I’ve had lower back problems for a long, long time. (So long, in fact, that they used a CT scan to diagnose a bulging disc in my back because MRIs weren’t commonplace yet.) For years, when I was uncomfortable, I’d lie on the floor for an hour or take a couple of Advil and boom, solved. That stopped working this year, and the pain got a lot worse. For months, I did a lot of things to try managing the pain. They had varying degrees of success.
In September, I was at a point where I couldn’t walk, stand, or even sit up. In October, I was scheduled for surgery. But, I failed my pre-op exam because all of my lab numbers were out of whack. Some of the lab number crazy turned out to be problems that had to get solved first. I spent a week in the hospital, and then a month in a health care facility.
I’m home now. I can sit up, walk and stand. My pain today, on a scale of 1 to 10, is about a 1. I haven’t had surgery. I have an appointment at the end of the month to talk to someone about what’s next for me. I might be the same, better, or worse then. We’ll see.
Please note: I’ve taken notes this entire time. I know a lot more than I did this time last year about health care, about temporary disability, about chronic pain and its management, about medications of all kinds, and especially about non-epiphany, non-linear narratives.
However, I didn’t have my shit together to make any of it, or anything else, into a story that was ready for outside of my head. I guess being excused from that absence is what I’m really looking for.