Try to imagine 'just for a moment' that you're a boxer 'in a boxing ring': Your slipped discs have been 'knocked to the floor' - so you step forwards 'with a grin upon your face, and you keep smashing them' after the bell has rung! The referee 'tries to pull you back' but you're having 'none of it' - as you get carried away 'hitting harder and harder'. For around month fifty-two of my recovery, I realised that I was enjoying tasks 'just like I did' in my pre-injury days (whilst also having to take 'less rest' between each task). I could continue 'pounding my slipped discs into submission' only that referee wouldn't allow it! For when I did get 'too carried away' then that pinched nerve in my neck 'would let me know':
How do pinched nerves affect your resilience? You've been punching to the point where you can hardly lift your arms 'for its felt so good' - but at the same time, you know that continuing to 'punch like this' is not a good idea! The referee doesn't like you 'punching down' for too long, and before you go too far 'he succeeds' in pulling you back ... It was here that I realised 'thank you' - because I have learned to listen to the pinched nerve in my neck. If I ignore it, then I am 'not so resilient' - but if I listen to it, then I bounce back 'much quicker' being able to do more tasks 'over the following days'.
At this stage of my recovery, I have noticed that 'I am doing a lot more - even when it feels as though, I am not'. For the difference that I have noticed now, is that whilst the pinched nerve in my neck 'can still play up' it usually clears itself so much quicker 'within a day or so' as long as I haven't 'really overdone it' (e.g. rubbing down the hard skin on my feet). I am having more fun 'but I have to pinch myself' because I can remember 'what it was like, when I couldn't do anything'. This was especially so 'at Christmas time' when I found that 'hours in days, seemed like years' for I could hardly move ... A festive task 'with much contrast to the past' was setting up of our main Christmas tree 'for Christmas 2021'. I was able to do 'lots of bending' to setup its base and install its lower branches 'without any discomfort'. I found that I 'started to laugh' when I remembered 'the same scene' for Christmas 2017 'excruciating agonising pain'!!! For me, the difference between these two scenes 'is a Christmas present in itself' which seems merrier 'with what I have done' this Christmas:
Setting up and running my 'Hornby OO' trains. I decided to get these out of my wardrobe in early December. Having been several decades since these had last run, I suspected that these would require a service. This was confirmed when I first setup my train track 'on the dining room carpet' - which was also a mistake, as I had bent down 'way too much' (which aggravated my neck's pinched nerve). Over the next week I serviced my 'Intercity 125' (cleaned up 'contact bogies' and removed lighting circuit). I also cleaned up my track (using kitchen towel) then decided to setup a smaller train track on our dining room table (to avoid having to bend down). My 'Intercity 125' was soon running - I was really happy! I also ran my trains on Christmas Eve (Intercity, 'Duchess of Abercorn' steam train), Christmas Day (Intercity, 'Duchess of Abercorn' - including setting up its mail delivery system) and New Year's Eve 'Eve' (Intercity, Abercorn and 'Stowe' steam trains). In each session, I was able to relax 'watching my trains go round' for an hour or two - whilst feeling my neck's pinched nerve 'hardly at all'.
Painting my model miniatures for five to six hours a day, for eight days running. This really has felt like the 'good old days' as I have been able to paint fifteen models (during Christmas week): Tyranid Warrior (x2), 'Khorne Berzerker' (x5), Ork Boyz (x2), Ork Gretchin (x2), 'Inquisitor Lord Coteaz', 'Jain Zar', Striking Scorpion and 'Legion of the Damned' marine. I have been in my element painting their finer details (skulls, runes, heads and talons) - with me being able to paint 'for much longer' before my neck 'starts to grumble' (usually 'only when I forget' and bend it forwards 'lots'). Whilst my painting 'has made me happy' I still have to be careful of that receding slipped disc in my neck, which is why I still take 'regular breaks' (once an hour or so 'for some food'). Whilst it may seem such a 'childish difference' I feel excited about the amount of paints that I now 'get out' in a typical painting session: Matt Black (undercoating), Angel Green (bases and hoses), Greenskin (Orks skin), Gun Metal (dry-brushing guns), Dragon Red (capes and talons), Greedy Gold (dry-brushing runes and armour), Matt White (undercoating), Werewolf Fur (pelts), Red Tone Ink (washing over red, skulls and faces), Daemonic Yellow (fire and gems), Mythical Orange (Ork attire), Banshee Brown (skulls and faces) and Weapon Bronze (dry-brushing skulls, faces and weapons). As such, my miniature painting is feeling 'much more fun, these days' but I still have to 'pinch myself' because it was a hobby that I was unable to do 'for ages'. It means 'so much more' to me now.
