The Gym – 23/07/14 15:06

The one thing that doctors and consultants have always said to me is “stay active”, and I’ve always questioned exactly what they meant by that, and they’d always reply “go to the gym”.

Now, going to the gym isn’t something new to me. I used to go quite regularly with an old friend of mine, and it was enjoyable for the most part, and we’d always have that ‘after gym’ burn. We’d seriously push ourselves.. Dangerously so, when I think about it now.

Anyway, this time around, it’s me and the other half that are going to the gym together, which is actually really nice. It’s something that we can do together, get quite fit, and we can keep each other motivated when we’re there. We’re still “newbies” to this new gym, but I’m sure we’ll settle in soon enough. One of the things which we adore, is the fact that this gym has a Hydro-pool, Sauna, Steam room, and a Sanarium.

I have been told numerous times to seek out a Hydro-pool, because apparently they’re fantastic for people with my condition, and just general arthritis. To be honest, I quite agree with them. I can safely say that whilst in the pool, I generally feel more relaxed, and in some cases, my pain has actually reduced because of the gravity free environment and the soft (or powerful) jets.

Last night we decided to head into the Hydro-pool, because in case anybody hadn’t noticed… It’s stupidly hot. I mean seriously… 28 Degrees in the UK? That’s just unheard of.

Anyway, so we went into the Hydro-pool, and surprisingly enough it was colder than usual. It’s usually quite warm because warmer temperatures help reduces inflammation and tries to encourage flexibility, but this time, it was a lot colder. Not that it mattered, I was just happy to get into the water and relieve the pressure. I was most certainly worn out yesterday because of the night before, so the gravity-free environment, was a joy to my bones.

It’s also nice to spend some time in the sanarium, because the humidity and heat certainly adds to the relaxation, and calming of my muscles and joints. Furthermore, it’s lovely to be able to do this with someone, you know? It really does add to the relaxation factor, and actually almost adds to the purpose of being there.

It was then that I decided, I’m going to come to the gym today when I’ve dropped the other half off at work at 8:30. I’ll go straight to the gym, and see what I can do, then go home. Great idea!

The only trouble is… Today I awoke in agony again. Not so much as the other day, good god no, but I was, and still am, in agony today. So trying to motivate myself to keep this idea of going to the gym today, was absolutely awful. Seriously, I put on my trackies and gym top, and I think I just stood there in my room just looking round at things, because I was just having this fight and debate in my head of going, or not going, to the gym.

That’s the daily struggle that I have. The fact that I want to do something, but the pain just puts me off from doing it. So in the end, I didn’t think, and instead I just “did”. I made it to the gym, but kind of made a little deal with myself as I was driving there. I won’t do any core exercises, such as my abs or lower back muscles, as to not aggravate the pain even more, and I wont do any leg exercises either, because I’m already not too steady on my feet, I’d rather not make that worse either. If I fall over at any point, I’m in big trouble.

So an hour later, after I’d mainly focused on my upper body, I had to pack it in.

I didn’t want to, because I would have liked to have stayed there, but as I was up and down off the machines, my back was getting sorer. I’ve also realised that if I’m tensing when lifting a weight, for some reason, my back even tenses, causing some discomfort. That being said, after an hour, I couldn’t physically lift any more weights, my arms just wouldn’t work, so I suppose it was best me leaving.

The good thing was, is I actually felt better for going. I’d had this battle in my head with myself about whether to go or not, and I’d won, then I’d actually just gone to the gym in the first place. Yes okay, it’s only an hour, but at least it’s an hour more than I would have done, and it’s actually made me feel a bit better today. My pain is still bad, if not actually worse than it was this morning, but I’m proud of myself for doing something at least a slight bit productive.

It’s things like that, that help me to keep doing things. Little bits of something, that just keep me ticking over, and feeling proud of myself, because it is hard you know… It is hard to be proud of yourself when all you can think of is pain.

