Slipped Disc injuries (also called Herniated Disc injuries) are right at the top 'of just how much it's possible' to injure yourself (and still survive) - as the 'next level of injuries' would likely 'kill you outright'. Few people realise 'just how serious' a slipped disc is - until they get one, or 'three at once' (like I've had in my third bout). I will tell you 'right now' that in the early phases of a slipped disc injury - you will lose 99.9 percent of your life, and you will feel 'as Good as Dead' (just like I did) ... Our bodies 'are just not meant' to be this injured! There are no quick remedies (to recovering from slipped discs), because it's the internal parts of your spine 'that have to heal'. In my third slipped disc injury (two slipped discs lower back and one slipped disc upper neck) I have experienced all of the following symptoms - with many of these symptoms for over ten months, and some of these symptoms for twenty-one months:
Point Singularity - Slipped Disc Symptom
Within the realms of slipped discs and their 'really nasty symptoms' - are what I refer to as 'point singularities'. This is a term that 'comes from space' - specifically: Most of us have heard of the concept of the 'big bang' universe creation theory (whereby everything that exists in the universe 'expanded out' from a 'single point' that contained everything). You will find that 'single point' (the 'point singularity') within your slipped discs as well! In my case, I felt that 'point singularity' FAR MORE from the herniated disc that I had in my neck (as opposed to the two herniated discs in my lower back). That 'point singularity' is going to feel like it's the 'centre of pain and pressure' of all your slipped disc symptoms:
That 'point singularity' is going to feel like you have 'the nuclear power of the sun' - condensed down into a 'pin prick'. That just keeps 'burning and burning', 'brighter and brighter', 'hotter and hotter' - and with every movement you make (no matter how small) your just going to 'feel it' right there! It's horrible, and whilst I was 'feeling this symptom' I had:
Sensations that my head was 'floating above my neck'. I became 'very aware' of my necks 'pivot point' and I started worrying that my head 'could fall off' - if it 'bobbed too far' to the left or right (whilst I was standing).
Sensations that my neck was 'grinding through gristle' when I moved it 'to look at something'. My neck didn't 'want to move' - but sometimes you 'have to move it' (such as when looking left or right 'at road crossings').
Sensations that my entire body 'had gone numb' (beneath my neck). This was a 'horrible sensation' that would often lead to me 'panicking'. For I found myself thinking about 'what had happened' to Christopher Reeve (the film actor that used to play Superman). He had the 'severe misfortune' of 'falling off of his horse' whilst he was riding it 'at one event'. He broke his neck - and never recovered. I thought of him 'and found respect for him'.
Sensations when 'trying to sleep' that my neck was 'on top' of a Mount Everest sized 'apex point'. No matter which position 'I tried my neck in' - all I could feel was that apex point 'pushing up' under my neck.
For I am afraid that until you have slipped discs, you just won't realise 'how flexible' your spine and neck 'usually are'. And when you've lost that flexibility, you're going to struggle to do many of those tasks that we 'take for granted' and 'enjoy relaxing to' - because that 'point singularity' is going to be there with you 'gnawing away' deep inside your spine! It will 'put you off' and you may find it harder to concentrate, but it's still a part of 'the road to recovery'. Within the 'first fourteen months' (or so) of recovering in my third bout, I found that my neck's 'point singularity' would affect:
Stargazing. As I couldn't bend my neck 'to lookup' at the stars. I had to (try to) 'bend my eyes' upwards.
Dancing. As I couldn't bend my neck 'to see where the rest of my troupe was'. I had to use 'peripheral vision'.
Driving. As I couldn't bend my neck 'so easily' to look hard 'left and right'. I just 'pushed through it - on auto'.
Soldering. As I couldn't bend my neck 'to look down' to see various power paths. I had to stand up 'soldering'.
Painting. As I couldn't bend my neck 'to look down' to see my models. I had to refrain for many months.
Reading. As I couldn't bend my neck 'to look down' to see the text. I had to stand up (holding my book).
