When your body fails you

Fail - Body Failure - Back Pain

Rather dramatic isn’t it but given I’m on the couch yet again with a bulging disc unable to find a comfortable position for longer than what feels like five minutes. I am disappointed in my body feeling as though it has failed me again. Months ago this would have sent me into a spiral of depression resulting in the age-old rants of not now, because I never have time but who does have time for sickness and pain, hang on let me schedule that into NEVER and then the good old why me, which ultimately led to tears, red eyes and a headache.

“Sickness and pain, hang on let me schedule that into NEVER”.

Today I could have headed down the same path but instead, I’m annoyed.  A moment of little thought, I was reaching for some stoma seals when a coughing fit took over. I wasn’t braced for the coughs that followed and felt my back twinge before I fell to the floor where I sat there in the child pose hoping I was wrong and I didn’t just hurt my back again. Unfortunately, it’s that easy and I had. It was most annoying as I had had a cough all week and so far had been great at bracing myself and avoiding both a hernia and back pain, worse still I was finally feeling well enough to attempt the gym after two weeks off.

“I sat there in the child pose hoping I was wrong and I didn’t just hurt my back again”.

Some decisions needed to be made, I could try push through and hurt it further or sort out what could be put off, what could be delegated and what had to be done from the couch, aiding in my recovery and hopefully shortening my uselessness to a few days. This was not the first time that my back had done this and something I learned from living with chronic illness was, how important rest was for recovery and how to still be relatively productive while in pain.

So I finished my monthly reports from the couch, held my breath through the required conference calls and silently thanked the ones that accepted my apologies. I then went off to the doctors so he could tell what I already knew and listened while lectured me on the importance of core support and not using my back when I bend. Before he moved onto that this shouldn’t happen this often to someone as young as me, to which I agreed and nodded my head appropriately, took my pain medication script and left.

My health and body is not something I take lightly I know how important they are and how important it is to look after them, so it’s not like I would deliberately do anything that would put them in jeopardy. Three years of my life was spent with a body that repeatedly failed me making me appear both childlike and older than I was. Childlike in that I could no longer look after myself and so gaunt that I could only wear children’s clothing, yet so old that I was continually hunched over and used a walking frame to get around the house before I was thirty.

“…with a body that repeatedly failed me making me appear both childlike and older than I was”.

Since then my body has been rather good, not without its disappointments, the biggest of which not being able to conceive naturally or through IVF but in comparison to the prior years, I find myself stronger and more aware than before. I don’t eat too much crap, I exercise regularly and focus on rebuilding my core strength as I know my chance of a hernia is 50% more likely than before I had abdominal surgery. Most illnesses I can generally work through, but when I hurt my back it always stops me in my tracks putting an end to the best-laid plans.

For those who know me I always try to find the positive so on the flip side, it has given me time to read some fantastic blogs, write this, read my eBook by Robin Hobb, answer a few unanswered emails and watch a good movie in between massages, hot baths and lying on the couch, albeit in slight to moderate pain the whole time.

“It’s still a positive to a shitty situation”.

When I was chronically ill my nails were always long and strong as I couldn’t do the housework or gardening, the things that generally broke them. I also found time for long-term projects that required concentration but limited movement like beading and a friend of mine made beautiful quilts while in hospital.

Have you found a positive to when your body fails you? Have you found time to do something you wouldn’t normally have the time to do? I would love to hear your stories below (comment in the section below).