Slipped Disc Help has currently reviewed the following:
Reasons for Crying - Slipped Disc Symptom
Slipped discs are the injury that have 'made me cry the most' within my life (so far). With my three slipped discs (two lower back and one upper neck) there were days where it felt like 'I cried all the time'. This doesn't mean that my pain threshold 'was low' - but that herniated discs 'punch right through' whatever pain threshold 'you have before', and cause you to experience 'just how LOW life can GO' (for quite some time). And whilst you are 'that LOW' you shall also experience 'something else' about our 'highly evolved society' - that no matter 'who you are' IT DOES NOT CATER FOR ADULTS 'that are CRYING'. For as adults, we believe that 'its only kids that cry'. But slipped discs 'refine that opinion':
In the early 2000's, I can remember seeing a lady crying, when something 'had gone wrong' with the completion of her 'advanced scuba diving course'. They were down at thirty metres 'under water'. But when they 'came up' she was in tears (bordering on screaming). She was a 'shaking mess' who could not be consoled. But with slipped discs, that's the 'kind of crying' that you can expect - for months at a time! For your tears 'shall be fed through' three underlying causes:
The pain you're experiencing 'everywhere'. Any human being 'that's in pain' is going to find it hard 'to be their usual self'. Whilst there maybe pain (from broken bones and accidents) that 'feel worse' - I would be 'hard pressed' to name PAIN that 'lasts for as long' (as slipped discs do). As months will 'go by' without you noticing 'any reduction' in that pain. In my third bout, it was fourteen months before I noticed 'any improvement' - a reduction in 'muscular pain', which evolved into 'nerve pain' (both of which 'kept me company'). On some days it will feel as though 'it's too much pain' and you will 'break down' and start crying - finding it hard to stop!
The impact on your life 'what you've lost'. Any human being that is unable to go about 'their usual activities' is going to feel saddened. So many of our lives 'are based upon routine'. We are used to doing 'certain things' on a weekly basis (such as attending a kickboxing class) and also on a seasonal basis (such as 'spring cleaning' and gardening). BUT when you can't do those, having to refrain (for the most part) because of 'terrible pain' - then you will find that you will lose 'much of the stability' that a weekly routine 'brings to you'. On some days it will feel as though 'you can't take any more' and you will 'break down' and start crying - finding it hard to stop!
The 'time of year'. The run up to Christmas 2017 'is the hardest I've ever known'. As this was three months after that 'silly decision - to ride the zip wire' (which gave me my three slipped discs). It's very hard 'to be merry' when it feels like you've been hit 'with a neutron bomb' (especially when 'you're left' in the blast crater, feeling the 'shockwaves' every day). I can remember 'wrapping up my Christmas Presents' whilst being 'close to tears'. How can such a 'simple task' take SO LONG, and be SO PAINFUL? I had trouble 'sitting in the seat', 'cutting the paper' and reaching for the Sellotape. I also found that 'first summer' (2018) difficult to cope with ... I'd usually be out running, enjoying the local countryside and exploring my local woods (listening to the wildlife). But with my slipped discs, I was 'well and truly' housebound - and as such, I lost many of my usual 'relaxation paths'. I found that this 'turned to tears' and that 'I would cry' because I felt 'less than I had been'. I would ask myself a question: why me again? As I'd then 'remember about' my previous two slipped disc bouts, and cry some more!
I would also say that the 'mental challenges' to recovering from slipped discs - are harder 'the older you are'. As a kid, you can 'get by' with not doing 'much at all' - BUT as an adult, you will find 'doing nothing' extremely hard. Well I am afraid, that whilst you're recovering from slipped/herniated discs - that 'doing nothing' is exactly how you're going to be spending (most of) your time! You shall also be asking yourself a question: how can I pass this time? Of hours in days that 'feel like' years? It's hard ... And it gets 'even harder' when you have to cope with 'three pressures at once':
WHEN 'the pain' - AND 'what you've lost' - AND 'the time of year' - HIT YOU!!!
For then expect:
A cascading waterfall of tears - that takes you back 'to being a baby again'.
