It was that dreaded time. Turning 50 had its drawbacks. My appointment had been scheduled for two months. I started off with the usual low residue diet. That wasn’t bad at all as I felt I still could eat regular food like bread, cereal, rice, noodles, several fruit and juices, certain vegetables and well cooked tender meat, fish and eggs so basically a regular diet for me.


I thought to myself what is all the fuss about, this is easy but it wasn’t over. The day before the procedure I started the dreaded cleanse. And let me tell you it works. I know, TMI. And that’s when it started.


The sharp pain’s in my lower back. I had been cleaning and unpacking boxes so I thought I had strained something. So for the rest of the day I took it easy. The pain would ease then hit again.


The next morning I arrived for my procedure. Is there anything we should know, the nurse asked? Well, I’ve had lower back pain and it seems to be getting worse. I probably pulled something. My boyfriend the skeptic piped it. Maybe it’s something serious should we have an MRI or have her checked out by a specialist? the answer was “No”, lets see how she feels after a few days.


The procedure was uneventful. I didn’t feel a thing. The doctor came in when I was done and said there were no problems and she would see me in 10 years. I was so grateful.


It had turned out to be a beautiful day so instead of going home we decided to drive through the mountains to Gatlinburg and enjoy the leaves changing colors. It was beautiful. Being spontaneous we decided to stay the night and got a room on the 3rd floor of a resort and guess what it was all steps, no elevators. I called it the Penthouse Suite. This information will be relevant soon enough.


The next morning I awoke with the most excruciating muscle spasms I had ever had and worse I couldn’t walk. The first thing I thought about was how was I going to make it down the steps. Would we have to call an ambulance? Fearful thoughts raced through my mind. I was in tears.


Mike, my boyfriend helped me up from the bed. We discovered that if he held me from behind with his arm linked under my breasts he would be able to support my weight when I got a muscle spasm. It was slow going but eventually we made it down that three-story flight of stairs.


Maybe you should take me to the hospital, I told Mike. He replied, “Now I know this is serious, you never want to go to the doctor when you’re sick.” As we drove the hour back to town I changed my mind and decided to come home since I knew I had a few muscle relaxers from my last back issue. If that didn’t work I would go to the hospital.


Being the researcher that I am I set to work trying to figure out what was going on with my body and my back. I discovered that muscle spasms were common with dehydration. Of course, that was the culprit. I sent Mike to get me Gatorade & Pedialite. I ate a banana and drank orange juice, to replenish my magnesium and potassium. Then I found our Tens unit and put it on a very high setting to distract from the pain and get some relief. I rested and rehydrated for three days until my back stopped spasming.


During that time Mike was a champ carrying me around like a little kid learning to walk. It really humbled me to be in that condition and made me realize what handicapped and people with serious illnesses go through and how they feel being dependent on others for their livelihood. I feel so much more compassion now. I’m grateful for this experience as it let me see a new perspective and helped me grow in compassion.