Sunday, June 9, 2013

what's wrong with your toenails and why do you smell like Mentholatum?

These are the questions that I expect my friends to be asking me in the next few days.
Mostly, because the people who are close to me value pleasant smells and a good pedicure.
And I will tell them it all started a few weeks ago I was helping a friend organize her closets
and I lifted one too many things. My back spoke to me like a stern teacher and said,
"You really shouldn't do that." I try to ignore my back when it is mean like that.
And then I decided I should sweep my kitchen and my back said,
"Really? I thought we had words the other day. Apparently, you are hearing impaired."
So I listened a little and laid down with my giant ice pack.
And then came the craziest day of my life, my mom's heart attack, and my sister
Jenny and I rushed to jump on a plane to meet up with my other siblings at Mom's
bedside in Colorado. Sitting in fear and anxiety for three hours on a plane did nothing
to aid the situation.
We got 6 hours of sleep in the first 48 hours and tried to sleep on hospital furniture.
At this point my back started getting sarcastic and saying things like,
"You must be out of your ever loving mind." Which of course, I was.
And Jenny said, "I have these cooling and heating strips that really help my back."
And I said, "They smell like Ben Gay." And then said two seconds later, "Hit me with it."
Hence, the Mentholatum.
There was a point in the hospital when my Mom had just come out of her coma
that we could tell she was distressed, and all of the sudden I realized I might black out.
The room started closing in and I tried to get low to the ground and get my head between
my knees. This is difficult to do with a hurt back.
So mostly, I just looked like I was bowing. My family thought I was praying.
I am not that spiritual.
My dad helped me out to the hall where I laid down flat on my back against the cool floor of
the ICU.
I love you, ICU floor.
Until the nurse came by and looked at me, and said, essentially,
"Hey, weirdo, get up off my floor."
I forgave him since he was such an awesome nurse to my mom but I looked up at him and
said, "No. I am laying here."
I wanted Jenny to put menthol strips up and down the entire length of my back like a ladder.
But I am sure you are wondering what this has to do with my toenails.
We are two weeks out from the miracle day when Mom came back to us.
Our best and brightest day to date.
But my back has not recovered. Sometimes our bodies are way too in sync with our
mental and emotional condition and they all sing the same song that says,
"Everything is crazy nuts and we think you need to lay down for a month."
But that is not really an option at this point. We have some celebrating to do.
I got to fly back to Colorado and help take care of my mom this past week.
It was a huge blessing to me to get to see my mom healing and my dad recovering from
the most challenging crisis of his life.
Every moment, every chat, every cup of coffee with them, was a gift.
She was barely using a walker by the time I left...I thought I might need to bring it
home with me to use for myself.
Getting back home to my boys on Friday was so good!
I got lots of hugs and kisses and became reacquainted with my giant ice pack.
I love you, giant ice pack.
Then yesterday, we got to celebrate with our good friends, Steve and Jenn Corrales.
Their oldest son, Tyler, graduated from high school and they threw a big party for him.
And I realized the sad truth as I looked for something to wear to the party.
In the chaos of these past few weeks, I had let myself go.
My toenails told the story.
A left over pedicure from April had cemented itself to my nail beds.
Like a very large french manicure gone horribly awry.
I had about a 1/4 teaspoon of nail polish remover and one cotton make up pad to work with.
As I tried to lean over to strip the polish off, my back started up its conversation again,
It said things like,
"Are you on crack?" and "Not in this lifetime."
And so I decided to wear flats instead of cute sandals....until Scott said,
"I don't think your shoes work with your dress."
Which I was already thinking but I didn't want him to say out loud.
And so I headed back to the bathroom to try and paint over my half painted
toenails with a darker color, a sad effort to disguise the mayhem that lay underneath.
I did this with a lot of grunts and Lamaze breathing exercises.
The end result? It looks like I invited a 3 year old to paint my toenails....
with her eyes closed.
But these are days of joy so I am going with it.
Also, because I can't actually bend over to fix it.
So to all of you who know me and love me...a little grace, please.
My back and toenails are still protesting the wildness of these past 17 days.
Don't mock me too much...just rejoice with me that better days lie ahead.
God is merciful and good. My mom is on the mend. My dad is getting some rest.
I am back home with my boys and my giant ice pack.
And I think see a pedicure in my future.


Shoelady said...

Hang in there, sister. Your joy and relief are spilling over to all of us. Praise the Lord for your mom's recovery.

Deborah Minter said...

So glad to hear that your mom is doing well and recovering.