Try to imagine 'just for a moment' that you're a boxer 'in a boxing ring': Your slipped discs have been 'knocked to the floor' - so you step forwards 'with a grin upon your face, and you keep smashing them' after the bell has rung! The referee 'tries to pull you back' but you're having 'none of it' - as you get carried away 'hitting harder and harder'. For around month fifty-two of my recovery, I realised that I was enjoying tasks 'just like I did' in my pre-injury days (whilst also having to take 'less rest' between each task). I could continue 'pounding my slipped discs into submission' only that referee wouldn't allow it! For when I did get 'too carried away' then that pinched nerve in my neck 'would let me know':
How do pinched nerves affect your resilience? You've been punching to the point where you can hardly lift your arms 'for its felt so good' - but at the same time, you know that continuing to 'punch like this' is not a good idea! The referee doesn't like you 'punching down' for too long, and before you go too far 'he succeeds' in pulling you back ... It was here that I realised 'thank you' - because I have learned to listen to the pinched nerve in my neck. If I ignore it, then I am 'not so resilient' - but if I listen to it, then I bounce back 'much quicker' being able to do more tasks 'over the following days'.
At this stage of my recovery, I have noticed that 'I am doing a lot more - even when it feels as though, I am not'. For the difference that I have noticed now, is that whilst the pinched nerve in my neck 'can still play up' it usually clears itself so much quicker 'within a day or so' as long as I haven't 'really overdone it' (e.g. rubbing down the hard skin on my feet). I am having more fun 'but I have to pinch myself' because I can remember 'what it was like, when I couldn't do anything'. This was especially so 'at Christmas time' when I found that 'hours in days, seemed like years' for I could hardly move ... A festive task 'with much contrast to the past' was setting up of our main Christmas tree 'for Christmas 2021'. I was able to do 'lots of bending' to setup its base and install its lower branches 'without any discomfort'. I found that I 'started to laugh' when I remembered 'the same scene' for Christmas 2017 'excruciating agonising pain'!!! For me, the difference between these two scenes 'is a Christmas present in itself' which seems merrier 'with what I have done' this Christmas:
Setting up and running my 'Hornby OO' trains. I decided to get these out of my wardrobe in early December. Having been several decades since these had last run, I suspected that these would require a service. This was confirmed when I first setup my train track 'on the dining room carpet' - which was also a mistake, as I had bent down 'way too much' (which aggravated my neck's pinched nerve). Over the next week I serviced my 'Intercity 125' (cleaned up 'contact bogies' and removed lighting circuit). I also cleaned up my track (using kitchen towel) then decided to setup a smaller train track on our dining room table (to avoid having to bend down). My 'Intercity 125' was soon running - I was really happy! I also ran my trains on Christmas Eve (Intercity, 'Duchess of Abercorn' steam train), Christmas Day (Intercity, 'Duchess of Abercorn' - including setting up its mail delivery system) and New Year's Eve 'Eve' (Intercity, Abercorn and 'Stowe' steam trains). In each session, I was able to relax 'watching my trains go round' for an hour or two - whilst feeling my neck's pinched nerve 'hardly at all'.
Painting my model miniatures for five to six hours a day, for eight days running. This really has felt like the 'good old days' as I have been able to paint fifteen models (during Christmas week): Tyranid Warrior (x2), 'Khorne Berzerker' (x5), Ork Boyz (x2), Ork Gretchin (x2), 'Inquisitor Lord Coteaz', 'Jain Zar', Striking Scorpion and 'Legion of the Damned' marine. I have been in my element painting their finer details (skulls, runes, heads and talons) - with me being able to paint 'for much longer' before my neck 'starts to grumble' (usually 'only when I forget' and bend it forwards 'lots'). Whilst my painting 'has made me happy' I still have to be careful of that receding slipped disc in my neck, which is why I still take 'regular breaks' (once an hour or so 'for some food'). Whilst it may seem such a 'childish difference' I feel excited about the amount of paints that I now 'get out' in a typical painting session: Matt Black (undercoating), Angel Green (bases and hoses), Greenskin (Orks skin), Gun Metal (dry-brushing guns), Dragon Red (capes and talons), Greedy Gold (dry-brushing runes and armour), Matt White (undercoating), Werewolf Fur (pelts), Red Tone Ink (washing over red, skulls and faces), Daemonic Yellow (fire and gems), Mythical Orange (Ork attire), Banshee Brown (skulls and faces) and Weapon Bronze (dry-brushing skulls, faces and weapons). As such, my miniature painting is feeling 'much more fun, these days' but I still have to 'pinch myself' because it was a hobby that I was unable to do 'for ages'. It means 'so much more' to me now.
