I hope the news that I am posting hasn't popped up as an unexpected and unwelcome alert in your inbox! Just re-reading my last post there is a certain finality about it, and when I wrote it I genuinely felt that I had come to the end of the road as far as this blog is concerned.
However I am aware that some of you are very kindly still checking in from time to time, and I am touched by this and by all the messages and texts I still receive. I therefore thought that perhaps I should post an update here from time to time to let you all know how things are progressing.
We left things in a very positive place but unfortunately that seems to have been the calm before something of a storm. Just a week after seeing Mr Tucker I was emailing his secretary with various questions. Mainly to do with the increased levels of pain I am experiencing - and my fear that this means something is wrong.
It is really too early to know if there is a problem with the fusion - one of the things I find so difficult is not being able to relax and know that all will be well. It is also hard to know how much of the pain is still post-operative and how much I will need to learn to live with. I suspect when I saw Mr Tucker there was still some morphine masking things but once that had gone I was aware of a "pulling" feeling where the curve is being stretched out, of nerve pains where the nerves are re-growing, of tenderness and aching where my rib was removed, and of the general feel of the metalwork in my back. The pain is there all the time and I long for some respite from it.
Mr Tucker assures me much of it is muscular as my muscles scream at being used again. I have started hydrotherapy and been swimming (rather unsuccessfully to be honest!) and every extra bit of exercise makes the pain worse. He suggested Voltarol as well as paracetamol. Today I have sneaked in a teensy bit of codeine too. I am trying to wean myself off my hot water bottle after the incident I cannot remember which led to the nasty burn on my back. Presumably I fell asleep on top of it at some point and didn't feel anything due to the numbness of my skin :-(
The worst thing of all however was the ghastly depression I experienced at the tail end of the withdrawal. I wouldn't wish such an experience on my worst enemy - the horrible bleak black dark empty misery and crying for days. It has lifted now - though it leaves you feeling fragile and I still cry easily and often - and I understand it is another common symptom of drug withdrawal. I have learnt so much these past few months - much of which I didn't want to learn!
I want to go back to work but that is in the hands of HR and the Occupational Health department. I have another couple of weeks signed off and to be honest it's probably 50/50 whether I will be fit enough. I miss everyone, I miss Christian Aid especially this week, and I miss London.
However - the big exciting news is that tonight I am in fact going to London to meet Sarah, Jayne and Jemma and go to the O2. Our Christmas pressie :-) The journey has been meticulously planned, the painkillers timed, the restaurant with the comfiest seats has been booked. I can't wait to enjoy a proper evening out and fully expect to cry my eyes out.
Do please keep in touch -I always enjoy hearing from you and thank you so much to those who have come to visit, sent cards, emails, texts - means a lot.
Will post again in a week or two.