Just as easy as picking up my laptop! I lean and reach over my desk—maybe a little too far, an opposing twist, perhaps off balance but only slightly, and boom. The attacking pain shoots through my lower back into my stomach and up into the space between my shoulder blades—excruciating and unexpected. I let out a muffled scream and hold my breath, frozen with fear. What just happened? What is happening … still?
Tentatively I begin to unwind. The hurt begins to subside. But,
I am terrified that the smallest movement could unleash the agony again—the sharp
jabbing stings and unwanted rhythm of throbbing pain. Ironically the nuisance
desk, the offender, that only a moment ago was cursed and blamed, now offers respite,
solid and available to lean on, but still I am frozen to the spot.
For several long minutes with the slightest and cautious movement, I continue to unravel. The pain has reduced to a dull ache but radiates brutally from my waist to my thighs. What have I done?
When I’m finally upright, I push the discomfort, pain and fear from my mind. For now, the mental in-house interrogation session as to how my back could be this weak replaces all physical sensation. It is relentless. But I have been diligent with yoga practise over the past 4 months attending up to 5 times a week. I am focused on improving my strength. How can I cave so easily?
With whys and hows regurgitating through my mind and searing pain torturing my back, I turn my attention to getting out the door ... getting to Fiz’s for our weekly rendezvous to work on BOLD.
With the hazardous laptop in tow, I head for the car and tenderly ease into the driver’s seat—the seat adjusted to a precarious position, leaning forward, my head nearly touching the windscreen. This can’t be safe, but in this position the pain is bearable. Anyway, I expect the pain to be temporary and gradually subside over time. A bit of ice and heat and some special magic rub in a blue tube and hey presto … good as gold in no time!
It’s not good as gold. Fiz takes pity on me as I whinge and whine. She offers me a heat pillow. It is now my best friend and I keep it close. I am neglectful of anyone or anything else around me, absorbed only in creating pain-free movement. I fail miserably and the nagging pain continues.
I can’t believe how much I need to bend in a day and I can’t believe how much it hurts! No bending for undies or jeans. No tying of shoelaces. Bending to even sit is like having knives plunged into my back. The pain demands that I either get up and stand straight or get horizontal—flat on my back: one or the other. And manoeuvre carefully, slowly, and deliberately.
I assure myself that my chiropractor will work his magic. He always does but this time, after treatments, the pain still nags and even worsens. This isn’t my plan. By now I should be as good as gold /right as rain—returned to perfect health, my body performing to my commands. Why not? Could this be more than a physical injury? Could it have an emotional background? Be viral? Be a metabolic imbalance, or spiritual? I believe I am body, mind, and spirit—holistic. It’s all worth considering but at another time. It aches too much to think.
After another week and 2 more chiro sessions I am still trying to find relief from the nagging pain. It still hurts to sit. It hurts a lot. It takes me at least 5 minutes to get in or out of the car. I unwind, muscle by muscle, sensing for any sign of jolting pain that might halt my movement and pierce my breath. I remind myself … straight on, balance, all weight in my legs, slowly, carefully, breathe. It all helps and even though this tactic is less agonising for me, for others waiting, the agony and wait must be unbearable.
Health is my highest value. I want to wholeheartedly work and play in life and I want the ability to choose. I don’t want to be just a spectator, a bystander—not participating. I snub standing on the sidelines. I want to be able to jump right in, get my hands dirty, pick up, squeeze and romp with my grandchildren—on the trampoline, down the slippery dip, through the sprinkler. I want to dig sandcastles, race from one end of the park to the other, spin on the flying fox.
This whole bad back experience has brought home to me how important my health and vitality is, and how it’s not ok when my body falters and stops me from doing what my mind and heart wants. So … for as long as I can, and as best as I can, I will take care of me and my body.
It’s not ok when my mind and body collide.