Investigating my Dad's nineteen inch non-widescreen LCD monitor (which had packed up). This required some bending (to get to his cables) whereby I started off by testing his monitor's power lead (with my multi-meter). When I found this to be 'behaving oddly' I replaced the power cable. However, when I tried to turn his monitor on, I found the 'real culprit' - his monitor's power button was completely jammed! I decided to replace Dad's monitor with my spare 20.1 inch monitor - yet even this, would have been a task that I found 'very hard' in the past! As I can remember lifting my spare monitor (late 2018) when its weight 'felt like' a 100 kg. At this stage of my recovery, my spare monitor feels 'more like' 2 kg. Even so, I know that my neck 'can still play up' so I decided to paint my model miniatures (for the remainder of Sunday). Thus, it was the following weekend, until I looked at Dad's monitor again - whereby I had difficulty removing the LCD from its stand (I had to use a medium-sized flat screwdriver 'to lever it out'). I then removed the LCD's fascia, by unclipping the plastic clips (with both small and medium-sized screwdrivers 'levered in'). Whilst this levering 'had aggravated my neck' I was determined 'to find out, what was wrong with the power button'. Upon reaching the plastic power button, I could see what the issue was - part of the button 'had worn away' (it could no longer 'press the electric switch' located beneath it). With some 'pause for thought' (until the next day) I decided that I would 'fix this' by drilling out the button's fascia, so that I could 'depress the electronic switch' using a plastic pen lid (thereby 'mimicking the action' of the plastic button). I 'G-clamped' the fascia down 'then drilled and filed' which gave me a pinched nerve in my neck. So 'having listened' I decided that Dad's monitor would be 'tested and reassembled' on the following weekend.
Changing my room's light switch. My analogue dimmer switch (and non-LED dimmer bulb) was showing several decades worth of 'wear and tear' - by being very hard to turn off. I decided to replace it with a 'flick switch' (and modern LED bulb). Dad pulled out the 'upstairs lighting fuse' (from the fuse box in the garage). I then worked on removing my dimmer switch. With fascia screws out, I was able to 'pull its fascia' from the wall (by 3 cm) - I was amazed by how much dust there was 'behind it' (as it had never been 'fully flush' with the wall). I disconnected the neutral and live wires, hoovered out the socket, then 'paused for some thought' when I realised that the dimmer had been connected up 'the opposite way, to what the new switch wanted'. As such, I decided to look at my parents existing 'flick switch' (to confirm which connection was correct). The dimmer had been 'the wrong way round'. I connected up my new 'flick switch' the correct way (neutral to neutral, live to live). Since I had to do most of this work 'leaning forwards' (to avoid moving my PC) I suspected that I would soon have a pinched nerve in my neck. Whilst I was right about this, it took twenty minutes of 'tidy-up hoovering' before my pinched nerve 'said hello'. Even so, I was able to get on with my model miniature painting (for the rest of the afternoon). I had planned to get my trainset out (in the evening) 'but having listened' I decided to watch 'The Polar Express'.
For my Christmas 2021 'has for me' been the best Christmas since I did myself in - for most of it, I felt like 'my pre-injury self'. Even so, I know that my neck's pinched nerve 'still needs more time to fully heal' (especially when I have 'overdone it'). In any case, I was 'just glad' not to be in 'writhing agony' this Christmas - which was 'my Christmas wish' come true! For recovering from multiple slipped discs 'is a journey' which is especially hard 'at Christmas time' ... You'd like to be merry, but in those early stages of recovery, it feels like your trapped in the harshest winter storm with 'Blizzards from Hell' - which will have you 'impeded to the maximum, struggling to place one hand in front of the other' whilst asking:
How do you wrap up Christmas presents when you have slipped discs? Brave the 'sitting down', agonise the 'cutting of wrapping paper', tremble the 'reaching for the Sellotape', dread the 'tying of ribbons and bows', grimace the 'writing of name tags' - whilst muttering to yourself 'it really does feel like, that these Christmas presents, are wrapping me up'!!!
Try to imagine 'just for a moment' that you're a boxer 'in a boxing ring': Your slipped discs 'are now in the corner' as you have unleashed 'a flurry of punches upon them' - yet as you 'step forwards' your slipped discs remind you 'with a punch' (which gets through your guard) that you're not fully healed 'just yet'. For around month forty of my recovery, I realised that I was 'feeling good' for four to five days of the week, and that many of my activities had returned to be being 'much more enjoyable' - with me concentrating on the activity (as opposed to me saying 'my bad back'). Yet afterwards, I could still suffer with a pinched nerve in my neck (spreading to my right shoulder) and/or a pinched nerve in my lower back:
How do pinched nerves affect your stamina? You've been 'pounding your slipped discs into that corner' whilst grinning about 'how good it feels' - but as you step forwards 'to finish this fight' your back starts to tell you 'pull that punch'. It would be great 'to win this fight now' - but that 'torturing nerve path/arc in your back' has taught you well! For if you do 'throw that knockout punch' then you may miss, and find yourself in the corner again (for two to three days). For I have found that my stamina 'recovers the better' when you realise that 'you've done enough for today' so stop till tomorrow.
