Today was a very bad day for me and I came this close to going to the emergency room. That was the last way I wanted to spend a lovely Sunday afternoon in the fall. Has anyone noticed emergencies seem to crop up at the most inconvenient times – in the middle of the night, on the weekend or holiday – whenever it’s impossible to track down your doctor?

“What was the cause of this emergency?” you’re wondering. I shall tell you: intense stabbing pain in my lower back causing my legs to tingle and radiating down to my knee and up to my neck. The slightest move caused unbearable pain. This was not the first time something like this has happened but it definitely was one of the worst and it threw me for a loop; I had been recovering nicely after a recent flare up.

I have advanced arthritis from my neck down to my knees, spinal stenosis and sciatica. With the incredible work of my physical therapist, I had gotten to a point where I was feeling great and no longer needed to take any pain meds. Now I’m back on the meds and I hate their side effects but I must weigh my options.

This has been with me in various degrees since 2003 when I had a botched meniscus repair. In 2008 I fell three feet off a deck and landed full force on my left hip, badly fracturing it. The impact was so tremendous that I must have been stunned because I felt no pain … until I tried to move. I had no idea my hip joint was totally severed. I needed emergency surgery and a hip replacement. The operation went very well and rehab was a breeze, but the broken hip and the meniscus repair were likely the beginning of my other ailments. It was all downhill from there.

The pain from the meniscus repair was ever-present and arthritis had set it. It was determined I needed a total knee replacement which was done in 2011. I went into that surgery expecting a full recovery; after all, I’d seen advertisements in health magazines and posters in doctor’s offices showing people playing golf, tennis and going skiing after a TKR. I was not one of those people who sprang right back into action. After months of rehab I was still feeling pain. I had to take the stairs one at a time and every so often my knee would buckle. It was no cake walk. In fact it was a complete failure and a few years later I was back in the hospital for a total knee revision. If you never heard of a knee revision and decide to Google it, I suggest you watch the video on an empty stomach.

Have the surgeries improved my life? Yes, but not to the degree I’d hoped. I know I’m better off having had the operations but one would think my leg would be bionic after four procedures. 

To add insult to injury I developed spinal stenosis; sometimes the pain in my back was so intense I could barely walk or sit up straight. It worked its way up to my neck and made itself at home. I underwent multiple epidurals and nerve blocks, to no avail. How the hell could all these medical procedures not help? It’s frustrating and despairing; I fell into a depression and started having anxiety attacks. I lost weight, lost hope and lost the will to live. I didn’t want to do anything or see anyone, not even my precious grandchildren. 

My husband was by my side constantly; he became my support system, my coach, my shoulder to cry on and my shadow. He drove me to every session with my psychologist, took me to physical therapy and prepared my meals. He did all the shopping and laundry. He was there to sooth me during a crying jag or a panic attack. The man was a saint. If it wasn’t for him and my physical therapist I don’t know where I’d be today or what condition I’d be in. Going for deep tissue massage twice a week for months was the only thing that brought me relief and I still go to physical therapy once every week. Fortunately I am no longer depressed nor do I have anxiety attacks.

So what was the cause of today’s day from hell? I saw my pain management doctor on Tuesday, October 4; she gave me a series of trigger point injections in my lower back – something I’ve had many, many times before. The next day I noticed a slight pain in the left side of my lower back. By Thursday that pain had intensified; it wormed its way up to my neck and wrapped itself around my hip, down to my knee. By the weekend I was absolutely good for nothing. I wrote this post today to take my mind off the pain; it was horrible and memories of when I was at my lowest came flooding back.

Usually I have very little pain and feel good. I’ll have a flare up when a procedure goes wrong or the weather is bad or I trip on the rug or I lift my granddaughter onto the toilet or I just do something stupid which I know I shouldn’t do. I am like a broken glass that’s been glued back together. Every time someone tries to use the glass it crumbles and breaks into pieces.

