A slithering crawling Christmas

Here’s something that ha changed me for good.. it’s almost unbelievable.. ordinary and agnonizing and insightful.

I often suffer bad back.. have done for 2 years, on and off, visit to the Osteopath for treatment with ultrasound that heats up my back joins & muscles, followed by deep-massage..followed by some contorted leg/arm/back twisting that results in several clicks of the spine that gives release!  And I’ve learnt to do some of that twisting-clicking at home.. I have to do it every day..at night before bed or as soon as I get up in the mornings..  to have a normal day.  Long walks, climbing hills, dancing…any of those things (even love making) leaves my lower back locked in agony.

Those of you who have similar afflictions will know what am talking about.

On X’mas day, 3 days ago, all was well, save for a mild back-ache. It was just me and my partner April in her house.. We were looking forward to a few day of personal time..   And just after a late breakfast …early afternoon, while pushing the coffee table forward slightly..  it struck!

Pain in my lower back as I’d never before felt it. I literally crumpled to the floor, unable to stand or sit.  I could not move at all. I was flat on my back for 3-4 hrs in absolute agony.. watched 2 cartoon films on TV upside down. My head almost where the dog usually sits …so floor smelling a bit of the dog..

Much later, unable to hold, I had to literally slither like a snake.. on my belly..with just my arms and elbows.. for propelling my body forward – from the sitting room to the bathroom/ toilet.  By this time, thoughts of all sorts of possible despairing and disabled futures had gone through my mind so many times amidst tears..  that I could not hide or brave in front of my partner.  Everything from bionics, Six million dollar man, back surgeries I had seen on TV where they snap some of the tips of vertebrates and clamp some and fuse rest together had gone through my mind.

Once I got to the toilet, standing up was agony.  My jogging trousers were already dragged and sliding off..after crawling.  I could support my body with arms, but that meant my hands cold not do anything else. How to pull it down, release myself and pee? From there on..everything was not just agony – but incredibly insightful.

How do disabled people do this every minute, every hour, every day..after day..for ever for the rest of their lives?

Day 2 was a bit better.. I wasn’t slithering..flat on belly…but crawling.  Could not put body weight on lower back.. but could crawl on knees and arms..as long as mid-body was held rigid.

Today…day 3..  I can walk…like a stiff Robot..still holding mid-body rigid, as if I am one of those Victorian Ladies learning the art of poise and glide, while holding a book on my head and not moving it.

My partner has been incredibly supportive.  My sister & mother are in their home, suffering flu and chest infections, coughing blood, waiting in Hospital Accidents & Emergency lounges for hours, texting me with their progress, and getting my texts on my progress.

In just about 3 days, my perspective has changed.   How can it not, when one slithers, crawls, cries, despairs, feels helpless, becomes afraid of a nightmarish future of wheel chairs and paralysis and more?

Yes, many able-bodied people go through injuries and have these thoughts, am sure, and most- when they get better, tend to get sucked in my day to day struggles..and forget.

My lab partner in University for 3 years was a friend who had a wheel chair; My 2nd High Priestess had a 40 yr old daughter in wheel chair, who joined us for doing magic sometimes in coven.  My partner, my mother, and my younger sister- have all had jobs working with people who are disabled and needed care – school kids to elderly.  I’ve worked as Equal-Opportunities officer in the Home Office for 2 years ages ago, and in a school of 140 kids with learning difficulties.   But this experience is different..  it’s gone deep and excavated all the other experiences to the surface..

I’m not going to forget!

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