Physical pain is one isolating motherfucker. I have a prolapsed freakin’ disc at the moment – as of wednesday – and it’s the kinda pain that leaves you desperately wanting someone to just come and wash it away. Or steam it away. Or beat the shit out of it so it storms off home, to its cosy comfort corner (which is not my fucking BACK).
It feels like a pain that I can’t sit with all by myself, but any attempt to articulate or describe it leaves me wired from the pain even more, or stressed or desperate and in need of rest even more. Rather than talk about it I just want someone to know. Like, I just want someone to crawl into my back, my legs, my spine, and just feel for a moment what it feels like to have this pain. Yeah I’d love for them to just take the fucker away – every last niggle and bite – and hold it for
ever a while, but mostly I just wanna share it. I just want who I’m talking to or who I was talking to, to really know what I mean when I say I’m in so much pain, or it feels like I’ve been kicked in the nuts, or my legs are on fire. I want to share the screaming isolation that runs through my bones. I want to share the firey breath that burns from my nerves. I want to find the knife that’s stabbing me in the back each time I move, and just show them what it looks like. Show them what brand it is and for them to wrap it up in cotton wool so it just is a little bit protected. So my spine is a bit protected when it jars back in. Or just throw it in the trash and bury it forever, and leave my back to go on its merry way.
It’s acute, it’s excruciating and it’s agony. And it’s completely ridiculous. If forgotten true physical PAIN until this week. Like proper true, bone breaking, pain. It’s something I’ve known so well due to my 26 years of adrenaline loving, but it’s been a while since I truly have felt this kinda crippling knee jerking pain. And it goes on for fucking ever.
I know I’ll never get a friend to set up camp within my back (thankfully for them, and probably for me too). I know in these moments of agony, all I have is myself to really breathe with it and witness. So that’s who I share it with. Little old me. And whilst I do so, I realise that despite friends not knowing exactly how it feels – down to every last little detail and sensation, like I so desperately daydream for – people do know and do understand, because in some way most of the people I know have broken something or cracked something or had something fall on their handsome heads. It’s pain, it’s just different for each of us and each of our situation or story. But it sure as hell is healing when I talk to someone else who’s had a prolapsed disc and they know exactly what I mean when my legs feel on fire or my back feels like its being stabbed. I know that they really know what I’m talking about. So just like everything else, there’s a mighty fine tonne of solace that can be found in finding others who have experienced the same thing. It’ll never be exactly the same because that is how we roll – unique and different – but it’ll be pretty fucking close. And those that haven’t experienced this kinda pain, will have experienced something else. And that something else will have brought compassion and wisdom and understanding too. And if they haven’t? Well, they are either might careful cotton-wool wrapped beings, or they’re just accident-free lucky fuckers.