Pain in the Butt

Well, actually the mid-left lower back, if that makes any sense. Yesterday I helped mom up from where she sat in the waiting room at the doctor’s office. I was wholly unprepared for the stress her lack of coordination and weight placed on me. In the moment all I felt was terribly unbalanced and startled, thankful to keep my own two feet on the floor.

In the middle of the night, rolling over, I woke up in sharp pain wondering what I possibly could have done to insult my back so significantly. It took until early afternoon to put it all together. Advil has helped.

Body mechanics is a serious subject in the health care field. I have education regarding keeping oneself whole and intact while working in the garden. None of it transfers to the medical arena. When you are about to lose control of a wheelbarrow, you let go of it in order to avoid injury. In medicine, it’s the caregiver who sacrifices themselves for the safety of the patient. Many a nurse has retired or shifted the focus of their practice due to on-the-job back injuries.

This, combined with learning this morning that mom only stuck with PT for three sessions last time it was prescribed, leads me to realize I am likely looking at the beginning of the end of mom’s mobility, and my ability to facilitate her getting around. She out-weighs me, has waning coordination, little muscle tone, and almost no desire (or possibly ability) to change anything about her physical state. Watching the slow deterioration of her mental functioning has been a terrible, almost 15-year journey. Adding what appears to be accelerating and profound physical decline into the mix is devastating.

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