Hey, as you may be aware, if you know me, I have struggled with back pain for most of my adult life. And as those of you who know me will attest, I like to complain about it. So much so that I predictably begin to moan every Monday morning at work. My workmates have been to call me ‘old man time’ which doesn’t really sit that well with me.
People who haven’t had the misfortune of being struck down by the agony of serious back pain have no idea how debilitating it can really be. So here I would like to share some of my discoveries, stories and how I have learnt to cope with this ailment.
I guess for me it all started at about the age of 23. I had just finished University in ’86 and was back in the bosom of my family enjoying the brief honeymoon period that always tricked me into thinking home was warm comfortable place. Most of us are aware that distance makes the heart grow fonder and this is how it was for my family. I would usually have 10 days to 2 weeks of blissful relaxation, being forgiven for my lack of ambition to anything more than drink beer with my buddies in the evening time and loll about all day reading the newspaper and applying for jobs.
It was on one of these summer evenings, out driving with my friends that tragedy struck. Well, it struck, we and then we struck a tree. The terribly frustrating thing about those defining few minutes was that we weren’t going very fast. We were traveling at no more than 35 miles per hour. I remember the two of us got out of the car and after confirming that we were both ok, staggered around to look at the tree now attached to the front bumper.
My friend let go of a rather incredulous expletive knowing the dire consequences of the current situation once he got home. If my memory serves me correctly, I think I was quietly pleased that it had in fact been his parents’ car and not mine. This may seem rather selfish but I think deep down we are all rather selfish sometimes.
But the thing was, we were both okay. That is to say that at the time we seemed fine. The car was a bit of a wreck and it wasn’t my car so… Everything was okay or at least, for my friend, it would be in a few months
It was not until about 2 weeks later that a twinge began in my neck. It was sort of like a crick. I don’t remember when it started exactly but I dismissed it as nothing more than a passing ache from sleeping awkwardly. I couldn’t have been more wrong. What began as nothing more than a slight discomfort grew into something that dictated what I could do and what I couldn’t do. It has shaped my leisure time activities and from that probably also the relationships I have developed. It is amazing to think that such a small injury has had such a great impact on my life.
Has it been detrimental to my life? I don’t know but my constant back pain has certainly influenced the course of my life.