Wednesday, April 06, 2011


I got up this morning, to make my own breakfast like a massive champion. I was heroically fiddling with oats when suddenly I really had to lie down flat on the floor. Which I did, because I was at home and only Ben was there to give me his (by now excellently perfected) 'poor you' look.

There are, however, plenty of places where suddenly lying down flat on your back might not elicit such understanding, and in fact might prompt a sturdy man with metal in his boots and the A-Team in his heart to ask some pretty shouty questions. I am nervous about going to such places.

It has been six days since I first willfully ignored the warning signs that something osteopathically hideous was about to go down. I am a bit better (see: walking) but not actually better (see: lying on the floor). My lovely physio told me I had done something to a disc (hurray!), which mis-aligned my pelvis (yippee!), and trapped a nerve in my hip (wahoo!). Oh, and there is also a delightfully-named 'fibrous lump' in my back which is possibly the most disgusting thing I have ever heard. I am going to rename it 'unicorn kiss', although the unicorn would have had to have kissed me pretty aggressively for it to be this painful.

Oh, and then I woke up this morning to PERIOD PAINS which are written in capital letters as that's how they feel.

I turning into Marvin. Pain in the diodes down my left hand side! Brain the size of a planet (albeit a very small, barren one), etc.

I have been reading Simone de Beauvoir and a book of sci-fi short stories. I have watched enormous amounts of stuff online. I had a brief phase of singing all the power ballads I could think of, but had to stop when Ben came home. (I don't want to make him sick too.)

I am willing my back to get better before Sunday and a 24 hour flight. I can't bear the idea of 24 hours without being able to lie down flat, it makes me feel anxious beyond belief. I wish I was the sort of person to get upgraded, but I am far too scruffy and wouldn't know how to ask.

"Um, hello. I. Um, hi, you look nice! Nice earrings" I might start, casually. "I like, you have nice, um. I like hair! I mean, your hair looks nice. Yes, I packed my bags myself althoughitwasreallyhardbecauseI'vehurtmybackandpleaseupgrademe.
Please? Yes, ok, I will move away from the desk now. Do you have any wheelchairs?"

Maybe if I write to Jimmy Saville he might help.

It just has to be better by Sunday. I have got another physio appointment in a few hours so I hope she says it'll all be fine and proclaim me fixed, and I will dance out of there singing power ballads to the buses. I am not totally sure that will happen but I might take my dancing shoes just in case*.

*When my back gets better I am totally going to get dancing shoes.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

OW OW (boring) OW

It's Saturday afternoon, nearly evening. That delicious part of a Saturday when those who are going out begin to think about having a shower and a G&T before deciding what to wear (but then just deciding on the same old things because they're comfortable) and trotting happily out to throw themselves headfirst into the giddy melée of Saturday Night. Some people might have been out all day, and are wearily returning, their capitalist yearnings sated for another weekend, to consider a curry and a Blockbuster latest release.

Which of these, you ask (sort of), am I?

Well, neither. Nor have I been working or rambling or drinking heavily in front of any kind of sports 'match'.

I have been bitterly, angrily lying down, eating delicious things and watching iPlayer.

I had quite a full-on week, work-wise. Monday through to Thursday were full days of schools workshops. All in different schools, all different ages and subjects. All involving a hefty train journey and cycle ride before eight-thirty in the morning. Now, I am sure that for many that is just their normal, hard-labour routine. I am not born for six o'clock starts.

All was fine. On Thursday evening Ben was finally getting back from tour and we had Friday off. My plan for Thursday was to tidy the flat and relax a bit before he got home. I planned all week on being very, very relieved when Friday rolled around.

On Thursday morning I was going to Liverpool. I cycled to the station, lifted my bike onto the train and then sat for the hour long journey. Nearing my stop I stood and began to manoeuvre my bike towards the door, picking angry commuters out of the spokes as I did so. The train stopped and the doors swooshbeeped, and I hurriedly yanked my bike down to the platform. I gasped as my back was covered with a flash of warm pain, but still weaved through the be-suited throng, carried Glinda down one set of stairs and up another. Then I cycled to the school, delivered a two hour workshop, then a one hour workshop, noticing swells of pain as I bent or jumped about.

Eventually, cycled to the station. Lifted Glinda onto the train and hunched onto a seat, flowering pains in my lower back and stomach muscles.

Ten years ago I jumped off a fifty foot waterfall in Australia and landed badly, squishing my back (medical term). I get intermittent angry pain but never this bad.

I got off the train and cycled home, noticing some quizzical looks shot my way as I became a cheerleader for my own legs ("Come on! You can do it. That's it, push down on the pedal, good. Right leg. Left leg. Right leg. Left leg. Right leg, left leg, right leg, left leg, rightlegleftlegrightlegleftleg that's it you're doing it!" etc etc.).

I made the mistake of going to Asda, but I needed painkillers and wanted chocolate.

Finally, home. I lay down. Probably, I told myself with more hope than logic, if you lie down for a bit and take some ibruprofen it'll all be totally fine.

Then I tried to get up again. A cacophony of swear-words ill-befitting a delicate Home Counties girl filled the flat. I lay back down and had some chocolate.

Cut to two days later.

I am in bed. When I try and walk I look like a crab that's had a stroke. I am extremely bored, in spite of having the luxurious charms of the BBC at my fingertips and all the tea I can drink.

Yesterday was alright. Ben and I decided we would go and have breakfast Kim By The Sea, the café downstairs. Once he had helped me get dressed (after I discovered that, no matter how much I may wish for it, I am not Matilda and my jeans will not put themselves on me if I stare at them hard enough)we walked down. I clung to his arm as we crept along agonisingly slowly.

"Do you feel like you're taking your Grandmother out for a walk?" I asked.

"No! Yes. A bit."

We continued on, considering as we went the vital differences between one's grandmother and one's girlfriend.

I had a Bloody Mary with my breakfast, contemplating alcoholism as a coping strategy, before dismissing it as being too expensive.

After breakfast I got straight into bed. I haven't really moved since. Yesterday Ben made me tea and brought me tiny chocolate eclairs, but today he is performing in Shropshire and won't get back until midnight. I have ventured downstairs twice for tea and food, walking in tiny, slowlyslowlythat'sitslowly steps and holding my body at odd angles to wriggle out of the pain. In the mirror it actually looks like my hips are wonky. I hope I am imagining it. I have also got a bad case of Pain Tourettes (shrill barking when a sudden pain is felt, which is often enough for it to be quite annoying).

I can see town from the window, where some friends of mine were doing a brilliant photo shoot for an excellent project we're doing, which I had been so looking forward to.

Whinge whinge. It is horrible. Yesterday might have been alright it hadn't been for the agonising pain. I was waited on hand and foot, lots of tea and lovely sympathy and, when the time was right, some wine.

Today is awful. Today there are better options than lying about in pain. I am very, extremely bitter and ungracious about the whole thing. I demand my money back at once.

We are going to Australia one week tomorrow. In all my thinking time between watching inane drama on my computer I keep dreaming up worst case scenarios. I dreamt that I was in a wheelchair. I was getting so stressed about it today I had a nosebleed. Oh God, does an immobile back and a nosebleed mean anything? I keep imagining it being like this for weeks. (Idiotically I keep thinking about how all this lying around doing nothing eating medicinal chocolate is totally destroying all trace of my pre-holiday health trip. I win the Shallow Award.)

I am on the fourth floor and the sunset is beautiful. I am bored and in pain. I have run out of painkillers, although there are more downstairs I can't face the journey.