Physical and Mental Pressure - Slipped Disc Symptom
Recovering from slipped discs is akin to 'learning to cope with pressure'. You may believe that 'your good' at handling pressure (within our modern lives) - but the pressures your dealing with 'whilst recovering from herniated discs' take it to 'a whole different level'. Because the 'laser sharp truth' is this: NO ADULT CAN COPE WITH BEING BUSTED BACK TO THE RANK OF BABY. Sure, many of us 'talk about' being stronger than we are - able to 'cope with many situations'. BUT slipped discs test the validity of your beliefs! Because no matter what you say, it has been 'a long time' since you last had to 'crawl somewhere'. Only with slipped discs - you won't be able to crawl! You'll be lucky if you can 'move at all':
Whilst I have been recovering from my three slipped discs (two lower back, one upper neck) I have often 'pondered to myself' for a phrase that 'best illustrates' how bad slipped disc injuries actually are, and why we cannot just simply 'recover from them' (within short timespans). As I have an interest in dinosaurs, I wanted 'that phrase' to be related to 'the Age of the Dinosaurs' (the Mesozoic Era). So let us 'travel back' 113 million years ago - to the time of Iguanodon:
Imagine you're a plant eating dinosaur (let's say a five ton Iguanodon). You're peacefully 'eating some shrubs' when all of a sudden, an eleven tonne Spinosaurus 'comes along'. It sinks its 'five inch long teeth' into your back/neck, throws you around 'side to side', whilst 'biting into you some more', then throws you to the ground (because it doesn't like the taste of Iguanodon). That's a slipped disc. Your lives over, and everything's 'gone down the pan'. Now - feel the pressure!
I've been in 'this scenario' three times! I'd say the third time 'is/was the hardest' - because I had been used to 'doing things' (such as running ten to fifteen miles) for four years 'or so'. I took 'many things' for granted and felt that I was 'in a good place'. I'd managed 'to forget all about' the lessons of my first two slipped disc injuries. Yet fate 'it seems' had a way to remind me - my third outing into the realms of slipped/herniated discs ... As humans, many people will say that 'they feel unhappy' (even when their body's 'working fine'). But with slipped discs, your body won't be 'working fine' - and you're going to be worrying about so-called 'simple tasks' (such as walking). Slipped discs 'put everything in perspective' ... Within our lives, I feel that many people 'take things for granted' and that 'they're in control'. We feel 'protected within' this Modern World (especially with our 'sheltered houses' and technology). BUT WERE NOT! Anything can happen 'at any time'. And when it happens to you (such as slipped discs) then everything changes 'very quickly' ...
Just like that Iguanodon, you're going to be concerned 'only with survival'. Nothing else will matter! And whilst you're 'trying to survive' these slipped discs are going to be throwing 'one form of pressure after another' at you. You're going to 'find it hard to cope' (some days asking: what is living?). Here are the 'kinds of pressure' that I contended with (whilst I was that 'wounded Iguanodon' - just trying to 'get back up again' and 'get some measure' of my 'normal life' back):
Physical Pressure. From the herniated discs themselves (pushing on the nerves within my spine). There's pushing, and then there's PUSHING. When it's the latter, then your body is going to 'struggle to cope' with the amount of pressure that it's being subjected to. This pressure's 'got to vent somewhere'. For me, it was the worst headaches and migraines (that I've ever had). It felt like somebody had parked a 'starship on my head' - and a 'planet sized' starship at that! I can also remember one night, where it felt like somebody was 'continually punching me in my eyes' (even 'standing up' with my laptop 'was no good' - so I headed to bed 'really early').
Mental pressure. Having to 'suck up' the amount of pain I was in (and just 'get on with it'). You're also going to have to deal with the 'hard realisation' that your life 'as you knew it' is over for many months (even years!). What has really helped me here, is counting my recovery 'in months'. I'm now in the start of my twenty-third month of recovery 'which sounds a lot better to me' than saying 'just under two years of recovery'. For some reason, 'when counting in months' it doesn't seem 'quite as bad'. The ironic 'thing is' - I haven't ever lost count!
Material pressure. Having to 'deal with your finances' whilst you're unable to work for 'anything like - normal periods'. I found that, whilst I was in 'terrible pain' (up to around fourteen months) that I 'really didn't care about bills'. It's called surviving - your health comes first! Unfortunately, other people 'may not see it like that'.
