Last Wednesday I went to see the orthopaedic surgeon about the constant and rather debilitating pain sprouting from my lower back again for the last three or so months. After some pulling, prodding, twisting and x-rays, the diagnosis was an inflamed nerve. Something about Schmorl’s nodes on L1 and L2. Dispatched with a script for seriously hectic pain killers (specific for this neuropathy) and a week-long course of cortisone, as well as instructions to return in three weeks. I ended up locking my car’s keys still in the ignition (terrible and recently often recurring habit) when I stopped to pick up meds.
A week later I can report the following: despite strange and unusual shooting pains on the right side of lower back on Sunday night/Monday morning, I have not experienced any significant pain in my back or left leg since Saturday; x-rays are bloody expensive, and since my medical aid isn’t paying for it, I’ve fortunately been able to arrange to pay for it over three months; did not take any Lyrica last night – just to see how the pain is doing underneath all the chemicals and because I’d like to spend a day not feeling hazy; this is the coldest winter I’ve ever experienced in my life. The last bit is relevant because the colder it gets, the worse my back spasms and my leg hurts. I’ve also noticed that despite it being pain free, I often still rub my leg, just above the knee, usually when I’m feeling emotionally unbalanced. Except for now. I’m rubbing the knee because the pain is definitely still there under the Lyrica-induced relief.
Over the weekend mom and I bought some groceries (in bulk from Makro). In hindsight, my mom has had some panic attacks at the thought of how much money we spent. Considering that for the past 11 months she’s been mostly living of bread and tomato sauce, I can see how this was a shock for her. I did try to keep expenses down by choosing moderate amounts, rather than big amounts, but she chose the 9kg washing powder when I considered the 5kg, etc. So yes, we (she) spent more than what I was aiming for. For my part I spent bit at the butchery, but my days are long and cold, and I have no desire to go hungry, or in good conscience, let my mother go hungry either. How we’re going to make it to the end of the month, I’m not sure. It’s times like these that I miss the false security of credit cards, overdrafts, revolving credit, etc. It has been almost two months since I gave all of that up, and will be paying for it for about another six years (unless some miracle happens). If I still had my trusty Visa I’d have bought for the groceries without blinking. I have no desire to buy clothes or shoes or anything frivolous like that (although I need a few winter tops, evidently – after three years the couple of shirts I have are a little worse for wear, and have I mentioned that this is the coldest winter I’ve ever experienced?). I’d spend money to feed us.
Last night, after mom recovered from her panic attack and told me that when we move into our new flat there are likely to be no cupboards, no floor coverings and that the only room finished will be the bathroom, it was my turn to have an attack of conscience. I’m worried that moving into an unfinished place will mean we never finish it; at the very least not in a way that my mom wanted, and this was her chance to get her own little dream place. But she had to modify her plans to ensure that there is a room for me, because I’m too pathetic to take care of myself like someone of my age is supposed to. So the larger flat is going to cost more than what she’ll have left from the sale of the house (which seems to be going fine – oh, I never blogged that; the house has been sold, and plans for the flat will hopefully be submitted no later than next week. This means we’ll be moving in with my brother and his family at the end of the month at the latest).
And so I started my “everything would be so much better if I were no more” cycle of thinking. Because I’d not have to worry about medical expenses, painful limbs, thinning hair, uneven skin tone (when I get depressed, I get depressed about *everything* in my life that’s wrong); I’d not be the reason my mother spends thousands on groceries, or several thousands more on modifying her new home. In fact, if she were to get her portion of my life insurance designated to her, she’ll be able to pay for everything relating to her new place without a second thought. Similarly, my best friend would not have to borrow money against his car and work through the night to try and make ends meet.
But here I am. Pouring my misery into a blog post instead. And because I have no choice but carry on, I’m pondering how to make changes to what has become a stifling routine. Or maybe I should just carry on and risk death by boredom.