At this stage of my recovery, I have found that I have a lot more 'energy to channel' and that my mind is free to think about 'interests other than injury' (fantasy, games and dragons) whilst feeling that 'I am enjoying my life so much more'. It doesn't mean that 'I'm fully healed yet', just that my body is starting to feel 'a step closer' to being seventy percent healed. Yet those 'storm clouds' of pinched nerves can still 'torture me' (especially when I have 'done too much') - with the following activities having given me pinched nerves (over my 'much more enjoyable for me' Christmas of 2020):
Setting up my 'old work pc' as a games machine (to play the old dos games 'Lands of Lore' and 'The 7th Guest'). This involved me searching for two power leads, mouse, audio cables plus speakers, keyboard, monitor and vga lead. In the past, such searching would have been 'a cause for agony' - but here it was 'much less so'. Yet the pc 'still aggravated my back'. As being an older pc, its case is made of solid steel (it's very heavy 'seeming heavier than my UPS') and whilst I lifted it correctly (on the 23rd of December), I ended up with pinched nerves in my lower back and upper neck (as the pc's weight 'was well beyond' what I should have lifted). My pinched nerves 'were still torturing me' on the 24th and 25th of December - which as I cooked Christmas dinner (and sat down to eat it) caused me to ask a question: why did I lift that heavy pc? Because of my old games! I was also 'taking a risk' as I pulled my first Christmas cracker (I tried to 'pull it sitting down' but as the cracker tore 'it jarred my back'). Even so, my pinched nerves had cleared by the 27th of December, when I was able to get on with 'connecting up' all those old cables, and installed Windows XP Professional (as I couldn't remember my old pc's password). There was further 'head scratching that evening', when 'Lands of Lore' would not run! I solved this on the 29th with a bizarre 'keep having to bend, push memory stick in, hour or two' whilst I was installing various device drivers and DOSBox 0.72 (after which 'Lands of Lore' runs fine!). Mind you, I was regretting 'this bending' later in the evening - as I had a pinched nerve in my neck again. This had cleared by the 30th whereby I was soon 'having fun' as Conrad 'being lost again' in the Draracle Caves - I had managed to forget to pick up 'The Magic Atlas' (so that's what the Library key is for!). As for the Draracle's gift? It was the silver goblet this time! As your back heals, the playing of such games 'becomes more fun' as your able to concentrate on the game, as opposed to your back. I was now in Opinwood, then it was down into the 'Urbish Mines' (after I'd slayed 'the Lahrkon' - using the green skull). I was having fun! But what of 'The 7th Guest'? There's more fun 'to be had here' but not right now, because having set-up 'my old pc' in-front of my cd storage racks, I don't fancy moving it 'just yet'.
Painting my model miniatures for five to six hours a day, for eight days running. This feels like a 'major milestone for me' (because it was Christmas 2016 'when I last painted like this'). I have started to 'really enjoy' my painting again, as that receding slipped disc in my neck, is now 'less aggravated' by such long painting sessions - although I still 'take a break' every hour or so (to get a snack) and I also seem to know 'when it's time to finish painting for the day' (as my neck 'tells me when'). I feel excited 'that I can now paint' using my favourite painting method: whilst waiting for the paint to dry 'on finer details' of almost finished models, switching to paint 'the basic details' of models that 'I've just started'. This means that I have a lot more 'models and paint out' which feels great! Even so 'I still have to pinch myself' (to see if I am dreaming) - because I can remember 'what it was like' when my three slipped discs 'had taken my hobby from me' ... I had been painting the barbarian, dwarf, elf and wizard (from HeroQuest) 'but I had to stop' - because I couldn't sit down! My models 'gathered dust' whilst I looked at them, wondering 'when and if' I would ever be able to paint them again? It was hard 'but toughens'!
Charging my car's battery (whilst painting my model miniatures), putting air in its tyres and cleaning its interior. I have now 'healed to the stage' where I can do 'more than one task' in a day ('just as I did' on the 2nd of January 2021). Yet at the same time 'do I still have to be sensible' - I know that I find it hard 'to clean the interior' of my car, so I asked my Mum 'to help me'. Mum cleaned my dashboard and seats, whilst I 'stooped down' for ten minutes (or so) cleaning the 'mould off' of my driver's seat belt (which had 'built up' due to dampness). As I had left my car on charge for around six hours (whilst miniature painting) it was thus 'early evening' when I took my car 'off charge' and put air into its tyres. It was here that I made a mistake - I should have asked my Mum (or Dad) 'as usual' to carry my portable power pack out for me (as it weighs around nine kilograms). Instead, I carried it out myself, connected it to my tyre inflator, put air into each of my tyres (including lifting my power pack 'several times') and then carried it back indoors. I felt 'very pleased with myself' (for having done so much) and I felt 'even happier' laughing about the 'cleaning fun' that Mum and I had - because as we were both sitting in my car, I had happened to say 'just like in the good old days, going for a drive, on a witch's broomstick that has four seats on it!'. It made us both laugh, and I felt 'even happier' when I realised that 'I was fine all evening'. My happy feelings continued 'into the next day' when I was able to get on with 'six to seven hours of miniature painting'. But by early evening, I asked myself a question: have I painted for too long today? The answer 'soon revealed itself' when I had a shower - as shortly afterwards 'everything that I had done' on my car and painting 'came back with a vengeance'. I had pinched nerves in my upper neck and right shoulder 'from hell'. YES 'I had overdone it' - BUT 'at the same time' I found that 'I started to laugh' as I said to myself 'I've DONE too MUCH' ...
