“Sleeping on an air mattress for 2 weeks is highly inadvisable!” should be required language on the carton…and not in small print…for seniors like myself who need 3D, neon-colored, flashing letters.
Since my husband was headed on a business trip for a couple of weeks I opted to spend the time with my daughter. Thankfully, the plane ride was much shorter than the one to Europe earlier in the Fall. My body arrived at its destination in one piece, instead of a jumble of puzzle pieces as was its fate after 13 hours or so of flying time before boarding the Queen Mary II.
Rather than acquiesce to displacing my daughter from her bed, especially since she was in rehearsal mode for an upcoming performance, I decided to tough it out on her air mattress. It’s a very good, top-of-the-line model, but back support isn’t a feature for which it’s noted. I learned the hard way when the day before I was to fly home, my lower right back felt as though a knife was embedded deep within.
Getting up and down stairs was painful, as was lowering myself into a chair. So I sat through 2 1/2 hours of a ballet without a break, since I didn’t want to trek back up the stairs until it was time to leave. Not until we were back in my daughter’s apartment did I find respite from the pain by applying a heating pad to my lower back. Rather than catching 40 winks on the air mattress my last night there, I opted to sleep on the sofa.
Afraid I’d suffer through the flight home, my daughter was able to get an emergency appointment for me with her chiropractor the morning I was to leave. Minutes from his office, as we were exiting the freeway and waiting to merge into highway traffic, my daughter’s car was rear-ended by a Jeep Liberty SUV. The jolt shattered our attempt to maintain calm despite the off-and-on pain I was harboring. Probably because we had each other, my daughter and I were able to quickly collect ourselves.
Stepping out of my daughter’s Honda CRV, we realized the young woman driving the other car was a “basket case.” Crying into her cell phone, we weren’t able to make out what she was saying. I asked my daughter to call 911. When she approached the other driver, the first thing we discovered was that she didn’t have a driver’s license. She had car insurance, or rather, her husband did. He was enroute to the scene of the accident as we spoke.
Fortunately for us, the spare tire of my daughter’s Honda CRV stopped the Jeep “cold.” The only damage was a ding in the trunk door and a small tear to the spare tire’s fabric cover. Meanwhile the Jeep’s entire front grille was smashed in, transmission fluid pouring out nonstop. AAA was called to tow that car, while we were able to drive away on our own. Nonetheless my daughter will have her car checked out to make sure the rear axle wasn’t damaged in the collision.
After settling matters with the policeman, my daughter and I continued on to the chiropractor. We were both adjusted. She, because of whiplash symptoms that would surely surface in a day or two. As a result of my treatment, I was able to endure the 5-hour flight home to Seattle and walk off the plain, pretty much pain free. It wasn’t until I tried to get out of bed the following morning that the full impact of my back pain, and lack of sleep weighed heavily.
Taking it easy until I saw my own chiropractor a couple of times, I’m finally making my way back toward normalcy. Lessons learned? An air mattress is a very short term substitute for the real thing. Good chiropractic adjustment is a God-send. Things can get worse…when one thinks they can’t. Compassion at the scene of an accident releases tension and curtails animosity…I gave motherly hugs to the other driver who spoke halting English, and looked to be pregnant.
Was all this worth the trip? Anytime spent with my daughter is more than worth the price paid in dollars and inconveniences to this mother. Life goes on…but cherished moments together…come and go in the blink of an eye.