I don’t think I’ll end up going tomorrow though, purely because I don’t want to push it, and at the end of the day, I don’t know how I’ll feel either. Perhaps I’ll go Friday.. I don’t know, we’ll see.

For now, I’m just proud of myself for today. The gym helps, because it does make you feel better about yourself, and I’d encourage everybody to join one, even if you go to relax in the pools or saunas etc. It’s so worth the money. Yet, it also helps me, because it keeps my confidence up a little, and gives me a little kick in the right direction.

I’m hoping that when I end up going back to Uni, I’ll be able to develop some sort of regime, and apparently, the guys at the gym can help with that too, so it will be nice, especially when me and the other half go too. I’m hoping to get into a routine of going at least three times a week when I’m at Uni, doing a number of things from weights, to classes, to going in the pools. I’m actually really looking forward to it.

For now though, I’ll just settle with going whenever I can, and whenever I can also go with the missus.

Pain Rating: 7


Excruciating Pain & Flaring Up – 21/07/14 23:10

That would be one of many words that I would use to describe how I feel during a flare up. A few others, would easily come to mind, even for those who’d never experienced such pain before.

The pain experienced during one of my flare ups, is like nothing else imaginable. Every single time is different, yet also exactly the same. Right now, I’m feeling the same things I was feeling last time I had a flare up, yet I’m also feeling different things.

Now of course, a flare up can be completely different depending on the type of condition a sufferer has, and a flare up can be brought on by a number of completely different things. Plenty of times I’ve had flare ups just because of the weather! Then there’s, a lack of sleep, stress, a lack of movement, just to name a few. Even my own medication, the stuff that’s supposed to help me, can cause me to have horrific flare ups. Then of course.. They can just be random.

Right now, I’m in the middle of a random one, or at least, so I think.

Those of you that’ve read my post a few days ago, know that I had six injections in my back last Tuesday (15/07/14), and whilst the chances of me suffering from a flare up because of those injections, was reasonably high at the time, those chances are now actually a lot less. Then again, it’s a factor that I can’t ignore.

The thing is, it’s easy to ignore. In fact, I wasn’t even going to write this post. If it wasn’t for the fact that I know that I won’t be able to sleep, I would most certainly have left this, and not even bothered, purely because my mentality isn’t with it.

Right now, I can’t even concentrate on what time it is. I’m not concentrating on anything, if I’m quite honest.

I’m in PAIN!

For the first time, as far as I can remember, this flare up is also in my neck. At the bottom of my neck, where it joins my spine. It hurts. My pelvis, hurts. My spine, hurts. My hips, hurt. It all just fucking hurts. The thing is… And this is probably THE MOST depressing thing about it… I can’t do anything about it.

You heard me.

Right now, my heads all over the place. Literally, my thoughts are just like fluid in my brain, with no way of me actually putting a hold on any of them. The only thing I can constantly think about is this pain. It’s not a stabbing pain, or a pinching pain, or an ache. It’s not a “you can take some tablets and you’ll be fine” pain. It’s not a “just ignore it and it’ll go away” type of pain. And it is most certainly not “typical back/neck” pain.

No, I agree, it’s not comparable to child birth. It’s not comparable to getting kicked in the balls either. It’s not comparable to anything. If I had to honestly describe how I feel right now… The only thing that comes to mind is that I’m hurting. I’d cry if I could, but I’ve done that enough over the years. I have a cry, and once I’m done, I’m still in pain. There’s no point.

This, white hot burning poker, is just rammed so far into my joints, it’s unbearable. I move, it hurts. I stay still, it hurts.

This is all something which is familiar throughout my flare ups. The type of pain is different every time, and the way I feel the pain, is also, much much different. Yet the way to describe it, and how I describe it, doesn’t change much. Because there is no other way to describe it.

I know that this type of pain I’m feeling now, is completely different to the pain I was feeling this morning, or even the pain I was feeling in the last flare up. I feel crippled. I almost feel helpless, and powerless to do anything. I can’t do anything. I can take more painkillers yeah, but that will temporarily scrape the surface of it. Yet, it’s worth a try, so I do it anyway.

