I forgot I had a back injury | Unfortunately my body didn't ...

in life •  20 days ago

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History of my injury

When I found a job in Spain in 2016, it took me only a few weeks to get into sick law. And that's not something I'm proud of, actually. Fall had arrived, and I had just traded in my flip-flops for my boots again. That night it had rained like we hadn't seen yet in Spain since our arrival only months ago. I drank my coffee, as always, and when I was about to leave, I put my headphones on the phone to listen to some music. As I had to walk at a fast pace for thirty minutes (after a thirty-minute bus trip) I always listened to some hardstyle because it helped me keep the pace. I closed the door behind me and started walking, there were stairs too with only a few steps. And I was quite confident with my winter boots on, so I just did what I always did, walk down pretty fast. It only took me one step before it happened, I fell, and I fell hard. I could not get up right away, as I fell on the stairs just above my butt, my lower back. I started crying and was actually pissed off because my jeans were now soaked, and I had no time to change for work anymore.

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The pain got worse

I tried to walk a few steps and then it was obvious that I could never get there on time because I could barely walk at a very slow pace. I was stumbling and looked like an old lady while walking. My boyfriend said I should not complain and just go, even though I would be too late, and had to walk half an hour normally. Not understanding that I would not only be too late but probably would not even be able to finish that long walk at a slow pace due to the pain. He didn't see that I really couldn't walk instead of being more pissed that I would arrive late at work. So I had to call in sick, which I hated to do, and it got me scared they would fire me too, as I was in my probation period. But I had no choice, and my team lead was very understanding, wished me the best and asked me to let me know what the doctor said.

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I've seen a lot of doctors and hospitals since

Long story short, I went to see the doctor and that was the start of a long period with heavy painkillers and a lot of trouble walking and lying down. I could not sit normally, but lying down was also very painful (especially the months I had to sleep on an old mattress) I could barely sit down on the toilet, but even had more trouble getting up. Sometimes I cried because I needed help getting up, I felt so helpless.

After an MRI scan, I finally got diagnosed. The diagnose was "Secondary osteoarthrosis". I had no clue what this was, and actually had quite some trouble to find information on the internet, of course, I heard of arthrosis and arthritis before, but this was not that exact diagnose. It comes down to the fact that the osteoarthrosis is caused by an injury like a fall down the stairs in my case, therefore it's called secondary. Otherwise, it's caused by other things.

In Spain, you get a note from the doctor about being sick, that you have to give to your employer. And usually the doctor gives notes for a week sometimes two, but that means you have to go there every time (which was a pain in the butt, or back in my case as it was a shitty walk with my pain. The doctor started to change the notes for a month after seeing him every single week (I think he got sick of me haha). I noticed that the pain got a bit better once spring arrived. While the months passed, and summer arrived, I could walk a lot better and a lot longer than during winter time. From that moment I understood why people with this kind of injuries don't want to live in Holland, but a country with a warmer climate.

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I blamed the beds I had to sleep on last winter

When the pain returned in full glory, while we were sleeping a few months there, and after that, we stayed at another place. We didn't have our own decent bed and mattress. But the first months of our stay here were hard on me too, I could barely get up in the morning, and I had the exact same pains not only in my back but also in my butt and legs. The pain seemed to go through half of my body when lying in bed during the colder months. During the heat wave last months, I had no pain in my body, I only suffered from sleepless nights caused by the heat. And I was so excited (really) when I learned the summer was slowly disappearing, and making space for the colder months. That is until a few days ago. When I remembered how it felt to be in that much pain during the night and waking up in the morning. Not feeling rested at all, but feeling sore and like an old lady instead.

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So what to do

I was still sleeping without a blanket because the bedroom still feels a bit warm during the night. But I already started to wear a shirt and comfy pyjama pants to not get cold. But I wasn't using the blanket, and only a sheet sometimes. My boyfriend advised me to start using the blanked again, even though it may seem a bit too hot at this moment, it will probably help to avoid some pain. So I did that last night for the first time. Another thing I would like to try this year, is an electric blanket, as we used that a lot during winter in Spain when we stayed with our friend for a while. And that really seemed to help. Not to sleep on during the night, but before that and in the morning maybe? Need to try what is the best way to use that for the relief of pain. And I guess I will need to find the document with exercises given by the physiotherapist in Spain too, I've had a few weeks of intense therapy about a month before leaving to Hungary, and they gave me the exercises in a document. I think it would be smart to start these again, maybe I can avoid having as much pain as I had last year and the year before during winter. What also helped me a lot, when waking up with a lot of pain, to get out of bed, and if possible (if the weather will let me lol) go to the supermarket (walking, as always) as soon as I'm dressed, to "walk out the pain". Probably there are more things that I can do, and I will try them all because I don't fancy getting on those heavy painkillers again all these months.

If you have a similar injury (hope you don't) and have some tips to share, please don't hesitate! Maybe I've tried it already, but if I didn't it may be a golden tip for me. And of course, those are welcome at any time :)

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I have no experience with this kind of injure, so can't give any useful tips, I'm sorry to say... But I do know something about living with chronic pain, so I do empathize and wish you well. And thanks for a beautiful post on the subject of physical suffering, something that gets a lot less attention than mental, social or psychological suffering.