For these 'point singularities' are going to attack 'everything that is you': physically (making it harder), mentally (making you worry) and spiritually (testing your connection 'to your sense of self'). Although 'I have found with time' that these 'point singularities' will 'start to fade' - to become 'less intense' and resemble more of a 'flickering star'. Which won't bother you 'quite as much', but will serve instead as a 'sensible reminder' - not to 'overdo anything' that you're doing!
Within the realms of slipped disc symptoms, there are both 'nasty symptoms' and 'really nasty symptoms'. I am afraid that 'feeling sick - wanting to throw up everywhere' is only ever found within the latter! Whilst I'd suffered with this symptom, during my two previous bouts of slipped discs, I'd also managed to 'forget all about it' (within four years of good health). Unfortunately, this symptom 'came back with a vengeance' within my third bout (two herniated discs lower back and one herniated disc upper neck). I can't remember a week within those first six months, when I didn't feel sick 'for most of it'. And when I say 'feel sick', I mean with 'vomit bug FEEL SICK' sensations that 'lasted for hours/days'.
For whilst your recovering from slipped discs, you're going to be joining the ranks of the 'truly unwell humans'. This particular category includes other individuals 'that can usually feel sick all/much of the time' - I refer to humans that are undergoing treatment for cancer. Whereas much of their 'feeling sick' is going to be due to the side effects of radiotherapy - you're 'feeling sick' is going to be due to the 'damage you've done to your spine' (specifically 'the pressure' from your slipped discs pushing onto your spinal cord, near 'those nerves' that lead to/from your stomach). Amongst my 'many memories' of feeling vomit bug sick - there is one particular day that shall always 'stand out' for me:
I'd been sitting at my desk 'in the morning' for half an hour (or so) getting on with some work, when suddenly 'completely out of the blue' my desire to vomit 'uncontrollably everywhere' built and built! I had to stop work 'for the day' - and proceeded to try 'walking it off'. But to no avail. I tried 'standing up' (thinking happy thoughts). But to no avail. I tried 'lying down' (to try 'sleeping it off'). But to no avail. After an hour or two, I decided 'enough was enough' and I managed to 'get booked into my doctors' (on an emergency). I asked my Dad 'to drive me down'. I wanted to 'throw up' in my Dad's car. I wanted to 'throw up' in my Doctor's waiting room. I wanted to 'throw up' whilst talking to my doctor. I wanted to 'throw up' after he'd examined me. I wanted to 'throw up' on the journey home. I wanted to 'throw up' for the remainder of that day. I wanted to 'throw up' all night - and 'all the next day' as well!
It's hard - and it gets even harder 'when you disagree with your doctor'. As he didn't seem to think that my 'feeling sick' had anything to do with my slipped discs (although he did request an MRI scan for me). All I know is this: when the pressure from my slipped discs 'started relenting' then I didn't feel 'vomit bug sick' anymore. Unfortunately, it took around six months for those 'vomit bug sick' sensations to 'fully go away'. It was 'hard to cope' - but it toughens you up!
But even 'within the realms of toughening you up' is there 'one scenario' that you - DON'T WANT TO ENCOUNTER:
You could be the 'poor smuck' who actually catches the 'seasonal vomit bug' whilst recovering from slipped discs!
Whilst I have encountered this myself - it wasn't until month nineteen (of my recovery). I certainly wouldn't have wanted 'the seasonal vomit bug' - before nineteen months of recovery! As I feel that 'anytime sooner' would be a 'step too far' within the realms of the 'dead and the dying'. It's 'bad enough' feeling sick - let alone 'actually being sick'! Just ask 'Chunk' from the fantasy film 'The Goonies' - who has a 'rather comical' (dark humour here!) line that he mutters:
But the worst thing I ever done: was when I 'threw puke' over people in the cinema - who then 'threw up themselves'.
In any case, I was 'just glad' that I could eat my Christmas Dinner (December 2017) without feeling sick! Some luck!
