. I hope you’ll visit me at my new blog, STARTING OVER



  • I am glad that you were able to find the humor – because overall it brought a smile to my face! Your little girl saying she didn’t want to know if you were going to die brought a tear though! (it’s that time of the month – I cry easily!)

  • I am married to a Physical Therapist. One word about a hurt muscle and he will make you scream in agony and wish you were never born. And then he makes you do all these painful exercises. It ain’t pretty.

    I try not to complain unless I really don’t want to cook and I am ready to suffer for it.

    Because every Mom needs a Golden Arches night every now and then. And some pain killers. If necessary. To take the edge off.

  • Wow. It’s ALL just fodder for the blog isn’t it? HA!

    And, I’m so glad you’re feeling ok now. It sounds like not so much fun to have a pokey rib. Sorry!

  • I have a bunch of muscle relaxants they gave me in the ER I could have sent to you. They didn’t do a thing for me. Neither did anyone there, really, until the next day when I came in and told them that nursing was the least of my concerns and please give me something real.

    They gave me morphine. When that had no effect and I was still screaming every time someone touched me, they decided maybe something was wrong.

  • I am so glad you are all better or I could not say the following-

    Now you know how Adam felt.

    I’ve actually heard this is pretty common and that it can easily happen again. So be careful!

  • Cracking up laughing over here. Glad to hear you are feeling better. I should have known that I’d relate to Sandra’s comment. LOL. My kids might not miss me either, with their dad’s “Special Secret Ingredient Soup” aka, Ramen noodles, or mac ‘n cheese with hot dogs, they would be happy ever night.

  • Ouch! I’ve been through this twice now, so I’ve felt your pain, though my treatment was a bit different. It is no fun.

    Glad you are better now and that you are blessed with knowing how much your family needs you. :0)

  • just found your blog and have to post because I’m laughing! So sorry about your rib, but that was the best post I’ve read tonight. Hilarious! Hope you’re feeling better-