Back around the middle of January my back went - badly. The pain then got progressively worse and so I booked an appointment with a physiotherapist who made things worse rather than better, but suggested I see her colleague, a highly respected osteopath of whom I hade heard many very good reports. He examined me and concluded that the degree of tension and inflammation in the muscles of my lower back made his kind of treatment/ He sent me immediately to the walk-in emergency centre where I was x-rayed, given a cocktail of drugs - pain killers and anti-inflammatories - by injection, together with a prescription for a course of six daily injections which were done by the practice nurse. I also saw my own doctor who gave me prescriptions for tramadol and ibuprofen. As I had an appointment the following week with the orthopedic consultant who was monitoring the progress of recovery from the fractured humerus caused by my fall in Germany last May, she wrote a report for me to give to him about my back problems. He put in a request for an MR scan on my lower back and a further appointment for when he had the results. That appointment was last week, when I finally learned what was behind the pain; two things, the disc between by lowest lumbar vertebra and the sacrum has collapsed, whilst the next vertebra going up has suffered a number of stress fracture cracks. I will be seeing him again in a couple of months with new x-rays to see whether the anatomical situation is stable, or whether there is further deterioration.
In the meantime, I must wear a lumbar support belt to take some of the load off my spine, and instead of my walking stick, which had caused to bend forward and lean a little to one side, I must now use crutches which will encourage me to hold myself erect, and balance the wieight more evenly onto both legs. A week of doing this, and already I have felt a tremendous improvement.
The trouble is that it never rains but it pours, as the saying goes. The pain my back meant it was impossible for me to lie down in a bed, and so for over two months I have been sleeping (not terribly well) propped up in a sitting position on a high-back sofa, with my feet either down on the floor or resting on a couple of cushions in one of our wicker chairs normally used at the table on the balcony. Which is all very well except that the blood is not flowing properly through my feet and lower legs and so they have become sore and inflamed, further restricting my mobility.
the result of all this is that I have become pretty much house-bound except for struggling to medical appointments.
By good fortune, there is an English chiropodist, Sue, who has been visiting at home every six weeks to deal with my toe nails and just keep an eye things generally. - I am al diabetic so foot health is very important. She was here on Monday, examined my feet and legs and went to work on improving my circulation. She gave me a number of simple exercises to do diligently which will assist the process of pumping the blood up the veins in my legs to improve circulation. I'm doing them as directed and again within just a couple of days I can feel a difference, also for a while she will come every two weeks to work on the circulation, using a combination of massage and reflexology/
So, at last, though slowly, I feel that I have turned the corner to get back to something more resembling a normal life.It has brought home to me, though, the need to find a buyer and move to a less demanding environment halfway up the side of a mountain.
I was going to deal with how to make a proper Spanish omelette, but that will have to wait until next time.