Whilst recovering from slipped discs (also called herniated discs) you're going to encounter symptoms that are 'one half physical, and one half psychological'. For me, one such symptom was 'having trouble walking' (the physical part) going hand-in-hand with 'worrying about walking' (the psychological part). Whilst 'trying to walk' I found myself asking questions such as: How do we actually walk? How does the signal to walk 'get through' to our legs? How do we actually 'place one foot' in front of the other? Panic! Panic! For I am afraid that these slipped discs are 'going to cause' conscious thought questions - about the areas of your body, that are usually 'left to the realms' of your subconscious mind:
When I was worrying about walking, it was primarily because 'I couldn't feel my legs - they had gone numb'. The numbness was a 'horrible sensation' that was due to 'the amount of pressure' that my slipped discs were 'pushing onto' my spinal cord. With my two slipped discs lower back, and one slipped disc upper neck - my spine had to cope with 'too much pressure', which through 'pinched nerves' (masquerading behind 'a wall of pain') was 'numbing the signals' that connect to/from my legs. It was a 'very scary symptom' that affected me 'morning, day and night' wherever I was:
Walking. In that 'first month' I walked to our local supermarket (with my Mum). This walk would 'usually take' around five minutes. With my three slipped discs it was 'more like' five hours! For every step I took, I could feel 'grinding gristle sensations' at the base of my spine - whilst also feeling 'very unsteady' on my two numb legs. I was close to tears (both because of the pain and because of saying to myself 'I'd usually be running down here').
Standing. I have stood 'the most I have ever stood' over the past twenty-one months. Whilst I have to 'sit down' for work, at all other times I now 'prefer to stand'. Even so, in the first few months of my recovery, I would say that I stood 'very shakily'. The reason being, because I felt 'so unsteady on my feet'. It can be 'really worrying' when you're standing there, and you suddenly 'start to panic' because you 'have to check' whether your legs are still there. Sometimes, I also had to 'place a hand' on my cats five foot scratch post (to help 'steady myself').
Sleeping. I can remember several 'really bad nights' where I woke up and had the sensation that 'my legs were not there'. I couldn't feel them at all, and I had to check 'with my hands' (that my legs were still there). I also worried about 'getting up' to go to the toilet, but I 'had to brave it' (as otherwise my thoughts would have really 'raced out of control'). It was horrible, with that numbness sensation 'staying' even when I got back into bed.
Sitting. I don't really remember this 'leg numbness' whilst I was sitting down working. That's because sitting will usually result in 'even worse symptoms' - and not being able to feel your legs 'will be the least of your worries'. At least until 'you try and stand up' because then your legs, are going to be forced 'to push you up' (to stand).
For I am afraid 'that your spine is damaged' and when your slipped discs are 'really biting down' then you're going to feel the weight of our ancestors' decision 'to stand up' and walk on two legs ... Although for a long time, you're not going to 'gain any pleasure' from going for a walk (even around your house). But you 'have to walk' because it's the 'only way' that you're going to recover - as your slipped discs REALLY DO NOT LIKE YOU 'sitting there for too long'. It's a 'catch 22 - walking woe' that attacks one of the 'core tasks' that most of us have been able to do since childhood: walk.
Lump of Gristle 'Sword in Your Back' - Slipped Disc Symptom
In the early stages of recovering from slipped discs, you're going to be encountering an entire spectrum of 'pain and gristle' like symptoms: 'pain and tightness', 'pain and concrete', 'pain and locked', 'pain and glued', 'pain and fused'. With the gristle itself, being what I define as: the complete inflexibility of specific vertebra within your spine. Uninjured people may say that 'their spine is inflexible anyway' - but even here, is their still flexibility ... For its only when you have a herniated disc (or three!) that you shall 'fully realise' just how flexible your spine was 'before you injured it'. For with slipped discs, your spine will lose 'most/all of its flexibility' and be behaving like 'your vertebras - are fused together':
These 'gristle like sensations' are going to feel like somebody came along and 'shoved a sword in your back'. And whilst that sword 'is in there' you're going to find that the 'movement and motion' that you usually 'take for granted' are no longer yours. As that sword is going to limit 'what you can do' and 'how long you can do it for' - morning, day and night:
Bending. A stone pillar will be more flexible than you! As I found that 'bending from my waist' was completely impossible - and I had to 'learn to lift properly'. If only us humans 'could magically levitate' - to avoid bending ...