Investigating my Dad's nineteen inch non-widescreen LCD monitor (which had packed up). This required some bending (to get to his cables) whereby I started off by testing his monitor's power lead (with my multi-meter). When I found this to be 'behaving oddly' I replaced the power cable. However, when I tried to turn his monitor on, I found the 'real culprit' - his monitor's power button was completely jammed! I decided to replace Dad's monitor with my spare 20.1 inch monitor - yet even this, would have been a task that I found 'very hard' in the past! As I can remember lifting my spare monitor (late 2018) when its weight 'felt like' a 100 kg. At this stage of my recovery, my spare monitor feels 'more like' 2 kg. Even so, I know that my neck 'can still play up' so I decided to paint my model miniatures (for the remainder of Sunday). Thus, it was the following weekend, until I looked at Dad's monitor again - whereby I had difficulty removing the LCD from its stand (I had to use a medium-sized flat screwdriver 'to lever it out'). I then removed the LCD's fascia, by unclipping the plastic clips (with both small and medium-sized screwdrivers 'levered in'). Whilst this levering 'had aggravated my neck' I was determined 'to find out, what was wrong with the power button'. Upon reaching the plastic power button, I could see what the issue was - part of the button 'had worn away' (it could no longer 'press the electric switch' located beneath it). With some 'pause for thought' (until the next day) I decided that I would 'fix this' by drilling out the button's fascia, so that I could 'depress the electronic switch' using a plastic pen lid (thereby 'mimicking the action' of the plastic button). I 'G-clamped' the fascia down 'then drilled and filed' which gave me a pinched nerve in my neck. So 'having listened' I decided that Dad's monitor would be 'tested and reassembled' on the following weekend.
Changing my room's light switch. My analogue dimmer switch (and non-LED dimmer bulb) was showing several decades worth of 'wear and tear' - by being very hard to turn off. I decided to replace it with a 'flick switch' (and modern LED bulb). Dad pulled out the 'upstairs lighting fuse' (from the fuse box in the garage). I then worked on removing my dimmer switch. With fascia screws out, I was able to 'pull its fascia' from the wall (by 3 cm) - I was amazed by how much dust there was 'behind it' (as it had never been 'fully flush' with the wall). I disconnected the neutral and live wires, hoovered out the socket, then 'paused for some thought' when I realised that the dimmer had been connected up 'the opposite way, to what the new switch wanted'. As such, I decided to look at my parents existing 'flick switch' (to confirm which connection was correct). The dimmer had been 'the wrong way round'. I connected up my new 'flick switch' the correct way (neutral to neutral, live to live). Since I had to do most of this work 'leaning forwards' (to avoid moving my PC) I suspected that I would soon have a pinched nerve in my neck. Whilst I was right about this, it took twenty minutes of 'tidy-up hoovering' before my pinched nerve 'said hello'. Even so, I was able to get on with my model miniature painting (for the rest of the afternoon). I had planned to get my trainset out (in the evening) 'but having listened' I decided to watch 'The Polar Express'.
