Recovering from a broken spine is mostly bad. But some of it's good. Let's do the bad first.
I had to miss two weeks of school in May. Then I forced myself to attend the last two weeks of the year, so I could pass the 10th grade. While missing school was fun, getting an undeserved F in math was not. My teacher thought it was plausible that a guy with 2 B's and an A in the class would suddenly choose to make an F. Screw you, Mrs. Holthouser!
Riding in cars was no fun, either. For one thing, it took a couple of minutes for me to get in the car. And two, I developed a phobia of riding with other people. I would have to stare at the white line the whole time to make sure we weren't running off the road. And three, I could only ride in the car for up to ten minutes at a time before I my legs would turn into a completely dead ache, and I would have to get out on the side of the road and punch the pain away and bring them back to life. My balls would ache, too, but I never punched them.
Wearing the back brace for three months wasn't as bad as you 'd think. The only thing that sucked was that I couldn't bend over. You don't realize how much you drop stuff until you aren't allowed to bend over to pick it up. Try picking a dollar up off the ground without bending your back - you look stupid, and you feel stupid, and it takes forever.
Not being able to exercise sucked, too. Even after the brace came off, after three months, I still had nine more months where I was under orders to live as if I was wearing a brace. My back was still messed up, but my spine had healed back together enough that I could live without the brace as long as I didn't run, jump, or bend. I have always been so damn hyper since I turned twelve, this just killed me. (I was the most boring docile creature for the first 12 years of life. No one knows why the switch happened.) The only ecercise I could do was go the YMCA and shoot flat-footed basketball shots. I remember one time these twelve year-olds were playing on the other side of the court and got mad at me because their ball bounced off the rim and went rolling by me about five feet away. They called me an asshole because I didn't do the polite thing and take a couple of steps over and catch their ball and give it back to them. When I explained to them that I wanted to, but had a broken back and couldn't run, they called me a liar and said a guy with a broken back would be in a back brace and wouldn't be playing ball. I told them that the proof that I did have a broken back was that I wasn't kicking their asses right then and there for calling me an asshole.
Another thing that sucked during those first three months in the brace was that I was not allowed to sleep on my side. I followed orders and slept on my back for three months. I knew this was a healthy habit and promised myself I would keep sleeping that way for the rest of my life. But on the first day the doc told me I could sleep however I wanted again, I went right back to sleeping in the fetal position like a baby. And I've slept that not-so-healthy way ever since.
Another thing that sucked was that I my awesome 16 year old "Michaelangelo's David Abs" that I never appreciated, turned into a gut in those three months of inactivity. I would never get them back. Actually, I have them back - but you can't see them. I can out do anyone on ab exercises to this day, because it keeps my back strong, but you can't see the muscles, because there is a wall of alcohol fat that layers over my hidden chisel. Only I know about the existence of my amazing fat-shielded abs.
Another thing that sucked about my broken back was that I couldn't get my driver's license on my 16th birthday, due to the fact that I couldn't turn around to look at merging traffic behind me. I would have to wait three or four extra months thanks to what that unrepentant girl did to me.
The biggest thing that sucked about my broken back wasn't even evident to me at the time. The back overshadowed the fact that my concussion was more serious than first thought. My parents thought I was just being lazy and letting my mind go because Summer had come and I had no school. And I wasn't aware of how stupid I was, because I was too stupid to know I was stupid. We would later find out it was a pretty serious dent in the front right part of my brain known in layman's terms as "blood on the brain." More on that later.
You know what was good about my pitiful back brace? The effect it had on girls. I had no idea how it was going to turn them all into such suckers. More on that fun story in the next post. Heh, heh. A broken back isn't completely a bad thing when you're trying find some sweet thing to squeeze on.