Standing. The Egyptian Pyramids have stood for (circa) four thousand years. By the time your slipped discs 'have finished with you' it shall feel like you've been standing 'for four thousand years' as well! Just like I have ...
Sitting. The 'hardest of the hard'. No matter 'how comfortable' your office chair (or lounge sofa) was before your slipped discs, it shall now feel like 'a torture device' from the medieval era. You will 'prefer to stand' ...
Twisting. A tree's trunk will be more flexible than you. My parents kitchen is a 'ship's galley style one' with oven and hobs one side, sink and 'food preparation' the other. Food from hob 'twist' to dish up side - NO, NO, NO!
Sleeping. A concrete slab 'will be lowered' more easily than you 'getting into bed'. That concrete will also 'get up easier' as well. Do you remember that scene from Thor? Where Loki has Thor's hammer 'placed upon his chest'.
Shopping. A baby will be capable of 'lifting and doing more' than you! Our society is 'engineered to assume' that all adults are in 'full health'. You should see 'the looks you get' - when even a 'light plastic bag' is too much ...
Running and Swimming. I haven't run or swum for twenty-one months now. I learned 'the hard way' (in my previous two bouts of slipped disc injuries) that you can't run, and you can't swim - 'with a sword in your back'.
Your 'quality of life' is going to be 'extremely low' whilst that 'sword is in your back'. Unfortunately, that sword 'won't be coming out' any time soon, and for many months - you're going to have to 'learn to live with it' (just like I had to). Some days it would also feel as though that sword 'was set in stone' (just like King Arthur's 'fantasy sword' Excalibur). You may also have delusions of 'pulling it out yourself' - but I am afraid that it was set there by a 'far higher power' that goes by the name of slipped disc/herniated disc. That sword is also NOT Excalibur, for your sword was 'forged in hell' - in the 'Halls of Bad Back' and the 'Halls of Back Pain'. For I found that this 'hell sword' had also 'pinned me to the wall' in concrete - as you will feel that you're in Valhalla (the Viking Warrior 'Hall of the Slain'). You will get frustrated ... BUT at some point, that sword WILL come out - and when it does you're going to appreciate life 'so much more'. ROAR!!!
Ah 'the bliss' of being able to go to the toilet 'when you want'. BUT with slipped discs, you won't be 'quite so keen' to go to the toilet! The reason being: THE PAIN - THAT 'GOING TO THE TOILET' CAN CAUSE YOU! I had this 'classic' herniated disc symptom 'the worst' in my first bout of slipped discs (three lower back), 'not so bad' in my second bout (two middle back) and 'here we go again' in my third bout (two lower back, one upper neck). Whilst uninjured people will 'put off' going to the toilet (for reasons such as 'making it home first') with slipped discs, you will 'put off' going to the toilet - because of 'nightmare memories' about previous outings to the toilet! But it's a 'BAD IDEA' to delay going 'for too long':
In the early stages, you shall FEAR 'GOING TO THE TOILET' - and have nightmares about it! For the following reasons:
Going to the pee. This can feel like 'your nerves are splitting' deep inside your spine. It's almost as if 'the signal to go' is not getting through - but is instead 'pushing against another nerve'. The harder you try, the more you will feel 'that nerve path'. You will also be worried about 'stopping as well' - especially if you get (what I refer to as) 'a nerve catch' - you will know it when it happens! In any case, 'going to the pee' will be far from pleasurable!
Going to the poo. This can feel like 'muscles are tearing' deep inside your spine - because it feels like your lower back discs 'are being forced' to move (and they won't like that!). This affect will be 'even worse' if you're constipated (as your lower back discs 'will really NOT LIKE' being strained). It was 'bad enough' sitting down, let alone 'having to push'. It's 'not nice', with the only constellation prize being - that we 'poo less than we pee'.
