Things I’ve Learned While Having My Arse Stuck on a Couch


December 29, 2010 by Marj Hatzell

Here we are nearly three weeks later and I’m still a pathetic pile of sludge, relegated to the couch. I can go up and down the stairs a handful of times a day and if I’m a good girl and don’t do any labor whatsoever, I can tolerate sitting at the table for meals. For about three minutes. Go me.

It turns out that these discs in your back? They are useful for tons of things. Like, being able to reach your own feet to tie your shoes. And shaving your legs. And putting on pants. Or underwear. Or standing in the shower. Who knew? I do now.

So the plan? On January 10th I finally have  an appointment at the pain management clinic. I will be undergoing PT as soon as the inflammation goes down and the pain lessens. For now, it’s rest, rest, rest. And, if you’ve been reading for any length of time or know me well, you’ll know that the dreaded, four-letter R-WORD is not exactly in my vocabulary. I can’t sit so I’m half-reclined on pillows, with a laptop, phone and tv clicker at arms reach. And a heating pad and TENS unit, plus some sports ice/heat cream stuff that smells like the devil. And since I have a spooky honker and am kind obsessed with smells, that’s bad. I can hobble to the bathroom when I need to. Bug Boy has been my right-hand man (well, left, since that’s the numb one, but still). And thank goodness The Guy I Live With is home on vacation this week (we were supposed to go to Tennessee. Had to cancel it. Boo.).

I’m slowly losing my mind. I can’t drive. I can’t sit. I can’t do simple household chores. I don’t know why we pay for cable, because there isn’t sh*t on.

Wanna know what’s interesting? Sure you do. And if you don’t, too bad, I’m telling you anyway. I’ve had some fabulous insight the past two weeks. Maybe it’s the “Don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone” phenomenon or maybe it’s the muscle relaxants (it’s totally the drugs) but I have noticed a few things while laid-up and stuck in the house with cabin fever:

  • The electric wheelchair/cart thingies in major deparment stores and grocery stores totally rock. Target has the best ones, hands down. Lowes’ sucked hairy cajones.
  • Some People are totally rude to people in wheelchairs. These electric things do NOT stop on a dime, yo. So don’t cut me off, ’cause I will totally ram into you. And not on purpose, either. Maybe. OK, I wanted to ram someone for being a douche but I didn’t. Scouts honor, cross my heart and hope to die.
  • Stores are NOT set up for people in wheelchairs. Being stuck in one blows sometimes because you can’t reach shiz that you need and gosh forbid there actually be a person that WORKS in the store to help you out and reach something. This is not good, y’all. Worst store offender? Kohl’s. Thank goodness for kind people offering to help. There are actually still nice people in the world.
  • People stare at people in wheelchairs. It’s ridiculous. I know you’ve seen one before and quite frankly it’s none of your freaking business why I’m sitting in one. Grow up, eejits. I can’t believe someone would ask that. A nine-year-old? I expect it. But an adult? *eyeroll*
  • What’s the point of handicapped parking if it isn’t near the main door or ramps? Not everyone has a motorized wheelchair. Sometimes folks have to walk into the store to the courtesy desk or customer service desk to borrow a wheelchair and that is a LONG WALK when you can’t straighten your leg or have to limp the whole way.
  • Muscle relaxants rock. Although they give me some funky, hotter-than-blazes dreams. Ahem.
  • I can now tell you the precise times of day the sun comes through each window in my house. I can also tell you what time my neighbors all leave and come home. I can also tell you the times every dog in my neighborhood walks by for their daily walk. Except my dogs, who haven’t been walked in two weeks now.
  • If you miss something on tv, chances are they will replay it between 12 and 4am, before they go to infomercials for two hours. And if you act now, you’ll get ALL THREE special deals, not for $29.99 but for three EASY payments of $19.99. Plus Shipping and handling.
  • It’s really, really, REALLY hard to type when you are horizontal.

Aren’t you glad I’ve noticed these things?


5 thoughts on “Things I’ve Learned While Having My Arse Stuck on a Couch

  1. I hear you! After my car accident, I could only roll the wheelchair with ONE arm, and use my FOOT for the other side. You can imagine how awkward that looked, so my friends and family pushed me most of the time. Plus my face was totally jacked up, so I felt like some broken monster, and the looks I got confirmed it.
    I did have the benefit, though, of when I DID run into people, they started to get pissed, whipped around, saw my Sally-from-Nightmare Before Xmas face and were too shocked to be mad, haha! Can’t be pissed at a leper!

    Anyway, I’m sorry you’re hurting. I hope you heal up super-quick like.

  2. OMG-I’ve been laying virtually flat for 8 days while my family went on Christmas vacation WITHOUT me, so I’m spending all my time on my laptop and found your blog. You are so describing me, however, since we cleaned out our fridge thinking WE were going on vacation, I’ve been eating popcorn every night for dinner. I can’t wait until my husband gets home… I literally feel your pain. I’ve got a herniated disc in my neck, but have never had lower back problems until now. I’m dreading next week when my doctor decides that enough is enough and wants to perform an MRI.
    I hope you’re feeling better soon.

  3. You forgot Pajama Jeans. Or have you been spared that monstrosity thus far while waiting for morning news to come on? I hope the pain management clinic can bring you some relief and mobility. Your post brought back the days when I had baby #2 who refused (still does really) to sleep. I knew all the shows, bad tv, and the neighbors’ comings and goings at all hours (shift workers). At least when your back is out you get muscle relaxers. With a baby, you just get told “they’ll outgrow it.”

  4. I always ask people in the carts or wheelchairs if they need help reaching something if it looks like they do, but sometimes I wonder if they are thinking, “You know, I’m not HELPLESS.” It’s nice to know sometimes it’s appreciated.

    You know what I would do if I had to park too far away from the store but had trouble walking in? I swear to maude, I would call customer service from the parking lot and ask an employee to bring a motorized cart. I guarantee you a good store would do it. Oooh, you should try it and then report back and call out any store that doesn’t!

  5. […] to sit, stand, walk, sleep, pee and well, breathe, tells me I did a good job. Not as good a job as at Christmas when I did a super-good-best-ever-herniation (three for the price of one!) but good enough to put […]

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