I think this is one of the subjects which is something that someone who suffers with a condition such as mine, kind of struggles to talk about. Not because it’s any type of negative topic, or they’re just afraid and closed off from talking about it, it could just be down to complete embarrassment.
In my last post, I explained how I’d gone to the gym, and in a sense, how much of a struggle it was in order to actually go through with it. It’s because of this that some people may find the subject of keeping active, actually quite embarrassing, purely because they know that they ‘should’ be keeping active, but no matter how many times a professional has said it to them… They just seem to brush the idea off and have the “I’ll do it another day” mindset, and from personal experience, it is certainly easy to fall into that negative mindset, and it’s even harder to overcome and get out of it.
The thing is.. It actually works. Keeping active throughout the day not only increases your mood and enlightens it, but it helps with the pain.
Over the past couple of days, I’ve been trying to keep a bit more active than I have been doing, and in all honesty, something is working. I actually do feel better about myself, and feel better where the pain is concerned, but more on that later on!
It’s strange to think about it though, I mean, moving actually hurts and for a professional to say that I need to keep moving, it’s a bizarre thought. Yet, I actually had a conversation with somebody the other day, I’ve completely forgotten who, but I was explaining how my condition is going to gradually become worse and worse and sooner or later more bones in my spine will be fused. It is up to me, right now, to decided HOW I want my bones to fuse and that’s just odd, but it makes sense.
If I sit around all day, lie in bed, or generally don’t do anything, my bones will slowly seize up and I’ll begin to develop somewhat of a hunch and mobility will become increasingly difficult. However, if I just grit my teeth and bare the thought of me moving, and actually keep active, my bones constantly move so the fusion process is significantly delayed, and because of the memory foam mattress topper and pillows, especially at night when I’m asleep, my spine is near enough straight (Apart from when I’m in pain) so even when my bones eventually seize up, they should seize up in somewhat of a straight position. Winner-Winner when I think about it.
But there’s staying active with nothing to do, then there’s staying active and keeping busy. Keeping busy is the most important thing for me, because I am actually, a very active and very optimistic person, so I enjoy keeping busy and running around like a blue-arse fly, purely because I stay active and keep busy. It’s perfect! My body is delaying my fusion process, and my mind is being distracted from the pain I may be feeling at that time.
This is the perfect combination of things that I can do in order to manage my pain, and to be honest, manage my life.
Speaking of managing my pain… Something amazing happened today.
So as I said before, I’ve been trying to stay a bit more active over the past couple of days and keep myself busy, and personally I think it’s helped dramatically alongside the procedure I had, because I woke up this morning after a rather good and relaxing sleep to actually find that I wasn’t in pain.
Yes you read that right. I was not in pain.
None what so ever. I was a bit stiff at first, but I think that was just bedtime stiffness, because as soon as I made some breakfast, I was completely fine again. I couldn’t believe it! I sat back in bed and enjoyed my breakfast before the other half rang and asked if I wanted to see her. I said that I’d have a shower, then be round shortly. You don’t understand… A shower is a difficult thing for me. Bending down to pick up the shampoo bottle, or conditioner bottle or whatever (Yeah, I tried to avoid ‘Bend down to pick up soap’ line) is a constant battle. It hurts a lot to bend my spine forwards, and it hurts even more if I slightly slip because the floor of the shower is slippery due to the conditioner. Yet this morning, fucking hell, it was great! I think it was the best shower I’ve had in a long time!
I actually experienced what it was like for ‘normal’ people! You guys have got it good.. You seriously have. My god, it was fantastic, and I was extremely happy this morning!
So anyway, I went to go and see the missus for an hour or so, and I did feel a bit of pain whilst sat in the car, so took a painkiller and had done with it. It did actually fade away, and by the time I was home again, I was out of pain. This is surreal for me to even type, this is how good it was!
Keeping with my decision to stay a bit more active and keep busy, I decided to actually do the hoovering. I actually WANTED to, because I could! I hoovered my own damn house from top to bottom, and when I say I enjoyed it, I was almost dancing around this damn house. It was blissfully amazing.
Being pain-free is an absolute amazing feeling for me, but the difference with today is that I wasn’t doped up on a stupid amount of drugs, I didn’t feel spaced out, and in fact… I felt clear, relaxed and you know what… The one thing that mentally means the most to me… I felt motivated. My motivation was back in my head, and I used it to my advantage. I was motivated to clean the house, I certainly did. I cleaned the kitchen, sorted out one of the shelves in my room, tidied my room, and put things out in the respected bins.
