Ouch


I've been through my fair share of pain so I thought I would share it with you!

I haven’t done a blog post in a wee while so I thought I would write about some past experiences I’ve had with pain, cause, you know, who doesn’t want to hear about all that?

Chronic Back Pain

I’ll start with my chronic back pain as that has been around the longest, hence the “chronic” part.
I first went to a chiropractor in April, 2011 as I had been experiencing back pain. I went there for a few months and although sometimes the procedures really hurt [such as a metal tap gun that hit my skull and made me cry], it eased the back pain a bit.

I moved on from the chiropractor and went to a physio. There, I had massages, acupuncture and did pilates. The pilates was exhausting as my back was unable to hold up my body due to its weakness. I was thinking of stopping when I got appendicitis [more on that later] and therefore used that as an excuse!
After I was fully recuperated, I decided to visit another physio who gave me only massages. This was absolutely wonderful and I really improved. She suggested I go to an osteopath and I went as I really wanted to get rid of the pain.

The osteopath was good at the beginning. They diagnosed the most likely cause of the pain [although I’m not sure whether or not I still believe them], and that I had had a head injury approximately five years ago that damaged my spine. I was one of the youngest patients they had ever had and that meant I was a bit difficult to work/understand with as not many people my age suffer from back problems. The osteopathy caused me some pain after the sessions. They said I would be healed after my fifth or so session and on my last session; I was left with a headache that lasted three weeks. Because of the insanely painful headache, I went to my doctor who simply said my back problems were “just growing pains”. He was absurdly unhelpful, as were all the GPs I have visited about my back.

I then moved onto another physio to get acupuncture only. The acupuncture didn’t help as much as it did last time I had had it and the physio suggested I get an x-ray. I obliged and everything appeared to be fine with all my bones. I then left that physio and went back to the second physio where I continued full body massages.

This worked wonders and I learnt a lot more about what was wrong with me, including that this would be a life-long problem. My sessions were interrupted by my hospitalisation [more on this later] and I am yet to return.

Just because some of the professionals I visited did not help me, does not mean they and the procedures won’t help you. It is insanely helpful to get a diagnosis, something I am still kind of trying to obtain.

Appendicitis

In December 2011, I had an intense pain in my abdomen. I had had this exact pain twice before and they had gone away after two or so days. [They were definitely not period pains as when I get cramps, the pain is in a different place and a different pain.] This time, I waited three days before going to the doctor as I just thought it was a tummy bug. This was the third time I had ever been to the doctors and so I didn’t have a set GP. The doctor who assessed me was incredibly unhelpful [I’m sensing a reoccurrence here] but determined that I should probably go to the hospital. I had [naughtily] googled the pain I was experiencing and self-diagnosed appendicitis so was kind of expecting to go to the hospital. I remember [besides being in a lot of pain] being really excited to go to hospital, lord knows why. Obviously there was no need to go in an ambulance, so my dad drove me there.

There was a small problem as I had had to drink an insane amount of water for my ultrasound at the doctors, meaning that halfway to the hospital I had to go to the loo. We stopped in the middle of the city at a movie theatre. Now, normally there is an escalator there but obviously on that day it was out of order. I was in a lot of pain and hobbling up the 50 or so stairs with everyone looking at me weirdly. We eventually arrived at the hospital and luckily, my parents work at the university directly opposite the hospital, so my mum popped across. Because I was 14, I was placed in the children’s emergency department.

As my appendix hadn’t burst, I was expected to be operated on the next morning [it was 6pm] but I couldn’t eat anything just in case. My mother and father were quite hungry and with it looking like I would be operated on that evening, they went across the road and got subway, having it outside so I wouldn’t be tempted to eat too. Unfortunately, at this precise moment, the surgeon came and told me I would be getting wheeled away to theatre right now. I had no way of contacting my parents as I didn’t have my phone on me but as I was going down the hallway, they came running after me and we made it to pre-op.

I wasn’t at all nervous about the surgery but apparently my mum was as she began crying, making me tear up a bit. I said goodbye and into theatre I went [in my own clothes, oddly enough]. I have a quite vivid memory of what happened, I was put onto the operating table and all the male doctors left so I could take off my bra which I found completely pointless seeing as they would be taking off my shorts and knickers to operate. I got given a mask that was scented of chocolate [because it was a kids department] and they counted down from ten. I got to six before I was out. The surgery began at 11:47pm and ended at approximately 2am.

