July 4th, 2008



While I was playing WoW last night, I almost died. Not in the game, where such things as dying and mass murder are routine, but IRL.

My particular version of paraplegia is a complex one. My spinal cord is cleanly divided, but my legs and lower back are far from dead. I take medicine to keep down spasms and such, but I have good days and bad. Last night wasn't a very bad one, but it was one where my back muscles were giving me trouble, so I should have been more aware of what I was doing.

If I sit still for a long time, like while lost in Azeroth, when I next move around, my legs and back "let go" for lack of a better term. Well, at the time, I had completed several quests in a chain and was within 50,000 experience points of gaining level 70 for my first character. Those of you who know about WoW can guess how my emotions were centered on that, so you'll probably understand why I decided to take a short break to get another Dr. Pepper and calm my nerves.

Just as I began to roll away from the desk, however, my back arched and legs flexed, in their usual try at straightening out my body. Because my hands were on my wheels, though, and not on my arm rests, which I could have used to counter the sudden motion, I was forced backwards enough to lose my balance. Now, behind me in the room was my dresser, of substantial construction in solid wood. If my head had hit the front of my dresser at that exact distance, it would have broken my neck as easily as if it were a twig, but luck was on my side. Beside me is a cardboard box holding books I've read and need to get rid of. As I was falling backwards, my wheel brushed against it just enough to catch, bringing the whole thing over with me and burying several books under that wheel. My fall was diverted only a few inches, but enough that I landed with my head beside the edge of my dresser.

As it turns out, it gave my shoulder a pretty hard bump and scratch, but that's about it. Otherwise, all I needed to do was get back into my chair, which took a bit of shuffling and precarious lifting. Suffice it to say, there wasn't much harm done, not unlike countless pratfalls I've taken in these last seventeen years. I was relieved, of course, but I've been six inches from death before. I got my Dr. Pepper and shrugged it off. And dinged 70 fifteen minutes later.

Oh, and I outlived Jesse Helms, the racist fuck. That in itself was worth getting out of bed for this morning.
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