The funny thing is, it’s in my mind. No literally, it actually takes control of my mind. Being in the state I’m in right now, there’s nothing I can think about. I’ve just had the TV on, yet I couldn’t tell you much about the program I’d just watched. I wasn’t concentrating, nor was I listening. I was just… Staring. My concentration had, and has, just gone completely. This out maybe full of jibe fish for all I know, because I’m just seeing my fingers dart around the screen of my iPad.

I know if I move, it’ll hurt. The only way of thinking about it is like my hips have completely rusted at the joint, and my spine and now including my neck, have just been fused. Even just being sat on my pelvis hurts. Ever heard of anyone complaining of that?


“What’s wrong?”

“My pelvis hurts”

It’s strange to think isn’t it?

We’ll think about it, and think about it good, because it fucking hurts. This pain isn’t a nice type of pain. It doesn’t make me feel alive. It doesn’t make me want to go and do something with my life before it gets worse. It makes me want to sit there, and do nothing. Curl up and just let the world pass me by.

I know I can’t do that. Not only do I not want to do that, I can think of two people especially who wouldn’t let me do that. Two, very influential, yet very loving women, who would put themselves through all of this, just so I didn’t have to.

That saddens me.

It saddens me because… They see me like this. Nobody has seen me in this state. People have seen me in agonising pain… But a flare up is 100x worse. Yet these two women have seen me in it, and throughout it. It hurts to know what they’d do for me, but it comforts me at the same time.

Sometimes I’ve thought about giving it all up you know? Especially when it’s like this. The pain… It just becomes too much. There’s only so much one man can take. The feeling of bones actually hurting. The cracking and creaking of the joints as they try to move. The pokers, still has white hot as they were before, slowly moving about.

A life without pain… Imagine what that’d be like. I’ve forgotten now. It’s been too long ago that I’ve experienced such a thing.

Then again… I did have a glimpse of hope once my procedure was done. I could walk for a short while, without being in any pain.

It’s nice to think like that when I’m like this, but those thoughts and memories are just too hard to uncover mentally. There’s like a demon, or some sort of fog within my mind, always appearing whenever I’m in pain, or to be more specific, becoming more opaque, covering my thoughts, memories, feelings and everything that is me, the more and more pain I’m in. So it becomes harder to function. As my body moves slower, so does my mind. Slowed to a halt as this fog takes over. Shortening my concentration. Blocking my cognitive functions, and worst of all, taking away all of my energy.

There’s another thing… This is exhausting. Physically, that’s understandable. Mentally, is something you’d never even begin to imagine. Everyday it’s the same old pain, same old fog. Slowly wearing you down, but there’s a certain amount that can be dealt with. But today? Things go up to 11. Concentration? No. Memory? Ha! Don’t think so. Motivation? Nope. Tiredness? My body is screaming, it’s on fire. My nerves are firing twice the speed they usually do… Yet I want to go to sleep. Please can I go to sleep? But I can’t go to sleep, not yet. That means I have to move, and moving means I’ll be in even more pain. It’s alright, I’ll just sit here for a bit, it’s okay, I can deal with it.

“I can deal with it”

That’s probably the biggest, yet most common lie I’ve ever told myself.

Thing is… You can’t just “deal” with this pain. It’s constantly changing, constantly shifting and changing the way it effects me. Every single day, and yet… You know what’s even worse?

It will never get better. It will get worse.

Over time, of course, but over time or not, that’s something else resting heavily on my mind. Especially when flare ups tend to happen.

A flare up can be a very long, and excruciating reminder that this is my future. This is what I have to “look forward to”. This, is a life that I’m going to lead.

Again, that saddens me.

Yet, throughout all of this… I could wake up tomorrow, and be absolutely fine. I seriously could. Or, I could be exactly the same, or worse. That’s the only trouble with this… Every day is a new day. I seriously just have to live everyday as it comes.

