At first I thought I was coping with the prognosis of living with chronic back pain. That I’m likely to need a series of surgeries. I pray that I hit the 5 – 10% chance of success. That I’ll be back to “normal” afterwards as though it’s just a hiccup, a blip, a little painful diversion in my journey through this chaotic & unreasonable rollercoaster called life. Deep down I know, I feel from the bottom of my lumbar spine that it’s not going to be that easy. Life isn’t easy, if it was we’d all be robots. Boring robots. The downs & hardships are what makes the ups & good times as good as they are.
My life has changed so much since February already. Everyday is a fight to stay awake due to lack of sleep and the cocktail of painkillers I’m taking. I’ve had to buy a body pillow to help me sleep sat up due to the pain. I’ve had to buy a walking stick because I’m struggling to walk. Yesterday I had to buy a bath/shower stool because it’s too painful to sit or lie down in the bath and I can’t stand for too long in the shower.
Needing to buy equipment to do everyday things is starting to get to me. It’s frustrating and if I’m honest it’s denting my pride. I know that pride comes before a fall but I can’t help it. I am trying really hard to get on with it, to soldier on, to hold my head up and face it with a stiff upper lip but I’m starting to crack. I suppose being constantly tired, in pain and nervous of the impending surgery isn’t helping.
I’m only 37, have not even hit middle aged yet and I’m buying stuff my Nana needed when she was in her 70’s & 80’s. I’m maxed out on the strongest painkillers that I can function on. The next step is Oramorph etc which will affect my functionality. I don’t want that so suffer more than I need to I suppose.
The consultant’s words keep swimming around my head “no-one can give you a new back, discs or nerves”, “surgery will be a repair not a cure” & “if the nerves aren’t permanently damaged the surgery will help with the nerve pain but will not help with the back pain.” He made it very clear that paralysis is eventual without surgery and a risk of surgery. Talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place. It’s a no brainer. Surgery is my only option.
I still face a life long disability and that I will need to learn to deal with. Especially before the cracks become crevasses.