For 23 years, I never missed a day of work for sickness or injury. I worked with the flu, with sprained or broken limbs and any other affliction.
Three years ago, I broke my foot by stepping in a mole hole on the first day of FloydFest but hobbled through the next three days with the foot wrapped tightly. I thought it was just a sprain. I played three innings of a softball game with a dislocated shoulder before a team mate forced me to go to the hospital.
But as I get older, I find it harder and harder to play with pain and I realize now that such macho stunts were stupid.
Lower back problems forced me to abandon an assignment to shoot a football game at Floyd County High School. I fell twice on the way back to my car and drove home with pain shooting down through both legs every time I used the clutch or brake.
On Saturday, I couldn’t move either leg. I tried to stand and fell flat on the floor. Amy went to work with me laying on the couch in a stupor from double doses of pain medication.
On Sunday, I felt a little better and thought about visiting my mother at her assisted living facility but when I stepped out of the shower my legs buckled and I landed on the floor, unable to get up. Amy was at work so I managed to drag myself into a sitting position and stayed that way for two hours until I could finally get up.
The pain meds were downstairs in the kitchen — bad planning on my part — so I knew I had to get downstairs. I was able to make it downstairs by taking half steps and stopping twice on the staircase to sit and wait for the feeling to return to my legs so I could make it to the kitchen for double doses of pain meds and coffee.
Spent the rest of Sunday in that nether region somewhere between conscious and unconscious. By evening, some feeling returned to my legs and I was able to walk but each step sent sharp pains up with leg.
This morning dawned with pain but it had been nine hours since my last dose of pain meds and muscle relaxers so another dose gave me the ability to walk with a pain level of about 8 on a 10 scale.
The next two days are busy ones: An important trip to the dentist for my mother and a presentation to the Floyd County Rescue Squad on Monday and the monthly meeting of the Board of Supervisors.
With luck and medications, the pain will not prevent me from getting through the next two days. By then I will have time to go back to the doctor.
The last time this happened, the pain stopped on the morning of my followup visit to the doctor. Let’s hope it happens again.