Saturday, 5 April 2008

Body and Soul

I lay on my front, arms folded just above my head, my shirt pulled up just enough for me to be able to feel the air upon my bare back.

"I'm going to move down to your buttocks now."

"All right."

"How's that?"

"A bit sore."

The physiotherapist made a sympathetic noise yet continued hurting me nonetheless. It's her job.

"All right, I'm going to ask you to turn back over now, ok?"

"Ok, but I am going to make sad little noises while I do so."

And I did, as it hurts a great deal to move in certain ways at the moment. "I very much want to swear," I told her. "But I am aware there are other people beyond the curtain."

She smiled. I needed her approval. I felt I was being a brave soldier and displaying amazing powers of restraint by not shouting "Fuck! Oh bastardly, cunting fuck!" and crying a bit. I really wanted that to be acknowledged.

She fetched a heat pad and left me lying on it for a few minutes. I drifted off into almost sleep. As I lay there, in my post-traumatic haze, I realised that my morning's worries were pointless. I'd been mulling over the information that certain unspecified people had certain unspecified gripes with certain unspecified actions of mine. Why did I waste even a second of my time wrestling with that one? There is absolutely nothing I can do about such vaguaries.

(Has anyone else been on the receiving end of this one? Had an attempt to inflict worries and self-doubt upon them under the guise of well-meaning advice/friendship/concern? What are you supposed to do with that information, if you have no idea what it's about?

I get this a lot: "It's not just me there are others who feel the same way."

"Who?" I will ask.

"I can't say."

Well, what am I supposed to do about it then?)

I have to say, it has its faults, but God Bless the NHS. My physiotherapy session yesterday was good for my body and mind. I go back again next week. I think in a month or so I will be on a whole other plane of enlightenment and I'll be able to limbo dance again.


bittersweet said...


*applies heat pack and chocolate cookies to appropriate places*

It is not a great place to be, having to deal with innuendo and suggestion - even the best intentions can be misplaced that way.

Luka said...

Thank you, Bittersweet. The heat pack and cookies are much appreciated!

Yes, I agree, the intentions may well be honourable, but unless specifics are given all one can do is speculate and possibly worry.

Helga Hansen said...

It's like people who complain anonymously, and then expect you to do something about it... how the f*** are you meant to address the issues raised when you have no idea who voiced them in the bloody first place!!

My sympathies with your pain - I endured months of pain, months of gobbling anti-inflammatories like they were sweets, and finally had some relief via a spinal block. I'm dreading life when the thing wears off...

Luka said...

Helga - yes indeed, I quite agree. I suppose there is a sense of safety in anonymity, as there is in hearsay. It is one step removed, as it were, so it's harder to be hit by the fallout.

Oh my, a spinal block? Serious stuff indeed. How long does it last?

Lynsey said...


Those people have a name: frenemies—the "friends" who want to stir the pot or offer oblique criticism under the guise of "care" or "concern." A little bit of friend, a little bit of enemy.

Helga Hansen said...

The spinal block lasts for as long as it lasts... I can't be more specific than that, because they are the words used by the orthopaedic consultant!!

I wasn't going to argue - I had been listed for surgery (I have two prolapsed discs which were going to be fused), but was then told, literally last hour stuff, that as there was a very small success rate in terms of removing the pain, that the surgeon didn't want to risk it.

He then suggested the spinal block. I just wanted to be pain-free for the first time in two years, so said "hell yes, whatever" and had it done. The one good thing was I wasn't out of commission for a minimum of 10 weeks!! The downside is, as I said before, that it does wear off, and then I will probably have to start the process all over again, although at least time I know the diagnosis already!

Ms Robinson said...

Tell them to come out and say it or to fuck right off. That is the Australian way and it works. Ms R will have no truck with this sort of insidious behaviour.

Luka said...

Lynsey - that's it, yes! Thank you for putting a name to it for me.

Helga - ouch - you really have been through it! I hope the pain continues to be blocked for a goodly while yet.

Ms R - you are, as usual, quite right x

Walker said...

Oh I feel for you.
I have a history of back ailments after falling on concrete stairs.

I don;t bother with BS and shut myself off to it thus being accused of being uncaring but hey, if it gets me peace from the BS then I don't care LOL

Luka said...

Walker - thank you. Backs are so easy to damage, aren't they? It's such a design flaw. I think you have the right approach with the BS, I shall give it a try myself!