The Ceiling Point/ Here’s the story, mountain’s glory and mine to climb..
I have had lots of messages inquiring as to how I am which I appreciate.
It’s been a long and challenging journey and one that is far from over yet.. a part of me truly believes that a part of it will never come to an end, which on most days is food for thought as well as food for anxiety. I endured 8 days in hospital which was not without its complications but was alleviated by the extraordinary and dedicated NHS staff.
I am being told by the physiotherapists that I am making good progress, which is great news but it’s hard work. I am enjoying my aqua aerobics with the senior ladies, and believe me you can get as much out of it as you put in. My core strength is SO weak. My left leg is so much weaker than my right as it was the leg that was more affected before the surgery. My right leg had to support most of me.
I always regarded myself as someone who was physically very strong. To be capable and approach any task and complete it was a personal challenge I set myself. Perhaps in part, this is one of the reasons as to why I have found myself in this chapter of this life. I have learned a lesson and am still learning it.
My last day of work was December the 2nd 2016, it is now October 2017 and for most of that time in between I have been lying down. As I type that sentence it sounds so simple and almost flippant but it could not be further from the truth.
Take a moment and think about all the things you have achieved, places you have been, perhaps breaks away or even a holiday in that time. Whilst you were doing whatever you were doing the chances are that I was lying on my bed, usually to alleviate the pain or in pain, staring at my bedroom ceiling.
I am thankful for the forums which I have joined, they have proven to be an invaluable source of support. Sharing stories, questions regarding symptoms, someone there to hear how depressing and isolating being in pain can be. It is impossible to define or quantify pain. Pain is a personal experience but one that you can feel compelled to share. Sharing is caring and the problem is at least halved.
This has been and still is a psychological journey as well. My confidence has taken a massive knock, I have fear about my capabilities. The most enormous fear of falling, so much so it has given me the odd nightmare.
Yes, I am now part titanium and will be forever more and am still so very aware of my fragility and vulnerability.
My nerves are trying to heal, as are my muscles, ligaments and bones.
What have I learned so far? Hmm…. Not to lose sight of where you were as it will always make you appreciate where you are going. To feel the fear and do it anyway. To trust your grit and determination. To ask for and accept help when it is offered. To truly appreciate the love and support that is shown by so many. To be grateful for where I live and that I was lucky to have the NHS and all who sail in her.
To listen to your body and respect its limitations so much more. This one is interesting as in part I no longer have a choice, I have to look after my back now. I am accepting that I will never be who I was before Spondylolisthesis not physically and actually not psychologically either.
To give something back. When I am feeling better I am going to try and offer a couple of hours a week in a pain management clinic, just to sit and listen to people who are in chronic pain and all that it brings with it. People who have perhaps lost themselves in their pain, feel defeated by it, much the same as I did.
So far so very good. I am pleased that I made the decision to have the spinal fusion, a lot of my symptoms have receded, some are still with me and I have some new ones. It appears that time is in charge here as to what my future holds.
I do now have constant back ache, exactly where the metal work is, apparently this is quite common. It can be bad enough sometimes that it makes my legs feel weak. I still have this odd cramp like pain in my feet, it is always just ‘there’ and sometimes it chooses to flare up. That pain in my left hip and right knee, that too can come and go, if only to remind me of those early symptoms and painful bygone days. A weird patch of numb and /or neuralgic type pain on my right thigh, that’s a new one and I have also acquired this weird occasional shooting pain that comes up my neck and into my head, this causes me concern as my mind wonders about the strain having a fusion puts on the rest of your spine and it is possible to acquire Spondylolisthesis again. It’s just a worry..
Some of these symptoms can cause some confusion, there are grey areas whereby symptoms could cross boundaries with other diagnoses.
Odd too, now that I am in less pain to do with my symptoms of Spondylolisthesis, I have again, become much more aware of the limitations in my hands. Arthritis is a literal pain and damp weather does you no favours whatsoever.. I SO desperately do not want anymore surgery, anymore incapacitation so this is really making me think about my options in the future.
My new glasses have arrived today which is great, I can now see more clearly, quite possibly in more ways than simply my eyesight. I am trying very hard to have vision, to have an aim and to create a manageable future..