With a bad back from a big bed

January 12, 2019 | My Jottings

I don’t like being in bed. I mean, I like being in bed when it’s time to be in bed, around 9:00 at night until around 5:00 or 6:00 in the morning. But being in bed when you have injured your back is not a very good situation. I forget that I am in my sixties and can’t or shouldn’t do foolish things anymore, like lift my king-size bed so some risers can be placed underneath the posts. I felt the twangy pull across the sacro-iliac area when I lifted, and a groan of “ooohhh noooo” went through my brain, and then I lowered the bed. I was okay for a couple of days, just a little sore but functioning. Today I am not as okay, and I am a large amount of sore and pretty much lacking in the functioning department.

So on this gray Saturday, I am trying to get comfortable and hoping that my back will heal and that nothing catastrophic has occurred. I still have my nightgown on, some soft music is playing on the David Nevue Pandora channel, my little electric fireplace is “blazing” cheerily, and I have a good book at hand.

Today is my middle daughter Carolyn’s birthday, and we celebrated last night with her family, my oldest daughter Sharon’s family, Jeremy’s parents and his grandmother. I decided last week to have the meal catered, and how fortuitous that was, with my back and all. It was the first time I’ve ever hired a caterer and it was such a treat to watch the Duluth Grill van arrive, uniformed people hop out and carry hot and delicious food into the house, set it up with little fires underneath, and have everything be ready to serve. We had lasagna, chicken marsala, wild rice pilaf, smashed potatoes with parmesan, fresh marinated green beans, spring greens salad with homemade dressings, focaccia bread, and roasted Brussels sprouts. Sharon made a deep, dark chocolate cake and I don’t think a person here went home hungry. In fact, there was enough left over that three families will be having yummy leftovers tonight.

I was supposed to attend a snowmobile club banquet with Lloyd today, but I had to bow out since attending the event would require me to get dressed and be upright for a couple of hours.

I checked today and it has been 1,433 days since Michael moved to heaven. How can over a thousand days pass without my seeing him? How do we survive without the ones we love? I couldn’t tell you a fancy answer to that, except that the Lord gets us through, an hour at a time, then a day, a week, a month at a time.

I remember in the late 1980s when carpentry work in our area was scarce and Michael got a good paying temporary job in West Virginia. He and a friend drove to Marlington, lived in a tiny trailer and worked 18 hour shifts for 49 days, and I couldn’t believe we’d been apart for so long.

After Michael died I used to visit his grave quite a lot. It was a lot more often than I had ever pictured myself doing. I found great comfort reading the words on his grave stone, watching the ducks and geese in the ponds, praying and thanking God for all He had done for us. Now I might visit two or three times a month. I was there a couple of days ago and the snow was deep and the sun was setting. The wreath my youngest daughter Sara made stands there, telling whoever sees it what a loved, missed man Michael is.

As I recline awkwardly in my bed today, I see a basket of unfolded, clean white laundry on the ottoman of my plaid bedroom chair. Mildred the aging Schnauzer is laying at my feet on her side, looking so scruffy and unkempt and breathing deeply. She wants to be fed and I’ll do that as soon as I publish this post. Strewn across my bed are pieces of today’s mail with piles of catalogs I never peruse, two devotional books, my purse, some foster care paperwork, a wrist brace, and some prayer beads. It’s almost dusk, but I can still see the snow-covered Wisconsin shoreline as I look way across this southern tip of Lake Superior. I can see that there’s no wind today, and that the chickadees are enjoying my feeder on the front deck.

I was asked to speak at a women’s retreat this April, and I hope to spend a lot of time working on that tomorrow, even if I’m still hobbled. I was surprised to be asked since I am not familiar with the church, which is three hours south of me. I will speak four times in one weekend, all on the theme of Psalm 112:7: They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them. I prayed about it when I was asked, and only agreed after much trepidation and what I felt was a clear confirmation from God. I’ve done this a couple of times, but have never been comfortable doing it, and always have second thoughts after saying yes. My friend Lorna told me, “Julie, you’ll do what you can and show up, and God will do the rest.” I keep hanging on to that.

Well, I see that it’s time to feed the little gray beast, and then I’ll warm up our catered leftovers for my two foster women. I’m so glad they don’t mind a cook in a red plaid nightgown.

