Back Pain

Back pain – chronic pain and all pain – is neither fun nor desirable.

Now, I am certainly NOT an expert.  I am not a doctor, nor a health professional (although I used to play in a band with a doctor).  I can purely talk from my own experience.

Back pain sucks.

When you are physically hurting, back pain is all encompassing.  It invades your mind, your body, everything you do and everything you feel.

My lower back pain had many facets.

First was the knife in my lower back, just a little to the left, that someone was constantly twisting.  All day and all night.

Add to that was the intense ache all across my lower back and entire torso.  This made me nauseous all the time, to the point of almost vomiting.  Constantly.

As well as this there was the sharp pain all down both butt cheeks, down the back of both legs, into my feet and toes and back around up through the top of my feet.  At least my right foot and toes only felt like they had pins and needles.  My left foot and toes were numb with the pain.

Back pain – and all pain – is very lonely.

You can feel it, but no-one else can.  People can see the ashen look on your face and they can ask you if you are ok, but they cannot feel what you are feeling.

It affects your thoughts, judgement, memory and descision making processes.  I have described it as “making my brain go foggy” – it clouds your brain and stops it from doing once normal things.

Back pain stops your body movement.  Sitting, standing, walking, getting out of bed, brushing your teeth, getting the orange juice from the bottom shelf of the door in the ‘fridge all become exceedingly difficult.

This in turn becomes a bit of a downward spiral.

After a while you know that “this is going to hurt” and very quickly everything becomes an

Which, at least in my case, is upsetting and frustrating.

I have been surprised and extremely disappointed to notice my memory being affected.  Knowing that I am supposed to get three things from the supermarket, but when I get there I can only remember two of them can be quite depressing.

Similar experiences in other everyday situations have been rather embarrassing as well.

After a while it all starts to blurr into a foggy horrible reality.

In my case, the doctor(s) have perscribed various anti inflamatory tablets, which I have unfortunately been eating like peanuts.  I hate taking pills.  But I have had more pills in the last 12 months, particularly in the last 6 months, than over the last 40 years combined.

The doctors also had a disconcerting pre-occupation with my toilet habbits and control.  For those who are interested, all was fine in the bathroom department in my case.  Apparently, however, loosing control can be a dangerous warning sign of something very serious – such as paraplegia – hence their concern.

My back pain has caused me very disrupted sleep.  Tossing and turning (very slowly and painfully), grunting and groaning has been the norm for far too long.  This has made me tired, grumpy, angry, sad, and all in all unpleasant to be with.

This has also affected my wife – I am keeping her awake and thus she too is not the happiest camper in campground.

My temper fuse is now sooooo much shorter than it normally is.  Ordinarily I can deal with “stupid stuff” and “silly people”.  My back pain has reduced my normal self imposed three strikes rule to less than half a strike before I shout loudly and storm off slowly.

I became so desperate that I demanded an epidural (cortisone) injection into my spine.  No sane person voluntarily wants what felt like a knitting needle inserted between their vertebrae.  But, I figured if approximately a quarter of the western worlds population has them during childbirth, then show me the needle.

About two weeks after this epidural I did get a bit of relief.  It certainly lowered the sheer intensity of my lower back pain to the point where I could walk 500 metres (500 yards) at a time.icecream_beer3

This, combined with beer and ice cream (although not at the same time, because that wouldn’t taste nice), as well as far too many anti inflammatory pills has at least softened the edges of the agony I was feeling.

I would like to point out that I am on the mend.

I am pleased to say that I am getting better.

My back pain does not hurt as much as it did.



*** NOTE – if you suffer from back pain, or any ongoing pain, PLEASE consult a doctor or health care professional !  It’s not rocket science.  If something hurts for more than a day or two, then go and see someone qualified to help.  Dr Google is great, but a real human with a framed degree on a wall is better. ****