Thanks @anouk.nox!

im so sorry to hear that you had hurt your back, @anouk.nox ; __ ;

i don't have any tips but i have heard one of my friends said that sometimes meditating by aligning the bones against the floor works for her.

chronic pain seems very tough to deal with, all my hugs for you, @anouk.nox <3

this article actually helped a lot. thanks for sharing with us anouk.

Oh man, this is so familiar. I've been in agony these past ten days as an old back injury started playing up. Why? Because walking up a couple of stairs (which I do daily) apparently was too much for my back to handle all of a sudden.

My advise, a couple of small exercises, three times a day.

Please beware you shouldn't push yourself to a point where the pain becomes too much. Very slight pain is ok, just don't push further.

It doesn't have to take more then 5 minutes. Repeat three times a day. Try and keep doing this every day, even if the pain has gone. (I'm really bad at this last part, hence my back acting up again. Good luck!

  1. Lay on your back and stretch each individual leg, first one, then the other.

  2. Still on your back, pull up one leg until it makes only 90° angles, leave the other leg prone. Keep you shoulders tot the floor and try to touch your the knee of the bed leg to the floor on each side of your body. Switch legs after 5 attempts on each side.

  3. Repeat step 2 but now with both legs bend in 90° angles.

  4. Lay on your stomach and try to lift your head and legs off the floor.

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Sorry to hear that you are also having a similar injury in your back.. I feel for you .. I did a quick search for those documents with exercises and I think I may have thrown them away, so your comment is very helpful :)

Don't worry about passing my limits, I've learned to listen to my body and the signs very well those first months when the pain was the worst ever. First I could not walk more than 15 minutes max... by the time it got summer I could easily walk an hour (but then a rest) and now in Budapest we sometimes walk for hours actually. But I started noticing a few times already that my lower back and down to my leg were annoying me after a long walk.. So it's time again to take it easy with the walking. Everything balanced is important, no "too" much of anything will help a lot. But I need to be aware again, because while I now think back I could have known this was coming, but I didn't realize that it's because of the change of weather yet ;)

Do you think your injury is also causing pain due to the combination of change in weather?

Take care, and thank you for the tips!

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The weather doesn't influence it much it seems. It's mostly sitting for too long that does me in. I need to walk more.

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Thank You very much for the comment, I really appreciate the advice/reminder, because I forget this all the time and it helps some times, even when the pain is already set in "agonizing mode"..

Wish You the best! Thank You for helping out!! =Ð

Damn, I hope it gets better soon. It's really not fun to take those heavy painkillers and feel drowsy all day, doing those exercises might be a good idea indeed.

Unfortunately I have a couple of back injuries and feel Your pain..

..would love to say something that could help alleviate the pain, but beside an orthopedic corrective dorsolumbar corset (a big pain in th a$$) don't know that many things..
The corset worked in my case, at least for a while (actually I need to use it again because my posture is turning really bad..), You should not use it before consulting with a specialist or someone with a lot of knowledge about this kind of problem and tool..

I can only speak for myself, but please don't allow Yourself to get an incorrect posture or it will get much worse..

Beside that, I've used cannabis for a long time, it helped but in reality it was only softening muscles and calming the nervous system, as soon the effect worn off, the pain is back (although it would allow me to get out of the bed and do a "normal" life, it did not fix anything and I still have problems with my back, plus, the courts, police,..) so I've quit and in the process discovered sikhism (that is an entire different history)..

Meditation have helped from a very young age to the present, by maintaining mind focused (not working so well at the moment, probably because I can't quiet the mind and physical pain is so unbearable sometimes, making me sit or lay down just breathing.. ..still the worst part is the loss of movement, that alone kills me inside, even not going out much, not being able to move is worse than death..)..

camphor + alcohol + aloe vera (consult a specialist, not really sure about camphor and alcohol if there are allergies, skin too sensible, during pregnancy,..), also it only gives a bit of relief, but it's just that, something for the worst moments, a massage by a therapeutical recovery physician (I guess this is the correct term, please confirm everything..) sometimes helps a lot, also temporary relief but it is something, and it has been now 21 Years since I've had the 1st accident, wish You the best of luck finding a way to heal, sorry about the long comment, thank You for sharing Your history, it helps not feeling so alone about this problem.. Thank You =Ð

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Thank you, I've read your comment, but I need to do some stuff first, because I finally have a bit of me-time.. but I will get back to your comment later! wanted to let you know I've read it <3
So sorry to read that you are experiencing even worse pain, by the way :(

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No worries, there is no need for feeling sorry, rest assured that Your post and the reminder to make regular and very specific exercises by @aka-alias are a great help, always forget to do that x_X and indeed helps some times ;)

Thank You for caring

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Everyone should do yoga each day....

they should teach that in schools.

Ouch! I feel your pain... :( I have a slipped disc which the doctor says will never go away but needs proper managing. At the start, I was given a strong muscle relaxant (acts as a pain killer), an anti-inflammatory and vit Bs. Later, I was told to just carry on with the vit Bs as they help strengthen the nerve in the back. And I was supposed to do back strengthening exercises - yoga & pilates was prescribed, however, as I don't fancy these, I asked if I could do swimming instead... which the doc answered, if I could swim regularly, like everyday, I would be pain-free! Wondering if any of the above would help you