Accepting pain

Ever since I visited Finland and held my father’s old sickle that I used to cut some of the overgrown bushes; I have had back pain. It comes and goes, being always the absolute worst in morning.

I broke my 11th vertebra back in 2017, that is 11T counting from the top, just leaving one more of the thorasic vertebra before lumbar vertebra L1. It seems to be the one in the center that gets most stress if torso is moved to left or right.

Someone wiser than me said “there are two types of people who do not experience mental suffering, those who are psychopaths and those who are dead”.

I am of course not immune to the shock I think we all experience when realizing a kind of existential crises; nothing will last and as sure as hell we will all perish leaving nothing but a faint memory behind. Seeing parents fading away and our hometown overgrowing with weeds does bring the entropy to our doorstep. A sudden package of uncertainness that sure has effect on the body core as well. And muscle-skeletal system is what literally keep us upright.

So dragging my heavy luggage (because of my job I carry a typical 3D artist gaming laptop behemoth that weights same as an infant), I indeed was wondering have I totally screwed up my back for good with my recless act of attempting to use a farmer’s tool despite not being a farmer. Somewhere deep I felt I had to kind of be like my father used to be, the overgrown bushes needed to be dealt with despite my sister saying I shouldn’t care about them. Dragging the luggage in airport also did not improve my condition to say the least.

It has been now over a month and the pain has not got better, if anything it has gotten slightly worse. I have been to five different kind of hospitals, taken MRI and over four X-Rays. Also have had my lungs checked just in case, luckily they seem clear.

Visiting the hospital where I spent the November 2017, I was told “since you have had accident like this there is nothing you can do but accept it”. First days thinking about that I felt incredibly sad. Is this my fate then, to live like this, being hindered with a chronic pain?

But then there are numerous people who have had way worse fate than me facing even death, still being able to enjoy life. I know for a fact that life can be fullfilling experience even with less than ideal circumstances. This is a first step for me that I am trying to take with somewhat unsure footing.

I guess I was just lucky for these five years since the accident. The back took six months to heal, but since then I have not had any really terrible episodes, except just a few times a wiches shot, or gikkuri goshi. More or less I have lived a normal life.

Indeed it surprises me that none of the doctors I visited even try to imagine if there could be anything that could be done, it is just “you have to gaman it (bear the pain without complaining)”.

I have had a whole two days when the pain has been way less and I was more or less able to even forget about it for a moment. Now the pain has returned like a rebel teenage son returning home; I know it in my guts that it is going to stay at least for a while and there is positively nothing I can do about it. I have stopped taking the pain killers as they only postpone the inevitable pain, and I am also unsure of the long term effect they have on my body. If I can bear the pain, I will if it builds up my resilience.

I am attempting the back muscle training where one lies down on fours, lifting the opposing left and arm. Unsure if this is a good idea but it is all I have at this point. This is said to bring strength to the balancing core muscles that protect the core while being relatively easy on the spine. Having the potential of improving the core muscles would be beneficial anyway and who knows one day this would ease the pain.

I sure hope to get better in time. But what actually gives me hope is trusting in my capacity to endure the pain that I seem to have to live with from now.