Family pressure. We all have 'family days' where you go out and 'do something together'. Unfortunately, you will NOT BE ENJOYING THESE 'for quite some time'. I can remember Christmas Day 2017. I struggled 'to sit down and eat my dinner'. I also struggled 'to sit on my sister's sofa'. As I couldn't bend at all! I can also remember my niece's birthday meal (2018) - where if I didn't 'have to go out' I would have 'quite happily' stayed at home!
Friend pressure. I didn't suffer with this one. By the time 'I got back up' - the other Iguanodons 'had gone' ...
I kept 'most of this pressure' to myself (although there were some days where it 'spilled over' at home). Having to deal with 'this much pressure' caused me to ask 'the same question' that is phrased within 'Batman Begins': Why do we fall Sir? So that we can learn - to pick ourselves up! Only with slipped discs, it will feel 'more akin' to having fallen into 'a deep black hole' - which causes you 'to withdraw from normality' for quite some time! And when you do 'come back' (from the depths of that black hole), you're going to feel 'less Iguanodon' - and 'MORE Tyrannosaurus Rex'. ROAR!!!
In the 'early days' of recovering from slipped discs, it can be 'hard to tell' exactly where the pain that your feeling 'is coming from'. It will hurt everywhere. Your body's going to 'tighten up' - primarily 'due to injury' and secondly 'due to inactivity' (which will cause 'further pain' in itself). This will be 'especially true' if your used to exercise (and have built 'strong muscles' using weights). But after many 'long months', I have found that you 'start to realise' that your feeling pain 'more frequently' from certain areas of your body 'than from others'. This is (what I call) 'repetitive localised pain'. It's kind of like 'the tide of pain' is starting to recede, whilst leaving behind 'pinnacles of rock' - that keep 'impaling you':
Whilst your being schooled in the 'halls of pain' and learning your 'first class honours degree' in pain - you shall find that your 'attention in class' does not ever falter! As 'Mr Slipped Disc' and 'Mrs Herniated Disc' have no intention of 'letting up' (for quite some time). You shall be 'studying pain' from every angle, with all 'manner of intensities' and 'rainbows of colour' (you won't need to revise!). Within my third bout (two slipped discs lower back, one slipped disc upper neck) I encountered 'repetitive localised pain' (throughout my 'eternity long days' and 'not long enough nights') - within my:
Left Foot. Has somebody 'hit my foot' with a one-tonne sledgehammer? Do I have a skyscraper 'resting on' my foot? Whilst the pain could vary its location (within my foot) I always felt that pain 'so much more intense' upon the 'very tops' of my left foot. Before injury, I can remember landing a 'kickboxing kick' incorrectly and 'bending my foot backwards' (at training one night). It felt like I'd done that here, only HERE I was 'kicking a tree' for days.
Left Ankle. Has somebody 'pushed an iron bar' into my ankle? Do I have a 'two snooker balls - rolling on top of each other' ankle? Whilst the pain could vary its location (within my ankle) I always felt that pain 'so much more intense' within the 'inner parts' of my left ankle. I can remember from when I'd damaged my ankle 'playing paintball' (a few years back) that a nurse told me to 'keep rotating my ankle everyday'. I did that HERE. It hurt.
Shins. Has somebody clawed 'a laser edged talon' along the front of my shins? Do I have a split 'in the space-time continuum' along the front of my shins? Yes! For it felt like my shins were 'splitting in half' (more my left, than my right). Before injury, I can remember landing a 'kickboxing kick' incorrectly - putting 'one of my shins' right across 'the point of their elbow'. Whilst that surprised 'both of us', I came off far worse - 'as did I HERE'.
Legs. Has somebody 'lowered me into' one of those medieval flail devices? Do I have a 'mutant power' of evolving metal skin/muscle? Before injury, I'd usually be out running ten to fifteen miles on a Sunday (morning) and six miles on a Tuesday (evening). With those slipped discs and my inability 'to move as normal' - I found that my 'hard won' leg muscles 'tightened up' (as though I had been 'lowered into' a cement mixer 'full of concrete').
Spine. Has somebody 'been a silly billy' and ended up with three slipped discs? Yes! Has somebody 'been here' twice before? Yes! For in all three bouts of my slipped discs - has this ALWAYS 'been the EPICENTRE' of my PAIN. Its where that 'receding tide of pain' is going to 'hang on' for the longest. Whilst I've had this 'receding tide' over my entire spine, I've also had this 'receding tide' over individual parts of my spine (lower back, middle back and upper back). For 'it is here' that you shall ask a question: receding to what? You won't like the answer ... For that 'receding tide of pain' ALWAYS recedes to Pinched Nerves 'of pinnacle rock' - which keep 'impaling you' ...
