Image via Wikipedia
I saw my osteo this week. I see her about once a month where we go through a few routines to free up my back a little. I'm a lot better than I was. A slipped disc is very painful, but the worst of it is past and it is manageable without being pleasant. Lets say I was 100% about the time I went travelling two years ago; when my back was at it's most painful I was about 40% of that. Right now I'm somewhere between 60-70%.
That's an improvement, but it's not where I want to be. I'm still pretty stiff and often sore. Last week I had to run and felt awkward and clumsy. I was always such a good mover that it was a shock to me. I was always in the three quickest at school, and near the best at the agility tests. That form fell away, but I retained the basic ease of movement until now. I used to look at these uncoordinated, shuffling runners and wondered how that happened. Now I feel unco.
It's not good enough and I told the osteo that. I don't want to feel this way physically, and there's certainly a psychological element at play also. This is not who I am. I need to be physically functional. I may age, but that need not cripple me – except that is what is happening now. Right now, for the first time in my adult life, I can't take stairs two at a time as I always have. I'll do anything I told her, to get back to where I was.
She recommended yoga and exercise. I'm doing the exercise, but I'll try the yoga. She told me my back will never be what it was. In my mind I was content to get back to 80% of what I was, but she told me that this might be as good as it gets. I tried to imagine that, a lifetime of being little more than half of what I was and declining from that. We can manage things she said, but we can't cure.
I can't accept that. Not completely. I know there's no way of fixing me short of operating on me, and that's not going to happen. I can't just accept this decline as inevitable, especially when its been so abrupt. I was so strong, so physically hardy. I could go all day, I lugged around a heavy pack for weeks just two years ago without too much issue, I climbed mountains and tested myself daily. I might get tired, I might get weary, but the next day I would be at it again. Now if I am forced to stand on the train too long I feel it through my whole body.
I'm away soon and though it will not be a rugged as in the past there will be challenges. I look forward to them. I want to put myself to the test, want to extend my physical reach bit by bit. I cant take this lying down, literally.