For my Christmas 2021 'has for me' been the best Christmas since I did myself in - for most of it, I felt like 'my pre-injury self'. Even so, I know that my neck's pinched nerve 'still needs more time to fully heal' (especially when I have 'overdone it'). In any case, I was 'just glad' not to be in 'writhing agony' this Christmas - which was 'my Christmas wish' come true! For recovering from multiple slipped discs 'is a journey' which is especially hard 'at Christmas time' ... You'd like to be merry, but in those early stages of recovery, it feels like your trapped in the harshest winter storm with 'Blizzards from Hell' - which will have you 'impeded to the maximum, struggling to place one hand in front of the other' whilst asking:
How do you wrap up Christmas presents when you have slipped discs? Brave the 'sitting down', agonise the 'cutting of wrapping paper', tremble the 'reaching for the Sellotape', dread the 'tying of ribbons and bows', grimace the 'writing of name tags' - whilst muttering to yourself 'it really does feel like, that these Christmas presents, are wrapping me up'!!!
Try to imagine 'just for a moment' that you're a boxer 'in a boxing ring': Your slipped discs 'are now in the corner' as you have unleashed 'a flurry of punches upon them' - yet as you 'step forwards' your slipped discs remind you 'with a punch' (which gets through your guard) that you're not fully healed 'just yet'. For around month forty of my recovery, I realised that I was 'feeling good' for four to five days of the week, and that many of my activities had returned to be being 'much more enjoyable' - with me concentrating on the activity (as opposed to me saying 'my bad back'). Yet afterwards, I could still suffer with a pinched nerve in my neck (spreading to my right shoulder) and/or a pinched nerve in my lower back:
How do pinched nerves affect your stamina? You've been 'pounding your slipped discs into that corner' whilst grinning about 'how good it feels' - but as you step forwards 'to finish this fight' your back starts to tell you 'pull that punch'. It would be great 'to win this fight now' - but that 'torturing nerve path/arc in your back' has taught you well! For if you do 'throw that knockout punch' then you may miss, and find yourself in the corner again (for two to three days). For I have found that my stamina 'recovers the better' when you realise that 'you've done enough for today' so stop till tomorrow.
At this stage of my recovery, I have found that I have a lot more 'energy to channel' and that my mind is free to think about 'interests other than injury' (fantasy, games and dragons) whilst feeling that 'I am enjoying my life so much more'. It doesn't mean that 'I'm fully healed yet', just that my body is starting to feel 'a step closer' to being seventy percent healed. Yet those 'storm clouds' of pinched nerves can still 'torture me' (especially when I have 'done too much') - with the following activities having given me pinched nerves (over my 'much more enjoyable for me' Christmas of 2020):
Setting up my 'old work pc' as a games machine (to play the old dos games 'Lands of Lore' and 'The 7th Guest'). This involved me searching for two power leads, mouse, audio cables plus speakers, keyboard, monitor and vga lead. In the past, such searching would have been 'a cause for agony' - but here it was 'much less so'. Yet the pc 'still aggravated my back'. As being an older pc, its case is made of solid steel (it's very heavy 'seeming heavier than my UPS') and whilst I lifted it correctly (on the 23rd of December), I ended up with pinched nerves in my lower back and upper neck (as the pc's weight 'was well beyond' what I should have lifted). My pinched nerves 'were still torturing me' on the 24th and 25th of December - which as I cooked Christmas dinner (and sat down to eat it) caused me to ask a question: why did I lift that heavy pc? Because of my old games! I was also 'taking a risk' as I pulled my first Christmas cracker (I tried to 'pull it sitting down' but as the cracker tore 'it jarred my back'). Even so, my pinched nerves had cleared by the 27th of December, when I was able to get on with 'connecting up' all those old cables, and installed Windows XP Professional (as I couldn't remember my old pc's password). There was further 'head scratching that evening', when 'Lands of Lore' would not run! I solved this on the 29th with a bizarre 'keep having to bend, push memory stick in, hour or two' whilst I was installing various device drivers and DOSBox 0.72 (after which 'Lands of Lore' runs fine!). Mind you, I was regretting 'this bending' later in the evening - as I had a pinched nerve in my neck again. This had cleared by the 30th whereby I was soon 'having fun' as Conrad 'being lost again' in the Draracle Caves - I had managed to forget to pick up 'The Magic Atlas' (so that's what the Library key is for!). As for the Draracle's gift? It was the silver goblet this time! As your back heals, the playing of such games 'becomes more fun' as your able to concentrate on the game, as opposed to your back. I was now in Opinwood, then it was down into the 'Urbish Mines' (after I'd slayed 'the Lahrkon' - using the green skull). I was having fun! But what of 'The 7th Guest'? There's more fun 'to be had here' but not right now, because having set-up 'my old pc' in-front of my cd storage racks, I don't fancy moving it 'just yet'.