Your 'repetitive localised pain' is going to be 'drawing parallels' - with a fifteen ton 'plant eating' Diplodocus (dinosaur) that just happens to be 'sitting and jumping on top of you'. Only that Diplodocus has 'all of its weight' acting through your slipped/herniated discs, pushing on the nerves in/to your spine, which through the 'quirks of your body' transmit that pain 'down your legs' (giving you many of the symptoms of Sciatica) if not indeed - Sciatica itself! Which I have found can also go by 'another name' - of Pinched Nerves and their 'Pinnacle of Rock' WHICH KEEPS 'IMPALING YOU'!
Bulging and Oozing Sensations - Slipped Disc Symptom
When you're recovering from slipped discs, then you will experience 'so many symptoms, for so long' that it shall feel as though 'you're getting used to them'. Unfortunately, the symptoms that you're 'getting used to' are really only 'side effect symptoms' (they are a result of your herniated discs 'pushing onto' your nerves somewhere). Whilst these are 'bad enough', they are 'as nothing' when compared to (what I call) 'primeval soup symptoms'. On some days your 'side effect symptoms' will take a break, and instead you shall feel your slipped discs fluid ACTUALLY bulging/oozing. When this happened to me, then I knew that my spine was 'badly damaged' and that I was in for a 'terrible time of it':
I am afraid that your 'time off' from your side effect symptoms WILL NOT BE a pleasurable one! For when you're feeling primeval soup 'bulging and oozing' from your slipped/herniated discs - then you're 'GOING TO PANIC' and ask yourself a question: am I EVER going to get better? You will also 'PANIC FURTHER' when your mind's eye 'refuses to look away from - the bulging and oozing fluid' of your damaged discs, that 'you can see' in vivid detail! It's a hard question to answer (especially in terms of time), but it's an easier question to answer 'once you realise' (and accept) that:
Your discs 'bulging fluid' will only 'go back in' - when it wants to, and NOT 'when you want it to'. You're not in control!
Whilst I was recovering from my three slipped discs (two lower back and one upper neck) I found that these 'bulging and oozing' sensations would only 'get worse' - whenever I was 'moving through' my daily routines (aka 'chores of motion'):
Sitting - to do some work. It felt like the fluid was 'seeping out of' the back of my spine. That fluid would then 'become stuck', making me DREAD 'the simple movement' of standing up (when 'struggling up' from my seat).
Reaching - to grab a toilet roll. It felt like the fluid was 'seeping out' the sides of my spine. Before injury, I'd 'reach to the left' to grab the toilet roll (if I wanted to 'blow my nose' whilst sitting down). With injury - NO, NO!
Lifting - to 'pick up' a toy model. It felt like the fluid was 'seeping out, whilst being compressed downwards'. When I say 'toy model', I mean a 'tiny plastic toy' which is no taller than forty millimetres, weighing five grams.
Playing - to 'relax' on my games console. It felt like the fluid was 'seeping out' gnawing away at me. Before injury, I'd play computer games every second or third evening. With injury, once a fortnight (with NO vibrate!).
Dressing - to 'put on' my socks and jeans. It felt like the fluid was 'pouring out' for such a simple task. In the summer time, it's better to wear 'no socks'. In wintertime, that's 'not really' an option. Where's summer?
Cooking - to get 'some nourishment' (for healing). It felt like the fluid was 'boiling up' for a meal 'I won't enjoy'. That fluid prevented me from 'dishing up' like I normally would. No 'twist' one-eighty here - 'shuffle, shuffle'.
Whenever you're 'feeling this fluid' - you're going to be 'feeling down in the dumps'. I felt like that 'for quite some time', and I was 'even glad' when those 'lesser' (if that's the right word?) side effect symptoms 'came back' - as I found that I 'could handle them' (mostly). Unfortunately, I could still suffer with these bulging sensations (although not the oozing sensations) within my 'later stages of recovery' - when I had 'done something' ... Such as when I helped my Mum 'to lift half a garden turf' (as the Garden Centre worker 'made it clear' that they were NOT going to help 'carry the turf - to my car'). For I am afraid that all of these 'bulging and oozing sensations' are tending towards - 'one SLOW realisation':
Just how 'hard it was' for that 'primeval soup' to evolve in the first place! With the primeval soup being 'what grants your spine its flexibility' (the discs) - and when you've damaged them 'good and proper' ... LIFE REPAIRS SLOWLY ...