In my first bout of slipped discs, I was prescribed 'pain killers' which made it even harder 'to go to the toilet' (as they really made me constipated!). But in my later bouts, I primarily 'just put up with the pain' (remember that saying from the World at War: You get used to it. You can get used to anything!). Even 'accounting for that', you won't enjoy 'going to the toilet' - especially in the 'early days' of recovering from slipped discs. BUT YOU NEED TO GO. Because if you don't, you're only 'fighting against' your body's natural 'waste clearage' processes (which will lead to you 'retaining toxins' inside your body, for longer than 'nature intended' - which won't do you 'any good at all'). It's a 'catch 22 - toilet woe':
You need to go to the toilet BUT 'the means' by which you go, will cause you 'GREATER PAIN' (until you start to heal) BUT to aid 'in your healing' - your body needs to 'expel its waste products' as normal ...
Within my third bout of slipped discs, I have also encountered 'toilet irony'. For within my later stages of healing, I could feel the need 'to go to the pee' three or four times before heading to bed! I found myself fixated on the 'just encase I wet my bed' scenario ... I suspect that this is/was caused through the concept of 'touching nerves'. Because when I 'sat up' in my bed (and was able to 'read a book'), then I could feel 'the need to go' - but when lying down, that urge would dissipate (without me 'wetting my bed'). For these slipped discs really do 'bust you back to the rank of baby' which also includes 'it feeling like' - you're relearning the basics of 'potty training' and 'knowing just when to go' to the pee/poo!
If you'd have seen me twenty-one months ago, then you may have asked: is that guy a robot? He doesn't seem to be moving 'quite right' - his entire upper and lower body reminds me of 'SpongeBob Square Pants'! To which I would say: welcome to one of the symptoms of herniated discs - that of 'tight muscles'. Only in my case, was my entire spine (including my neck and shoulders) very inflexible! It really was hard 'to move at all'. And even then, it felt like I was moving millimetres 'in slow motion' for pain that was 'even further off the scale'. For my entire back, was behaving like 'a block of concrete' - almost as if I was cocooned within a Sarcophagus, with two 'eye openings' (to look out through):
Whilst I can laugh about this symptom now, at the time 'my mind' had to divert 'so much energy' to just trying to do 'basic tasks' (especially those that we all 'take for granted'). The main reason for this difficulty - was my inflexibility:
Knowing that every muscle in my back 'was encased in concrete'. The concrete extended upwards from my waist (covering my entire torso) and was the kind of concrete that 'sets slowly BUT lasts forever and ever'.
Knowing that every muscle in my neck 'was encased in concrete'. It was like I was wearing a 'neck brace' (just like 'what is worn' by sufferers of 'whiplash'). Only my neck brace was made entirely of 'my neck muscles'!
Knowing that every muscle in my shoulders 'was encased in concrete'. I'd spent my 'years of good health' doing shoulder hunches (with dumbbells). But with those slipped discs, my shoulder muscles were like 'pieces of iron'.
Knowing that every muscle in my legs 'was encased in concrete'. I'd spent my 'years of good health' running (two to three times a week) and 'doing squats'. BUT with my slipped discs, my legs were like 'metal girders'.
I felt dead. I couldn't tell 'one muscular pain from another' - only that it was 'somewhere in my body'. You may as well have 'glued me to the side of a wall' for all the flexibility I had (just like in that 'No More Nails' advert!). For that zip wire had really 'done its work' on me ... Whilst I may have been something of a 'special case' (with two slipped discs in my lower back, and one slipped disc in my upper neck) we all know 'what happens' when you've sprained your ankle - only I had that 'tightening up' over my entire body! One month went by, with no change. Then another month went by, with no change ... It was only around month fourteen that my muscles 'started relenting' (giving way to other 'more fun' symptoms). In any case, I found myself doing impressions of a 'waddling duck' around my parent's house - and it was 'even worse' when I could 'get out and about'. Strangers gave me 'funny looks' BUT you can't 'do anything about it' - as you're a block of concrete! So you have to 'mix in' some humour: Did you order concrete? No, I've got slipped discs!
