As I write this, I am in quite a bit of pain.
It started just before Christmas. I was sitting at my desk, and turned my head to one side and… suddenly, a tremendous pain shot down through my shoulder into my back. I sat stock still for a minute, cursing and cussing for all I was worth. When I moved again, it hurt in the same way as your leg does when you’ve had a really bad cramp that’s passed on but left a ghost behind. I took some ibuprofen, and quietly panicked about how I would collect S from nursery that afternoon and carry her down the stairs. But it eased off, and I was ok.
Ever since then, if I move my head/neck and left arm in the wrong way, the same agonising jolt shoots through my shoulder. The problem is, I’ve not managed to figure out which way I have to avoid moving my limbs to stop it happening – instead, I’ve learned how to deal with it, without shouting the curse words too loudly.
Just recently, my left hip has begun to ache. Not badly enough to do anything about it; just an irritation. And then it got worse. And one day, I realised that every time I got up from my desk, my first few steps were awkward and stuff. Then, in bed one night, I tried to lift myself to roll over, and found that I couldn’t – it hurt too much. Weirdly, the pain was in the same place my hip pain started when I was pregnant: behind my left hip.
This week, I gave in and went to see my GP. Except it wasn’t my GP, because my surgery has amalgamated with one or two others, and I had never met the lady I saw – lovely though she was. She took a look at my back, before having me lay on the couch so that she could move my legs around and see if they hurt. They didn’t. She referred me for physio, but told me it would be a while; they have a long waiting list.
On Thursday evening after tea, S was playing with a box of Duplo on the floor. When it was bed time, I picked the box up to put it back in the corner, where I noticed a mark on the wall. I bent down to take a closer look, and then stood up… or tried to. Suddenly, my lower back and hips were on fire; a pain I had never experienced before. I wanted to cry, but I didn’t want to scare S. I toyed with the idea of just delaying bed time, seeing if I could walk it off or something; but then I realised there was a good chance of tears so I carried on. I got us both up the stairs somehow, and then helped S climb onto the bed for story time. She usually sits in my lap, but that hurt too much so I had her sit between my legs. That also hurt, but it wasn’t so bad. After story time, she ran off and I couldn’t pick her up to get her back, so it took ten minutes of bargaining and pleading before I got her into the bedroom, where it took three attempts to lift her into the cot.
I couldn’t kiss her goodnight; I couldn’t tuck her in. She was crying, and I couldn’t lift her back out of the cot for a cuddle.
I found myself terrified.
This post started out as one of those “this is shit, life sucks” posts… But then…
At a loss as to what to do, I turned to Facebook. I put up a post saying my back was causing me pain and I didn’t know what to do.
Within a short time, several friends had commented, offering advice and assistance. At least 3 people offered to come round and either take me to A&E, look after S or just help out. A friend called in the interval of her daughter’s school concert to check whether I needed her to come and help me. All day Friday, I was receiving phone calls, text messages and emails from people offering advice, asking if I needed any help with anything, checking whether I was ok. Telling me that another time I really should just call them straight away.
I hate to be a burden to people. I hate to have people feel like they have to help me out. I struggle with accepting assistance from anyone, for any reason. So while I sit here panicking, thinking “omg, I’m all alone, how will I ever cope…” I also refuse to do anything to remedy that. Well, durr!