On Becoming Useless…

In 2014, I was hit by a car in a rather “classic” hit-and-run while exiting a biking trail.  While the damage definitely could have been a lot worse, what did happen was bad enough, nasty scarring on my right calf for one, some lacerations, some bruises, and most significantly, a severe herniation of the L5/S1 disc that required emergency surgery.

My surgeon for the procedure was excellent, explaining that this was as close to a routine surgery of the spine as you can have.  But even then, she also told me that it was never going to completely heal.  I was never going to go back to what I was.  It was merely a matter of sustaining function as long as I could before the inevitable.

A sign of that inevitability came this morning, as I was informed that I would be given “lifelong” restrictions at my day job.  There are going to be elements of what I did that I shouldn’t ever do again for the sake of my health (and ability to walk).

It’s… been a blow, to be honest.  I did everything I could to avoid having this meeting, because I knew this was what I was going to hear.  I spent most of my adult life trying to be the guy that you could count on, that could do anything you needed.  And now I can’t.  Now I get to be lumped in with the stigma of “lazy” people.

“If you can do [x], why can’t you do [y]?”

“If you can do [y] for twenty minutes, why can’t you do it for eight hours?”

Here in the US of A, this is part of the “working man” motif, and not even I am immune to it.  Even if by all rationality, I should be celebrating this good thing… I can’t.  I’m no longer the “good worker.”  I can’t be.  Now I’m the “useless worker,” the “lazy” one.

And it hurts.

It’s probably going to hurt for a while, at least until a new normal sets in.

Here’s hoping.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: