For no apparent reason my neck seems to have gone on strike and I am stuck staggering around like a rusty robot unable to look up, down or round. Pain really is a pain in the neck.
Generally I have that blithe attitude to my body that belongs to the young and well. It takes me by surprise when it refuses to co-operate and I have little patience with this slower sorer version of myself. I want to will myself well and I’m frustrated that I can’t.
What was effortless a few days ago now needs to be planned and practised: getting up and getting down, clothes on, clothes off, moving around. I am no longer sure I am all that reliable.
I’ve been down in London for a few days and this little fault has me feeling fragile in a way I haven’t before; as if a bump in the bustle might break me. I am blinkered. I can only comfortably look straight ahead and I fret at the threat of hazards all around, all out of my eyeline. I feel at risk, unable and I don’t like it one bit.
I am bad tempered, tetchy and tired. This is just a little spasm of hurt but it seems to be eating at the edges of me, cutting me down in bites.
I cannot imagine how people manage to live with real pain.
When I think about it, pain has little reality except when it is felt. It cannot be imagined or even remembered. As an idea it has little pinch or punch so it is hard to really empathise or feel for someone else.
I hope I remember how little I get it.
I can’t help but think of the long lashes of pain that dad endured and admire him all the more for letting so little slip and spill onto the people around him. I’m not sure I would find the same ability to endure.
I’m hoping this stiffness will soften by the time I need to get on another plane in a few days, but this pain in the neck has pulled a few things into focus and onto my thank you list.
I’m thankful for:
Unhindered expression – some stories don’t come out right without a waggle!
Being able to stand on tip toes and hug from my heart
The simple pleasure of being able to see where I’m putting my feet
Being able to look people in the eye to see and feel their words
Stretching to the sky as if I might just touch it
Peace from pain
Nights where I roll through sleep
My independence – a great gift hardly seen under my nose