Painting my model miniatures for five to six hours a day, for eight days running. This feels like a 'major milestone for me' (because it was Christmas 2016 'when I last painted like this'). I have started to 'really enjoy' my painting again, as that receding slipped disc in my neck, is now 'less aggravated' by such long painting sessions - although I still 'take a break' every hour or so (to get a snack) and I also seem to know 'when it's time to finish painting for the day' (as my neck 'tells me when'). I feel excited 'that I can now paint' using my favourite painting method: whilst waiting for the paint to dry 'on finer details' of almost finished models, switching to paint 'the basic details' of models that 'I've just started'. This means that I have a lot more 'models and paint out' which feels great! Even so 'I still have to pinch myself' (to see if I am dreaming) - because I can remember 'what it was like' when my three slipped discs 'had taken my hobby from me' ... I had been painting the barbarian, dwarf, elf and wizard (from HeroQuest) 'but I had to stop' - because I couldn't sit down! My models 'gathered dust' whilst I looked at them, wondering 'when and if' I would ever be able to paint them again? It was hard 'but toughens'!
Charging my car's battery (whilst painting my model miniatures), putting air in its tyres and cleaning its interior. I have now 'healed to the stage' where I can do 'more than one task' in a day ('just as I did' on the 2nd of January 2021). Yet at the same time 'do I still have to be sensible' - I know that I find it hard 'to clean the interior' of my car, so I asked my Mum 'to help me'. Mum cleaned my dashboard and seats, whilst I 'stooped down' for ten minutes (or so) cleaning the 'mould off' of my driver's seat belt (which had 'built up' due to dampness). As I had left my car on charge for around six hours (whilst miniature painting) it was thus 'early evening' when I took my car 'off charge' and put air into its tyres. It was here that I made a mistake - I should have asked my Mum (or Dad) 'as usual' to carry my portable power pack out for me (as it weighs around nine kilograms). Instead, I carried it out myself, connected it to my tyre inflator, put air into each of my tyres (including lifting my power pack 'several times') and then carried it back indoors. I felt 'very pleased with myself' (for having done so much) and I felt 'even happier' laughing about the 'cleaning fun' that Mum and I had - because as we were both sitting in my car, I had happened to say 'just like in the good old days, going for a drive, on a witch's broomstick that has four seats on it!'. It made us both laugh, and I felt 'even happier' when I realised that 'I was fine all evening'. My happy feelings continued 'into the next day' when I was able to get on with 'six to seven hours of miniature painting'. But by early evening, I asked myself a question: have I painted for too long today? The answer 'soon revealed itself' when I had a shower - as shortly afterwards 'everything that I had done' on my car and painting 'came back with a vengeance'. I had pinched nerves in my upper neck and right shoulder 'from hell'. YES 'I had overdone it' - BUT 'at the same time' I found that 'I started to laugh' as I said to myself 'I've DONE too MUCH' ...
Because when you're able to 'laugh more about your injury' then life is much more fun! Yes that zip wire 'did me in' but if I hadn't gone on it, then you wouldn't be reading this right now! And I wouldn't be laughing - or is that my warlock's cackle? For having to go through Christmas with slipped discs 'is a spell in itself' which will see you have 'highs and lows' mixed with 'discomfort and pleasure' mixed with 'plenty of time to yourself' - which through this 'journey called healing' gives you pinched nerves 'backwards and forwards' as you ponder to yourself 'the question of the day' (or night time) ...
