Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Sciatica: The Final Instalment (?)

I finally received my epidural injection last week, coincidentally also 'Back Care Awareness Week' if you’re one of those sorts that constantly goes in for being aware of things.

I’m somewhat reluctant to write this up, given that I’d rather put the whole sorry painful experience behind me, to turn my back on it if you will (hur hur). But I know sometimes people get to my blog by searching sciatica-related terms, so I wanted to reveal the light at the end of the MRI tunnel.

I thought an injection in my spine would be a breeze, given that I’ve sat through tattoos, piercings, a triple whammy of Strictly/Midwife/Mrs Brown’s Boys at my Dad’s, not to mention the four years of constant fucking PAIN. But, dear reader, I will freely admit a whimper or two did escape me.

BECAUSE THIS, THAT'S WHY.

I now feel some solidarity with the Yummy Mummies of Hove!

Until the hatred of seeing them in lurid neon sportswear hopping into people carriers to pick up little Maximilian and Matilda to ferry them home to their dog-filled castle by the sea provided by SEO expert/architect/record label owner husband for a supper of foraged food creeps back in

Why was this allowed to go on for as long as it did? Well, partly NHS incompetency, partly my own fault for not squawking about it louder. As I said to the nurse who thought I was upset afterwards because the injection hurt, I was emotional due to the realisation that with one quick injection I could’ve saved myself years of agony, physio, about £300 in osteopathy, and mental deterioration. Also the amount of shit I’ve turned down because of it – work opportunities, romantic opportunities, social events, traveling.

The whole time, I was too docile, too polite. "Erm yes I think the physio has been beneficial..." Yes; taking time out of work to walk an hour to a clinic to further compress my nerve endings through bending and stretching was a wonderful idea! Oh sure, my core strength is fantastic now, but what good is that when you have oogie shit leaking out of a spinal disc?

I tried to keep a positive mind because that’s what people always say to do. "Keep on keeping on!" My message to take home from this, guys, is, NO, it’s not always correct to believe these saccharine statements, just to believe it’s all going to get better, you need to

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY.

I also found out about being able to get in on my Dad’s private health care about a couple of months before my appointment was sorted. I was worried it would never happen, so I made the call to my Pop. Turns out, yes, I was entitled to help. Why hadn't they offered it before? Because I hadn't been clear enough to friends and family about how much it was hurting me to do anything.

To give you an idea, here's a list of things I can now do again without being dosed up to the eyeballs on painkillers:

  • Get out of bed
  • Work a full day at the more physical of my jobs
  • Work at my other job without squirming about in my chair all day
  • Turning my head to check for traffic
  • Browse through clothes on the top rail
  • Pick up stuff I've dropped on the floor - those who know me know I do this a lot
  • Hug
  • Dance
  • Walk

Also I can now stand at traffic lights without having to put all the weight on one leg like a flamingo.

Don't let people fob you off with their suggestions and quack remedies. Don't be humble and meek and accept being treated the way you are because you look young and healthy so it can't be that serious surely. This world is filled with too many twats with too many problems so if you want a problem solved you need to shout louder than the rest of them.

I have been highly critical of the NHS in previous posts. This was largely due to irritating administrative failures and time-wasting appointments. In contrast I would like to state for the record the care I received at the clinic was first-rate. Those good folk know what they're doing; it's the admin side that lets everybody down. I mean, they still use fax machines and Windows 98 ffs; no wonder everything's so fucking slow.