Hello Sciatica My Old Foe.

It  was almost a red letter day.  This chapter has been a relatively short few weeks however the book has been running for 24 years and it yet may not yet be over. I am not easily un-nerved however I felt some anxiety as I was seated, lots of shuffling of paper and what seemed an inordinate amount of errs, hmms, and umms did not help to settle me.  I have been here before on a number of occasions but for me this time it is my last shot.

Back in 1988 I injured my back and the outcome of that has been a long term relationship with sciatica.  Pain has dominated my life for so long and there has never been any answers, lose weight, get fit, harden up, morphine, codeine this, anti-inflammatory that, put them in your mouth, under your tongue, up your, well you know where. Try some anti-depressants, low dose, oh well how about some anti convulsants, anti spasm drugs, anti-acids, why not some bloody panadol! Heat packs, cold packs, electric shock packs, acupuncture, massage, chiropractic, physiotherapy, gym, cycle, weights.  I have tried them all. The problem is it is all in your head, it will get better as you get older, you will learn to live with it bullshit to that I say!

The last two years have been the worst, as pain levels have increased after a relatively small fall.  Trips to the specialist, no answers, multiple MRI scans, no solutions., an ever increasing loss of feeling. This day was different, after the hums and haas, the verdict, there is a disc bulge that probably means the disc should come out, for a moment a sense of relief, finally someone offering me something other than concrete tablets (harden up pills), then the words of doubt, actually I don’t do this kind of surgery, I will refer you on, another delay, more tests? Who knows, it is the waiting that is the hardest.  In the meantime, I can’t apply for jobs, my present position finishes on the 12th December, unemployment looms, I have been there before but I find it hard to be positive about much in my life right now.  Nothing seems to be going right.  Now I know that I am probably mildly to moderately depressed right now.  I have had a shoulder injury caused by an unruly student, so more pain and disability to top it all off, Unhelpful ACC, incompetent IRD, and indescribable Novopay.  Some days it just seems unreasonable to get out of bed.

I notice that I am not so tolerant, in fact somewhat grumpy at times, I am apologizing a lot, my muse has left me and resides somewhere else. I just want to get on my bike and ride, feel that rush as I luxuriate in God’s beautiful creation, smell the salt air, spend some quality time with friends and family and just heal and recuperate.  I am a driven man.  I am driven by a sense of responsibility to be a man of my word, to battle against the odds, to reject mediocrity and to be the things I should.

I find my life being defined the last few years by pain and illness, and a quest for meaning. I am haunted by a sense that I am becoming the mediocre man that I so despise, my singleness hangs on me like a lepers bell, ringing loudly beware avoid this man.  I used to say that if I had nothing but my integrity then it was enough.  I need more than that in my life, does that make me shallow, unsatisfied, ungrateful, resentful, impatient? Is it all gloom in my life?  No not completely, I am still able to astonished and humbled by simple things in life, the beauty of a ploughed field being transformed into furrows of uniform green soldiers, curving in symmetrical patterns.  I am blessed by small acts of kindness, by being greeted by friendly ex pupils in the street, by words of encouragement from the few true friends I have left in my life and by the words of my astoundingly loving children.

These are the people who see me at my worse (and hopefully at my best)  I am unable to share my troubles with them completely at times ( it is not their job) but among my imperfections and challenges they inspire me and make my heart glad.  My youngest wrote a few words on her blog site the other night that moved me to tears.

http://faithlikesnow.blogspot.co.nz/

 I know a good man.
He is generous, patient and loved.

He has a kind heart for the weak and a kind heart for the strong.

But he debates the title, of being a good man….http://faithlikesnow.blogspot.co.nz/

I am glad she sees my imperfections and has some insight, At times I feel like an utter failure with my children, unable to meet their needs, I feel selfish when I want time out, just to go to the supermarket by myself but these are the things that I reflect on and strive to improve on where I can, this stops me from being complacent and keep me real and present.  When they do some small act for me, write kind words, make cups of tea, laugh at my jokes, these things give me hope, and hope sustains life.
I am blessed by my children.
Paul
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