Eight weeks ago I fell over. It sounds so banal it screws with my head a little. But in all honesty it’s impacted on me a lot. More, in fact, than the couple of surgeries I had for my atrial fibrillation three years ago (not to mention the fact it took them six attempts with the defibrillators to bring me back).
I should mention I didn’t exactly just fall over, I leapt out of the way of a turning truck and landed firmly on my butt on the foothpath in the state’s capital as I was rushing to work. What came next was an ambulance ride, 4-5 days in hospital and advice that I’d crushed one vertebra in my back (L3 for those to whom it means something) and later discovered a fracture in another (T11).
The only treatment they could offer me was pain relief and advice that I had to wait for 6 weeks before moving much at all.
The thing that stressed me most at the time was that I had a really busy week planned in the city. Lots of important meetings. They were why I was there. I was busy. I was in the middle leg of a three-location-trip and was to travel again in a few days.
As I wasn’t initially capable of doing much my darling mother stayed with me for a couple of weeks and then returned at regular intervals to take me to medical appointments for the next four weeks.
I’ve been really struggling with all of this. I wasn’t allowed to work full days and became unbelievably (like ridiculously) upset when I was told I had to work reduced hours. I mean, I realise I’m not indispensable but again it seemed as if I was in the wrong somehow, that I was being punished and it felt like I deserved it. I was a burden and easily disregarded.
In the beginning I was really reluctant to make a big deal about the injury – even though I gather it was quite a severe – as I’ve felt as if it’s the result of some weakness of mine or a deficiency of some sort.
It’s made the last couple of months some of the hardest in my life – physically because the pain has been excruciating, I still can’t sit properly and am fearful it will never improve; but also mentally and emotionally. I’ve missed out on stacks of opportunities at work because of this and that’s angered and saddened me. And it’s made me feel fragile and vulnerable.
But as this year draws to a close I’m reminding myself that my back is better than it was a month ago and I read today that 12 weeks or three months is the average time it takes to fully mend. So in another four weeks I may again feel like it’s worth leaving the house to do stuff because I WILL be able to enjoy myself again.