That, my friends, is what I will keep on doing.

There will be some of you reading this, that perhaps will see this as a very negative post. Some of you, will find it incredibly interesting. And some of you will get lost halfway through.

Either way… Just remember this. I’ve suffered through this thing before… I’ll sure as hell be doing it again. Pain is my number one weakness, it’s the only thing I’m scared of, yet it’s the fear I face every single day. Not because I want to, and not because I have anything to prove. I don’t have to prove shit to anybody. I do it, because I won’t stop. I can’t stop. Life will just move on around me, no matter what. I’d rather move with it and do something with my life.

It’s one problem at a time though, and right now, this is taking everything out of me. I’d like to sleep. I think sleep is good. Sleep might help. Will it? Probably not, but I can only hope.

So this is my first time at fully describing a flare up, as it’s actually happening. I hope it’s a good read for some, and an interesting memory for me.

For now.. I’ll let my subconscious take care of the demons wrecking havoc on my body and my mind.

Pain Rating: 9


Disturbed Sleep – 19/07/14 02:57

I’ve begun to realise that my once ‘healthy’ sleeping state, is now much more disturbed than I’m actually letting on.

As you know, pain can sometimes keep you awake. It can also wake up the deepest of sleepers too, very sharply and suddenly. Yet I am, or was, not like that. My pain didn’t actually make my sleep worse, but in fact made it a bit better.

Sometimes if my pain is high on the rating scale, my ability to actually go to sleep, is compromised and delayed, purely because I can’t get in a comfortable enough position so that my pain can be reduced for the ~20 minutes it takes me to fall into a deep slumber. Once I’m actually asleep though… There’s no waking me. Seriously! I’ve slept through the bumps in the night, my dog walking all over me to get comfortable on my bed, I even sometimes don’t even wake up to sunlight!

This is because the only ever time that I’m out of pain completely, is when I’m sleeping. Completely knocked out, in the deepest of slumbers.

Now, whether this is a defense mechanism developed by my mind or body over time, or whether it is more a habitual ritual that I seem to fall into, I’m not really too sure. I can safely say when I’m having a flare-up and my pain is going upwards of about 7, perhaps 8 and even more, I am incredibly tired, more so than usual. Generally because I’m using that much energy in order to move and to mentally motivate myself to get up and stay up, that I’m just draining all of my energy, and this is even before I’ve started the day. Also, because I’m in that much pain, the only thing that gets me completely out of pain, or so that my consciousness doesn’t feel it, is when it’s not active. A.K.A Sleep.

Sleep has always been a big factor in my life though. My emotions and mood can sometimes be tied directly to how I’ve slept the night before, or more importantly, how many hours of sleep I’ve had. Although, the amount of hours sleep is generally becoming less of a factor, purely because I’m now a student, having finished my first year at university. I think after pulling countless number of all nighters and at one point, staying up for close to 60 hours on the go, my body has begun to realise that sometimes, sleep does have to come last.

I’ve never seemed to have a problem with it though, and a lot of people have said it before, once I’m asleep, I’m gone and it’s a real challenge to wake me up, unless it’s very nicely and usually consists of constant reminders and a cup of tea. Man, there’s nothing better than a brew in the morning. I don’t think I’ve been a day without one!

However, whilst I’m going on about how well I sleep, it’s something that the other half seemed to realise about how I actually am in my sleep, and regretfully, I actually kept her up for a few nights. (Heh!)

A couple of weeks ago, my mum and her partner went away for two weeks, and I was basically left in the house on my own, bar the pooch, which as company goes, she’s rather disloyal unless you’re quite cool temperature wise and / or are willing to bribe her with treats. So naturally, I was delighted when the missus said that she’d stay with me for the two weeks.

The first week was great! I was up in the mornings with her, making a brew and some breakfast, before I dropped her off at work and came home to chill. It was lovely just to have her there, waking up to her and falling asleep with her, it was actually incredibly comforting, and I thought I slept a lot better with her there.

