Friday, 24 October 2014

Watch Your Back

For the past few weeks, I have been struggling with backache. I slipped and landed on my backside at a waterfall 2 years ago. Subsequently, I injured my back again, carrying some files when we moved office. Diagnosed with lumbosacral spondylosis,  standing or walking longer than ten minutes causes pain at my lower back, hip joints, calves and feet. My sitting posture too has to be upright but relaxed.

Lumbosacral spondylosis is a basic term used by medical professionals to describe common, age-related degeneration in the lower back at the site where the last vertebra of the lumbar spine (L5) and the first vertebra of the sacral spine (S1) connect. This area is especially prone to deterioration because the lower back supports upright posture and many different bending and twisting movements, and also because it supports such a large amount of weight.

Specific conditions that fall under the umbrella term of lumbosacral spondylosis can include herniated discs, bulging discs, bone spurs and osteoarthritis, all of which are spinal abnormalities that run the risk of protruding into the spinal canal and exerting pressure on spinal nerves. The sciatic nerve is often compressed at the meeting of the L5 and S1 vertebrae. Common symptoms of sciatic nerve compression include tingling, numbness, weakness and pain that can spread through the lower back, tailbone, hip joints, calves and feet

My activities have been severely curtailed since. Apart from twice weekly treatments at the famous Dr Chong of Sea Park and cari makan (working), I struggle with daily chores. The basic life chores which I took for granted became an achievement. For about a week, I felt very moody and depressed, I asked myself why I was so blue. Apart from the inactivity, I do not feel comfortable asking for help. I feel more comfortable being the provider and being needed. I was afraid of being a burden.  I believe I share the feelings of many who have problems with mobility.

If we are fortunate and have an understanding family, we have an easier time. We can treat it as a much needed time of rest for our body, Even so, it being a temporary situation helps us to bear with the dis-ease. However, for people who are sick and dependent in the longer term, it can be depressing.

In tough times such as these, how do we cope and live with the daily dependence on others without feeling like a burden? Our aged parents, people in homes, how do they get through each day? What can they do for themselves? Knowing this, how can we make their lives better and easier?