Hello friends and family! It’s been a while since my last update. I was shocked to realize today that there is only about 5 weeks left in this semester, meaning my project due dates are all crazy close, so I’ve been a little busy.
As my last few posts have been a bit heavy, today I am going to regale you with the tragically pitiful, 100% true, funny-if-it-hadn’t-happened-to-me tale of That Time I Got Stuck on the Floor.
Tuesdays are my busiest day of the week. I work first thing in the morning, have class right after, and then go to my campus ministry’s weekly meeting. Normally this means that by the time I’m chatting with my ministry friends, I’m quite tired. The week this story takes place, I was exhausted.
I had thrown my back out the week before doing God-knows-what, so I was a little grumpy, a lot sore, and 100% done with it all. Towards the end of the meeting my back really started to twinge, so I decided it was time for me to stop ignoring it and actually do some physical therapy stretches. Now, I didn’t just want to get up in the middle of it all, lay down on the floor, and rhythmically lift my legs 30 times. The campus ministry room has a closet in the back that’s part storage, part I-need-a-moment space, so I got up and went back there, careful not to disturb the discussion happening.
Once back there, I eased myself onto the floor and began my stretches. Cat/cow, leg lifts, child’s pose. The whole deal. It wasn’t until I did my 30 seconds of rest before getting up when I realized, I couldn’t. I couldn’t get up. I was stuck.
I wish I could say this was the first time this had happened to me. It wasn’t. I wish I could say that because this had happened before, I knew how to deal with it. I didn’t. I wish I could say that I dealt with this rationally.
The thing about this particular campus ministry meeting was that we were discussing some pretty heavy scripture and it was making people really emotionally vulnerable. And we weren’t discussing it in our normal small groups. Oh no. We were going around, talking one at a time, so everyone could hear. This meant that any call for help would interrupt the entire group. So, due to a clever mix of brain fog and generalized anxiety, I did not call for help. Instead I decided my best course of action was to be quiet and wait it out until someone came into the back room and could help me up. If they didn’t step on me first, that is.
Remember the heavy scripture I mentioned? Apparently it was such a good discussion that no one wanted to leave and go to the back room to refill their drink, grab another cookie, or say, help out the pitiful twenty-two year-old living Life Alert commercial.
So there I lay. And I waited. For 20 minutes. All because I was too anxious to interrupt the discussion.
*Insert intense facepalm*
Eventually there was a pause in conversation, and right as I was steeling the courage to alert people to my current state of carpet impersonator, someone said “Hey, where’s Alex?” I responded, “I’m back here! Pastor Laura, can you come back here for a moment?”
The rest of the ministry’s conversation continued and my amazing, wonderful, confused pastor came into the room to see what was wrong.
“… look down…”
I wish I were kidding.
Pastor Laura quickly realized that she couldn’t help me up on her own. She could pull me to my feet, sure, but that would cause immense pain and possibly further damage, so we decided help was required.
Interjection time. I love my campus ministry. I love them to death. We are full of people who are passionate, love God, love each other, and care for the state of the world. It is worth noting however that we do not do well when it comes to subtlety.
There were only a few minutes left in the meeting; we were about to do our evening prayer and say goodnight, so PL and I decided she would wait until the room cleared out a bit before calling in the reinforcements. That way I would be less likely to become a spectacle. So off PL went to lead the group in our closing prayer, and I continued to lay on the floor, becoming quite familiar with the water damage on the ceiling someone really should check out.
I had just remembered that our evening prayers are done with electric candles, overhead lights turned off, and that the back room lights were also connected to the switch when-
Aaaaaand, it’s dark.
To my credit, I tried to make the best of the situation. I really did. I had never realized just how dark the back room became without light, and how bright the stars could be, coming through the window. I took a moment to breathe, relax, and think about my blessings.
Then the lights flashed back on, blinding me in the process I might add, and people started, ever so slowly, to leave. Eventually only Pastor Laura, the Methodist seminary student Rachel, and my friend T.J were left. I didn’t see them come in as I was still doing an involuntary staring contest with the ceiling. But I heard them come in, and then pause as Pastor Laura explained the situation.
The three musketeers helped me up and drove me home, making sure I had enough painkillers in my system to sedate a small elephant, and informing my roommates of my invalid status.
The next day I was able to pry myself out of bed and drive, oh so carefully, to see my acupuncturist. You wouldn’t think that sticking a bunch of tiny needles in someone could do any sort of good, but the spasmings eased and I was able to breathe freely again. Quite literally.
There isn’t really a moral to this story, unless you count ‘always bring your phone with you when doing physical therapy’.
I’m able to laugh at this entire situation because A.) I’m no longer in as much pain B.) I’ve never taken myself very seriously and can recognize that this is the most ridiculous situation to happen outside of a sitcom, and C.) I’m not embarrassed. Chronic Illness and disability leaves very little room for embarrassment, and frankly, who has the time?
And truth be told, as my Dad likes to say, “People with inner dignity are never embarrassed”.
Someone really should check out those water stains though.