The second week however, was somewhat of a disaster! The pooch decided it would be a fun idea to eat the folded up kitchen towel I’d used to catch the grease from my George Foreman, and then decide that over a course of a few days, try and throw it back up again. The other half was woken up at the start of the week, by a dog who was trying to be sick, yet failing. The night after though, again, the other half was woken up, yet the pooch had successfully thrown up the undigested kitchen towel, to which I swiftly disposed of and got back to bed. After that night however, that’s it, the other half just didn’t sleep well, and this is where I found out that my sleep patterns, may not be so plain and simple.

By the end of the week, she was knackered. I could physically see it in her face, she was drained, and I felt like I was responsible because it was my dog that messed it up at the start of the week, and she’s been living at mine for the past two weeks, in bed with me!

According to her, she’s successfully been able to determine when I’m in pain throughout my sleep, purely by how I am when I’m in the slumber.

Apparently, whilst in my sleep, I react to the pain I feel during the day, in a somewhat similar fashion whilst I’m asleep. At some points I was curled up in a ball because I needed to stretch my back out, leaving her with not a lot of space to get comfortable. This is one of the positions I’d try and relax in or get comfortable, if I was on a chair or lay down, whilst in pain. In other instances however, I found it more comfortable to be lay on my back, rather than my sides, as that’s putting direct pressure on one side of my pelvis. My memory foam mattress topper does wonders for my back, but I can still feel the pressure on my hips if I lie on one side. This naturally caused another issue for her, as when I’m on my back, I tend to snore… Yeah.. Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m a snorer. Dammit.

This next part however, is actually not expected, and something which I didn’t expect either!

A few months ago, I was prescribed a patch called a BuTrans patch, which is basically a painkiller that acts in the same way a nicotine patch does, and I have to wear it for 7 days.
I’d been prescribed 5mg to start with, and after a couple of weeks, I then moved up to 10mg as my pain wasn’t reducing in any way. Just before my mum went away, I’d seen my consultant who said that I could move upwards again, this time doubling the patch to 20mg. It was only halfway through the two weeks she was away that the missus realised I was only wearing a 10mg patch. I removed it, and she placed a 20mg one on for me.

This… Caused a few issues whilst I slept, and actually whilst I was awake, because it gave me terrible itches. Yep… Itching.
Boy, did I scratch like a motherfucker. I’ve actually still got a scab on my ankle about an inch tall, of where I itched continuously. It was irritating, and mixed with the warm weather… I was a nightmare to sleep with.

I was itching constantly in my sleep apparently. My body, my arms, my legs, my head, everywhere! This got so bad to the point that (and I actually remember this), the missus took my hand away from my itching head, and slammed it down over the other side of the bed. She wasn’t doing it to hut me, she was just sick of the scratching, because it was keeping her awake! I don’t blame her to be honest… It’s safe to say that I soon became irritated by the daytime itching and switched back to 10mg. The plan is to work up to 15mg first, but that’s for another post.

Now, itching and keeping the other half awake aside, another new addition to my sleeping pattern is actually voluntary. I purposefully wake myself up roughly 3 – 4 hours before I have to wake up, so that I can take some painkillers. This means that they have time to take effect, and by the time I wake up, it’s a lot easier and I’m not in as much pain.

This is fine, and I’m more than happy with this, but now it seems to have become an automatic reaction. For the past 4 nights on the trot, I’ve woken up on, or around, 04:30. It’s great, because it means no alarm, and I’m usually wide awake and I love that! Waking up naturally, and being alert and completely awake! The only trouble with this is… I have to go back to sleep, and with that… Means I have to wake up again, which would be fine, if I actually woke up in the same way. Usually when I wake up 3 – 4 hours later, I’m incredibly groggy.

Speaking of sleep though, I’ve realised that I’ve been writing this post for over an hour, and since I came in from work roughly two hours ago, I suppose I’d better get some sleep.