For I am afraid that 'tight muscles' are going to be a symptom that you can suffer with, even in the 'later stages of healing' - because when you can't exercise as normal, then your muscles are going to 'become weaker'. And when you 'have done something', then you shall know that your muscles are weak (because they 'tighten up again' through the exertions that you've done). Perhaps the 'greatest realisation' of just 'how weak' your muscles have/shall become - is 'driving your car'. For me, whilst the 'pushing of pedals' was fine, I'd always feel it 'later that evening' - and even the next day, as my leg muscles would 'tighten up again, turning to concrete' as though I'd run fifteen miles (only I hadn't!).
Tingling and Burning Sensations - Slipped Disc Symptom
In those first twelve months (or so) of recovering from three slipped discs, I had a 'classic symptom' of herniated discs 'keeping me company' - that of 'tingling and burning sensations'. This symptom can both 'make you worry' (when your feeling numb) and 'drive you nuts' (when you have an itch) - because whilst you can feel 'these sensations' from somewhere inside you, you won't be able to do anything about them! I learned 'the hard way' that you just have to 'put up with them' and spend your time (particularly in the evenings) just trying to 'distract yourself'. Although on some nights, these 'tingling and burning sensations' would become 'so bad' that it really would 'test my patience' to the limit:
When I suffered from this symptom, it was usually a case of it happening 'for no apparent reason'. I'd be standing there (in the evenings) with my laptop 'on top' of my cats 'five foot scratch post' (so I didn't have to 'sit down') and then without any 'real warning' - I could start to feel 'random tingling and burning' from within 'various parts of my body':
An 'ultra-itch' emanating from 'right inside my spine'. No matter how much I 'scratched my back' that itch just wouldn't 'go away'. Oddly enough, I seemed to 'get this more' half way up my spine (as opposed to where my slipped discs were - two lower back and one upper neck). It felt like a 'mega-itch' from a vertebra 'deep inside'.
A 'whole arm tingling' in my left arm. This could be really worrying! For it felt like my arm was 'going to sleep' at the same time - I had to keep 'grasping' for my left arm/hand with my right hand (to ensure it was 'still there'). I'd rub my left arm 'up and down' trying to 'warm it' (sometimes making the tingling worse) - although it would still feel 'cold and clammy' afterwards. I could also have 'panic attacks' here (i.e. worrying about 'heart attacks').
A burning sensation 'my left foot's on fire'. I had to 'rotate/bend my eyes downwards' to ensure that there wasn't someone 'holding a blow torch' over my foot! It could also feel like that fire sensation was 'spreading up' my left leg, to the point where I was 'in a furnace'. This would then become a 'red hot poker' in the back of my left leg's calf muscle (although sometimes the burning sensation would originate from my calf muscle, whereas my left foot 'was fine'). Oddly enough, I don't recall these 'on fire sensations' ever occurring within my right leg or foot - being instead 'a further quirk' of the randomness that you're subjected to (whilst you're recovering).
I classify all such symptoms as 'tingling sensations' - because these 'random discomforts' will feel like (hot or cold) 'pins and needles', but on a 'bigger and more painful scale' ... I found this to be so, for both the 'size of the affected area' and the 'intensity of the tingling sensation'. For on some evenings, it felt like I'd 'dived into' a swimming pool 'full of itching powder' - only here (instead of 'itching powder') it was the slipped discs 'pushing on the nerves' within my body, with the symptoms being felt 'further along the nerves'. And whilst your suffering with such symptoms, you won't be able to help 'putting into context' other peoples 'silly little itches' - such as those that I heard 'being said' at dance class: with my friends feet, necks or arms 'all itching' at one time or another. They'd 'go to scratch' their itches (and resolve them). But no matter what I did, the itches 'deep inside my spine' would NOT 'go away'. There wasn't anything 'that I could do' - I just had to 'stand there' and try to ignore 'the tingling sensations' for several months! Although saying that, there is one particular phrase which 'comes to mind' (from an episode of the World at War) - which is said by 'an older man':
You get used to it. You can get used to anything!
