Apparently posting the inspirational Thuy Doan interview presaged my relapse. Twenty painless months since my back surgery are over. There was no particular incident, but I noticed a little something after my Monday morning walk. The next day it had flared into my full blown severe sciatica that I suffered from for two years prior to the surgery.
The timing is both better and worse now. Worse because my surgeon hasn't returned my call in three days and seems to be too busy for me. Worse because I needed to reach two years of no relapse in order to qualify for medical insurance due to the previous surgery. It is better because I'm back to having a regular income again, so I'm not cash broke. It is better because I have the experience to know that I can be fixed and not spend many months searching for alternative methods when surgery is likely the best option.
My concern, besides surgery and the huge cost issues, is for my productivity. I can't sit at my computer chair as before. I have to turn the chair around, be on my knees on the seat, leaning over the back with a massive cushion to relieve the pressure. I have been less able to concentrate or have my usual work stamina. So I did a little research, and while not surprising, chronic pain saps both energy and mental abilities.
Besides causing physical discomfort, affecting your ability to work, sleep and other activities essential to leading a full life, pain can also affect your memory and concentration. Canadian researchers zeroed in on one of the cognitive mechanisms affected by chronic pain. Evidently chronic pain actually disrupts the maintenance of the memory trace required to hold information for processing and retain it for storage in longer-term memory stores.
"Prevalence studies indicate that as much as 44 per cent of the population-in Canada as well as in the U.S. and Europe-experience pain on a regular basis, and that in approximately one-quarter of this group the pain is severe", said Dick. The cost of chronic pain to society is great, and Dick and Rashiq argue that the matter needs to be recognized as a public health priority.
I have been through this before, and I know I can return to being pain free again. How I will get there in my present situation is the challenge. I will persevere regardless.