A wave of panic washed over me when I realized I was in the bathroom at work without my phone and I was having trouble standing. “How long will I take for someone to find me in here,” I wondered. “And, if they do, how embarrassing will this be.”
I used the rails in the handicap stall to get through my feet as pain shot through my body. Still, I hobbled over to the sinks. Just then, my coworker Lauren walked in and asked if I needed help. I reluctantly told her about my pain but I assured her it’s probably fleeting.
Hunched over, I made it to my desk. I was unable to sit upright so I took a pain pill. My coworkers began asking, “are you okay?” “Do you want some water?” One shut off my computer so I’d stop trying to work. Another asked if I wanted them to call my fiancé. Someone got a wheelchair while others like Bill, Sade and Kim offered their bodies to support mine.
I just wanted to get up and walk outside to avoid the concerned crowd gathered around me. I was humiliated and increasingly worried that something serious like paralysis was occurring. Second later, I could hear my fiancé’s voice in my ear. He said, “I’m going to get you out of here. I’m going to stand you up. It’s going to hurt but just lean on me.”
I felt like I was being electrified when I rose to my feet. However, I kept my eyes locked in him. I focused on his strength in that moment rather than my pain as he guided me to the elevator and to J.R.’s car. He and my coworker, K, got me all strapped in.
We barely drove the speed limit and avoided potholes the whole way home as I leaned against the ice pack from J.R.’s lunch bag. J.R. kept apologizing and asking if I was okay.
Once there, my fiancé and J.R. lifted me up the stairs into my house. They rolled me over on the sofa to connect my TENS device, to rub on my CBD balm and to cover my back in ice. My fiancé cared for me all night.
I woke up this morning, stiff but with no pain. Still, I put my relief supplies in my work bag. I’m confident today will be better because no matter what happens I have an army of people by my side.
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