Within the realms of slipped discs and their 'really nasty symptoms' - are what I refer to as 'point singularities'. This is a term that 'comes from space' - specifically: Most of us have heard of the concept of the 'big bang' universe creation theory (whereby everything that exists in the universe 'expanded out' from a 'single point' that contained everything). You will find that 'single point' (the 'point singularity') within your slipped discs as well! In my case, I felt that 'point singularity' FAR MORE from the herniated disc that I had in my neck (as opposed to the two herniated discs in my lower back). That 'point singularity' is going to feel like it's the 'centre of pain and pressure' of all your slipped disc symptoms:
That 'point singularity' is going to feel like you have 'the nuclear power of the sun' - condensed down into a 'pin prick'. That just keeps 'burning and burning', 'brighter and brighter', 'hotter and hotter' - and with every movement you make (no matter how small) your just going to 'feel it' right there! It's horrible, and whilst I was 'feeling this symptom' I had:
Sensations that my head was 'floating above my neck'. I became 'very aware' of my necks 'pivot point' and I started worrying that my head 'could fall off' - if it 'bobbed too far' to the left or right (whilst I was standing).
Sensations that my neck was 'grinding through gristle' when I moved it 'to look at something'. My neck didn't 'want to move' - but sometimes you 'have to move it' (such as when looking left or right 'at road crossings').
Sensations that my entire body 'had gone numb' (beneath my neck). This was a 'horrible sensation' that would often lead to me 'panicking'. For I found myself thinking about 'what had happened' to Christopher Reeve (the film actor that used to play Superman). He had the 'severe misfortune' of 'falling off of his horse' whilst he was riding it 'at one event'. He broke his neck - and never recovered. I thought of him 'and found respect for him'.
Sensations when 'trying to sleep' that my neck was 'on top' of a Mount Everest sized 'apex point'. No matter which position 'I tried my neck in' - all I could feel was that apex point 'pushing up' under my neck.
For I am afraid that until you have slipped discs, you just won't realise 'how flexible' your spine and neck 'usually are'. And when you've lost that flexibility, you're going to struggle to do many of those tasks that we 'take for granted' and 'enjoy relaxing to' - because that 'point singularity' is going to be there with you 'gnawing away' deep inside your spine! It will 'put you off' and you may find it harder to concentrate, but it's still a part of 'the road to recovery'. Within the 'first fourteen months' (or so) of recovering in my third bout, I found that my neck's 'point singularity' would affect:
Stargazing. As I couldn't bend my neck 'to lookup' at the stars. I had to (try to) 'bend my eyes' upwards.
Dancing. As I couldn't bend my neck 'to see where the rest of my troupe was'. I had to use 'peripheral vision'.
Driving. As I couldn't bend my neck 'so easily' to look hard 'left and right'. I just 'pushed through it - on auto'.
Soldering. As I couldn't bend my neck 'to look down' to see various power paths. I had to stand up 'soldering'.
Painting. As I couldn't bend my neck 'to look down' to see my models. I had to refrain for many months.
Reading. As I couldn't bend my neck 'to look down' to see the text. I had to stand up (holding my book).
For these 'point singularities' are going to attack 'everything that is you': physically (making it harder), mentally (making you worry) and spiritually (testing your connection 'to your sense of self'). Although 'I have found with time' that these 'point singularities' will 'start to fade' - to become 'less intense' and resemble more of a 'flickering star'. Which won't bother you 'quite as much', but will serve instead as a 'sensible reminder' - not to 'overdo anything' that you're doing!
Within the realms of slipped disc symptoms, there are both 'nasty symptoms' and 'really nasty symptoms'. I am afraid that 'feeling sick - wanting to throw up everywhere' is only ever found within the latter! Whilst I'd suffered with this symptom, during my two previous bouts of slipped discs, I'd also managed to 'forget all about it' (within four years of good health). Unfortunately, this symptom 'came back with a vengeance' within my third bout (two herniated discs lower back and one herniated disc upper neck). I can't remember a week within those first six months, when I didn't feel sick 'for most of it'. And when I say 'feel sick', I mean with 'vomit bug FEEL SICK' sensations that 'lasted for hours/days'.
