Slipped Disc Help has currently reviewed the following:
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!!!
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!
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.