Because when you're able to 'laugh more about your injury' then life is much more fun! Yes that zip wire 'did me in' but if I hadn't gone on it, then you wouldn't be reading this right now! And I wouldn't be laughing - or is that my warlock's cackle? For having to go through Christmas with slipped discs 'is a spell in itself' which will see you have 'highs and lows' mixed with 'discomfort and pleasure' mixed with 'plenty of time to yourself' - which through this 'journey called healing' gives you pinched nerves 'backwards and forwards' as you ponder to yourself 'the question of the day' (or night time) ...
How do you pull a Christmas cracker with slipped discs? Stand up (with a slight 'bend in your knees' and one heel 'off the ground'), whilst holding onto the edge 'of your dining room table' (with one hand), whilst pulling the cracker (with your other hand) and looking forward 'to wearing your Christmas crown' whilst rejoicing to 'the days of stamina' again.
Try to imagine 'just for a moment' that you're a boxer 'in a boxing ring': Your slipped discs 'have you down in the corner, when suddenly - you throw an uppercut'. You now find yourself 'in the middle of the ring' starting to feel 'that you're somewhat like, your usual self'. Yet gradually, you shall realise 'that your strength is returning, but your pinched nerves can still torment you'. For around month twenty-eight of my recovery, I began to notice 'that I was feeling good' for two to three days of the week, and that I started 'enjoying life so much more' when undertaking tasks - but afterwards, that I could still suffer 'pinched nerves from hell' (especially 'around and near' that receding slipped disc in my neck):
How do pinched nerves affect your strength? Your 'out of that corner' (after your marvellous uppercut), but throwing that uppercut 'has taken everything you've had'. You know 'that you need a break from this fight'. You had the strength 'to throw the uppercut' but thanks to your pinched nerves, you know that 'if you throw any more uppercuts right now', that it's going to be 'no good for you'. Because you have to be honest with yourself 'about your back' - your legs and arms may very well 'have the strength' for another uppercut - but your back doesn't! You need a break - Ding! Ding!
At this stage of my recovery, I started to notice that 'I could put a lot more force through my body' - both in terms of what I was lifting, and in terms of my flexibility (especially being able to do tasks that I hadn't done 'for many months'). Yet I also found that my strength would be hampered by 'those pinched nerves' serving as a sensible reminder 'not to overdo it'. This would then 'feed into my emotions' because I wanted to get on, but I had to force myself 'to spread tasks out - throughout the week'. I have found 'this hampering' to be very frustrating, with pinched nerves coming from:
Ripping my 'printer to bits' (early December 2019). It had a 'very bad paper jam' around one of its 'very deep internal rollers'. To get to that roller, it took me around an hour of 'pulling bits off' - undoing screws on its exterior, pulling apart plastic clips, undoing screws on its interior, disengaging gearing cogs, pulling out spindles (that could now turn) and building an 'ever growing pile of screws and bits'. For I was amazed by 'just how much there is inside' even a small laser printer! I got the paper out 'at the halfway stage' and as my back was by now 'well and truly hurting' I had to put it back together 'a little bit slower'. The next day, I could feel that 'pinched nerve in my neck' again - whereby it felt as if 'it was doing a very good impression, of that very bad paper jam'!
Rubbing my feet down, removing hard skin 'that had built up' for ages (mid December 2019). This 'seemingly simple task' would push my receding slipped discs 'to their absolute limits' - but 'the time had come' for me to spend some time 'on myself again'. So with both my 'Dremel Multi-tool' and my 'Ped Egg' I was soon 'rubbing my feet down' - bliss! For the next week, I felt my spinal cord from the base of my spine to the top of my neck!
Painting my model miniatures 'and actually enjoying it' (Christmas week 2019). As I find painting 'to be relaxing' this was one of the hardest activities 'for me to have lost' (for many months). Whilst I am now 'back to doing this' I limit my painting sessions to half an hour max - because otherwise, I find that the 'pinched nerve in my neck' starts to play up again (as I keep 'bending my neck both forwards and downwards' which it doesn't like).
Tidying up my room (New Year's Day 2020). Granted this may not be 'a favourite task' but when you haven't actually been able to 'tidy anything' for many months, this can really help you 'to feel emotionally stronger'. I decided to 'tear out the lower half' of one of my bookcases (whose 'carpet area' in-front had also been 'covered in paperwork' for ages). It felt really good 'to be able to tidy', because I can remember December 2017 - when I couldn't really do anything! It's also an activity that 'tests your body, to its limits' - especially when you're 'bending down and carrying books'. After two to three hours 'of tidying' I decided 'that was it for the day'. Later that evening, I started to feel the 'pinched nerve in my neck' again (which took a couple of days to relent).
Our microwave 'had packed up' (October 2019). We finally got around 'to ordering a new one' (January 2020). I knew the date that the microwave was arriving - and everybody 'should have been in'. Unfortunately, when there was 'a knock at the door' they'd all gone out! I went out the back, down the side and around the front. The delivery person 'just dumped the microwave box in my arms', and signed the tablet himself 'heading off'. I started heading back down the side, but soon realised that the microwave's weight 'was too much' for my back. I had to 'put it down' on the garden table, 'where it stayed' until everybody else 'got back'. For the next four days, my reward 'for carrying the microwave' was - the pinched nerve in my neck (aka 'the old favourite' again).
