A few Friday's ago, as I was looking forward to and busily planning a weekend trip, I wound up in the George Washington University Emergency Room instead. The fact that it's a Trauma 1 center and that staff couldn't be nicer did little to ease my concerns. My doctor had already called in, so to my surprise and delight, I did not have the hours of long wait that Steph, my Executive Assistant, had prepared me for. My books went unread and there was no need for my carefully packed food.
Why did I end up in the emergency room on my Friday night, you may ask? I had had some internal lower back pain off and on for months. It wasn't muscular, and I believed it was either kidney or uterus-related. An ultrasound showed a small cyst on my right ovary, which if not malignant is concerning, but not a big deal. Still, as I was being checked by various specialists of Western and Eastern orientation, the pain continued to get worse. My doctor, telling me I'm not a complainer, urged me to go to the emergency room and get a CAT scan.
Steph sat with me until my husband flew in from hurricane territory in Florida. He managed to get on one of the few planes out of Jacksonville and arrive at my bedside looking as if could use a hospital bed for sleep. After going through the procedure, thoroughly body-scanned and diagnosed, I left that evening.
The good news is that nothing significant was discovered. The bad news is that no one knows what causes my pain. But, red-faced, I now have an idea. I've increased my exercise routine significantly these last few months, especially adding more Pilates workouts. Now, for those of you unfamiliar with this wonderful concept, Pilates focuses on core strength and requires much "C" shaped back rolling alternated by long stretching. I wonder if even though I am not aware of pain as a result of the classes, my lower back could be getting the kind of deep muscular workout that has caused it to hurt? I will ask my teacher and also request that I am watched very carefully. Hopefully, the answer can be that simple to find.
Either way, this experience is a reminder of how quickly life can change. One missed step or an errant gene, one car wreck or illness, can alter your life instantly. With humility, I once again am reminded of how tenuous life is.