Do any of you watch Netflix? I would love a good recommendation of your two or three favorite shows or series. I just finished watching “Loch Ness,” and it was gripping. A little too raw for me, but I watched it anyway. Have any of you watched the documentary “Minimalism?” I would recommend it. And of course I’ve seen the first episode of Marie Kondo’s new tidying up show and loved it.

May you have a gripping, tidy, not-too-raw weekend.



  1. Ganedia says:

    Oh Julie! Praying you heal fast.

    Age is deceptive. I never think about it until I do something really stupid & it is brought home to me I am 60, not 16! Like standing on a swivel chair to hang something, then wondered why it shot out from under me & threw me backward across the room…??? *sigh*

    So many of my friends are recommending Marie Kondo but I don’t get it ~ which is not so suprising really. Much love to you & yours.

  2. Ember Collins says:

    Oh my goodness, Julie — I’m sorry your back is crocked. May you heal fast and completely. We had a similar thing in our house this morning. Tony had to get the early train up to London, so was creeping about in the dark trying his best not to wake the rest of the household. He has never been very supple and in his late 60s is ever less so; but he is determined still to make the attempt to stand on one leg while struggling to bend over and attach a sock to the opposing foot. Thus it was that he fell over onto the vacuum clear, the clothes horse and Alice’s bedroom wall. His own version of silence. Fortunately he is okay, and has invited me to inspect his posterior for bruises this evening (!)

  3. Nancy says:

    Julie Hope you heal soon. Thank you once again for your beautiful posts. Lake Superior must be beautiful. Maybe I’ll see it one day. God bless you and all whom you love.

  4. Just Julie says:

    Ember — Tony’s own version of silence. 🙂 I hope he is okay! Tell him I’m suffering with him. xoxo

    Nancy — thank you so much. Lake Superior never disappoints, it’s true. God bless you and yours as well! xoxo

  5. Valerie says:

    I’m sorry to read that your back is strained. Ever thought of going to a Chiropractor? I strained my back a year ago and it has helped me immensely! I still go once or twice a week. I don’t feel nearly as stiff and achy as I used to.
    Hope your up and about soon.

  6. Just Julie says:

    Valerie, Yes, I went to the chiropractor and he was great — recommended by several people I know. I felt relief right away, especially since he does a lot of massage before the adjustment, which I appreciated. He warned me I’d be sore the next day and I was. I was supposed to go back and will, but have been pretty hobbled so have probably delayed going longer than I should. I think I will start going at least once a month when all this is behind me. Are you getting the bitter cold we are? Gah. xoxo

  7. Kay says:

    Julie, I pray your back will heal quickly and that there will be no long term damage. I’ve become very aware of how careful we must be with our bodies, especially as we’re getting older. I’ve heard so many stories of people who hurt themselves by using a chair to reach things rather than a step-ladder, tripped on loose rugs, wore too high heels, etc. I was always one for being careless regarding safety, but now I’m painfully aware of the risks.
    It’s not often I have a pyjama day, but they are very relaxing. I wear nightdresses in bed but have some pyjamas for ‘lounge wear’.
    Dear Mildred, I expect she is ‘looking after you’ while you are hurting. Archie is my constant companion, especially now that Alan’s in hospital – again!! Archie keeps checking all the rooms to try and find Alan – he’s not happy about the situation! Me too, Archie.
    Keep warm Julie, the cold is very bad for back injuries.
    Sending love and hugs ?? xx

  8. Just Julie says:

    Kay — is Alan home from the hospital yet? I pray he is recovering! We need to catch up. You are so right about being careful. I feel like the past year has really changed things for me, and I feel much more wary about my mobility, especially since we have so much snow and ice here. I can picture Archie being your support… Millie is like that with my daughter Sara. 🙂 Love to you and Alan! xoxo

  9. Susan says:

    I have not checked your blog for awhile but when I do I am always encouraged in some way.

    I hope by now your back is getting better. I have a constant inflamed S-I Joint from all those years of bedside nursing. So I can be sympathetic to the pain issue.

    I am finally getting my right knee done on March 5th at St. Luke’s. Trusting the Lord to take good care of me.

    Spring will come, so grateful we have that hope.
    blessings to you my friend~ Susan

  10. Just Julie says:

    So nice to see your comments, Susan. I pray your surgery goes well. Yes, when January passes I always breathe a little sigh of relief and think of spring. God bless you, dear.

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