Sunday, 16 October 2011

Things can only get better

I've been reading a few other blogs recently. It seems I wasn't the only person to come up with the idea that writing about my experience of major surgery or illness would be a "good idea". I'm still not sure who it is "good" for of course - as I remember saying some many months ago I often didn't find it helpful or useful to write during those long dark days post-op. I forced myself to because I had committed to keeping a record - to help others going through the same thing, to keep friends and family informed with what was going on, and eventually, one day, so that I could read it back and find out for myself what I went through since there is so much I cannot remember.

Reading a post just now from someone currently in remission from cancer I have tears in my eyes. This guy writes so movingly and expresses things in such a way that you cannot help but be moved. But perhaps surprisingly to some of you reading this, it is as he describes his feelings as he reaches the five year mark that I most identified with. Rather than the elation and reaching for the champagne he speaks of wanting to curl up under the duvet and cry. He says that every time he felt he had come to understand what he had been through he found himself crying in the supermarket the next day.

This is something I totally understand and cannot explain so I am not going to try to. I just want to flag it up as I am sure that many people find it odd not to be dancing in the aisles at this point (metaphorically if not actually of course...)

For the past few months, since Mr Tucker advised that removing the metalwork in my spine was in his view the way forward, I have been, to quote myself, "ignoring my back". I've deliberately avoided the question when people have asked about it, for some time I refused even to take painkillers as they reminded me that there was something wrong. I've kept on keeping on, doing all the things I wanted to do, and thought that was the way forward and the way to cope. I decided pretty soon after that last appointment that another major operation was not the way I wanted to go, and putting it all behind me and acting as if all is well was the way to go.

But this week has been hideous. Words cannot describe how painful my back is at the moment - almost two years since the surgery now. Or how fed up I am with the way it has affected my life. On Monday we went to see a superstar friend of ours make her West End debut - a wonderful, amazing, uplifting evening! Except I could barely raise a smile for the pain and sense of detachment from all that was going on around me, as if I was in a horrid bubble of aloneness and pain that no one could understand or penetrate. Imagine sitting in the best seats in the house for a top class show and actually wanting to be in bed with a hot water bottle.

Tuesday wasn't much better - I cried on the tube, in Boots (as I bought yet another set of make up to disguise the blotchiness), and twice in the office when people asked "are you okay?" Wednesday I couldn't get out of bed for the dizziness and vomiting - caused simply by the searing red hot pain in my spine. This weekend I've had to cancel all my plans, drinks out with the girls, a concert in Croxley last night, and any hope of a trip to the shops or decent tidy up.

What a miserable, negative, self-absorved, indulgent post! Wondering if now is the time to hit the delete button? Or maybe I leave this sitting here as a reminder when things are better that this is not a smooth journey - there are ups and downs and as they said in 1997 "Things can only get better".

I'm going to go to church I think. For a number of reasons, none connected with expecting a miracle. I know the woman who will be preaching this morning and I am interested to hear what she has to say. The walk might do me good and will get me off the sofa.

Those writing the other blogs have journeyed with cancer, cystic fibrosis, a stroke. I am truly thankful that theirs has not been the path I've had to take. It is true that there is always someone worse off than ourselves and only this week I've been writing material for work that reminds us of the terrible situation in East Africa. It's not always easy to keep a sense of perspective but it does seem to be easier once the pain and hideousness of it all is out there rather than bottled up and whirling round in your head.

So thanks to those who have read this and hopefully normal cheerful service will be resumed shortly - have an idea for a short story - even a novel maybe - that I might start to explore on here.

Have a good day,

Linda x


  1. next time you're in the office and feel like that, Linda, come and find me for a hug, John x

  2. Thank you John - will do just that ;-) x

  3. I like your blog. Please go to to add it to the directory for scoliosis blogs so others can find it.

  4. Thanks for that - have done so now ;-)

  5. Thinking of you Linda, so sorry to hear how bad your pain is. I can relate to just wanting to be in bed with a hot water bottle, I feel like this alot:( Hugs xxx