Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Tale of the Sinister Spine

There are many things for which I am homesick:

The sound of my boyfriend's red bass guitar mingled with the scent of black leather motorcycle jacket.

The feel of my grandfather's small, strong arm over my shoulder - it's silver, wiry hairs tickling against my neck.

The way the Night Jasmine filled up the air on warm nights at our old house.

The sensation of the giant, yellow plastic slide at the County Fair beneath my seven- year- old tush.

My old back.

Although I know that my two surgeries were imperative, I miss how my old back felt. I'm not talking about the back that was broken and masquerading as the spine of an 80+ year-old retired dock worker/weight trainer who never learned how to lift with his legs. I'm talking about the back that allowed me to hula hoop and do a triple time step - without wondering if I am going to be eating Motrin for breakfast, in the morning.

Enter the Sinister Spine.

My doctor thought that I had a blood clot, when I was really having a sciatic attack. I had to arrange for someone to pick my kids up from school and my husband rushed from work to meet me at the hospital. Suffice to say, they did not find anything wonky in my leg. Two months later, I had my first back surgery. Two months after that, the second. I now tell my children that I am Human Cyborg Relations. The Bionic Woman. My back is made up of more metal than the average person. Less than some. Actually, it's titanium. That just means that the airport alarms won't sound when I go through metal detectors and I can get into theme parks without too much trouble.

Sometimes, I think that it makes me sort of special. After all, there is a huge percentage of Americans who don't have a big titanium cage around their spine. Other times, I am a tad bitter that I will forever hate stormy days. Rainy days wreak havoc in people who have implants. There is a constant ache, which sets it's bags at the foot of the bed in your spare room. It doesn't leave until well after Spring comes to visit. I used to love stormy days. El Nino '97 was my finest Winter. I would sit at the window and marvel at nature's fury. These days, I limp around until the cold weather bothers the other side of the world for awhile. Winter is the pest of pests: It teases and annoys - like a particularly impish sibling.

How I wish I could touch my palms to the firm ground again, without bending my knees. Or run for an hour. Or play soccer like I did, in the fifth grade... Which was not very well.

May 14th, 1986

My favorite is soccer, we haven't won a game yet, but today I hope we do, mabe it will be good luck because it is E's birthday! Well, we are playing the Blasters at Los-Poseos school and I sure hope we win! If we don't I will be mad! E says it will be bad luck that today is her Birthday because her grandma died on her birthday, but I don't think so! Oh, well! May 14, 1986 is a good day for me, so far!

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