Well-meaning friends tell me to rest up, take it easy and I’ll be fine. Give yourself time to heal, they say. What they don’t understand is this is not a broken toe that will mend itself and be healed forever. What I have will never fully go away and I will never be completely healed. What they don’t know is how difficult it is for me to get into and out of the bathtub, to stand under the shower to wash my hair, to dance with my husband or to find a comfortable sleeping position.

Today was a bad day but the pain will slowly fade and I will feel better again. No one has to tell me how much worse my situation could be; I know there are multitudes of people who have it far worse than I do and there are times when I am ashamed for feeling sorry for myself. Everyone’s pain is their own and everything is relative.

We all have our crosses; this is mine. I take nothing for granted. There are days when I’m walking on sunshine and then there are those days when I feel like I’m walking on broken glass.

I wish you all good health. May you never have to endure the pain of broken glass.

NAR © 2022

41 thoughts on “BROKEN GLASS”

  1. “Everyone’s pain is their own and everything is relative.”
    Boy, does that resonate. Pain isn’t a competition. It sucks for everyone no matter the intensity.
    Thank you for sharing your story and your wisdom, and I’m truly sorry you’re experiencing the physical and mental pain of your past trauma. Sending you a gentle, virtual hug 🫂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your very kind words. Just like most things, my pain has subsided and I’m feeling good now. I’m seeing my physical therapist tomorrow and looking forward to another session. I try to go through life as graciously as I can; sometimes I’m successful, other times not, but I have a great support system of family and friends. It felt good to write that post and get my feelings off my chest. Very thoughtful of you to stop by.


  2. Nancy, I’m sorry for the intense pain you’re experiencing. I pray you’ll get relief soon.

    I had a pinched sciatic nerve after an unusual injury. The pain was excruciating, it even hurt to breathe. I told my doctor I’d rather give birth to twelve babies in one day than feel the pain I was in––he laughed. I wanted to punch him because I was not joking. I’d never felt such physical pain before, all three of my children were born naturally with no drugs, pain meds, or epidurals.

    Continued prayers for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your good wishes, kind words and prayers. The pain was indeed excruciating; thank God it’s starting to ease up now after doing very little the past couple of days. That was some comment you made to the doctor! I’d definitely prefer going through labor than having this nerve pain but twelve babies in one day?! I’m sorry … I draw the line at 11! 😂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha. . . my belly hurts from laughter now. That statement came blubbering out my mouth from pure agony rather than forethought. Had my thoughts been coherent, I would have known better than using a “birthing” analogy with a male.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I am so sorry you’re having to put up with this. Having had two spinal surgeries – one as a result of a broken neck almost 14 years ago, the other an elective procedure to correct severe stenosis in my lumbar spine (this was 2 weeks ago!) – I know what it’s like to experience radicular side effects. Not nice! I agonised over whether to do the second surgery, a fusion of L3-4 (big op) because I’m no spring chicken and all I could think of was what could go wrong. While surgery looks as if it will work out well for me, I appreciate it’s not for everyone. Trust in your medical advisors, they – and you – know you best. And rejoice in the fact that you have great support at home. There is no price one can put on that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my, you certainly know what I’m talking about and can appreciate the pain involved in these situations. I’m terribly sorry for all your woes and I applaud you for going ahead with the elective procedure; that is no small thing you just experienced. I hope you have an excellent recuperation and get the relief you’re looking for. Thank you for stopping by and commenting on my post. I’m overwhelmed by the amount of encouragement and caring comments I’ve been getting. Bless you for all you’re going through and still taking the time to chat with me! 🌹


  4. Oh Geez! Sorry to hear all that happened to you! I hope you feel better soon and it becomes more tolerable even if it will never go away totally. You must be very strong mentally after going through it. Thank God you have a good husband to help. I don’t know any way to help or have any advice but I’m sending you good vibes, hope you get them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I already got your good vibes, Chris, the moment I read your words! Thanks so much. You put it very well when you said you hope it becomes more tolerable even if it will never ago away. I’ve had my down moment but for the most part I am strong mentally; it must be true – my husband tells me I have a head like a rock lol! Fortunately I don’t have any other physical ailments. All I can do is keep up with my therapy, do whatever light exercises I can at home and stay positive. Thanks for all your caring thoughts. I appreciate you. 🌹

