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  • Writer's picturedouglas


Updated: Dec 30, 2022

I've hurt my back.

This isn't a cry for help or a petition where I expect to be inundated with copious amounts of sympathy cards. It's simply a factual and accurate description that my lower back is not working as smoothly as it should be — maybe it never did. I'm being pedantic.

The story of my aches and pains stem from a time when I fell off — understatement — my Honda Superdream 250cc — it was often the first big bike for potential rockers and Led Zeppelin fans. I should add at this juncture that it wasn't my fault. A car came out of a turning without looking in my direction. I was knocked over to the other side of the road and ended up at Ayr County Hospital. My Superdream was no more and, to a certain extent, neither was I. Still I survived albeit with a few broken bones, bruising and bikeless.

Now although the excellent NHS workers repaired me, and after a few weeks of hobbling around on crutches, I was to all extents and purposes well — but not quite.

I've noticed that every now and again my back goes ping and nothing but painkillers, straps, hot pads and holding myself in a certain position, will help relieve the pain. Sometimes the pinging would only occur when Halleys's comet makes an appearance.

Then it became more frequent, possibly once in a blue moon (but more frequent than the said comet). Now it's occurring two or three times every year. When it happens I'm completely immobile and walking — sorry — crawling from room to room can take an eternity. By the following day I'm shuffling about like someone who has had two hips replacements and is trying to walk on a hot bed of ashes. By the third day (tomorrow as I write this) I should be back to some form of normality.

Let me milk this scenario for a bit. The only thing that is on my mind, is the discomfort. It doesn't go away. I'm reminded of it, certainly while the pain is still there. I'm limited as to what I can do. Putting on my shoes or tying the laces is simply agony, but I'm aware that it will pass and maybe I can tolerate it until it does.

But what about those people who suffer from constant anxiety, or experience panic attacks or are frightened of judgement or condemnation? A physical pain is often noticeable — it might even merit some sympathy; mental anguish is often hidden but it is just as uncomfortable, debilitating and soul destroying. Thankfully help, understanding and support are available. No one should ever suffer in silence and sometimes picking up the phone or sending a text to a friend or a counsellor or someone who 'gets you' is the first step to managing your own unique pain. Don't suffer in silence.


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