The day before I published the week 9 wrap up I had my first visit with the OB and during that visit Joel watched Sisu so that I didn’t need to wrangle a toddler while having all my lady parts checked out. During that time she got a little restless and as he was picking her up she threw her weight. His back was a little sore, nothing severe, so we tried to ignore the pain and moved on. Unfortunately the pain just slowly got worse until the following Wednesday when Joel woke up very stiff.
He had limited range of motion and was in a lot of pain, so we agreed that he should take a shower to try to relax his sore back before he headed to work. I helped him into the shower and told him I was running the trash to the dumpster and would be right back. In about five minutes I returned to find Sisu very upset and crying at the gate and I hear Joel moaning, yelling, and grunting in the shower. When I rushed in to see what was wrong, I found him crumpled on the floor of the shower, unable to move with the shower spraying in his face. I quickly adjusted the shower and asked him what happened. He told me that he was standing in the hot water, rubbing his back, when all of a sudden he felt his muscles kind of “give out” along his back, making it crumple like a tin can. In a split second, and thanks to our Jujitsu training, he was able to decide to take a semi-controlled fall. For the second time that training probably saved him severe injury. He was completely unable to move, so we drew a hot bath to soothe the pain a bit and made a few calls, as it was obvious he wasn’t going to work. We debated calling an ambulance and called my mother, who graciously came over as soon as she was able to watch Sisu and lend us her car temporarily, as Joel’s car is stick. It took us about four hours to get from the bath tub to dressed to mobile enough to go to the ER, but we got there eventually by God’s grace. It’s a miracle we made it at all.
The ER visit was about what you would expect. A long wait in the most uncomfortable position possible, then a gurney bed, x-rays, and pain medicine. As soon as Joel stopped rolling in pain, they wrote us a couple of prescriptions, told us to follow up with Joel’s primary care, and kicked us out. We fought tooth and nail to get into see a doctor before the weekend, and a few hours before his current medications would have run out we saw a physician. The pain medicine was adjusted to something more manageable and he was recommend physical therapy. There were a few days where he couldn’t do much more than lay on the bed, and it was stressful on everyone. Sisu could tell that something was up and wanted desperately to help but didn’t know exactly how. Joel was frustrated that the injury had happened at all, particularly because no one had a clear explanation other than “well, sometimes these kind of things just happen.” And personally, I was stretched a bit thin and constantly tired.
Luckily we got into a physical therapist the next week (after jumping through a bunch of hoops, thank you government regulated health insurance industry). Once he was able to begin physical therapy things began to improve at a much better pace. The recommended home exercises had a dramatic impact on day to day life and I’m glad to say that these past few days he’s been able to go most of the day pain and medication free.
On top of Joel’s injury we had the problem of figuring out how I was going to drive us around since I am only in the process of learning stick and Joel could not drive on his medication. My parents graciously loaned us their extra vehicle, for which I could not be thankful enough. Additionally we had a very large shoot yesterday/this morning which was very costume intensive and I had let costumes go more than I should have, so there was a ton of last minute work to accomplish on my end. Then last week we got a call that there was an outstanding bill for the hospital from Sisu’s birth that my Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance never covered (because they SUCK) and the only way to pay it was through a collection service or in full to the hospital directly. Since we had just enough to scrape by and I don’t trust collection services at all we paid the bill in full. What can I say; when it rains it pours.
All of this to say that the past few weeks have been very stressful, but they’re certainly looking up. I’m feeling pretty well all things considered. Our lives have been turned upside down a few times over these past weeks, but I’ve been constantly reminding all of us that it can always get worse. Of course, every time I say this something seems to hit the fan. *shrug*
As far as the pregnancy goes, I am super excited to report that there has been some intermittent kicking coming from bebe. The first kick nearly knocked me over, it was so sudden and strong. I’m hoping that the strength of the kicks is a reflection that I don’t have an anterior placenta this time around and not a reflection that this baby is significantly stronger than Sisu because I like my ribs in tact, thank you very much. I am beginning to feel as if I can’t catch my breath because my diaphragm is beginning to be compressed, but it’s not constant and not severe yet. Now that the little squid has kicked around a bit I’m starting to get really excited, which is what happened with Sisu as well. At the beginning I felt like everyone was astronomically more excited than I was, but I think I just become excited much more gradually. I think I’d say I’m comfortably excited about the baby, but I just can’t go gaga just yet.
We’ll see what happens when we find out the gender in January. ^.^