How do you pull a Christmas cracker with slipped discs? Stand up (with a slight 'bend in your knees' and one heel 'off the ground'), whilst holding onto the edge 'of your dining room table' (with one hand), whilst pulling the cracker (with your other hand) and looking forward 'to wearing your Christmas crown' whilst rejoicing to 'the days of stamina' again.
Try to imagine 'just for a moment' that you're a boxer 'in a boxing ring': Your slipped discs 'have you down in the corner, when suddenly - you throw an uppercut'. You now find yourself 'in the middle of the ring' starting to feel 'that you're somewhat like, your usual self'. Yet gradually, you shall realise 'that your strength is returning, but your pinched nerves can still torment you'. For around month twenty-eight of my recovery, I began to notice 'that I was feeling good' for two to three days of the week, and that I started 'enjoying life so much more' when undertaking tasks - but afterwards, that I could still suffer 'pinched nerves from hell' (especially 'around and near' that receding slipped disc in my neck):
How do pinched nerves affect your strength? Your 'out of that corner' (after your marvellous uppercut), but throwing that uppercut 'has taken everything you've had'. You know 'that you need a break from this fight'. You had the strength 'to throw the uppercut' but thanks to your pinched nerves, you know that 'if you throw any more uppercuts right now', that it's going to be 'no good for you'. Because you have to be honest with yourself 'about your back' - your legs and arms may very well 'have the strength' for another uppercut - but your back doesn't! You need a break - Ding! Ding!
At this stage of my recovery, I started to notice that 'I could put a lot more force through my body' - both in terms of what I was lifting, and in terms of my flexibility (especially being able to do tasks that I hadn't done 'for many months'). Yet I also found that my strength would be hampered by 'those pinched nerves' serving as a sensible reminder 'not to overdo it'. This would then 'feed into my emotions' because I wanted to get on, but I had to force myself 'to spread tasks out - throughout the week'. I have found 'this hampering' to be very frustrating, with pinched nerves coming from:
Ripping my 'printer to bits' (early December 2019). It had a 'very bad paper jam' around one of its 'very deep internal rollers'. To get to that roller, it took me around an hour of 'pulling bits off' - undoing screws on its exterior, pulling apart plastic clips, undoing screws on its interior, disengaging gearing cogs, pulling out spindles (that could now turn) and building an 'ever growing pile of screws and bits'. For I was amazed by 'just how much there is inside' even a small laser printer! I got the paper out 'at the halfway stage' and as my back was by now 'well and truly hurting' I had to put it back together 'a little bit slower'. The next day, I could feel that 'pinched nerve in my neck' again - whereby it felt as if 'it was doing a very good impression, of that very bad paper jam'!
Rubbing my feet down, removing hard skin 'that had built up' for ages (mid December 2019). This 'seemingly simple task' would push my receding slipped discs 'to their absolute limits' - but 'the time had come' for me to spend some time 'on myself again'. So with both my 'Dremel Multi-tool' and my 'Ped Egg' I was soon 'rubbing my feet down' - bliss! For the next week, I felt my spinal cord from the base of my spine to the top of my neck!
Painting my model miniatures 'and actually enjoying it' (Christmas week 2019). As I find painting 'to be relaxing' this was one of the hardest activities 'for me to have lost' (for many months). Whilst I am now 'back to doing this' I limit my painting sessions to half an hour max - because otherwise, I find that the 'pinched nerve in my neck' starts to play up again (as I keep 'bending my neck both forwards and downwards' which it doesn't like).
Tidying up my room (New Year's Day 2020). Granted this may not be 'a favourite task' but when you haven't actually been able to 'tidy anything' for many months, this can really help you 'to feel emotionally stronger'. I decided to 'tear out the lower half' of one of my bookcases (whose 'carpet area' in-front had also been 'covered in paperwork' for ages). It felt really good 'to be able to tidy', because I can remember December 2017 - when I couldn't really do anything! It's also an activity that 'tests your body, to its limits' - especially when you're 'bending down and carrying books'. After two to three hours 'of tidying' I decided 'that was it for the day'. Later that evening, I started to feel the 'pinched nerve in my neck' again (which took a couple of days to relent).
