Long term injury

I have been meaning to write for a long time, but it’s like too many people trying to fit through a door, I have ideas – just can’t structure them.

I’m just going to write and see what happens.

I’ve suffered from what we are all assuming is a herniated disc with arthritis on the side now for 6 long months. At the moment, I can walk for about half an hour now, which is massive progress. I am on a cocktail of pain killers but aside from the walking I can’t do any exercise. When it started, I couldn’t move at all. Brushing my teeth was a challenge when I would go to lean over the sink. I fell back down on the toilet many times as standing would fail me. Standing would make me ache, sitting burned. However, this subsided after a while.

Now 6 months down the line my pain is all in my left leg, where the nerves are being squished. I am able to drive ok, but only because I have an automatic and my right leg is fine. I can only get through the night if I take painkillers. I sleepwalk through the days due to said painkillers. I have been seeing an osteopath, which has certainly got me to this point of 80% normal life. I’ve only had phone contact with the doctor – who repeatedly tells me it’ll all heal itself in 6-8 weeks. Hmmm, it’s been 6 months mate.

Now because there is some suspicion that I may have axial spondyloarthritis (AS), I did manage to score a referral to rheumatology which is why I am able to have an MRI scan. This is in 2 weeks and I am very keen to get some answers. The only reason I was referred was because my husband came across an article that totally described my symptoms and the doctor found I had some narrowing of my sacroiliac joint, which is a common feature of AS. Thank goodness for Dr Google.

Aside from the physical difficulties and symptoms, it’s the other stuff that has hit me like a tonne of bricks. My mum was disabled, I watched her struggle and miss out on life for a good 20 years before she died. I am not able to deal with that at all as avoiding that is my main driver for exercising.

I cannot exercise. I can’t even do the nice stuff like yoga, I can’t continue my personal training, weight lifting, I can’t walk the dog, I can’t escape into the countryside and see where it takes me. I also can’t do my studying to become a PT as the assessments are all physical. Putting all that on hold for 6+ months has made a huge impact on me. It’s really difficult when there is no answer or end in sight either. Is this a temporary thing? Or do I have to hang up my trainers now?

Things like housework, gardening etc. have all fallen by the wayside. I struggle through my workdays as best I can. I’ve got crap mum guilt because I have to lie down so much.

BUT things are getting better. I am only a few more weeks away from knowing what my deal is. If I can just find out what this is, I can take action. While my PT course has been halted, I can still do the nutrition qualifications. So I started my first course a couple of weeks ago and I LOVE it. I can’t control my body and its healing process, but I can control my food. So my first project is myself and my own nutrition. Despite this terribly whiny account of my life, I am feeling increasingly positive and fingers crossed this will be a chapter I can close soon.

Stay healthy everyone, if you can move, move!

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