6 years on, I still remember the day. The day my whole world was turned upside down, shaken and stirred.
That day was the same as every other day, preparing to leave the house and making sure Fergie (the cat) had biscuits. That moment I bent over to lift her food dish, will stay with me till the day I die.
The pain, the fear and the unknown all hitting me full force, all at once, and hard.
That was 6 years ago now. I can’t really believe I’m saying 6 years, but yes, 6 whole years!
My first back surgery was terrifying, it was the start of my never ending journey, but it was the unknown that scared me the most, could he or would he fix me? Turns out, no he didn’t fix me, it failed. Failed. This bloody word has been with me throughout my life. In everything I do, I expect to fail, because most of the time I do, it’s expected (and not only by me).
I remember the day I saw Physio, just after my surgery. I could barely walk. I didn’t know how to walk. It was such a strange sensation. I knew one leg had to go in front and the other follow, but my stupid body and brain, wouldn’t do it.
I stuck at the exercises, took short walks, clinging to everything along the street I could, walls, window frames of houses, lamp posts, cars, but slowly I managed to get to a lamp post. My next goal, get to the next lamppost. I did it, and kept doing it. It was a ritual, routine, a goal.
I’ve never been so stubborn and determined as I was back then trying to recover quicker than I was actually able to. The pressure of having to go back to work was adding to my daily stress, and in the long run has probably caused me more problems (hindsight is a wonderful thing!!)
The tears I’ve shed over this back, and even the pain have never stopped, and will probably continue for the rest of my days. Tears from the withdrawals from medications, the failed procedures, the non-existent help from professionals, all add to the frustration, depression and loneliness. But it’s a cycle I can never seem to break.
But 6 years on, several new conditions diagnosed, constant excruciating pain every second of every day, I am still here. God knows how or why, but I am.
Of course I long for my old spine, the days when I lived relatively care free, and the freedom and happiness that came with it, but I also figure that with everything I’ve been through these past few years, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.
I wouldn’t be the strong, determined (even more than usual), sometimes stubborn ass that I am. I no longer have the time or patience for crap in my life, I’ve been through enough of it, and then some, to last me till my dying day, and I think that’s been my biggest learning curve – no time for drama llamas any more!!
I don’t believe in looking back, but this time every year, it makes me realise just how far I have come. My journey isn’t over, it never will be, but I can only keep looking forward.