Our microwave 'had packed up' (October 2019). We finally got around 'to ordering a new one' (January 2020). I knew the date that the microwave was arriving - and everybody 'should have been in'. Unfortunately, when there was 'a knock at the door' they'd all gone out! I went out the back, down the side and around the front. The delivery person 'just dumped the microwave box in my arms', and signed the tablet himself 'heading off'. I started heading back down the side, but soon realised that the microwave's weight 'was too much' for my back. I had to 'put it down' on the garden table, 'where it stayed' until everybody else 'got back'. For the next four days, my reward 'for carrying the microwave' was - the pinched nerve in my neck (aka 'the old favourite' again).
For it was 'around here' that I started to feel 'that I'm getting my life back' - of which I believe 'that your strength' is an important part of that. I could do 'more tasks with more power and more flexibility' - but I would then 'have to take a break for a bit' to allow my pinched nerves 'to calm down'. And whilst you are 'calmed down' you shall also notice 'your bad habits returning' - as I keep finding myself 'leaning forward at my desk, with my feet all over the place'. Fortunately, this is not a problem 'that I face in the evenings' because my three slipped discs changed me: 'no more sofas' - I stand!
Try to imagine 'just for a moment' that you're a boxer 'in a boxing ring': Your slipped discs have had you 'confined to the corner', whereby they have constrained 'your ability to move'. Whilst you don't like 'being in that corner' it has given you time to think, and you have gradually realised 'that your able to start parrying these blows - but your pinched nerves are still torturing you'. For around month twenty-four of my recovery, I began to notice 'that my body's flexibility was improving all the time', and that I could do 'so much more' without encountering any restriction - but afterwards, that I would always suffer 'pinched nerves from hell' (especially 'around and near' that receding slipped disc in my neck):
How do pinched nerves affect flexibility? When you're feeling pinched nerves, then you seem to have 'a laser sharp awareness' of the path that a nerve 'takes within your body' (especially within the vicinity of the pinched nerve). When I felt 'such sensations' within my neck, then it would dissuade me 'from wanting to bend my neck' - but it wouldn't necessarily 'stop me from bending my neck' (I'd just prefer not to, if I didn't have to). I also encountered 'this situation' at dance class, whereby forward and backwards steps 'were usually fine' but sideways steps 'caused pause for thought'.
At this stage of my recovery, I found that the complexity of the tasks that I could undertake 'increased dramatically'. And that I could also 'do those tasks for longer' before noticing any discomforts. Yet at the same time, did I also 'have to force myself' not to get carried away - such as by attempting a task that would be 'well beyond the maximum force, that I believed my healing back could take'. As the only way 'that you learn the answer to this one' - is by being honest with yourself 'about how your back is feeling'. For even when 'I was honest with myself' could I still get pinched nerves from:
Searching for my car's oil filter wrench (August 2019). As I'd been 'unable to tidy my room' for many months, I wasn't exactly sure 'where it was'. I started 'tearing into piles of paperwork', hauling boxes 'all over the place', and going through my wardrobes. An hour or so later, when my back 'was hurting by now' I'd managed to find the smaller oil filter wrench, and the larger oil filter wrench - but where 'was the one' that I was actually looking for? I decided 'to stop searching for the day', but as I 'stepped backwards' there was something 'under my foot'. It was an envelope. Guess what was in it? Success! But my 'pinched nerve in my neck' was soon torturing again.