For it was 'around here' that I started to feel 'that I'm getting my life back' - of which I believe 'that your strength' is an important part of that. I could do 'more tasks with more power and more flexibility' - but I would then 'have to take a break for a bit' to allow my pinched nerves 'to calm down'. And whilst you are 'calmed down' you shall also notice 'your bad habits returning' - as I keep finding myself 'leaning forward at my desk, with my feet all over the place'. Fortunately, this is not a problem 'that I face in the evenings' because my three slipped discs changed me: 'no more sofas' - I stand!
Try to imagine 'just for a moment' that you're a boxer 'in a boxing ring': Your slipped discs have had you 'confined to the corner', whereby they have constrained 'your ability to move'. Whilst you don't like 'being in that corner' it has given you time to think, and you have gradually realised 'that your able to start parrying these blows - but your pinched nerves are still torturing you'. For around month twenty-four of my recovery, I began to notice 'that my body's flexibility was improving all the time', and that I could do 'so much more' without encountering any restriction - but afterwards, that I would always suffer 'pinched nerves from hell' (especially 'around and near' that receding slipped disc in my neck):
How do pinched nerves affect flexibility? When you're feeling pinched nerves, then you seem to have 'a laser sharp awareness' of the path that a nerve 'takes within your body' (especially within the vicinity of the pinched nerve). When I felt 'such sensations' within my neck, then it would dissuade me 'from wanting to bend my neck' - but it wouldn't necessarily 'stop me from bending my neck' (I'd just prefer not to, if I didn't have to). I also encountered 'this situation' at dance class, whereby forward and backwards steps 'were usually fine' but sideways steps 'caused pause for thought'.
At this stage of my recovery, I found that the complexity of the tasks that I could undertake 'increased dramatically'. And that I could also 'do those tasks for longer' before noticing any discomforts. Yet at the same time, did I also 'have to force myself' not to get carried away - such as by attempting a task that would be 'well beyond the maximum force, that I believed my healing back could take'. As the only way 'that you learn the answer to this one' - is by being honest with yourself 'about how your back is feeling'. For even when 'I was honest with myself' could I still get pinched nerves from:
Searching for my car's oil filter wrench (August 2019). As I'd been 'unable to tidy my room' for many months, I wasn't exactly sure 'where it was'. I started 'tearing into piles of paperwork', hauling boxes 'all over the place', and going through my wardrobes. An hour or so later, when my back 'was hurting by now' I'd managed to find the smaller oil filter wrench, and the larger oil filter wrench - but where 'was the one' that I was actually looking for? I decided 'to stop searching for the day', but as I 'stepped backwards' there was something 'under my foot'. It was an envelope. Guess what was in it? Success! But my 'pinched nerve in my neck' was soon torturing again.
Changed my car's engine oil and oil filter (August Bank Holiday 2019). First I removed my car's engine undercover - I jacked my front right/left 'just a little bit' (not removing any wheels) so that I could get my socket 'onto the nuts' (and undo them). Run my car for five minutes or so - to get the oil hot. Drain pan under, undid the sump nut, and undid the oil filter (using 'my found' oil filter wrench). I did most of this work 'whilst lying down' on my (currently unused) sit-up board. It was only when 'the next day' that I started to clean the oil filter 'base plate' that I first felt the pinched nerve in my neck again. I decided 'to slow down' and even did 'some sunbathing' whilst using my right hand (with a cloth) 'to clean the base plate'. I felt really happy, and was able to 'relax into' the next couple of days, although I still felt the pinched nerve in my neck (in the week afterwards).
Completely overhauled my computer's Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS - mid October 2019). There had been a power cut, and it 'didn't cut in' - instead my computer 'had just turned off'. My UPS batteries had gone! I ordered the batteries, and they arrived 'the day before' everybody else went on holiday. I was determined to fix my UPS whilst they were away - BUT it caused 'pause for thought, because it is very heavy'. I decided to proceed slowly over three days ... First day - hoovering around it, then disconnecting five power leads and 'stuck' telephone leads. I then 'slid it forward' and carefully 'lifted it onto' my desk. Undid about twelve screws, opened it up and 'what a mess inside' - dust everywhere and batteries had leaked! It took me 'a day and a half' to fix it - because I had to clean up three battery connectors (one positive, one negative and one that 'joined the batteries together'). In the afternoon of the third day, I put my UPS 'back together' and carefully 'lowered it' onto the floor. As I didn't seem to have 'any discomfort' I then pushed on and reconnected everything. Put the power on, and it worked! For the next two days, I had pinched nerves in my lower back and upper neck again!
