“I just can’t,” I said as I rubbed my lower back moments after sitting my tray with chicken and waffles on the table. “My back feels like it’s on fire. It’s spasming so much it’s uncomfortable to even sit.”
“Want me to walk next door to the office and get your pain meds?” Matt asked.
“No, I have to get some food in me first.”
“Would ice help?” Alex asked.
Alex rushed towards the kitchen and returned with a bag of ice. Once it was in place, my back relaxed enough for me to eat while standing.
“There’s got to be an elevator,” Matt and Sixto said, nearly in unison.
The two of them found an easier way for me to get back to the newsroom. The rest of the day I had an ice pack on my back and pain meds flowing through me.
“It’s a good thing I took meds,” I uttered as I waited online for 35 minutes at the post office to mail holiday gifts.
“I don’t have time now to get food,” I thought as dodged umbrellas in the rain on the way to Times Square.
15 minutes later, I arrived at the Hudson Theatre to meet my mentee Emily to see the Broadway musical, “Head Over Heels.”
“How am I going to make it through this. I’m already slumped over at a 65 degrees angle. My spinal pain is giving me a severe headache. Lord help me! All she asked for is my time. I have to give her that.”
I put a few drops of CBD oil under my tongue and forced a smile as Emily chatted about her Parsi roots like Freddy Mercury, her history paper, and the other shows she’s seen. Minutes later the curtain opened and the show began.
I’m fading fast, I thought as I twisted repeatedly I’m my seat, which was made for someone shorter than 5’9”.
At 10:25, I led Emily back to the subway then to her LIRR train. As I turned to walk to mine, I saw a dance party behind me in NY Penn Station. As I watched, I envied the joyful movements of strangers.
I hope my spinal procedures allow me to dance like these people, I thought. Who am I kidding? I’ve never had any rhythm.
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