Feelings & pain I have had to endure since 1986
|Pain - excruciating, exacting, ripping & tearing, seconds pass, yet still it continues unyielding, worsening. Minutes tick by, still no signs of it passing. An hour, two hours, four hours pass by, Oh, they pass by so slowly - still no easing. If anything; it worsens. Crippling, crawling pain ripping, ripping at muscles I had forgotten all about.
Great - now all I have to do is get home... Sixty minutes of city driving and a three litre cask on the back seat. Fortunately, it runs out as I pull up in the driveway. Pouring myself out of the car, I scream, and scream again. My wife runs to me. Have I been shot? What happened? What is going on? What have you done?
Taking good health for granted, as if I were bullet proof, I was a jogger, I played State level volleyball, District level basketball, loved riding dirt bikes, lived for riding road bikes, breaking in wild horses & enjoyed horse riding.
Sadly, that has all changed now. The hours tick away and become days; days filled with the fog of pain and medication. Days turn into weeks, and the doldrums kick in, “Why me?”, “What did I do wrong?” “Why, oh why, oh why me?” “Why not somebody else?” Self-pity, self-loathing, self-seeking, greedy for attention. My weeks turn into months, months turn into years, then decades. Operation after failed operation, titanium plates and 3” titanium screws, bone cages.
The amount of torsion the spine endures can splinter titanium bolts. I know this, because I have shattered 3 of them. Six operations to pull everything out... all except for the 1” of titanium thread that is so close to my spinal cord, only a piece of paper can fit between them. I can now embrace this pain, this raw, brutal & malignant pain. It hurts. Oh, how it hurts. Pain unbearable, Unexplainable to one, to one who has not been down this road.
Do not seek to emulate, or empathize with me about this. Not unless you’ve been where I am yourself. The pain, the alcohol, the medication, the addiction. I have not had a Pethedine shot in 19 years now, but I am addicted - if it were offered to me by a doctor I would say “Yes” without a moments hesitation. This cycle of pain, medication, and selfishness that has been mine for over twenty five years now.
But I thank God, I thank Him because I can walk, and drive. Not long distances by any means but travel nonetheless. At least I am not in a wheel chair, and this I keep in mind. I fractured my spine in 1986 and still I am mobile. I can still move, albeit with an awkward gait. I now go fly-fishing, and have taken up photography and writing. I no longer ask the “Why?” questions. Instead I look around and see the scenery. I see the beauty of nature wherever I go, and attempt to capture it. In words, and by camera. It helps me to come to the understanding of what I have lost, yet, at the same time, what I have found.
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