Back Pain is F@#K!#G Killing My Life!
NOTA BENE: This is not the cool, collected fellow I try to be when I comment on Medium. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
The first year after my lumbar fusion I experienced the worst pain of my life. When I went back to see the surgeon, his assistant told me “This is how it is going to be for the rest of your life.”
“The bone is not fusing, and the area is being filled in by scar tissue.”
What area, you ask? Everything from my lumbar spine outward to my hips, and only God knows how far down it goes.
See where the screws are in the above picture? They are holding things in place while my spine degenerates around them.
But Wait! There’s More! This recent article stunned the hell out of me.
“Our study found that compared to those without spinal pain (back and neck), a person with spinal pain has a 13 per cent higher chance of dying every year. This is a significant finding as many people think that back pain is not life-threatening,” said senior author Associate Professor Paulo Ferreira, physiotherapy researcher from the University’s Faculty of Health Sciences.
I want to give you a nice visual, as Medium is “Oh So Visual,” of what it is like to wake up each morning, go through the day, and then lie down at night. As you have the lovely visual up top you have to click to see it.
That’s hardly fair, is it? Okay, I will give you the visual as you already have the link to a pain article. Imagine that cage made of barbed wire.
Like Fibromyalgia, low lumbar pain is poo-poo-ed by most people. After all —
If I can’t see it on the outside, then you must be lying.
Guess what? We are not fucking lying!
I’ll back off a bit, but just a tiny bit, because this pain eats your life, and Kosher Butchers constantly carve at your back, your ass — don’t even get me started on standing or sitting, or walking for that matter.
Oh hell why not! Doctors and therapists always want you to describe the pain.
I say, “Kosher Butchers cutting me to pieces.”
They say, “Vivid, but how do know they are Kosher?”
Because blood doesn’t shoot out my ass!
Is that vivid enough? Let’s talk now about social life.
I have NO social life. Not even a piece of one. After two and a half years of graduate school, dragging my butchers with me down a hill and up another hill, then sitting in class for two hours, I almost quit.
No, I could not quit, I had a mission to help veterans with Moral Injury. Am I doing that work? No.
I can’t sit for more than ten minutes, neither can I stand for more than ten minutes. Best of all, I can’t even walk long enough to buy groceries.
Isn’t that cheery? Doesn’t that make you want to jump up and down?
I didn’t think so.
Okay, I admit it, yes, it is true, this entire writing is a rant. But if I had not written this piece I might have exploded like a polar bear fed explosives.
Back to the calm me. Ahem. “You see, I’m lonely, scared, angry, and paid a firm 4K to promote my novel as I was writing a thesis on said Moral Injury. What has come of that?”
Zip. Zero. Nada. Nothing. Empty. Goodbye money. And sometimes it is oh so tempting to say goodbye life.
Now, I am a Christian, and the reason I have not and will not put a bullet in my head is I believe and mostly experience life as a blessing. Pain? Can I rise above it?
I do every day of my life. Sometimes it overwhelms me, like this morning when pain woke me up at 3:15.
If I have offended. Mea Culpa. Mea Maxima Culpa.
Just trying to live here.