Which is certainly true, of the tingling sensations 'that you shall encounter' whilst you're recovering from slipped discs.
Feeling Faint with Dream-like Sensations - Slipped Disc Symptom
Whilst some slipped disc symptoms are related to pain, and others are related to pinched nerves - mix the two together, and you're in a 'world of strangeness'! For this is where, you will find another slipped disc symptom 'feeling faint and light headed' - which goes hand-in-hand with 'dream like sensations' (as though 'everything is a dream'). Whilst it may feel 'chemically similar' to Deja vu, it is also 'very much different' - because it feels as though 'everything around you' is part of a dream world (with some parallels to the science fiction film 'The Matrix'). Unfortunately, this symptom 'could loom up on me, without any warning' - and there wasn't much that I could do about it, other than 'go along with it':
To say that it could 'unsettle me slightly' is an understatement! Whilst many of us 'will tune out' when listening/talking to others, actually feeling as though 'everything your seeing and hearing' isn't really there - does tend to spook you! Unfortunately, such feelings WERE NOT 'true day dreams' - they were instead a side effect of the slipped discs 'pushing onto' the nerves in my spine, subjecting them to pressure, whilst lowering my blood pressure (causing the faintness) and ultimately resulting in 'dream like sensations'. With my two slipped discs lower back, and one slipped disc upper neck - my spine had 'so much pressure' to cope with, that my mind's eye 'dreamed in full VIVID colour'! Unfortunately, this sensation interfered with 'every aspect' of my daily routine - as it could easily 'stop me in my tracks' when I was:
Getting on with my work. Writing computer code - 'what on Earth' have I typed? That's not C. That's more illegible keyboarding! Creating 3d polygon models - where's this 'window frame' connecting to, the end of a ship's sail? Oh look: I'm floating! My seats 'way down there' and I'm 'hovering above it' (trying to work!).
Relaxing in the evening. Watching the television - am I actually 'standing here' watching this? Because it feels more like 'I'm floating here' watching this! Playing a computer game - I know this level's really simple, but I keep 'getting lost' and struggling to think. Is that a riddle or a menu? Oh look: I'm 'hovering' in the lounge!
Going to tap dance class. Learning some new steps - nothing's sinking in! My steps 'are all different', these people aren't really here! I don't actually remember travelling to this class. That sounds like a distant tap?
Driving my car. Whilst I'd been 'out and about' at Maldon one Saturday morning 'feeling just fine' - on the 'way back' I started to feel terrible, as though 'matter itself' was just dreamy! Oh look: I'm flying! DeLorean style.
The dreamlike sensations would then 'evolve into' the BIG QUESTIONS - which would really 'weird me out':
Why are we here? How big is the universe? Is 'reality' really reality? Are 'you' you? Or is your 'soul' you? Am I floating 'inside' my body? Or is 'my body' floating inside my soul? What is it 'that we see' when we look around? Is matter really there? Or is it just imagined? Why are the planets in orbit? When will 'the aliens' really say something? This air seems 'so much thicker' than usual - it's as though I'm underwater! My head's 'floating above' my body! Hello there! Mrs Alien ...
And it was those 'big questions' that tended to 'get me down' - bordering on panicking! Granted, before my third bout of slipped discs, I could occasionally feel as though 'everything is a dream' - BUT whilst recovering in my third bout (of slipped discs), I had this 'everything is a dream' sensation SO MUCH MORE, almost every day 'for some period' (especially in the early stages of recovery). What did I do about this? I decided (most of the time) just to 'head to bed' - and try sleeping it off! At the very least, I figured this approach was 'far safer' then doing anything physical (such as attempting to operate a machine). In any case, even if you 'head to bed' you may not actually be able to sleep - as I can remember one 'really bad night' where that slipped disc in my neck was 'biting down HEAVILY' (even more than usual) and it felt as though I was 'floating above my bed'! Which leads 'naturally into' the realms of nightmares! As many of the 'dream-like sensations' that I had whilst experiencing this symptom, I regard as 'day-mares':
Dream-like sensations that have you questioning 'the strength of the connection' to your 'sense of self' - that's found within this physical world 'that we live in' and perceive as 'planet Earth'.