I came out to the post-op room to find my parents and my brother, only to discover they had watched my favourite tv show without me whilst they were waiting at home. At this point, I was rather off my head on drugs and was muttering random nonsense. My family left and I fell asleep. I distinctly remember [god knows how], waking up in the middle of the night to go to the loo and not wanting to put any pants on. The nurse looking after me forced me to although I was perfectly happy to wander about in nothing but my knickers and top. Poor man.

I woke up in the morning to see a plate of bread and butter at the foot of my bed. So, obviously having not eaten for nearly 24 hours [too long for me!], I wolfed it down, only to find that I shouldn’t have done that as I hadn’t been checked by a nurse. Turns out everything was fine. The doctors said I would have to stay in hospital for about a week but I was doing so well that I got to leave that evening.

I literally spent 24 hours in hospital, 6pm to 6pm.

I had a horrible car ride home due to the bumpiness. That night, we decided to watch a comedy show – bad idea. I was laughing and crying because it hurt to laugh. Unfortunately, I was unable to go swimming for two weeks but for Christmas day that year, we had planned to go swimming so I was naughty and popped into the pool. A major bonus was that I wasn’t allowed to carry/lift anything heavy for 6 weeks, just as we were going off to Europe so I had my bags carried for me the entire journey!

It was a particularly unpleasant experience but it meant I didn’t have to do physical education at school for ages! However, nowhere near as bad as my most recent problem…

Abscess

On the 24th of October, 2013 I was hospitalised for an abscess on my upper thigh. Because the abscess was on the back of my thigh, I had no clue what it was and thought [for some strange reason], it was a pulled muscle. I basically treated it as a pulled muscle for a couple of days, even though the pain was incredibly intense. I finally went to the doctor after finding a small lump that was really painful when pressed. At this point, the lump was only 1cm or so.

The doctor diagnosed it as a bacterial infection and gave me antibiotics to treat it, telling me that if the lump got bigger or the pain didn’t change/got worse to come back. The next day, the pain was worse and I barely suffered through school, almost crying at the discomfort I was in. I went back to the doctors, seeing a different GP this time and the infection had got worse. At this point I was barely walking and practically crying. The GP organised which ward I would go to because of its placement and because of my age [fifteen, so not fully able to consent to everything].

Finally, my mother drove me to hospital and I was admitted into the emergency ward for adults. They offered me a wheelchair because I couldn’t walk but I also couldn’t sit so I ended up taking 20 minutes to get to somewhere which was 3 minutes away. The doctors came to assess me and decided that I definitely needed surgery. I was put on IV antibiotics that managed to take my 20cm lump [!] down to an eight cm lump so they could operate with less risks. I was to be operated on the next day and so I was given a lot of morphine to cope with the pain.

Ah, I do love morphine. I had had a lot more than when I got my appendix out and was completely and utterly high. I was asking my dad the exact same question every five minutes for about an hour. I wasn’t at all nervous and once I had got the morphine in my system, I was taking selfies and chatting to people; completely relaxed.

The next day, I was told to take off my underwear and put on a gown so they could easily operate. The problem was that I was attached to a drip. My mum had to take my bra off my shoulder and down the IV drip stand. It was hilarious. I then however had to get into a backless gown which was rather awkward to say the least. At 1pm, I was wheeled into pre-op. It was completely different from the last time as there were lots of very ill adults, making me glad that mine wasn’t as serious as theirs. I finally got into theatre and had a little chat with one of the nurses before I drifted off. After the surgery, I was put into a ward that had an amazing view and basically just did nothing for a few days.

The aftercare was a long process as my wound was completely open. A nurse came and visited me every day and then every few days and then every week. I had so many different dressing applied and even had the overgrowing skin burnt off a couple of times. Finally, I was officially discharged the day after my birthday, December 12th.

It was honestly the most painful thing I have ever experienced and I wouldn’t wish for anyone to go through it. I missed out on a lot of school and I couldn’t do a lot of things until I was discharged two months later.

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