Saturday, February 10, 2018

A Not So Fond Olympic Memory

I was up early this morning, before 4 as a matter of fact. Although sleep is usually problematic for me in any case, lately when I wake for my nightly trip to the commode, one nostril is so stuffed that I can't unstuff it no matter how hard I blow. And that, my dears, makes getting back to sleep even more improbable. I did try to nod off again in my chair with my phone stuck in my ear and a podcast conversing in the background. It may have worked a little bit but only that — a very little bit — and I gave it up for a lost cause before 5.

Up I arose and was able to at least partially clear my nose although the stuffiness doesn't matter that much once I am up. In resignation, I fired up the coffee machine, which I had readied the night before and spent some time on the computer: read a few blog posts, which I mostly was not aroused enough to comment on (sorry Mrs Lane) and perused Flickr, Twitter, Facebook and whatnot. I saw on one of those platforms that I could watch the Olympic luge competition online if I wished.

I didn't wish, but it did remind me of the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer and the time that I stayed up all night watching ski jumping. This wasn't because I was enthralled with the sport, however. Nope. I watched from the floor because I was in discomfort and couldn't sleep.

A week or three or more earlier I had a back attack in which bulging discs sent significant pain down my leg, and I had spent much time on the floor ever since. In point of fact, I had almost lived on the floor. If you can call that living, I mean. Early on after the attack, even getting up for a quick meal or shower was problematic, and I would have to seek relief by becoming prone on the floor after a very short period of time.

I did manage to haul myself to physio several times a week (or maybe every day, I forget) and things had been improving. But on the morning of that long day and night, which I also think was a Friday/Saturday night and morning, just as I had been about to head out to physio, I had a prodigious spasm that put me down in agony. All that day and night, I felt as though I was on the verge of another spasm.

Of course there was no sleep to be had, on that very long and lonely night, even though you might think that long ours of ski jumping would be enough to put the most wakeful of insomniacs into a deep coma.

After at least six weeks, I was able to get around enough to return to work, but my back will never fully recover.

At least I am sitting at the computer this morning and not lying on the floor in pain, these 24 years later.. Yes, there is still a degree of numbness and discomfort in the leg because the discs never did go completely back into place. I live with that constantly and do worry that I might suffer another major back attack, but so far, I manage.

But that will always be my most prominent Olympic memory, and it is not a pleasant one.


Christina said...

I am sorry you have trouble sleeping, hopefully tonight will be better. I remember the Lillehammer Olympics because back then I was still living in Switzerland, where winter sports are big. Thankfully no painful memories. Having seen my husband immobile and in pain with a back problem, I really hope you don't experience a recurrence of your 1984 back issues. Keeping my fingers crossed for a good nights sleep.

Marie Smith said...

Back problems are a pain in the...that’s for sure. I have numbness in both feet and both hands which will only get worse from a variety of back issues. A certain amount of pain is normal! I hope to keep mobile.

Maybe tonight you will sleep better, not on the floor, AC.

Shammickite said...

I think we are really meant to walk on all fours, it would get rid of so many back problems!

Joanne Noragon said...

I am now on day 8 of no pain meds while the insurer struts its power. But, you trump my whining, and I'll put all complaints on hold--or not. At least I don't need the floor or the Olympics to recover.

Dale said...

So many of us can relate, John.
I, too, suffer from a "bad back" although I've been mostly free of pain since an horrific bout with sciatica sent me to a surgeon. It's a long and painful story. But that was in 1995. Things have been better since then, although not perfect, mind you. (see my blog)

Mage said...

I deeply sympathise.

Debbie said...

so sorry to hear your olympic story. in this day and age, it is difficult to understand why anyone should have to live in pain!!

we went to the summer games in 1996 in georgia, my wonderful olympic memory!!!

Mara said...

Oh goodness: being forced to watch ski jumping! The horror!! That is probably my least favourite winter sport. I love biathlon and speed skating (long track) and curling is just downright hypnotic.

Just a question though: who won? Or did you block that the minute you were able to get off the floor?

Kay said...

Oh yikes! That sounds absolutely awful. I'm wondering what started the back pain. Was it an injury? I've hurt my back a few times and it's amazing how debilitating it can be.

Jenn Jilks said...

I hear you!
Hubby wrecked his lifting my dad from his wheelchair. 2years of therapy!
Now he has arthritis in it. One disc was in, one out.
I haven't slept well in years. Hubby's up 3 or 4 times a night... sigh.