In recent months a herniated disc gave me some insight to the facts of life. Quite sobering ones, in fact.
It started last October. I went to a doctor, had it MRI’d, took care of it as best as I could. Once the symptoms went away, I hit the gym again… and no matter how careful I was not to stress my back I royally f”cked up something, so I spent about two month standing. Literally standing all day. I could only sleep about four hours a night, and spent the rest of my day standing either in the kitchen, waiting for the sun to rise, or at my workplace. It did get better, but to this day I feel pain, and I’m very, very careful about what I do.
I have drawn some conclusions from this two month introduction to chronic pain.
Chronic pain will grind you down to the point where you actually think that perhaps dying would be better. Hell, it ground me down, even though it was nothing compared to what other people are living with. I only got to the “uncontrollably sobbing” part one night, and did not seriously consider death as an alternative, but I can see how that stage could come.
The other realization is even worse.
Your body has a warranty period. I’m at that age when this warranty is about to expire. Up until now you got sick, you got treated, you got better, and life was back to normal. You can ignore the fact that you’re just a collection of slimy stuff in a bag of skin when you feel good. However there comes a time when your body starts to wear out. It takes longer to get better, and at point you might not get better at all… and I just realized that this is how your body start to break down. One ailment on top of another- problems accumulating and never, ever getting better. That there will be a time when you are sick, when you have serious chronic conditions (I’d consider being “old” one of these), and you know that it will not ever get better. To top this: this is the desired alternative to the other option… That was some brush with mortality.