I caused a bus commotion amid bus torture

Yesterday’s bus ride home has set back my back recovery significantly. I can now (or could until last night) sit with only mild discomfort if I am sitting well forward with the weight mostly on my thighs and the very back half of my derriere not in contact with anything. I’d been standing (and walking) yesterday for the better part of 8 hours and carrying about a lot of very heavy stuff so when I boarded the bus home from work I thought I’d give sitting a try when there was one of those “one person only” seats available.

I managed quite well for the first part of the journey, bracing myself with one hand on the seat-back in front of me and one hand on the post beside me to keep from getting rocked back or sideways onto painful nerve areas. The bus filled up with people to scant standing room and the streets filled up with traffic and that is where the torture began. I lost my side pole grip when two people needed to stand pressed against it. The bus driver started that sudden stop, jerk forward, stop again pattern that is uncomfortable even when you aren’t injured but is excruciating when you are. It was when he was going around a sharp curve that I pretty much lost the farm.

Maybe someone pulled out in front of him or slammed on their brakes that caused him to slam on his. Whatever the reason, he went from gunning it to beat the light to screeching stop halfway around the curve. The combined and jarring sudden stopping with the continued, for those of us inside, sideways motion knocked me out of my precarious perch and threw me back and sideways, hard. I quite nearly passed out from the pain. It got worse as he immediately began that herky-jerky forward and stop pattern to get out of the intersection because I was not only in so much pain I almost couldn’t breathe but trying to move myself out of my new position required use of muscles that exacerbate the pain that every movement of the bus was already increasing in shooting bursts.

Now came the embarrassing part. One of the guys standing next to me happened to glance over and was immediately like, “are you alright?” and then everyone around me was looking my way and suddenly there was this babble of voices with those closest to me asking what was wrong, how they could help, commenting that I was essentially white as a sheet, did I need a doctor, and those a bit further back asking what was wrong, what was going on and then several people were yelling at the bus driver to stop, stop, stop! there was a problem, someone was injured…

The bus stopped, short and sharp. Damn you. Horns blew. I gaped at my concerned onlookers like a fish just pulled out of the water trying to draw breath for what seemed to me an eternity before I managed to gasp out a babble, between more fish-like gaping for air, indicating I just needed to stand up, I’d appreciate if someone could help me to get up, oh holy ____ wait, slow, slow, no I don’t need a doctor, I’ve got a hurt back, just…

With help, I managed to get up, convey that the bus could continue, turned down offers of seats (yo, I’d just had a seat and that was the problem), welcomed someone into the seat I’d vacated, and endured concerned, curious and pissed-off stares the long rest of the trip to my stop. The usually half-hour walk home from the bus stop took me nearly an hour as I took it slow, slow. Yeah, I’ve had a set-back. I wanted to blog last night, do some needed work, fix dinner, clean at least one cat box and all I could do was lie down and try unsuccessfully to find a comfortable position to lay in for more than an hour at a time.

This morning standing and walking have been not as painful as when I first fell but more uncomfortable than in the last week. Sitting is out again.

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10 responses to “I caused a bus commotion amid bus torture”

  1. eitanDC says :

    Yael! This sounds terrible! I haven’t been keeping up but what happened to your back!? I will wish for your speedy recovery…

  2. David K from Philly says :

    Ahhh. City buses. I remember them well. During my decade or so of living in Center City, Philadelphia, I frequented public transportation daily. Buses are harsh mistresses, indeed!

    Funny, I remember when I first moved to the city from the suburbs. It was shortly after I moved out of my mom’s home and after I broke up with a girl I was dating at the time. I moved less for the desire to live in the city and more because I needed somewhere to live and found a cheap apartment in the city.

    I was a fish out of water without a car. I had no idea how to get around and, frankly, I was under constant vigilance against perceived muggers and murderers.

    Within a year I was navigating the city like the best of them, had replaced constant vigilance with prudent awareness and felt – for the most part – like a city slicker.

    David K from Philly

  3. Lynne says :

    You really need to go back to the doctor for a follow up visit early. Can you avoid having to carry heavy things?

  4. israeliminx says :

    David K — lol since I haven’t driven anything in more than 15 years, buses are definitely my friend too!

    Ema — I can’t do anything about carrying heavy stuff for work (I don’t do it for fun) and carry as little as I can. I had scheduled a follow-up x-ray for Wed. next week but now may try to move it up to this Thursday or Sunday. When I went in to get checked out (and they gave me an x-ray then) after the fall, the doctor said it could and would likely take up to 3 months for the nerve damage to heal and to be without pain and back to normal under optimal circumstances (e.g. no bone splinters lodged about worrying the nerves). It has been almost 3 weeks and, given his assessment, I felt I was doing much better than expected until yesterday.

    • Lynne says :

      I am so sorry that you have injured yourself. As busy as you are, you don’t need anything to slow you down! Keep us posted on your recovery. Does anything help like cold compresses or warm baths?

  5. erin says :

    Ok it totally sucks that you got re-injured. In my mind, all I can picture is having a bunch of jewish mothers yelling and shouting at the same time over each other while you are thinking “please just shut up for 5 seconds”, lol. Do they have chiropractors in Israel? I hope you feel better soon!

  6. Mac says :

    I hope you get well soon! You need like a pull along cart for the heavy stuff.

  7. dumbledoresarmy says :

    Oh, you poor thing! Prayers for a quick recovery.

  8. Lynne says :

    Yaeli, check email.

  9. Mike says :

    Feel better soon.

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