      Liked by 1 person

  5. So sorry to know about your pain, Nancy! I can feel it. As you said, I have also noticed that emergencies crop up at the most inconvenient times. You’re so fortunate that you have a caring husband always by your side. Hope you’ll get relief soon. My love, good wishes and prayers for your well being 🙏💐

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m so sorry for your pain, and I’m sending love and warm hugs your way. You are not alone. So many of us have experienced pain of all sorts, and I know for myself my response was all over the place, depressed one moment, ready to put on lipstick and face the world the next. Bouncing.
    You are blessed to have a wonderful husband who truly understands the For ‘Better or For Worse part of the equation, and your gratitude and embracing of each moment is inspiring.
    Thank you for sharing; it helps to keep the heart at peace.
    💕❤️💕 Dorothy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s wonderful to have friends who care and commiserate, even those we have never met in person. I’m very grateful for you and your kind words. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful husband and I thank God every day for bringing him into my life. Thank you, Dorothy, for taking the time to write. I appreciate you ❤️ 🌹

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Nancy.
    Two things only: at the About section, there is my e mail; if you desire any time a conversation ( I cannot have here, both as a professional in health care and as a person) please write to me. What you wrote is not easy…but is helpfully, for you and for the ones who identify.
    Which brings me to the second thing:
    You have read my post Heartbeat…now read it again, but with the Glasses lens and you will know what is happening behind the curtains of that post.

    Now you know why I sign By the company of warriors I keep…and you are in the best company…as they are by yours.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nick, thank you for the offer; I know it is not simply a gesture on your part and I am truly touched by your kindness and caring. We all carry something on our backs, don’t we? Some are visible to others while some remain hidden deep inside ourselves. I know you fully understand and I appreciate you. Many thanks. 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Very emotional sharing your pain of title “Broken Glass. ”
    I like. But I understand your pain level and our past injuries and ailements are always with us.
    I hop relief come soon.
    I pary to God … Be think positive.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hope this bout wears off soon, Nance. Otherwise, what to say?

    The one thing, I suppose… for many years we take things for granted. Things, people, etc. and when we can’t take them for granted, we learn to appreciate their value.

    Certainly in my own case, it made me focus on Mrs Bump. You have all this falling in love, getting married etc, all the happy times… and it’s bullshit. The true value of a partner is that it’s someone who’s there to pick you up when you fall. And vice versa. In my case, Mrs B drove me to the ER, visited me every day in hospital… those are things I can never repay.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. First off, Pete – thanks so much for your good wishes. I appreciate them and you. I know all you’ve been through. Second – all those pretty things you said about the value of a partner. Remember the old song “Nobody Loves You When You’re Down and Out”? That’s not my Bill. He is my hero, at times my savior, and always there for me. He’s one of the most decent people I know. And he loves me like no one else. More than that I could never ask for. 💫 💙

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh Nancy, I understand your pain level and sympathise completely … our past injuries and ailements are always with us and sometimes they seriously come back to to painfully haunt us … my continual management tends to work well … but not always!! … and we have to cope the best way we can … and I’m afraid the recovery process is never easy … I hope relief comes your way soon … the Sia song is perfect …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your words mean more than you can know, Ivor! No one is exempt from pain and all we can do is try to handle our discomfort as best we can. I’ve been in therapy for a long time and will continue as long as I am able. I appreciate your empathy and your comments.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome Nancy … being a carer for 30 years taught me compassion for the suffering of others … and then recovering from 3 strokes taught me how personally resillient I could be … but without my medical team, Doctors, Nurses, Psychologist, Therapists and a loving family to help me, I would not have got to where I am now … alive and coping …💕💙🌏

        Liked by 1 person

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