For I found that slipped discs 'attack that connection' and make you feel 'it's all a dream' (but ironically, not the injury!).
There's pain, and there's 'real pain'. Slipped discs are only ever concerned with the realms of 'real pain'. Within the 'dictionary of pain', you will find that pain EQUALS slipped discs, and slipped discs EQUALS pain! You will also find that this definition is printed in BOLD FONT. As you won't be able to hide from the pain! Nor will you be able to ignore the pain! In my third bout (two slipped discs lower back, one slipped disc upper neck) I came to redefine 'the meaning' of the word pain (yet again!), especially as I was 'forced to remember' the hard way, that pain is accumulative:
The more slipped discs you have, the more pain you shall be in. For 'special cases' like me, my spine was 'getting it' from both ends. You should think yourself lucky 'if you only have one slipped disc'. Although 'not so lucky' if that's a slipped disc in your neck! As I can tell you 'right now' that a slipped disc in your neck, is far worse (in terms of 'everything') than slipped discs in either your lower or middle spine (and those are 'bad enough!'). It's simple really: think about 'how much you move your back' - then think about 'how much you move your neck' (it's a lot more than your back!).
Before my 'three bouts' of slipped disc injuries, the worst pain I'd ever felt, was when I'd twisted one of my ankle's, around a tree root (whilst out playing paint ball). My ankle swelled to twice the size, and I was on crutches for six weeks. I thought that was pain. I was wrong, that was NOT pain. And neither are 'any of these':
Being hit with a paintball - including 'the guy that was hit between his legs'. Yes he screamed, but with slipped discs - you can't really 'scream for months at a time' (as you'd have no voice left, after a few days!).
I was running along (in circa 2016) telling some jokes, when an African Wasp 'flew into my mouth - and stung me on the tongue'. With slipped discs, you may as well have 'fallen into the wasps nest' (with no clothes on!).
Stepping 'bare foot' onto a Bee (with the Bee 'leaving the stinger' in your foot). I've actually done this twice, once before my slipped discs (when I thought it was painful) and once whilst recovering in my third bout of slipped discs! Only here: I didn't feel the pain, my foot was 'twice the size' and I still didn't notice the pain.
For slipped discs have a 'World of Pain' just by themselves. You'll find it out beyond 'anything you've ever felt before'. Both in terms of 'the level of pain', and in terms of 'how long that pain lasts': six weeks here, you'll barely notice a difference! As in my third bout (of slipped discs), I was in pain for over ten months. And when I say pain, I mean the kind of pain where I cried myself to sleep at night (for months at a time). Where was the pain you ask? That's the wrong question to ask me. A better question would be: where didn't it hurt? To which I would say: nowhere really! For I had:
Pain 'all across my back'. It felt like a steam roller had 'parked on top of me'.
Pain 'down both my legs'. It felt like I'd been standing 'for ten thousand years' (whilst holding a cruise ship).
Pain 'down both my arms'. It felt like I'd been punching 'for eternity' with lactic acid building (to infinite levels).
BUT ALL OF THIS 'WAS AS NOTHING' COMPARED TO THE PAIN 'both deep inside and around my spine'.
For your spine is complex (both in terms of its 'bone structure' and 'nerve routing') - and when it's damaged (with slipped discs), you're going to know it! As like it or not, you're going to be hand-in-hand with pain 'morning, day and night'. And by the time that pain's finished with you, you're going to have earned 'something else' as well:
A 'first class honours degree' in the subject of Pain! Thanks 'Mr Slipped Disc' and 'Mrs Herniated Disc'.