Changed my car's engine oil and oil filter (August Bank Holiday 2019). First I removed my car's engine undercover - I jacked my front right/left 'just a little bit' (not removing any wheels) so that I could get my socket 'onto the nuts' (and undo them). Run my car for five minutes or so - to get the oil hot. Drain pan under, undid the sump nut, and undid the oil filter (using 'my found' oil filter wrench). I did most of this work 'whilst lying down' on my (currently unused) sit-up board. It was only when 'the next day' that I started to clean the oil filter 'base plate' that I first felt the pinched nerve in my neck again. I decided 'to slow down' and even did 'some sunbathing' whilst using my right hand (with a cloth) 'to clean the base plate'. I felt really happy, and was able to 'relax into' the next couple of days, although I still felt the pinched nerve in my neck (in the week afterwards).
Completely overhauled my computer's Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS - mid October 2019). There had been a power cut, and it 'didn't cut in' - instead my computer 'had just turned off'. My UPS batteries had gone! I ordered the batteries, and they arrived 'the day before' everybody else went on holiday. I was determined to fix my UPS whilst they were away - BUT it caused 'pause for thought, because it is very heavy'. I decided to proceed slowly over three days ... First day - hoovering around it, then disconnecting five power leads and 'stuck' telephone leads. I then 'slid it forward' and carefully 'lifted it onto' my desk. Undid about twelve screws, opened it up and 'what a mess inside' - dust everywhere and batteries had leaked! It took me 'a day and a half' to fix it - because I had to clean up three battery connectors (one positive, one negative and one that 'joined the batteries together'). In the afternoon of the third day, I put my UPS 'back together' and carefully 'lowered it' onto the floor. As I didn't seem to have 'any discomfort' I then pushed on and reconnected everything. Put the power on, and it worked! For the next two days, I had pinched nerves in my lower back and upper neck again!
Aquarium cleaning night (late October 2019). My Atlantis themed ninety-six litre aquarium had been 'too full of algae - for too long'. It needed to be cleaned, but I 'paused for thought' because of the need to carry 'buckets of water'. I decided that I would proceed, but only with me carrying 'half buckets of water'. I removed the lid, syphoned out the water (into my bucket) and 'took the dirty water outdoors'. I was then able to clean both my filters and my Atlantis ornaments (in the kitchen sink). I then 'reversed my steps' and put my aquarium back together. However, I then 'wasn't honest with myself' (about my back). As I 'pushed on and cleaned out' our smaller Goldfish aquarium. It was 'half way through this tank' that my back started telling me 'that it wasn't happy'. Yet as I didn't want my Goldfish dying 'I continued - cleaning their tank'. If I'd stopped at my Atlantis tank, then I feel that the 'pinched nerve that I had in my neck' - would not have been as intense 'as it soon was'.
For it was 'around here' that I started to have days 'where I felt like - my usual self'. Granted, I could still have 'pinched nerves from hell days', but I could also have 'I feel amazing days'. I found that 'I could do so much more in a day' before I started feeling my pinched nerves. One such day (in November 2019) was the dance show 'that I was in' ... Down the hall by 09:30, show rehearsals till 12:30, twenty minute walk home 'for lunch', twenty minute walk back (to hall), on stage in dance show till 19:00, then 'tidy up' and 'back home' by 22:00. 'My back held up all day', until around midnight!
Try to imagine 'just for a moment' that you're a boxer 'in a boxing ring': Your slipped discs have had you 'backed into a corner' (for many long months), whereby they have landed 'symptom after symptom' upon you. Whilst you don't like 'being in that corner' it has given you time to think, and you have gradually realised 'that your pain is going - but not your pinched nerves'. For around month twenty-three of my recovery, I began to notice 'that my days and nights, were now mostly pain free', and that I could do 'some tasks without being in pain at all (at the time)' - but afterwards, that I would always suffer 'pinched nerves from hell' (especially 'around and near' that receding slipped disc in my neck):
How do pinched nerves differ to pain? I don't regard pain 'as being equal' to pinched nerves - as I do not believe 'them to be the same symptom'. For me, pain always seemed to be 'much more muscular based' whereas pinched nerves seemed to be 'feeling as though something was stuck' (especially in the later stages of healing). With that 'pinched nerve in my neck' it felt as though 'two wires were arcing' - and it was that arcing 'that would stop me getting on' (with further tasks and activities). For I have found 'this arcing' to be both 'very off putting' and worrying - at the same time!