I just thought it was interesting how, on one hand, I thought my sleeping patterns were solid and that I hardly moved and that I was out of pain throughout the night, yet on the other, my partner is telling me that I’m curling up in a ball and switching positions because I’m reacting to pain, and that even in my sleep, my medication is having an effect on not only my cognitive functions, but also my physical ones too. I probably would have never woken up that morning, if she hadn’t have taken my hand away from my face!

I think that eventually, it’ll just be something that we’ll get used to when staying together. I won’t even get into her sleeping positions! You thought the exorcist had some crazy moves…

For now though, I’ll leave this post here and get some much needed shut eye. Perhaps I’ll make a post tomorrow, or Sunday, explaining how my pain in whilst I’m in work. Tonight I just fancied something a bit easier and nicer to write about, to take my mind off it.

Pain Rating: 6


Aftermath of Procedure – 18/07/14 10:54

So yesterday I realised that anaesthetic can have a serious lasting effect on the body, or at least, it did on mine.

Don’t get me wrong, I was ‘okay’ to a point. Yesterday I woke up, and I felt alright. My pain levels were low, the stiffness has mostly faded as with the aching, so I was relatively happy and I couldn’t complain. Next thing I know, I’m feeling lethargic and have a very deep sickly feeling in my stomach.

At this point, I’m confused. I had a good amount of sleep the night before, I’ve still taken my meds as normal, and I’ve eaten. So what the hell is going on? I wouldn’t mind, but I was border-lining dangerous as I continued to get even more lethargic as I went to see the missus at work. After leaving her, I went to see my mum on her break and she questioned whether I had taken anything bar my normal medication. I swiftly refused, but she’d only asked because my pupils were tiny. Granted, it was a very sunny day, but still, they were stupidly small.

She thought it best I go home and sleep, to see if that will help any. I agreed with her, and went home to catch some Zzz’s before I went to go an pick up the other half. Lucky for me, she wanted to get a couple of hours shut eye when we got back to mine, so again, I fell asleep.

Once we’d both awoke, I felt fine. I mean seriously, I felt absolutely fine and actually went to a family get together and had a couple of drinks.

It was strange, because I’m usually tired anyway, not so much because I’m lazy or because I don’t do anything because I’m certainly not lazy at all. It’s mainly because I’m knocking back that many pills, a concoction of painkillers, nerve suppressants and anti-inflammatorys, I’m bound to feel knackered all the time, and alongside the anaesthetic and steroids given to me in my back… I think my body just reacted negatively and needed time to recharge and get itself together.

Granted, as I said, I went to a get together last night and the missus came along too. Me, my mum and the other half, and I can safely say it was lovely. Surprisingly enough actually. Usually this half of the family, whilst most of the time way over the alcohol limit, are a bit.. Stuck up. You see, they have money.. A LOT of money. When you put that next to what my mum earns, she probably earns <10% of what they earn in a year. So it’s difficult for us to understand exactly why they’re so money mad.

My mum works incredibly hard for her wages, always doing overtime and actually sometimes running herself into the ground. The same can be said for the other half too! She does something similar, and I do worry about them both about the amount their working and the affect it’s having on them, but then I have to think… They’re worrying about me too, and when I was working.. I was doing exactly the same, so I understand why they do it.

So we work for our money… Yet this side of the family, at least most of them, have a lot of money given to them. Nevertheless, we had a lovely night, and it was actually the first time I’ve introduced a girlfriend to that side of the family, and it’s safe to say that she got along well with a few of them, which was an absolute pleasure to see. We may not see them all again any time soon, but it was a lovely night.

It was a lovely ending, to an otherwise very strange day. It was odd feeling that way, it has to be said, and I hope that I don’t feel like that again any time soon. Then again, it’s just the aftermath of all the shit running through my body.

I really wish that I didn’t have to take all these tablets, and perhaps one day, I’ll explain why.

For now though, I’m going to end this here, and coincidentally enough.. Go and get the other half!

