"I really need to clean the floor in here." I giggled as it dawned on me that I must be crack-brained. Who critiques the cleanliness of their bathroom floor as they lay on it, incapacitated and suffering excruciating pain? My laughing leads me to hurt more, but Nurse Betty finds the whole scene quite funny as well, and so she starts to giggle. And I giggle again, and start to cry because I'm in such pain. It was this whole mess of giggles and pain, giggles and pain. She tells me to stop, but try as I might, I can't. And so I continue, and cry, and she laughs because the whole scene is quite hilarious.
Her BFF is on the floor, can't move, and yet she's bellyaching that the floor could be a tad more clean. Leave it to me.
I guess I should back up 20, no 25, minutes and get you up to speed on the whole scene.
It was a beautiful Saturday morning just one week ago. Yes, birds were chirping and the sun was shining and big puffy white clouds with happy faces were in the sky...or some shit like that. I was sitting on my couch, coffee cup in hand, watching HGTV and the Food Network. Princess was at her dad's, so I didn't have any 11 year old voice in my ear asking me what we were going to do that day or bugging me about any other 11 year old problem she could generate to take my attention away from the TV and place it on her. I was finally starting to feel better after a brief bout of a stress-related illness and thought it was best to get back on the working out wagon of doom. Here's where the suspenseful music would begin to play in the movie of my life, warning of the impending danger. Da dum, da dum, da dum.... (Who would play me? Maybe someone fabulous like Drew Barrymore? Of course she does have that whole stroke-victim mannerism in the way she talks and I don't, so maybe not. I do look similar to Tiffany Amber-Theissen, but the entire time I watched the movie, I'd be thinking "Why is Kelley Kapowski playing me? Shouldn't she be worried if Zack and Slater are going to be getting into trouble with Mr. Belding?")
I was texting back and forth with Nurse Betty and had decided to be lazy and not go jogging, despite the fact that I swore to myself that I would. Enter self-deprecating guilt. One minute I was vowing to sit on the couch until 12, drink another pot of coffee, and then maybe get up when I was damn well inclined to do so, the next I was up, getting into workout attire, texting Nurse Betty that I changed my mind, and was in the bathroom brushing my teeth. (Suspense music becomes louder. "Da dum, da dum, da dum" goes the Jaws music.)
Once I decide that I'm going to work out I can't put it off even five minutes otherwise I'll talk myself out of it. So I'm in the bathroom brushing my teeth and suddenly I hear a POP! and I was down on my knees. In pain. Excruciating pain. I'm holding onto the counter and sink like I'm hanging off the side of the Titanic. My back. Is it there still? I think it's become detached. Am I suddenly Mr. Potato Head and someone simply pulled it off? I feel, but it's still there. Damn! It must be that nun chuck-wielding tooth fairy of hatred again, out to inflict pain on innocent people! Get the flyswatter! I grab the phone that I had brought into the bathroom and slither to the ground, kind of like when a cartoon character gets flattened and slinks down to the floor like paint drippings.
I'm scared. I can't move. Legs won't move because my back won't support them. My mind raced. And I called Nurse Betty in tears while clutching the base of the Titanic-esque toilet for support. I ask her to come over as soon as possible because I can't move. She races over in her jammies and stands over me trying to assess my vitals. Should we call 911? Should we let me just take a few moments and try to get up myself once the spasms subside? We decide on the latter option, but more so because my stupid pride wouldn't have any part of me being carried out on a stretcher for all my nosey neighbors to see.
The entire time I was on the floor waiting for Nurse Betty to get to my house, I was thanking myself for having an annoying, OCD-like need to carry my phone everywhere. Had I not had my phone, I might've spent hours on that floor. It was bad enough that the Stupid Baby Cat - she's literally stupid, but oh so cute! - was positioned on the seat of the toilet with her white paws, pink nose and fat face hanging over the side, staring at me as if to ask "why you no get up and plays with me?"
No phone equals no lifeline. Would I be stuck there until someone figures out that I've been awfully quiet for two days? It's not as if the cats can exactly warn people of my predicament, and I don't own Lassie. It's like that one episode of SATC where Miranda chokes on her dinner in her newly purchased apartment and she goes into freakout mode, worrying that she'd die and her cat would feast on her remains, thus leading her to overfeed said cat. The phrase "I've fallen and I can't get up" suddenly came to mind, and I was scared.
And this brings us to the giggles, pain, tears, and more giggles. In my time of need, Nurse Betty was there to take care of me. She got me to the ER, harassed my nurse into giving me pain meds after 30 minutes in a bed with no attention, turned off that stupid blood pressure machine that chooses to squeeze my arm off every 10 minutes, and picked me up in my clouded haze of pain meds 3 hours later when I was discharged. She filled my prescription, brought me back to her house to sleep and tucked me in her bed. That night, she roasted a chicken for me. Who does this? Who takes their Saturday plans and throws them out the window for you when you're in need? Your BFF.
We all have them. They have been with you through thick and thin - ah, thin - and they know things about you that no one else does. They know. And they don't just know, they know know. They know without telling anyone. They laugh with you, fight with you, and stand by you and your decisions. They push you to do better, push you to succeed, push you to become your better self. But along the way, they are there. There congratulating you, there consoling you, and there to laugh.
I have to look at my life after this event and realize how lucky I am. Nurse Betty is a kindred spirit; a sister. And when I have to use it, I have insurance to pay for emergency services. The fact that these emergency services lead to some outstanding pain meds that make you dream of happy puppies and kittens is simply a bonus! I'm also lucky enough to own a broom and Pine Sol to mop my bathroom floor, which I promptly did on Sunday night in a drug-laden fit of insomnia and hyper-reaction to Benadryl.
At least the next time that the nun chuck-wielding tooth fairy of hatred decides to club my back, I'll have a clean floor to land on. It's all about priorities, superficial and crack-brained as they may be.