Most of you know by now that I’ve been injured for the last couple of weeks. A slipped disc, how utterly glorious for a dancer! This has meant that I’ve been pretty quiet on several fronts – social, professional and more, and I figured it was time for le update on le situation. Today I’m having a good day (pain has been managed well) so in a good frame of mind to discuss this. I cannot however promise that I won’t burst into internet-tears halfway so it would be nice if you could ensure some tissues and rage management meds are handy! Hello insanity!
So. What’s been happening in my life? Well to tell the truth, not much at all. I’ve been pretty much lying in bed for 2 weeks. Yes, I can get up and move around. Yes, I can look after myself. Yes, I can do things. But. And this is a huge but – I can’t do much for more than 30 minutes at a time whilst upright. At this stage, sitting up hurts after 30 minutes, as does standing and walking and moving around. Most things are still too heavy, like the kettle when filled, the frying pan, the 2litre bottle of milk. You get the idea.
When I do move around, I’m so far up to about 2 hours of mild, very mild activity, before collapsing in a heap, disoriented, in relentless pain, and so exhausted I can (and usually do) sleep for a long long time. Sometimes I pick up the phone and dial S or one of my friends and babble tearily. Needless to say, it’s not ideal for daily living, or indeed much fun or fabulousness at all. 2 weeks of this and I am officially over it – everything taking much longer, simple things like taking a shower or making a simple meal exhausting me, and the reality that my days are half spent lolling about feeling mentally alert but physically dead.
I AM getting better though, and can feel it. I can increasingly (by a few minutes each time) do a bit more, stay standing/sitting a bit longer, feeling brave enough to try something new. Most times I’m punished by the pain that creeps up, feeling like a 100kg man is determinedly climbing up onto my back and bouncing up and down, demanding attention. Hi Mr Climber! I’m begging you – please stop bothering me!
Mentally and emotionally, it has been exhausting not just for me, but I’m hyper aware that it’s been a burden for all those around me. It has been immensely difficult realising that daily life is no longer an option, that I can’t plan my future weeks, that no one can give me a time frame for recovery because it varies so much from person to person. The frustration from not being able to do basic things has been overwhelming. Having to reach out to my friends and ask so much of them has been embarrassing – I know it’s what they’re my friends for but it’s still heart wrenching being this needy. Having to be so unsure about my dancing future has been the hardest – this is something I’m absolutely not ready to talk about.
A setback this week didn’t help. Everything was feeling so much better – I was more mobile, had my pain under great management, and could sit up for up to 45 minutes, so on Monday decided to try going into work for a couple of hours. This was a huge mistake – the sharp pains going down my hip and leg all night told me so. The doctor told me so. A relapse is not what I needed, but it happened. If not better by next week my doctor is considering an epidureal injection, the thought of which puts me in such conniptions that I swear it’s spasming up my back even more just thinking about it.
I am incredibly lucky. I have a team keeping my dance school going, an amazingly capable team whom I can entrust all students to. I have the best posse of girlfriends who come over, bustle, never let me get too morose, help me clean my apartment and ensure I have food and emotional well being.
Ps, that last photo? That is what it looks like in Casa de Sharon, everyday at the moment. Charming.
I have well meaning friends and students and colleagues from around Australia who have bolstered me with their messages of support and encouragement. I have the best partner anyone could ask for, who juggles his own hectic life and mine too whilst being loving and caring and frankly, still surprisingly attracted to this lolling, skinny, birds-nest-haired mess that resides perpetually on the living room floor and makes squawking whinger noises.
Also, strictly for your entertainment, on Sunday I decided to cut my own hair in an effort to feel a BIT more feminine and pretty than I have been. When I went into work on Monday I took a photo (since I, shock & horror, wasn’t wearing pyjamas and was actually semi-presentable, the effort of which by the way, was debilitating). Self hair cut didn’t turn out so bad, methinks.
Please ignore the fact that almost straight after this, Mr Pain came back and I had to go home whimpering.
So it could all be worse. And lots of people have been through much worse. And I’m lucky. And I hope anyone else with a bad back reads this and has some understanding from it – I know I keep badgering my doctor and physio with the “is this normal? can this possibly take this long? how can this be normal?” questions. Yes. They tell me this is normal. But guys, keep rooting for it to get better ok?
Hope you liked the update! Happy happy posts with our trip photos coming soon I promise!