Pain Rating: 4

Pain Rating

Surprise procedure & Pain Rating Scale – 16/07/14 23:28

Well it seems like I almost didn’t stick to the Day-by-Day schedule, but there is a reason for doing so!

At 13:20 yesterday I recived a phone call from my local hospital saying that I could come in and have a procedure which I have been waiting for on my back. I’d like to point out that I’ve been waiting for this procedure for weeks, rather impatiently. But there was a catch.

I had to be at the hospital for 14:00.

That gave me 40 minutes to get there. Which, to be honest, was a lot of time, as the hospital was just down the road. I said goodbye to the missus, as at the time I was actually with her on her break at work, and off I went for this procedure.

This procedure was basically a set of six injections of local anaesthetic and steroids, which were done within the facet joints in my back. For those that have no clue what facet joints are, it’s basically the parts between the vertebrae in your spine, and the cartilage “disks”, but behind those. Yeah, it’s complicated to understand, so here’s a picture which shows things better…lumbar_facet_arthritis_intro01

You see those “red bits”? Yeah, that’s basically where I had these injections. The bottom two red parts of the picture above, and just a tad bit lower, towards the pelvis, one more injection was done. So I had three injections over either side of my spine coming to six in total.

It was a strange feeling, because I’d already had a Pre-OP a few weeks ago, and I thought they would have done it then.. But apparently they trust my blood pressure to stay consistant and for me to not become infected with MRSA in the weeks coming up to my actual operation, which of course I didn’t actually get a date for. Hence why I was so eager to get in the 14:00 cancelation slot.

Anyway, it is safe to say.. It was the most painful thing, I think I’ve ever done. In fact, I nearly screamed at the Doc doing it, after swearing multiple times at him, which he gracefully took on the chin as he knew that I knew he wasn’t intentionally hurting me. I wouldn’t mind, but it was the anestetic that hurt first, and then after that, I couldn’t feel anything “externally”, it was inside my spine that I felt the sharp end of the needle, which was a very strange feeling.

He also did a superb job when it came to the joints close to my pelvis. For those of you that don’t know, because of the Ankylosing Spondylitis, the joints in my pelvis have fused together. Meaning I don’t have the normal three bones that you would have. Instead of having two hip bones and a tail bone, I have one big, fused bone.

This of course created complications when he was trying to inject into that joint, and on multiple ocassions, I again explicitly told him that it hurt as I could actually feel the needle, and the contents of said needle, touching the fused bones within my pelvis. I think at one point, the BP monitor that was clipped over my finger actually registered me as dead, purely because I was squeezing my fists that tightly, that the monitor couldn’t get an accurate reading of my BP. rest assured, because of the tensing of my legs and the words coming out of my mouth, my consultant was positvely sure that I was very much still alive.

So, once the procedure was over, and what felt like an excructiatingly long 20 minutes, I was back in the hospital ward after the nurses at recovery were sure that my blood pressure was stable, and that I could still move my legs.

It was strange, because when I was back on the hospital ward, I could feel my back.. Yet it was like I couldn’t.. The anestetic didn’t wear off until a few hours afterwards. This was lovely for me, as when I got up to go to the toilet, to my amazement, I could actually walk without any pain. For the first time in five years, I can say that I was completely out of pain. It was a fantastic feeling.

Yet of course, once the anastetic began to wear off, I began to feel my back again and become very tired and stiff.

Today, I feel “better”. I started the day off feeling very achy. The doc told me to take it easy and try to do as little as possible, so of course, I took his advice. I did go and see the missus on her dinner, which did add a bit of light and excitement, to my otherwise very boring day. Then again, I couldn’t actually do much. My back hadn’t seiezed up, I just couldn’t move it properly. I actually felt like someone has replaced my lower back with a broom stick. I don’t mind of course, because I know that soon enough, It’ll get better.

