Six months ago, I couldn’t get out of bed without extreme pain. Extreme pain that at the time, was inexplicable, and something I’d therefore “just have to live with”.
Fast forward to today, and I’m able to function. I can get up out of bed, slap on the makeup, get myself out the door. I can shop, I can travel, I can go places. I’m almost ready to go back to work. I know I can do it.
In the throes of the worst pain, I thought I’d never run again, never see the top of Ticknock Hill again, never leave Ireland again, never see London again, never date again…
I don’t want to disparage any consultants I’ve seen. When you’re in pain, and very scared, it leaves you vulnerable. It affects your mental health. If a consultant doesn’t know what’s wrong with you, that’s OK. But what isn’t OK is just because that consultant doesn’t know, doesn’t mean another won’t. There is very little realisation on the part of consultants as to the weight their words carry. Don’t tell me I’ll just “have to live with it”, and “these type of problems are often lifelong”. Don’t tell me that when my pain level is an 8/10 and I can’t cope. Tell me that OK, I really just don’t know, but clearly there’s something there. Let me see who I can refer you to to help. Bear with me while I try. Don’t worry, keep going. Consultants don’t need a degree in mental health to just have a modicum of understanding when dealing with a tough physical condition.
There is a fine balance between your mental and physical health. If you’re struggling with one, make sure to also look after the other. Become your own health advocate, I did.
Six months ago, I was in agony, and suicidal.
Now, I ran 5k 3 weeks ago. I cried when I finished it, on a public road. I didn’t care. I did it. I bloody well ran. And I’m bloody well still here. It’s the biggest achievement of my life, one I intend on living to the max while advocating for anyone else out there in pain and struggling. You deserve better, and you’re not alone!