Beware! If you cannot bear hearing medical moans from people, read no further.
I got virtually no sleep last night.
I tried sleeping on the floor; I tried sleeping on the bed.
In a blog earlier this year, I explained why I have been unable to read a book since I got hit by a truck in 1991 when I was standing on a pavement in Borehamwood.
One result of the accident which did not become clear until well after it happened – and, alas, well after compensation was agreed with the insurance company – was that there has been some damage to the base of my spine.
The hospital had X-rayed by shoulder because my collar bone had been broken in two places – ‘pulverised’ was the rather alarming medical word used – but they had not X-rayed my spine.
What seems to have happened is that I was thrown back by the impact of the truck and I fell backwards with my spine fairly straight, then the back of my head hit the edge of a low brick wall maybe six inches off the ground. This meant my head stopped but my spine continued downwards for another six inches before the base of my back hit the pavement, putting some small bones at the bottom of my spine slightly out of alignment.
At least, that is what I understand people now tell me happened.
My osteopath cannot fully rectify the problem as I do not fully relax – I suspect because I am just not used to lying semi-naked, face-down on a bench while a large man leans over me, interlinks his arms with mine and jerks me sharply backwards – I have obviously led too sheltered a life.
Anyway, the damage to my spine rarely shows itself unless I twist my torso in an odd way to stoop down or lift something. I then put the bones slightly out of place and get shooting pains, usually in my left hip, sometimes in my right hip, which make it difficult for me to walk. But this can usually be cured by sleeping on the floor for three nights.
I have no idea why.
If it really bad, it can take a fortnight of sleeping on the floor.
But – with luck – this only happens once every nine months or so.
As the problem mends, the point of pain moves from the inside of my hip (which actually has nothing wrong with it) to the base of my spine (which is where the actual pain problem is).
The last time it happened – maybe six or nine months ago – it was slightly different.
I felt pain shooting along my waist in a line from the base of my spine, then down my left leg to the ankle or, sometimes, to the knee.
People I know who have had sciatica told me:
“That is sciatica.”
I went to my osteopath. He said:
“It is very strange. Every time someone has come to me with sciatica, I have manipulated the feet and it has gone away. I have absolutely no idea why. I am thinking of writing a paper about it.”
He manipulated my feet.
The pain went away.
This time, my lower back has been aching very slightly for a couple of days – it happens if I slouch on a soft sofa seat and is usually cured by sleeping on the floor – and there has been some slight pain along my waist and at the top of my right leg under the buttock (I know – too much information) and in my right hip… and a shooting pain down the side of my right leg which moves around depending on my position.
So, last night – the floor, but no sleep.
On the floor; on the bed; on the floor; on the bed; on the floor.
I could not get a position where there was not a shooting pain. Not horrendous pain; just slight pain. Not an ache; a slight shooting pain. But enough to stop me getting to sleep.
There is no moral to this blog. No insight into anything.
I just did not have anything to blog about this morning and eight hours of moving your legs and hips about, trying to be comfortable, does not, I found, concentrate the mind.
In some future blog, I may witter on about how I have more confidence in Chinese medicine than in Western medicine – because Western medicine aims to stop or to mask the symptoms quickly whereas Chinese medicine aims to cure the cause of the symptoms.
But, frankly, a quick masking of the symptoms would not go amiss this morning.
Look – it is your own fault – I warned you at the start.
If you cannot bear hearing medical moans from people, read no further.
Tomorrow, normal blogging should be resumed…