Aquarium cleaning night (late October 2019). My Atlantis themed ninety-six litre aquarium had been 'too full of algae - for too long'. It needed to be cleaned, but I 'paused for thought' because of the need to carry 'buckets of water'. I decided that I would proceed, but only with me carrying 'half buckets of water'. I removed the lid, syphoned out the water (into my bucket) and 'took the dirty water outdoors'. I was then able to clean both my filters and my Atlantis ornaments (in the kitchen sink). I then 'reversed my steps' and put my aquarium back together. However, I then 'wasn't honest with myself' (about my back). As I 'pushed on and cleaned out' our smaller Goldfish aquarium. It was 'half way through this tank' that my back started telling me 'that it wasn't happy'. Yet as I didn't want my Goldfish dying 'I continued - cleaning their tank'. If I'd stopped at my Atlantis tank, then I feel that the 'pinched nerve that I had in my neck' - would not have been as intense 'as it soon was'.
For it was 'around here' that I started to have days 'where I felt like - my usual self'. Granted, I could still have 'pinched nerves from hell days', but I could also have 'I feel amazing days'. I found that 'I could do so much more in a day' before I started feeling my pinched nerves. One such day (in November 2019) was the dance show 'that I was in' ... Down the hall by 09:30, show rehearsals till 12:30, twenty minute walk home 'for lunch', twenty minute walk back (to hall), on stage in dance show till 19:00, then 'tidy up' and 'back home' by 22:00. 'My back held up all day', until around midnight!
Try to imagine 'just for a moment' that you're a boxer 'in a boxing ring': Your slipped discs have had you 'backed into a corner' (for many long months), whereby they have landed 'symptom after symptom' upon you. Whilst you don't like 'being in that corner' it has given you time to think, and you have gradually realised 'that your pain is going - but not your pinched nerves'. For around month twenty-three of my recovery, I began to notice 'that my days and nights, were now mostly pain free', and that I could do 'some tasks without being in pain at all (at the time)' - but afterwards, that I would always suffer 'pinched nerves from hell' (especially 'around and near' that receding slipped disc in my neck):
How do pinched nerves differ to pain? I don't regard pain 'as being equal' to pinched nerves - as I do not believe 'them to be the same symptom'. For me, pain always seemed to be 'much more muscular based' whereas pinched nerves seemed to be 'feeling as though something was stuck' (especially in the later stages of healing). With that 'pinched nerve in my neck' it felt as though 'two wires were arcing' - and it was that arcing 'that would stop me getting on' (with further tasks and activities). For I have found 'this arcing' to be both 'very off putting' and worrying - at the same time!
At this stage of my recovery, I started to find 'that I could get out a lot more'. There were 'trips to the zoo' where I could now 'walk around for three hours, with a rucksack full of food'. There were also 'walks around my local woods' where I could be out for two to three hours (again with a rucksack full of food). For I found that I was able to 'enjoy the local environment so much more' - as opposed to thinking about 'how much pain I was in'. Unfortunately, I'd usually 'start to suffer' the following day 'with my legs tightening up' and depending upon 'what I had done - pinched nerves from hell':
Attending the Maldon 'Classic Car Show' (early July 2019). Whilst I have been 'going here' for six or seven years, it seems to be becoming 'more and more popular' - leading to 'reduced parking'. As such, I decided to 'park the other side of the river' and walk across (the bridge) to the car show. This decision turned into 'a two hour walk' to get to the car show (because I couldn't resist 'taking shortcuts'), two hours 'at the car show' photographing the classic cars, and an hours 'walk back' (avoiding 'taking shortcuts'). I had loads of fun, with my favourite classic cars 'being the Mustangs' (there were 'plenty of them') and the 'Camaro 383' (which looked like a beast!). I also 'stopped off for a chat' with a military enthusiast, who was 'making me laugh' with his 'barely anything done to' Land Rover. Whilst I had 'felt good', I also knew 'when it was time to head home'. Yet even here, was I able to 'stop off for a chat' with my neighbour (about his classic car). But for the next week, I felt my pinched nerves again - specifically feeling 'my spinal cord from the base of my spine to the top of my neck'.
Washing my car (late July 2019). My car hadn't been washed 'for quite some time'. All of that 'changed here', as I was actually 'able to clean it properly'. I 'hosed it down' then filled my bucket 'lathered it down', then onto the wheels (being able to 'bend right down'). I then 'hosed it down' to rinse it off - I felt great! But the next day, I started to feel my neck, right shoulder, back and leg muscles 'tightening up'. Within a day or two, I had a pinched nerve 'at the base of my spine' - and the old favourite was back 'the pinched nerve in my neck' again!
Checking my car's tyre pressures. I'd usually try and do this once every two months. I've found that this is a task 'that really does' test how much you've healed! For when you're carrying around a portable power pack, with your automatic tyre inflator and 'you have to bend down' (to reach your valves) - then ... This would always give me tight leg muscles, and would 'usually always' give me a pinched nerve in my lower back (due to the weight).
Several 'days out' at Burnham on Crouch (Summer Holidays 2019) - staying 'well clear' of the zip wire 'that did me in' in the first place! Whilst I 'dreaded driving there' (because of the length of the car trips) I was fine. Once at Burnham (on each occasion) we walked along the front and 'headed down' to the ferry/crabbing piers 'on the river'. Stayed there for a while, then had some 'fish and chips' and walked up to the fields 'in front of' Burnham Marina. We played some 'kids golf' and some 'kids bowls' - before heading off for a 'walk around' the Marina. On one occasion I also walked 'much further' heading for Creek Sea Cliffs (where dinosaur fossils can be found), however I decided to turn back, as it was 'late in the day'. On all occasions 'my back held up' but always 'not the next day' - for here again, did my leg muscles 'tighten up' and I'd feel that pinched nerve in my neck 'from hell'.