For whilst your recovering from slipped discs, you're going to be joining the ranks of the 'truly unwell humans'. This particular category includes other individuals 'that can usually feel sick all/much of the time' - I refer to humans that are undergoing treatment for cancer. Whereas much of their 'feeling sick' is going to be due to the side effects of radiotherapy - you're 'feeling sick' is going to be due to the 'damage you've done to your spine' (specifically 'the pressure' from your slipped discs pushing onto your spinal cord, near 'those nerves' that lead to/from your stomach). Amongst my 'many memories' of feeling vomit bug sick - there is one particular day that shall always 'stand out' for me:
I'd been sitting at my desk 'in the morning' for half an hour (or so) getting on with some work, when suddenly 'completely out of the blue' my desire to vomit 'uncontrollably everywhere' built and built! I had to stop work 'for the day' - and proceeded to try 'walking it off'. But to no avail. I tried 'standing up' (thinking happy thoughts). But to no avail. I tried 'lying down' (to try 'sleeping it off'). But to no avail. After an hour or two, I decided 'enough was enough' and I managed to 'get booked into my doctors' (on an emergency). I asked my Dad 'to drive me down'. I wanted to 'throw up' in my Dad's car. I wanted to 'throw up' in my Doctor's waiting room. I wanted to 'throw up' whilst talking to my doctor. I wanted to 'throw up' after he'd examined me. I wanted to 'throw up' on the journey home. I wanted to 'throw up' for the remainder of that day. I wanted to 'throw up' all night - and 'all the next day' as well!
It's hard - and it gets even harder 'when you disagree with your doctor'. As he didn't seem to think that my 'feeling sick' had anything to do with my slipped discs (although he did request an MRI scan for me). All I know is this: when the pressure from my slipped discs 'started relenting' then I didn't feel 'vomit bug sick' anymore. Unfortunately, it took around six months for those 'vomit bug sick' sensations to 'fully go away'. It was 'hard to cope' - but it toughens you up!
But even 'within the realms of toughening you up' is there 'one scenario' that you - DON'T WANT TO ENCOUNTER:
You could be the 'poor smuck' who actually catches the 'seasonal vomit bug' whilst recovering from slipped discs!
Whilst I have encountered this myself - it wasn't until month nineteen (of my recovery). I certainly wouldn't have wanted 'the seasonal vomit bug' - before nineteen months of recovery! As I feel that 'anytime sooner' would be a 'step too far' within the realms of the 'dead and the dying'. It's 'bad enough' feeling sick - let alone 'actually being sick'! Just ask 'Chunk' from the fantasy film 'The Goonies' - who has a 'rather comical' (dark humour here!) line that he mutters:
But the worst thing I ever done: was when I 'threw puke' over people in the cinema - who then 'threw up themselves'.
In any case, I was 'just glad' that I could eat my Christmas Dinner (December 2017) without feeling sick! Some luck!
Whilst recovering from slipped discs (also called herniated discs) you're going to encounter symptoms that are 'one half physical, and one half psychological'. For me, one such symptom was 'having trouble walking' (the physical part) going hand-in-hand with 'worrying about walking' (the psychological part). Whilst 'trying to walk' I found myself asking questions such as: How do we actually walk? How does the signal to walk 'get through' to our legs? How do we actually 'place one foot' in front of the other? Panic! Panic! For I am afraid that these slipped discs are 'going to cause' conscious thought questions - about the areas of your body, that are usually 'left to the realms' of your subconscious mind:
When I was worrying about walking, it was primarily because 'I couldn't feel my legs - they had gone numb'. The numbness was a 'horrible sensation' that was due to 'the amount of pressure' that my slipped discs were 'pushing onto' my spinal cord. With my two slipped discs lower back, and one slipped disc upper neck - my spine had to cope with 'too much pressure', which through 'pinched nerves' (masquerading behind 'a wall of pain') was 'numbing the signals' that connect to/from my legs. It was a 'very scary symptom' that affected me 'morning, day and night' wherever I was:
Walking. In that 'first month' I walked to our local supermarket (with my Mum). This walk would 'usually take' around five minutes. With my three slipped discs it was 'more like' five hours! For every step I took, I could feel 'grinding gristle sensations' at the base of my spine - whilst also feeling 'very unsteady' on my two numb legs. I was close to tears (both because of the pain and because of saying to myself 'I'd usually be running down here').
