Nine months on from excruciating back pain, life has much improved. I can run for 40 minutes – 40 minutes. I live day to day with only a mild discomfort or misstep reminding me that I still have an issue. I underwent no surgery. I am one of the lucky ones.
But when the pain bites it’s not always easy to remember the positives. Sometimes it comes crashing down again: the frustration of having to wait for my husband to retrieve something from a high shelf, standing around while others carry heavy items, annoyance that I can’t sleep on my stomach.
I have always been told I look young. Ok, it wasn’t so fun getting my ID checked at age 23 but still, I thought to myself, at some point this has to blow the other way. At some point, I’ll be happy that people think I’m younger than I look. And surely, I surmised, the inside matches the out – I eat (relatively) healthy, keep fit and am mentally just your average kind of person – everyone’s got issues, right? So I figured that even though I was heading for my mid-late 30s, everything was going to hold up at least for another little while.
In early March, I was happily touring around southern India with my hubby when I noticed my lower back was sore. Nothing out of the ordinary, I thought – the bumpy roads, the beds – it makes sense. That evening I headed for a massage, hoping to find relief. But when I, grimacing, crawled onto the massage bed, my masseur promptly advised me to see a doctor.