The Roll Over Accident

The glass doors to the VA’s emergency room shushed open as he hobbled in from the parking lot where he had left his truck.

“Thank goodness,” I said to myself as I sat down knowing that sooner or later a doctor would be able to check out my ailing back.

The trouble began early that morning. I was lying in bed about half asleep when he rolled over; as he did he felt or mostly heard a pop emanate from someplace near his hips.

This noise led to a sudden numbing sensation that left me unable to move or even speak for several minutes. I laid there in bed next to Mary believing I was on the verge of death.

“I’m having a stroke,” he told myself as tears gently slipped down my face and onto my pillow.

Soon the numbness subsided.

A tingling sensation replaced the numbness — thousands of needles and tiny jolts of electricity shooting through my body. The pain eventually drove me to try to get out of bed.

At first my lower half did not want to respond and then once it did, it was torture. I had never felt such agony before and it caused me to cry out.

My lower back hurt worse than it ever had before. I felt a wave of panic rush around me as I struggled to sit up and place my legs over the side of the bed.

It took me a couple of minutes, but I finally stood up. I had been afraid that if I tried too soon, I might fall and find myself in worse shape.

After about fifteen minutes I could feel the bottom of my feet again as well as my legs. The horrible pain in my lower back was still there but I figured that if I didn’t twist, turn or bend I could live with it.

As I stood up the pain grew into a stabbing pain that shot through my body, from neck and foot. I knew then I had to get to the doctor’s office or an emergency room.

Sweating as I pulled on my jeans, I thought about how I had just retired after twenty-five years of working.

“I was looking forward to some relaxation,” I told myself, “now I can’t even get my own pants on. I can’t believe this is happening now.”

That’s when I discovered that my left foot and leg were very weak.

“You’re going to have to drive” I told Mary as she was getting dressed.

She helped me limp to the truck and get in. I found myself short of breath due to the pain in my back. Within minutes we were en route to the Veterans Hospital in downtown Reno.

“I hope they have good drugs,” I said aloud.

Mary looked at me in surprise because she knew I didn’t take pain medication.

After checking in at triage, I was told to have a seat, that the doctor would see me in a little while. I couldn’t find a comfortable position as every position was just as painful as the one before.

Shifting again, I looked at Mary, “I remember when rolling out of bed was jus’ something I said,” then I added, “I never really thought I’d be rolling out of bed for real!”

We both laughed. Then it occurred to me that I was in this position simply because I had rolled over in bed.

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