Saturday morning I was negotiating my way through my atrociously messy office when I tried to step over something, and failed spectacularly.

As my heel came down on the corner of the milk crate (don’t ask) with the weight of my body behind it, a chain reaction took place. It was like when you stub your finger — hard — only with my leg being stubbed into my back. The pain was instant and unbelievable. The muscles in the middle of my back seized up tighter than a Marine’s first haircut. I managed to get into the living room before I collapsed to the floor.

I lay there barely able to breathe and in so much pain I couldn’t even writhe in pain. I heard my four-year-old say solemnly above me, “I think she’s gonna die.”

I had not ruled out the possibility.

DearDR heard my cries, and came downstairs at top speed to see what had happened. As he put it later, “The only time I’ve heard you make sounds like that was when you were in labor.”

Once he determined that I was not going to die, but I certainly wasn’t going to move under my own power for a bit, he said, “This is Jesus’ way of telling us we have to clean the office.”

I eventually made it to the couch. A phone consultation with Dr. Sis was not encouraging. “It sounds like a compression fracture,” she told me. “You should probably get to an emergency room for an X-ray.”

Now considering everything else that was going on at The Compound, and that DearDR was heading out to see his Saturday patients and visit his father, this was going to require some amazing logistical luck. Additionally, I wasn’t supposed to be icing my back on the couch: I had grocery shopping to do, two birthday parties, and then a grown-up party with some Twitter people to get to. I didn’t have time for a bloody compression fracture and X-ray.

After another half-an-hour, I made it up onto my feet and discovered that walking was possible. I called Dr. Sis back.

“I can walk,” I said.

“Does it hurt more when you’re standing?”


“Okay, it’s probably not a compression fracture.” She gave me a couple other symptoms to look for in case it was a disc issue (among them, increasing pain during the day), and advocated for me to go to a chiropractor as soon as I could (which I plan to do). She was moving to Wilmington, North Carolina, that very day and offered to stop in Pittsburgh on her way out of Erie. I told her to call when she was leaving; if I could, I was still planning to make it out of the house. (We did end up missing each other as I was already at a b-day party when she would have been in the ‘burgh. Well, she tried, and I am grateful.)

I missed one of the birthday parties (Happy Birthday, Alex! You’re even cuter at 2!), but made it to the second one (one of Monkey’s day school friends). After the girls and I got home, I turned them over to the babysitter, and gingerly freshened up for the Pizza-Off. We got there incredibly late (considering the party started at 3 p.m., and we didn’t make it until 7), but Uncle Crappy had saved some pizza for us, and there was still beer to be had. We had a lovely night, which, considering how the day had started, was a big relief.

Two days later, my back is still tender, and stiffens up if I stay in one position too long. If it gets too achy, ibuprophen helps. I am going to see a chiropractor this week. Which I am sincerely hoping is much less eventful than last.