In Blackest Night – Max Pain
I’m really struggling lately. Not so much mentally, although that is seeping in, but physically. I put my back out over a week ago and have been struggling ever since. I toiled, getting myself into work and trying to do my job. I struggled so much that I eventually came home on Sunday as it felt like I had no other choice but to go sick.
I haven’t had a major problem with my back for a long time and this latest bout has knocked me for six. The usual Cocodamol and Naproxen combo barely touch the pain and, for the last seven days, I have been taking Diazepam which were as effective as Smarties. I can’t cope. The only pain relief is lying down. And, even then, it’s a short-lived relief as every time I move it hurts.
I spent almost six hours up at Prince Charles Hospital on Sunday, after I left work. The nurse made me feel insignificant and like I was wasting their time. Back in the waiting room, with boredom setting in and becoming as much a part of me as the pain, I was on the verge of walking out a number of times. The metal seats aggravated my back pain exponentially and made the wait agonising in the literal sense as well as figurative.
The comfiest I was that night was when I was finally called into the doctor and had to lie on the bed. I didn’t want to get back up. The doc examined me and, having suffered with back problems himself, truly GOT what I was going through. He strongly advised me to rest up – something I knew I should have done at the start but, thanks to life and circumstance, I was stubborn and ignored the warning signs my body was giving me. I was given a stronger dose of Diazepam and had my blood pressure and other obs done before I was allowed to go home.
The Diazepam must’ve worked – to some degree, at least. I slept for over twelve hours and had the best nights sleep I’d had in a long time. Shame the pang of pain hit me as soon as I tried to get up. I have noticed a huge difference in that, by doing little but frequently, I manage to get on okay. The hardest things to do at the moment are get up/sit down, climb/descend stair, bend down/get back up and anything that involves me being on my feet for too long or sitting down too long.
At home, sitting isn’t really an issue as I can lie on the sofa and I’m generally okay until I need to shift position or get up to go to the toilet or get myself a drink or something. I’m trying to do most things myself as I want to retain some semblance of independence (just as I did in work by using the stairs and not the lift).
My abdomen has suffered since I hurt my back as the way I’m walking/moving/lying down to kind of overcompensate is meaning the muscles are pulling and straining and certain movements cause a very strong pulling sensation across my abdomen which, at times, is killing. Combine the detrimental effects of Cocodamol with it and it’s a recipe for disaster.
I’m not one to really talk about toilet habits and so on but Cocodamol is like the Donal Trump of the bowels as it doesn’t have free movement in its manifesto and, because of the where the main pain/pressure is located, going to the toilet is a struggle.
Seriously, at thirty-three years old I’m dreading what old age is going to be like if this is what I am like now.
There are times where even breathing hurts and, right now, I am lying on the sofa with my light leg up at an acute angle while my left leg is kind of tucked under like a figure-four shape and I know that, as soon as I try and move, the pain is going to go shooting up/down my left leg as the right leg enjoys some respite before I outstretch in and the pain regains its control of the lower right side of my back.
When I close my eyes, I inadvertently visualise the pain and see it as a black cloud rolling out in tendril-like fashion as it spreads up and down my legs and across my back. Very much like the tentacle, Cthulu-esque shape in Stranger Things. Every time I have a spasm or a sharp shot of pain, I visualise red flashes of lightning.
For the most part, I have laughed and joked about me shuffling away like a geriatric or like I’ve shat myself. I’ve joked that my spine is like a Nik-Nak or like Homer Simpson’s spine… But, deep down, I am screaming and crying in agony that I don’t dare let out into the world as it’s humiliating as it is and I can’t allow it to heighten my anxiety any more than it already does. It’s bad enough groaning when sitting down or getting up.
I went back to the GP yesterday to request an open referral so I can go through my private healthcare and to see what can be done in regards to managing the pain. Yet again, I’m left to just manage on Cocodamol and Naproxen as the only other item on the table was Amitriptyline which I had been on before back when I was going through major problems with my abdominal pain/suspected prostatitis. The effects of Ami were not good and there’s no chance I am going back on them, if I can help it. I was a jabbering mess. I thought I had done a blog post on it but it turns out I had recorded an episode of my (now defunct) podcast. You can listen to the (very boring) episode below:
I just don’t know what to do at present – if I follow doctors’ orders, I end up feeling more comfortable as I rest up and don’t exert myself too much but then I put myself in hot water with work in terms of the sickness//absence policy. If I ignore doctors’ I risk causing pain/damage and could end up being off work for a more extended period as a result. I’m damned if I do and I’m damned if I don’t. Let’s see what Rehab Works say when they call later today…
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