I hate my back.
And I also hate the word hate, but my back has pushed me across the line of severe dislike into the deep, icky area of hate. I hate my back. And not just because it is causing me pain whether I am sitting, standing or sleeping.
I hate my back because it has made me doubt myself in many different ways.
1. As a mother.
Since my back injury, I have not been able to lift the boys at all. Now, with BigBrother, this is not an issue as I couldn’t really lift him anyway. He’s too tall, too long, too heavy. LittleBrother, however, is still rather small and needs help with various things. When we traveled with FireDad this summer, I had to have LittleBrother crawl in and out of our SUV by himself as I couldn’t help him. And once, when he was throwing a fit in a restaurant, I forgot about my back due to the
crazy anger and embarrassment adrenaline surge, lifted him out of his seat to go outside and talk and paid for that move for quite some time afterward.
Beyond logistical issues, I can’t run around in the yard with the boys. I can’t walk them to the local city park as we were known to do regularly. I can’t lift them to the monkey bars. I can’t even push the darn swings. It hurts me to sit on the floor and play a game of Chutes & Ladders or Cariboo. I can sit and blow bubbles — but not for too long as it hurts to stay in the same position for more than five minutes. I can’t bend over the tub to wash them. When I cuddle up with them in bed to read a story, it hurts so bad to get out of the bed and stand up.
I feel like a useless mommy.
2. As a woman who used to be pretty darn happy with her body.
Lack of exercise means change in body shape. Which has made me question my self-image. Big time.
The weight gain is not my favorite part about this back injury. I am not feeling like myself because I don’t feel like I look like myself. My clothes do not fit properly. I sometimes get all stubborn and force myself to walk two miles — and then I can’t move for days afterward. As someone who had taken back to running and was at yoga class twice a week, the lack of movement has hit me hard — especially considering that movement and exercise help me manage my anxiety.
I don’t like the way I look right now. And when I would feel that way before, I’d go for a walk or a run and remind myself to eat well. But now I can’t walk or run and the anxiety builds up and I say, “Screw eating well! I need comfort food.” And the scale keeps tipping.
3. As a wife and partner.
See above and add in relationship-based body insecurity. Of course, my husband keeps telling me reassuring things like “you look great!” and “I love you!” And I look at him with an eyebrow raised, the “Daphne Returns” episode of Fraiser playing in my head. Is he blinded to my change in shape by his love? Or is he just a smart man?
A clip from the middle of the episode in which Fraiser tells Niles that his perception of Daphne is blurred by his intense attraction to her.
I don’t know.
I do know that my back is not healing as quickly as I’d like. Or as quickly as my chiropractor would like. And an MRI is going to be scheduled soon… and I don’t like that either. I don’t like feeling this way — the not knowing what is next, the self-doubt, the mother-doubt. I also hate shuffling around like someone’s Great-great Grandmother. (I can’t even say Great-grandmother because mine walks better than me right now.)
I’d give anything to wake up tomorrow and feel better. Then again, I’d also like to win the lottery, have a book published or make sure BigBrother never comes home from Kindergarten in tears ever again. All of those seem somewhat doubtful too.