Tuesday, October 28, 2014

All in the family

They say opposites attract. 
This is certainly the case for my husband and me. We truly compliment one another! For example just the other day Robbie told me that the dinner I prepared wasn't as bad as it smelled. A true commendation!
Our binary but complimentary nature manifests in so many ways. He is artistic, I am scientific. When we argue I am right and he is wrong.  I have a bad back and he has a bad shoulder. Where we lack our partner is abundant. I have great shoulders! He has a great back! Our parts together make up a fabulous whole person who is greater than the sum of it's parts, and one who rarely needs to see a chiropractor.
Until one of them effs it all up and stages a poorly timed full blown spinal blow out. Spoiler alert - it was him.
My husband thew his back out and it's not freaking fair. He is in massive pain, totally unable to move or fend for himself. He cannot fetch meals nor children, and he is in utter disbelief that this kind of pain has ever before existed in the universe. The empathy - nay - sympathy, I feel for this man, my husband, my partner, is immense.
Back pain sucks.  I have devoted my life's work to battling this monster, BACK PAIN. And like Sisyphus I persevere, even as I watch my foe take yet another innocent spine. Except this time it messed with my man!
Talk about taking your work home with you! I'm schlepping the laser home, stashing acupuncture needles in my purse for emergency sessions, bringing Advil and glasses of water and shopping for new iPads. I still don't understand how that last one contributes to his rehabilitation, but he insisted it would work. (Back Pain - there's an app for that!)
I know. I feel sorry for me too. His pain is killing me! You know how some people love babies but then love handing them back to the parent? Patients are like that. I love you guys!! I do! I truly care! But part of the deal is that I care for you (so much!) and you feel better and then you pay money and go home. And this patient - Robbie? He IS my home. Heaven help me, between the massaging and the serving and the caring and the lasering and the chiropracting, I've never worked so hard. (And he still hasn't paid me!).
Truthfully it has been educative for us both. While I've had far more than my share of personal back pain to contend with and I've overseen a few gazillion professional cases, I hadn't ever seen an arm's length case of acute low back pain. I didn't fully appreciate how scary it is to helplessly watch your loved one suffer, how frustrating it is to try in vain to assist in the simple pursuit of a comfortable position, and how upending it is to have a very significant one quarter of your family out of commission.  Gah.
My saving grace is knowing that Robbie and I have all the necessary tools at our disposal. We are blessed to have the GREATEST team of practitioners to address Robbie's situation. I am also blessed to have my knowledge - to be able to help my husband, even just a little bit, and to know so deeply on both personal and professional levels that this awful pain is temporary.
Still, this sucks.