People are probably reading this and thinking that this is all trivial stuff. “Oh well I can do that” or “Yeah but.. I do that on a daily basis” – Well, I understand that, and I can understand why you don’t really understand where I’m coming from. But these things are HUGE for me.
Firstly, I actually WANTED to do a lot more today. I did all those things not because I had to, not because I was asked to, but because I wanted to, and I enjoyed every minute of doing them.
Secondly, I enjoyed the fact that my head felt clear. Alongside the fact that today was a beautiful day, and I got to see the other half, my head just felt like there was air going through it, or that… It was just empty. Like I could think of anything so clearly, and in so much detail, without becoming distracted or without the thought becoming distorted. Having a clear head is something that I have been wishing for, for so long it’s untrue. Having a clear head allows me to organise things a lot more, plan my time easier, and just be me again.
Thirdly, my motivation was back. Motivation is the key to everything. You have to be motivated in order to do something, whether it’s go to the shops, or keep fit, or write stupidly long blog post. The more effort that is required to do the action, the more motivation is needed in order to complete, said action. Today, I could have done anything, and actually, you know what… I basically did everything that I wanted to. I had a lie in, had a shower, saw the missus, ordered some parts for my computer, completed the plans for my new build, tinkered with my laptop, and now I’m here writing this blog post, one of the final things that I wanted to do today.
Finally… I was out of pain. I seriously felt like crying when I realised that I could walk without a white hot poker being in my back, or the grinding of my hips causing me to move slowly. I could actually walk normally, have a shower normally, and just do basic things, normally.
It has been, a fantastic day. Everything has just been amazing to do with me.
I’d like to say that the procedure worked, and this is the steroids kicking in and finally, after long last, I’m finally going to get some relief from a condition, or should I say two conditions, that have crippled me and basically controlled my life. Or then again, it could be due to the fact I’ve got something to focus on now, because I’m re-building my computer, and because of that, I’m staying active some more, moving around, driving around, talking to people, etc.
I have no idea. But something is working. Something inside me is working it’s magic, and I am eternally grateful just to have this one day. Of course, I could complain and say something like “Yeah well, it could have been better if I’d have seen the missus more” – Well yes, I agree, that would have been lovely… But who am I to grumble at this? This is the most important thing that I’ve been wanting, for the past few years, and today, I’ve finally been able to experience what it’s like to live a ‘normal’ life. I’m sure the other half understand this, more than anybody, and she understands exactly what this means to me.
Yes, I don’t want to go back. Yes, I want to stay pain-free for longer. Yes, I am incredibly happy today, and I would love nothing more than for this mood, this clear head, this motivation, and this beautiful lack of pain to be consistent.
But I’m not greedy like that. I’d love all that to happen, and I hope that it does, but if it all fades away tomorrow, I’ll still be happier than I was, because today… The 16th of July 2014… I was pain-free.
I can say that now, after being active, busy and doing more things than I’d normally do, especially when it comes to thinking about things in my mind, purely because I could, and the speed in which I could gather and organise my thoughts was incredible, however I can say that now, I’m quite tired. My mind has slowed, yet it is still clear, it’s just very tired, and my back is now slightly twinging and aching/hurting, but it’s one of those pains where you’ve been doing things all day, and now you’ve stopped, so your body reacts by aching and hurting. I don’t even think it’s anything like anything I’ve ever felt.
As far as I can remember.. I’ve never felt euphoria like this. Morphine couldn’t even make me feel like this. I was out of pain… But high as a kite and blazed up to my eyeballs. Today… I wasn’t like that at all. Today… Was probably one of the best days I’ve ever had when it comes to pain, cognitive functions, and the fuzziness of my head. All of it, gone. Fixed.
It was fantastic, and for once, I can safely say that I was out of pain, and I was me again. The old me. The active, crazy, spontaneous, alpha-dog.
I will continues to try and be active as much as I can, and try to keep myself busy, which wont exactly be difficult as tomorrow is both an active, and a busy day for me tomorrow, and then perhaps on Monday, I may have a go at the gym. If I’m still like this by Monday, my gym session will be like nothing I’ve ever done before. I will push myself to my limit, and I will love ever damn second of it, like I have done today.
I hope and pray that this lasts, if it doesn’t, whatever it was that caused today… Thank you.
I’m going to enjoy typing this next part.