Standing. I have stood 'the most I have ever stood' over the past twenty-one months. Whilst I have to 'sit down' for work, at all other times I now 'prefer to stand'. Even so, in the first few months of my recovery, I would say that I stood 'very shakily'. The reason being, because I felt 'so unsteady on my feet'. It can be 'really worrying' when you're standing there, and you suddenly 'start to panic' because you 'have to check' whether your legs are still there. Sometimes, I also had to 'place a hand' on my cats five foot scratch post (to help 'steady myself').
Sleeping. I can remember several 'really bad nights' where I woke up and had the sensation that 'my legs were not there'. I couldn't feel them at all, and I had to check 'with my hands' (that my legs were still there). I also worried about 'getting up' to go to the toilet, but I 'had to brave it' (as otherwise my thoughts would have really 'raced out of control'). It was horrible, with that numbness sensation 'staying' even when I got back into bed.
Sitting. I don't really remember this 'leg numbness' whilst I was sitting down working. That's because sitting will usually result in 'even worse symptoms' - and not being able to feel your legs 'will be the least of your worries'. At least until 'you try and stand up' because then your legs, are going to be forced 'to push you up' (to stand).
For I am afraid 'that your spine is damaged' and when your slipped discs are 'really biting down' then you're going to feel the weight of our ancestors' decision 'to stand up' and walk on two legs ... Although for a long time, you're not going to 'gain any pleasure' from going for a walk (even around your house). But you 'have to walk' because it's the 'only way' that you're going to recover - as your slipped discs REALLY DO NOT LIKE YOU 'sitting there for too long'. It's a 'catch 22 - walking woe' that attacks one of the 'core tasks' that most of us have been able to do since childhood: walk.
Lump of Gristle 'Sword in Your Back' - Slipped Disc Symptom
In the early stages of recovering from slipped discs, you're going to be encountering an entire spectrum of 'pain and gristle' like symptoms: 'pain and tightness', 'pain and concrete', 'pain and locked', 'pain and glued', 'pain and fused'. With the gristle itself, being what I define as: the complete inflexibility of specific vertebra within your spine. Uninjured people may say that 'their spine is inflexible anyway' - but even here, is their still flexibility ... For its only when you have a herniated disc (or three!) that you shall 'fully realise' just how flexible your spine was 'before you injured it'. For with slipped discs, your spine will lose 'most/all of its flexibility' and be behaving like 'your vertebras - are fused together':
These 'gristle like sensations' are going to feel like somebody came along and 'shoved a sword in your back'. And whilst that sword 'is in there' you're going to find that the 'movement and motion' that you usually 'take for granted' are no longer yours. As that sword is going to limit 'what you can do' and 'how long you can do it for' - morning, day and night:
Bending. A stone pillar will be more flexible than you! As I found that 'bending from my waist' was completely impossible - and I had to 'learn to lift properly'. If only us humans 'could magically levitate' - to avoid bending ...
Standing. The Egyptian Pyramids have stood for (circa) four thousand years. By the time your slipped discs 'have finished with you' it shall feel like you've been standing 'for four thousand years' as well! Just like I have ...
Sitting. The 'hardest of the hard'. No matter 'how comfortable' your office chair (or lounge sofa) was before your slipped discs, it shall now feel like 'a torture device' from the medieval era. You will 'prefer to stand' ...
Twisting. A tree's trunk will be more flexible than you. My parents kitchen is a 'ship's galley style one' with oven and hobs one side, sink and 'food preparation' the other. Food from hob 'twist' to dish up side - NO, NO, NO!
Sleeping. A concrete slab 'will be lowered' more easily than you 'getting into bed'. That concrete will also 'get up easier' as well. Do you remember that scene from Thor? Where Loki has Thor's hammer 'placed upon his chest'.
Shopping. A baby will be capable of 'lifting and doing more' than you! Our society is 'engineered to assume' that all adults are in 'full health'. You should see 'the looks you get' - when even a 'light plastic bag' is too much ...
