The Imagination Is A Dangerous Thing

Slowly we build. Slowly we strengthen. Slowly we find our way back to our old selves with new eyes.

I went to my last physiotherapy appointment today. I went along with few complaints, just little niggles. The last few weeks have been a revelation. I was convinced that my back pain was never going away, ever, that I’d live with this for always. Lots of physical symptoms conspired to push me into thinking that. What the physiotherapy showed me was that I was causing the continued pain not my body.

I was so bloody anxious about making sure I wasn’t exacerbating my back and bulging disc and nerve pain that I was doing exactly that; holding myself stiffly, cautiously moving, tightening the muscles around the nerve and ensuring further pain.

My recent sessions have shown that I am able to heal, able to be loose, free, careless, without permanent pain. I’m back walking the dog (though only on flat ground for now) and doing my weird little exercises. It took falling over my own feet and landing flat on my face to show me that I wasn’t as delicate as I imagined.

My physiotherapist joked that she should have just pushed me over in the first session. It was a turning point. 

It was all the chicken’s fault. Bloody naughty chicken that didn’t want to go to bed. I was convinced that I’d done damage to my back but instead there was no pain. I sobbed with fear and then realised that, aside from a bruise or two and a minor graze, I was fine. My back was okay! 

The bloody awful chairs at university are still a problem but that’s a minor hiccough in the scheme of things. I just need to stretch, release, stand, walk, to counter the nonchalance with which the university treats it’s students’ bodies.

I’ve driven to Melbourne and back and left the car feeling fine. I’ve bent to pick something up (correctly) and only felt a twinge, I’ve slept on my stomach without pain, I’ve rolled over in bed without a whimper, I put on socks without shooting pains down my leg. It’s these little victories I celebrate.

Now it’s about getting my stamina and strength back. A journey that will be longer than I hope but shorter than I imagine.


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