At this stage of my recovery, I started to find 'that I could get out a lot more'. There were 'trips to the zoo' where I could now 'walk around for three hours, with a rucksack full of food'. There were also 'walks around my local woods' where I could be out for two to three hours (again with a rucksack full of food). For I found that I was able to 'enjoy the local environment so much more' - as opposed to thinking about 'how much pain I was in'. Unfortunately, I'd usually 'start to suffer' the following day 'with my legs tightening up' and depending upon 'what I had done - pinched nerves from hell':
Attending the Maldon 'Classic Car Show' (early July 2019). Whilst I have been 'going here' for six or seven years, it seems to be becoming 'more and more popular' - leading to 'reduced parking'. As such, I decided to 'park the other side of the river' and walk across (the bridge) to the car show. This decision turned into 'a two hour walk' to get to the car show (because I couldn't resist 'taking shortcuts'), two hours 'at the car show' photographing the classic cars, and an hours 'walk back' (avoiding 'taking shortcuts'). I had loads of fun, with my favourite classic cars 'being the Mustangs' (there were 'plenty of them') and the 'Camaro 383' (which looked like a beast!). I also 'stopped off for a chat' with a military enthusiast, who was 'making me laugh' with his 'barely anything done to' Land Rover. Whilst I had 'felt good', I also knew 'when it was time to head home'. Yet even here, was I able to 'stop off for a chat' with my neighbour (about his classic car). But for the next week, I felt my pinched nerves again - specifically feeling 'my spinal cord from the base of my spine to the top of my neck'.
Washing my car (late July 2019). My car hadn't been washed 'for quite some time'. All of that 'changed here', as I was actually 'able to clean it properly'. I 'hosed it down' then filled my bucket 'lathered it down', then onto the wheels (being able to 'bend right down'). I then 'hosed it down' to rinse it off - I felt great! But the next day, I started to feel my neck, right shoulder, back and leg muscles 'tightening up'. Within a day or two, I had a pinched nerve 'at the base of my spine' - and the old favourite was back 'the pinched nerve in my neck' again!
Checking my car's tyre pressures. I'd usually try and do this once every two months. I've found that this is a task 'that really does' test how much you've healed! For when you're carrying around a portable power pack, with your automatic tyre inflator and 'you have to bend down' (to reach your valves) - then ... This would always give me tight leg muscles, and would 'usually always' give me a pinched nerve in my lower back (due to the weight).
Several 'days out' at Burnham on Crouch (Summer Holidays 2019) - staying 'well clear' of the zip wire 'that did me in' in the first place! Whilst I 'dreaded driving there' (because of the length of the car trips) I was fine. Once at Burnham (on each occasion) we walked along the front and 'headed down' to the ferry/crabbing piers 'on the river'. Stayed there for a while, then had some 'fish and chips' and walked up to the fields 'in front of' Burnham Marina. We played some 'kids golf' and some 'kids bowls' - before heading off for a 'walk around' the Marina. On one occasion I also walked 'much further' heading for Creek Sea Cliffs (where dinosaur fossils can be found), however I decided to turn back, as it was 'late in the day'. On all occasions 'my back held up' but always 'not the next day' - for here again, did my leg muscles 'tighten up' and I'd feel that pinched nerve in my neck 'from hell'.
For it was 'around here' that my life seemed to enter a weekly cycle of 'feel OK Saturday and Sunday - THEN go downhill Monday THROUGH Wednesday'. With the downhill being 'the pinched nerves that I was feeling', which were obviously a result of my weekend outings and/or tasks. However, I also feel that it was 'something more than this' because at the weekends, I wasn't really sitting down, whereas Monday to Friday 'I do sit down'. Yes, I'm talking about my posture! For when you're 'not in pain all the time' then your bad habits are going to return - such as 'leaning forward' at your desk ...
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 ...