Running and Swimming. I haven't run or swum for twenty-one months now. I learned 'the hard way' (in my previous two bouts of slipped disc injuries) that you can't run, and you can't swim - 'with a sword in your back'.
Your 'quality of life' is going to be 'extremely low' whilst that 'sword is in your back'. Unfortunately, that sword 'won't be coming out' any time soon, and for many months - you're going to have to 'learn to live with it' (just like I had to). Some days it would also feel as though that sword 'was set in stone' (just like King Arthur's 'fantasy sword' Excalibur). You may also have delusions of 'pulling it out yourself' - but I am afraid that it was set there by a 'far higher power' that goes by the name of slipped disc/herniated disc. That sword is also NOT Excalibur, for your sword was 'forged in hell' - in the 'Halls of Bad Back' and the 'Halls of Back Pain'. For I found that this 'hell sword' had also 'pinned me to the wall' in concrete - as you will feel that you're in Valhalla (the Viking Warrior 'Hall of the Slain'). You will get frustrated ... BUT at some point, that sword WILL come out - and when it does you're going to appreciate life 'so much more'. ROAR!!!
Ah 'the bliss' of being able to go to the toilet 'when you want'. BUT with slipped discs, you won't be 'quite so keen' to go to the toilet! The reason being: THE PAIN - THAT 'GOING TO THE TOILET' CAN CAUSE YOU! I had this 'classic' herniated disc symptom 'the worst' in my first bout of slipped discs (three lower back), 'not so bad' in my second bout (two middle back) and 'here we go again' in my third bout (two lower back, one upper neck). Whilst uninjured people will 'put off' going to the toilet (for reasons such as 'making it home first') with slipped discs, you will 'put off' going to the toilet - because of 'nightmare memories' about previous outings to the toilet! But it's a 'BAD IDEA' to delay going 'for too long':
In the early stages, you shall FEAR 'GOING TO THE TOILET' - and have nightmares about it! For the following reasons:
Going to the pee. This can feel like 'your nerves are splitting' deep inside your spine. It's almost as if 'the signal to go' is not getting through - but is instead 'pushing against another nerve'. The harder you try, the more you will feel 'that nerve path'. You will also be worried about 'stopping as well' - especially if you get (what I refer to as) 'a nerve catch' - you will know it when it happens! In any case, 'going to the pee' will be far from pleasurable!
Going to the poo. This can feel like 'muscles are tearing' deep inside your spine - because it feels like your lower back discs 'are being forced' to move (and they won't like that!). This affect will be 'even worse' if you're constipated (as your lower back discs 'will really NOT LIKE' being strained). It was 'bad enough' sitting down, let alone 'having to push'. It's 'not nice', with the only constellation prize being - that we 'poo less than we pee'.
In my first bout of slipped discs, I was prescribed 'pain killers' which made it even harder 'to go to the toilet' (as they really made me constipated!). But in my later bouts, I primarily 'just put up with the pain' (remember that saying from the World at War: You get used to it. You can get used to anything!). Even 'accounting for that', you won't enjoy 'going to the toilet' - especially in the 'early days' of recovering from slipped discs. BUT YOU NEED TO GO. Because if you don't, you're only 'fighting against' your body's natural 'waste clearage' processes (which will lead to you 'retaining toxins' inside your body, for longer than 'nature intended' - which won't do you 'any good at all'). It's a 'catch 22 - toilet woe':
You need to go to the toilet BUT 'the means' by which you go, will cause you 'GREATER PAIN' (until you start to heal) BUT to aid 'in your healing' - your body needs to 'expel its waste products' as normal ...
Within my third bout of slipped discs, I have also encountered 'toilet irony'. For within my later stages of healing, I could feel the need 'to go to the pee' three or four times before heading to bed! I found myself fixated on the 'just encase I wet my bed' scenario ... I suspect that this is/was caused through the concept of 'touching nerves'. Because when I 'sat up' in my bed (and was able to 'read a book'), then I could feel 'the need to go' - but when lying down, that urge would dissipate (without me 'wetting my bed'). For these slipped discs really do 'bust you back to the rank of baby' which also includes 'it feeling like' - you're relearning the basics of 'potty training' and 'knowing just when to go' to the pee/poo!