The agony of knife and fire

The movement was small and an even less one in a slightly different direction produced the pain. I fell onto the corner of the bed in the spare room, screaming in agony. My body was at a strange angle, with the hips on the edge of the corner and my left hand grabbing desperately for the rest of the bed.

Five minutes later I had somehow managed to get onto the top of the bed, which was covered with a soft duvet and I was on my back—the wrong position to be in. Laying like that, the duvet had a fold in, right where the pain was. We tried everything to get me on my right side, but could not. An ambulance was eventually called and 9 hours later I was on the way to hospital. All that time it felt like I had been stabbed in the spine with a red hot knife. This normally is what it feels like when I have a bad tweak in my lower spine, less so on minor twinges.

It all began over thirty years ago when a guy in a white van looked left and did a right U-turn, straight into the Honda 500 I was on. Technically, a broken back which did not sever my spinal cord. You'd think I'd get accustomed to it, but haven't.

A hospital stay

To be honest, I am not a great fan of hospitals. However, this was necessary and the first time since the crash that I've been in for the spine. If you've read through the blog, you will find references to the condition and how I've learned how to cope with the situation over the years, but never really gone into any depth about it

Staff at the hospital were quite good, considering I had been injected with Morphine, only to find out that I'm allergic to Opium. This not only caused great distress to me (I was vomiting and having strange spasms), but also to a few of staff as I kind of lit into them verbally then wondered where that came from and apologized. It was all very, very weird.

All kinds of various things were tried with no result. X-ray, MRI Scan, drugs coming out of my ears and still nothing. All things considered they did the best they could given the restrictions of England's crappy National Health Service, so well done guys.

However, everything tried showed that there was no problem—just excruciating pain. The only conclusion we could all arrive at was, that there is something very small which stabs into my lower spinal column and it can't be seen with the equipment they have. I was there for 6 days. The one thing which always takes place is, time and rest—that always works.

The Physiotherapists were the ones (thank you both) which helped most by having me do abdominal compressions to lift the lower spine forward about a half an inch. I finally managed to be able to sit, then walked up and down a set of stairs. That did the trick so I could be sent home to a soft bed instead of the hard hospital mattress, which didn't do much for me.

Back home in my own bed

The first thing I did was sleep for 12 hours, in hospital I averaged 3 hours per night sleep primarily because of a lack of good communication between all the people involved (I think their computer system had a mind of its own and was doing strange things as well).
My feet under blanket at home.

I've been home for 2 days now and see a marked improvement, enough to be sitting in bed with my tablet to write this all up. Why? Because what has happened is in line with the ethos of the blog—the adventure begins when the unplanned starts. This most definitely was that. It is not fun, it is fraught with risk, the outcome is not certain plus I've learned some things.

Like—the Jeep backpack has to go. It is too deep and pulls my spine backwards, the direction of the original injury. I had done about 11 miles the day before with an 8lb pack. That's okay with a shallow backpack, but not a deeper pulling me backwards one. I'll try to find a thinner ultralite one somewhere.

Where to next

Agness asked that question a couple of posts ago. I hope that everything has returned to some semblance of normality by November so I can spend part of the winter in Israel and do some hikes in the Negev Desert etc.

Until then, it's one day at a time, get healed up, strengthened up and save as much money as possible for the trip.

Nov 09, 2018
November, almost up to scratch. Maybe Israel in January/February, will have to see.
Aug 24, 2018

latest comment at top
Staff were same here Greg. Even at 3 am. One said, "You're not here to rest." Dumb.
Aug 26, 2018 at 1650
Ugh, sounds miserable. Hospitals are definitely no place for sleep, ironically the thing unwell people most often need. I don't think we got two hours a night when my mom was in, mainly because staff were in and out to do things every 30 min.

Hope it keeps healing and you get out in the desert...that's good for the soul!
Aug 26, 2018 at 1514

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