Monday, February 28, 2011

Monday Reruns: Sciatic Vocabulary

(original post-date: February 24, 2010)

A NOTE BEFORE READING: If you find certain four-letter words (specifically, the ones that begin with “f” and “s”) offensive, then take a break from my blog and come back next week. Otherwise…

A few years ago in January, I woke up on a Sunday morning with fun plans for the day. But in less than a minute, I realized the hours ahead would not be quite as entertaining as I had anticipated. I couldn’t move. Or rather, I couldn’t get out of bed without using my arms to mobilize my right leg and hip. Something was very wrong, and the pain was unfamiliar.

Once I had made it to my feet, I inched my way into the kitchen and prepared some coffee. And once my cup was prepped, I did what I always do when I don’t feel well. I called my mom.

I realize that might sound childish coming from a woman my age, but the fact is, I have always been relatively adult, and so I deprived my mother of ministering to a certain amount of child-like behavior back when my height would have made it appropriate. I think she likes it when I call her with complaints of a stomach ache or whatever. And in this instance, although I couldn’t describe my ailment precisely, I had a strong need to whine to her and hear her voice.

I should mention, before I revisit the conversation itself, that my mother rarely cusses, and she has never, to my knowledge, dropped the “f-bomb.” She’s heard it, of course. From me. From my sister. Even from our late Dad (who felt particularly comfortable using the word once my sister and I had set a precedent). So I don’t mean to imply that Mom lives in a bubble. In fact, she is the very person who shared with me this little piece of etymology: did you know that the “f-bomb” is actually an acronym used by law enforcement in the UK? It represents for unlawful carnal knowledge.


So that’s my mom. A font of information and a woman who stands by her scruples.

I was pacing in my living room when I called her that January morning. After the difficulty getting out of bed, I knew that sitting down would probably be an unwise idea. Particularly as it would need to be followed, at some point, by standing up.

“Mom,” I said, genuine concern in my voice. “Something is wrong. I don’t know what it is.”

She asked some logical follow-up questions, and as I paced, I frequently felt extremely sharp pains.

“Fuck!” I blurted out, after one especially sharp jolt.

“Shit!” after another.

I continued to try to describe what I was feeling --

“Fuck! Shit!”

-- and how I didn’t recall doing anything particular to cause it.

“Fuck!” (the pain jolts kept coming…)

I shared that I’d been exercising quite consistently in the past month --


-- so having some sort of sudden physical problem like this --


-- just didn’t make sense.

There was a pause in my tirade, and my mother waited a moment. Then, she asked the irresistible question.

“Are you sure it’s not Turrets?”

POSTSCRIPT: As you might have gathered from the title of this piece, my ailment turned out to be sciatica. Avoid it if you can! (It’ll fuck with you.)


Andrea said...

Somehow I'm not surprised that your mother is a wit, Katie.

I've had sciatica. No fun. I'm sorry. Ibuprofen? Physical therapy? Stretching? I can't remember what I did for it--maybe all three. Good luck. I hope it passes quickly.

Anonymous said...

Oh Katie, that did make me laugh! Your mother's dry sense of humour must be a tonic in itself. I had sciatica when pregnant - extremely painful and not to be under rated. Enjoyed this so much I read it twicew :-)

Sioux said...

Your mother is a hoot! You may have not gotten your mouth from your mother, but you certainly got her sense of humor. (That particular "bomb" you spoke of is my favorite word, much to the dismay of my "proper" best friend...)

Hiromi Stone said...

Hi Katie, your post made me laugh. Your mom is great, I can see why you would call her. I too have had sciatica. I remember I was working in an office at the time and so would be sitting for most of the day. The jolt when I stood up, I can still remember. Hope it's better now.

Mel said...

I'm sympathetic to your physical discomfort and certainly hope it doesn't act up often. But, fuck, that ending was funny as shit!

Deb Shucka said...

That made me laugh out loud. The acorn (you) did not fall far from that oak for sure.

I hope your sciatica healed quickly and has stayed away.

Love your mom!

Cheryl said...

Why yes, I did spew Diet Coke all over the screen. Thank you so much.

The Falconer's Wife said...

LOL! Great story!