THE BLOG

Herniated (Slipped) Disc

07/08/2014 11:18 | Updated 06 October 2014

My life has been difficult from the very beginning, and doesn't appear to be getting any easier. I write about living with chronic illness and have been writing for The Huffington Post weekly since November 2012. In all that time, despite my poor health, I haven't missed a week. When I commit myself to something, come rain or shine, I wont let the side down. Unfortunately, something happened to me, which left me laid up and out of action. So last week was the first time I have missed posting an article, and was touched by the response of some readers who e-mailed me, wondering if all was OK. To all who took the time and trouble to write, it was heart-warming to receive such a caring response, and I would like to say "thank you" for your concern.

I am typing this article in bed, on my laptop which has been precariously propped up, barely able to see the keys, I am determined to finish this piece. You may be wondering what on earth I've been up to. Sorry to disappoint you, but it doesn't take much to injure myself, and I wish I had an exciting fascinating tale to relate, but the truth of the matter is sadly quite pathetic.

I am sure this has happened to many of you, and you'll be able to relate to my situation. If one is prone to herniated (slipped) discs, it takes but a moment, a simple careless move, or a slight twist and one is left incapacitated for several days or weeks. I wasn't picking up anything, but simply bent over askew, was just enough to move one of my lower discs.

As the impromptu scream spontaneously leapt from my mouth, my lungs quickly refilled with air as the sharp familiar pain caught my breath. I could hear the quick footsteps of my husband as he rushed to my side. Frozen to the spot, like a statue captured in mid action, I could barely utter a word, but the strained look on my face and ungainly pose plainly indicated I had once again slipped a disc in my lower back.

Making the short journey from the closet to our bed was an agonising one that appeared to take forever, accompanied by enough vocals on my part to make our next door neighbours wonder what on earth we were up to. Finally laying flat on the bed, the pain abated somewhat, but the slightest move immediately reminded me of how a careless simple move can mess up any plans one has for the next few weeks.

I've never been one for laying in bed, lounging around doing nothing, and I would go so far as to say, I'm not a good patient under these circumstances, and become quite ratty in the last few days, so huge apologies to anyone I've been short with! When the physiotherapist told me the rule of thumb normally being to lay flat in bed for a few days, take it slowly, gradually get up, increasing mobility a little more each day, returning to normal activities; I thought that sounds easy, I can do that! Well guess what? I can't.

What may come easy to some, for me, doing nothing is as hard as hell and the general advice doesn't take into account Parkinson's, as anyone living with Parkinson's will tell you, laying still is virtually impossible. The dyskinesia that jiggles my left leg, in turn wiggles my hip, moving my entire pelvic area, hence keeping those lower painful discs moving. Remaining mobile is one of the most important rules for any Parkinson's patient, and trying to do little or no movement is the worst thing possible. Parkison's spots any weakness and resembling an unwelcome pushy salesman who has wedged his foot in your open door, sees an invitation and refuses to go away. If Parkinson's is given half the chance, it will come right in and make itself at home. So I'm walking a fine line here, trying to rest up and give my back a chance to heal, whilst still maintaining mobility to keep Parkinson's at bay. It's a constant challenge, but I refuse to give up the fight.

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