Now though, as I write this, I am in a slight bit of pain again. I’m still stiff as anything, aching, but some pain has come back. I have to say though, it certainly isn’t anything to what it used to be. Only time will tell as to how I’ll react to this treatment. After having just a normal steroid injection in my bum last year, I had a major flare up soon after. Which is “rare”.. Here’s hoping it doesn’t happen again.

I am feeling confident about this procedure though, I’ve hard many stories of them being a great success. Then again, others which haven’t had as much success. Realistically like anything, it’s all trial and error really. You never know, within the next few days I could have the exact feeling or “lack of” should I say, as I felt when I first got up on the hospital ward to go to the toilet. I could be pain free, for at least a few months.

At least, that’s what I’m hoping for. Optimism is key with a condition like this. I realised that a long time ago. Is it the placebo effect? After going through a procedure like that, I can safely say NO! If the anestetic and stroids work, it’s because they’ve worked. If they don’t, it’s either because my condition is worse than I thougt, or they just haven’t had an effect on me.

For now though, I’m much happier now I’ve had them done, and I’m no longer impatiently waiting for a letter to appear through my door with a date on it. I’ll only get one of those when my consultant would like to see me again, which should be sometime within the next three months. I may have to have these injections again.. Throughout all the pain of having them done.. I just hope that I can say that it was all worth it, but for now, we’ll just have to wait and see.

I’m also going to introduce a pain rating scale, which I will insert at the end of every post, and comment on where abouts on the scale I feel I am on that day. This scale is fantastic, and it certainly puts it into words, and visualises exactly how I’m feeling and how my pain is affecting me on that day.

It’s important to note that my daily pain has NEVER gone below a 4 on this scale. EVER. As far a I can remember anyway. So I’m hoping that I can get below that with the procedure that I’ve just had done.

I would say today, that I am actually quite low for me, but that maybe because I’m stiff as a board and actually haven’t moved much today. None the less, I’m going to end this post here by saying that right now I feel like my pain is a 5 on this scale.

Until next time.

Pain Rating: 5

Pain Rating

Opening post – 12/07/14 3:37am

First off, I suppose I should introduce myself a little.

My name is Jake Gorton, and this blog is my day-to-day diary of what it is like to be in pain.

I’m not actually quite sure why I’m doing this to be honest, it appears that perhaps people just don’t know enough about illnesses that they can not see, or perhaps their understanding of such things, isn’t as good as it should be.

I myself, suffer from a couple of illnesses that can not be cured, and instead, can only be ‘managed’ for the rest of my life.

I say ‘managed’ because whilst I do have full faith in the United Kingdoms healthcare, it does sometimes seem that they’re… yanno… playing me along?

Thinking about it, I can kind of see why.

I’m 20 years old, and I suffer from a condition known as Ankylosing Spondylitis. For those of you that don’t know… In layman’s terms… My bones within my pelvis and spine are fusing / have fused, together. Alongside that, I also have Chronic Pain Disease, a recently certified disease which in my case, is situated in my spinal cord. More specifically, the nerves within said spinal cord. These nerves have been damaged, at some point within my life, and these nerves have took it upon themselves to remember the damage and the pain which was inflicted by said damage, and remind me of it everyday via, well… the experience of Chronic Pain.

As I sit here now, I’m comfortable. I don’t want to move, because if I do two things will happen.

Firstly, I’ll wake up the other half, and whilst sometimes nice, she needs her sleep more than I do.

And secondly, I’ll be in pain, infact, I’ll be in even more pain than I’m in now and as I’m writing this, I can feel the pain in my neck. Therefore, I may have to move soon, and this is how my struggle starts.

This isn’t necessarily meant for anything but a personal diary. I’ve wanted to do this for a while, and in fact, the missus suggested it not too long ago but suggested a journal instead. I thought this would be a slightly easier option and perhaps could be shared and viewed by people interested in what my conditions are, and what it’s like to live with them on a daily basis.

It is hopefully going to be used to track my own personal progress, development, and also see if I can find a pattern between my flare ups and ‘normal’ times.

We shall hopefully see. I just hope I can stick to it this time!