Magnetic Resonance Imaging Blues

I am having my MRI done tomorrow. I have to admit, I am a little worried. Not because of the MRI itself, but rather, what it might show. I have had one before, it showed the specialist treating my lower back problem what was happening and ultimately how he could go about fixing it.

In 1999 I got the results of my MRI and it finally showed everyone why my back was killing (metaphorically) me. I had a rotting disc in my lower back. I also found out that I had one leg significantly shorter than the other, although if he told me which leg it was I have since forgotten.

The disc, though, was the thing causing all the problems. I was told it was congenital, meaning that I had probably been born that way. Pieces of the rotting disc were getting lodged against nerve endings which was why nothing in the way of pain medication was really working. And believe me when I tell you, I was taking hand-fulls of the stuff.

I had my operation in September 1999 and they replaced my rotting disc with a titanium box filled with bone shavings from my hip. All very space-agey. They then put giant staples in my back to hold the skin together and sent me home.

And apart from my immediate concern that if I strained too hard at anything the staples might come out, I was fine. Once the staples were taken out and I finished getting back to ‘normal’ health wise, I then had to wean myself off of the pain medicine.

Everything was great for ages. I went through a sort of ‘Peter Pan‘ stage of my life. My back never bothered me apart from the odd time I would pull a muscle. Then I got injured at work.

Nothing dramatic just a short, fast, fall to the floor with the weight of three other people to propel our short journey. I noticed my back hurting after I had filled in the report of what happened and placed two of the people on report. All in a days work. Or so I thought. I went to work for three more shifts. Each shift I worked it became more painful to walk until I finally had to throw in the towel and go the the surgery.

After lots of physiotherapy and a load of pain pills later, I am still not back to normal. I am better, just not better enough. I know that I have somehow incurred some sort of nerve damage. But at 53, if I require an operation to put it right, I won’t heal as quickly as I did when I 41. It’s an age thing. And if I take too long to heal, I could lose my job and either way I am going to lose money.

So I sit here and worry, get crotchety and sometimes throw all my toys out of the pram. I get angry at the silliest of things and completely ignore the things I should get angry at. I am acting illogically and I know it, damn it.

So I’ll be glad when the damn thing is done. That way I’ll know if I even need to worry.

English: Photo taken in the MRI lab mri of my ...

Pain

Regions of the cerebral cortex associated with...

Pain changes our lives. It affects how we think, how we feel, and how we move. It is also a part of everyday life. Pain comes in different categories. There is emotional pain, mental pain and physical pain.

I do not like any of the categories.
My father used to say that pain was a necessary part of life. If you could feel pain you knew you were alive. I always responded the same way. “I don’t need pain to let me know I’m alive, thank you.” Yet pain can result in some of the most memorable experiences of our life.
I can remember with excruciating detail when I stepped on a “sixteen penny nail”…twice. Equally clear is the memory of breaking a bone in my hand. *it just dawned on me that both these injuries happened in the same year* I also remember “watching” an “eight penny nail” flip end-over-end until it reached my eye. These are just examples of physical pain, but, I can remember with crystal clarity other types of pain.

Emotional pain can be just as memorable, as can mental pain. Everyone can, I am sure, remember the pain experienced from a failed relationship. Each type of pain can consume our lives, if we let it. I can live with emotional pain. It’s physical pain that I detest.

Bottom line? Pain hurts. But more importantly, it impedes us. It slows us down. I am, at the moment, shuffling about like a ninety year old in search of a walking frame. It is frustrating and…well…painful. It is also to a degree, embarrassing.

When I go to the shop for my “bits and bobs” I know I look like a decrepit old fart. I keep waiting for a boy scout to offer me a helping hand as I cross the road.

More importantly, pain is intrusive. It has taken me three days to write this blog. Why? Because I wrenched my back and knee at work. Not only has this injury kept me off work for at least a week, but, it has kept me from pursuing my passions.

So I keep taking the medication and wait impatiently for the pain to subside enough for me to go about my life normally. So if, as my dad said, pain reminds us that we are alive?

I am full of life right now.

To the Pain
To the Pain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)