For it was 'around here' that my life seemed to enter a weekly cycle of 'feel OK Saturday and Sunday - THEN go downhill Monday THROUGH Wednesday'. With the downhill being 'the pinched nerves that I was feeling', which were obviously a result of my weekend outings and/or tasks. However, I also feel that it was 'something more than this' because at the weekends, I wasn't really sitting down, whereas Monday to Friday 'I do sit down'. Yes, I'm talking about my posture! For when you're 'not in pain all the time' then your bad habits are going to return - such as 'leaning forward' at your desk ...
In the 'early days' of recovering from slipped discs, it can be 'hard to tell' exactly where the pain that your feeling 'is coming from'. It will hurt everywhere. Your body's going to 'tighten up' - primarily 'due to injury' and secondly 'due to inactivity' (which will cause 'further pain' in itself). This will be 'especially true' if your used to exercise (and have built 'strong muscles' using weights). But after many 'long months', I have found that you 'start to realise' that your feeling pain 'more frequently' from certain areas of your body 'than from others'. This is (what I call) 'repetitive localised pain'. It's kind of like 'the tide of pain' is starting to recede, whilst leaving behind 'pinnacles of rock' - that keep 'impaling you':
Whilst your being schooled in the 'halls of pain' and learning your 'first class honours degree' in pain - you shall find that your 'attention in class' does not ever falter! As 'Mr Slipped Disc' and 'Mrs Herniated Disc' have no intention of 'letting up' (for quite some time). You shall be 'studying pain' from every angle, with all 'manner of intensities' and 'rainbows of colour' (you won't need to revise!). Within my third bout (two slipped discs lower back, one slipped disc upper neck) I encountered 'repetitive localised pain' (throughout my 'eternity long days' and 'not long enough nights') - within my:
Left Foot. Has somebody 'hit my foot' with a one-tonne sledgehammer? Do I have a skyscraper 'resting on' my foot? Whilst the pain could vary its location (within my foot) I always felt that pain 'so much more intense' upon the 'very tops' of my left foot. Before injury, I can remember landing a 'kickboxing kick' incorrectly and 'bending my foot backwards' (at training one night). It felt like I'd done that here, only HERE I was 'kicking a tree' for days.
Left Ankle. Has somebody 'pushed an iron bar' into my ankle? Do I have a 'two snooker balls - rolling on top of each other' ankle? Whilst the pain could vary its location (within my ankle) I always felt that pain 'so much more intense' within the 'inner parts' of my left ankle. I can remember from when I'd damaged my ankle 'playing paintball' (a few years back) that a nurse told me to 'keep rotating my ankle everyday'. I did that HERE. It hurt.
Shins. Has somebody clawed 'a laser edged talon' along the front of my shins? Do I have a split 'in the space-time continuum' along the front of my shins? Yes! For it felt like my shins were 'splitting in half' (more my left, than my right). Before injury, I can remember landing a 'kickboxing kick' incorrectly - putting 'one of my shins' right across 'the point of their elbow'. Whilst that surprised 'both of us', I came off far worse - 'as did I HERE'.
Legs. Has somebody 'lowered me into' one of those medieval flail devices? Do I have a 'mutant power' of evolving metal skin/muscle? Before injury, I'd usually be out running ten to fifteen miles on a Sunday (morning) and six miles on a Tuesday (evening). With those slipped discs and my inability 'to move as normal' - I found that my 'hard won' leg muscles 'tightened up' (as though I had been 'lowered into' a cement mixer 'full of concrete').
Spine. Has somebody 'been a silly billy' and ended up with three slipped discs? Yes! Has somebody 'been here' twice before? Yes! For in all three bouts of my slipped discs - has this ALWAYS 'been the EPICENTRE' of my PAIN. Its where that 'receding tide of pain' is going to 'hang on' for the longest. Whilst I've had this 'receding tide' over my entire spine, I've also had this 'receding tide' over individual parts of my spine (lower back, middle back and upper back). For 'it is here' that you shall ask a question: receding to what? You won't like the answer ... For that 'receding tide of pain' ALWAYS recedes to Pinched Nerves 'of pinnacle rock' - which keep 'impaling you' ...
Your 'repetitive localised pain' is going to be 'drawing parallels' - with a fifteen ton 'plant eating' Diplodocus (dinosaur) that just happens to be 'sitting and jumping on top of you'. Only that Diplodocus has 'all of its weight' acting through your slipped/herniated discs, pushing on the nerves in/to your spine, which through the 'quirks of your body' transmit that pain 'down your legs' (giving you many of the symptoms of Sciatica) if not indeed - Sciatica itself! Which I have found can also go by 'another name' - of Pinched Nerves and their 'Pinnacle of Rock' WHICH KEEPS 'IMPALING YOU'!
