SIJD :: Line Panic

SIJD Shopping Essentials

Notice the SI Belt in the cart? I wore it for the first hour and then started feeling like it was doing more harm than good. So I took it off.


I’m interrupting my regularly scheduled blog post to talk about something that’s been a huge part of my life for decades: line panic. Line panic happens when a person with SIJD realizes that the line is long and they’re going to have to stand in one place and wait. Standing in one place means that the pain you’re feeling now is nothing compared to that pain you’re going to feel in 30 minutes. For me it’s not a possibility. It’s a guarantee.


Since I’m having surgery on the 28th, I decided to give Once a Month Meals a try so I’ll have some nourishment ready-made when I get home. In order to do that I had to do a massive grocery run that took almost two hours in the store (which is reason enough to panic. Walking around a store for two hours usually leaves me in a lot of pain.) I was so glad when I got my last lemons and limes; I was so ready to get out of there. But when I wheeled my cart up to the front I found that there were nine express lanes open and only three regular ones. And all three of them were two and three people deep, and most of those had overflowing grocery carts. I leaned over the handle and tried to get some relief, but the pain already had its teeth in me and experience tells me it won’t let up until I can sit or lie down.


When you have line panic, you become acutely aware of what’s happening around you. You’re looking for signs that you made the right line choice or are hoping that the customer currently at the register doesn’t pay with a check, pull out an envelope full of coupons, or require that the cashier call the manager because the beans were supposed to be ten cents cheaper. I wasn’t hyperventilating, but my breath was getting shallower and quicker by the minute. Here’s what not to think about when you’re having line panic at the grocery store: having to drag all the bags in by yourself and put the food away (usually I just do the cold stuff and worry about the rest of it after I’ve gotten off my feet for awhile.)


But line panic doesn’t only happen at the grocery store… it can happen anywhere. A couple of weeks ago I spent about 45 minutes shopping and trying on clothes at Marshall’s. I found two shirts that were exactly what I needed, but when I got to the checkout line there were about five people in front of me. I probably would’ve waited except that the two cashiers were having a hard time helping the folks who were at their registers. One got on the phone to call the manager, and the other was asking the one on the phone how to code something. If it’d been earlier in the day I might’ve been able to stick it out. But I’d already spent most of my spoons for the day and I knew there would be consequences if I stood there for another 15 minutes. I had to go. I walked toward the door, dropped the shirts on the counter, and left empty handed.


Living with the constant threat of line panic sucks, but I’ve accepted that it’s a part of my everyday story. I finally did make it home from the grocery store, put all the cold stuff up, and now I’ve been sitting in a recliner for an hour, trying to lose the muscle spasms. Here’s hoping that surgery and all that comes after it will eventually find me able to stand in line a little longer, with a bit less anxiety.


** Here’s a before and after of my fridge. Tomorrow a friend is coming to help me do prep (chopping, slicing and dicing) and then on Friday my daughter is coming to help me put it all together. I wonder if this is overkill, but I think I’ll appreciate having it done when I get home.


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