It's been a while since I've posted anything on these pages, so I thought it was about time I explained myself. My readers, I have convinced myself, will be concerned. Some may be worried. And my analgesia has been reduced to a sufficiently low level that I can string together a few lucid thoughts. So here they are.
I'm half way through my ninth week lying on my living room floor. The disc between my vertebrae L4 and L5 has slipped its leash and latched on to my sciatic nerve with the ferocity of an attack dog clamping its jaws around a victim's leg. It won't let go. The result has been pain akin to a violent electric current running down the lower left side of my body every time my spine is vertical. So no sitting or standing up, just lying flat. And strangely nothing soft and comfortable like a sofa or a bed. Only hard surfaces. Hence the living room floor.
It is as though I have been transported forward into my nineties. I can do so little for myself that I feel almost completely dependent on my family. The result of this is that I don't want to feel like a burden on them so I tend not to ask for anything unless I really need to. Those with elderly relatives may recognise the sentiment. I can also entirely understand why older people at home on their own sometimes don't eat. There have been several occasions when I have forgone lunch because the pain involved in dragging myself to the kitchen didn't seem worth it.
Happily, most of this is behind me now. The pain is greatly reduced and I am much more mobile. My ambitious regime of daily two-minute walks round the garden combined with the work of my brilliant osteopath Jason means I am hoping to return to light duties after half term. I'm looking forward to it of course, but there is an inevitable trepidation too after such a long period of isolation. I can see the world go by outside (if I make the effort to get up), but I haven't actually been out there for a while. I'm looking forward to finding out what's been going on.