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.
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!).
'Out of all' the slipped disc symptoms that you can suffer with, there is 'none more frustrating' than that of pinched nerves! As in my third bout of slipped discs (two herniated discs lower back, one herniated disc upper neck) I have suffered with 'more pinched nerves' than I can remember having - in either of my two previous slipped disc bouts ... Whilst you can experience pinched nerves within 'any stage of recovery' - you may not realise 'that that's what your feeling'. Because I have found, in the earlier stages of recovery, that pinched nerves are usually masquerading 'behind a wall of pain' - and you won't notice them as much. But in the later stages of recovery, all you can feel 'are those nerves':
What is a pinched nerve? Your spine has countless nerves both in and around it - such as your spinal cord and 'nerve connections' to various organs, arms, legs, etc. When your spine's discs are 'functioning normally' then those nerves 'have plenty of room' to route 'both in and around' your spine's vertebra (i.e. your spine's bones). But when you have a slipped disc, then those nerves can be 'pressed upon' by either the disc (if it's 'moved out of place') or the disc's fluid (if the disc's 'surrounding membrane' has actually ruptured). Added to this, is the fact that the muscles surrounding your spine could also be 'as tight as concrete' (just like mine were!). All of this means, that the nerves both in and around your spine 'no longer have plenty of room' to route to their various connections - and you quite simply 'feel the nerve'.
To say that pinched nerves 'can be off putting' is an understatement! As when they have happened to me (for 'months at a time') I have felt: like not doing much, not wanting to go out, not wanting to spend time with family, not wanting to sit down (even 'when I could' sit down!), whilst becoming frustrated and wondering - am I ever going to heal? That last question was 'particularly prevalent' in my third bout, as those two slipped discs lower back, and one slipped disc upper neck - had pinched 'my entire spinal cord' from the base of my spine, to the top of my neck! Fortunately, after around twenty-one months (or so) the pinched nerves 'that I feel now' are usually located at either end of my spine (i.e. just at the base of my spine, or at the top of my neck - not 'both ends at once', although on 'some days' there are exceptions!).
For I am afraid that pinched nerves are subject to (what I call) the 'yo yo effect'. You might be feeling ok, but the next moment you have 'pinched nerves from hell', then the next day 'pinched nerves from hell', then you start to feel ok again, then you do something (such as 'putting your shoe on'), then 'pinched nerves from hell', then you're feeling ok, then for no apparent reason 'pinched nerves from hell' ... I have found that you can't really predict this sequence, other than (for the most part) if you have 'done something', then expect some variety of 'pinched nerves soon'. There are 'all sorts' of activities and tasks that can give you pinched nerves (again), with some 'prominent ones' for me being:
August 2018. I helped my Dad replace his car battery - as his 'old one' was completely flat. Being sensible, I left Dad to 'lift the battery' and I just 'loosened and tightened' the various nuts. Not 'too much' I thought. I was wrong! That evening I was sitting 'in a restaurant' and all I could feel was my spinal cord (from the base of my spine, to the top of my neck). Whilst I had 'great fun smiling' - my smile was more of a 'death's head grin'.
For most of 2018 and (so far) 2019. I attend my Mother's dance class every weekend. Up to around fourteen months of recovery, I was 'very inflexible' (just keeping to basic dance steps). Around twenty-one months of recovery, my flexibility 'started to return' (so I started to do 'turning steps' again). But in both cases, the dancing would aggravate the nerves in my spine, but 'you have to persist' (as it's the only way 'to get your fitness back'). Although for me, I am still not doing 'jumping steps' (as you have to be 'somewhat sensible' as well!). I tend to feel the nerves 'just at the base of my spine' - because the dance steps 'give my legs - a really good workout'.
March 2019. My computer's Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) needed to be serviced (i.e. hoover all the dust out of it). It's really heavy, so I decided to 'work on it' under my desk - thereby avoiding 'lifting it'. Whilst my back and neck allowed me 'to do the work' - for the next week 'my reward' was: feeling my spinal cord from the base of my spine to the top of my neck! After a while, 'I got used to this one' (as you can 'get used to anything').
For most of 2018. Whilst driving my car 'gradually became less painful' - there were two manoeuvres, which always resulted in pinched nerves (especially 'the next day'). These manoeuvres were: looking 'hard right' (e.g. when at junctions) and looking 'back over my shoulder' (e.g. when filtering in). Again, I would feel these pinched nerves - right at the base of my spine, and at the top of my neck (i.e. no change to usual then!).
If you have pinched nerves 'right now' - then a 'repeating question' that you will 'continually ask yourself' is:
How long will these pinched nerves keep occurring for?
I'm afraid 'I have no specific answer' to this question! Although I will say: I have now returned to being able to sleep normally. And I can't remember the exact date when that happened. From my two previous bouts (of slipped discs) - there shall 'come a time' when you no longer seem to be feeling pinched nerves, and you will forget that date as well!
Although when I felt my pinched nerves 'really badly' - there is 'one thought' that I found would help me:
Picturing myself as the Tyrannosaurus Rex, in the closing scene of Jurassic World - ROAR!!!