14 December 2017
A nice view for a breakdown
I took this photo just after my left leg gave way, leaving me supporting myself with an arm on a fence while I hoped to recover and thinking - oh, still, what a lovely view to look at while I wait... I wonder if I will eventually make it back to the car; which I did, eventually. And apparently the reason for the mixture of numbness and pain, wrapping strangely in a wide band right around my knee, may actually be a nervously communicated combination of a tethered spinal cord associated with my congenital spina bifida occulta - I have known about that since an x-ray aged 30 and it is nowhere near as alarming as it sounds - and a possible minor herniated disc, all aggravated, but not caused by, my recent fall. Those are the possibilities and maybes that would be the good news. Other alternatives would not be so good. The treatment, for now, was described as "rest, watch and wait." There is no point in scans if I am not recommended for, or accepting of, surgery; and the advice is that surgery would not be a good plan, as it doesn't always go to plan, and can probably be avoided, unless things deteriorate rather than improve. Nobody is putting a scalpel near to my spinal cord unless things deteriorate significantly, be assured. And anyway, I have had such a crisis before, or at least a somewhat similar one, without the detailed speculative diagnosis offered this time, and was walking freely and golfing again not long after. Anyway, my arm is much better, and to earn a living as a writer and lecturer all I need be able to do is write, and talk. And I am writing this now while trying to stop repeatedly bending my neck downwards to initiate the weird sensation that is apparently, probably, caused by the fact that somewhere near the end of my spinal cord it is tethered to its casing rather than being able to slide up and down freely as it should. But when you try to stop doing something you tend to keep doing it, yes? The good news, if the offered diagnosis is really anywhere close to what the problem is, is that I will have had it for years; but age has a way of allowing such things to catch up with you, eventually. The crisis will subside, or may subside, apparently, before I do. Irritation, inflammation, swelling - just as they can come, so they can go. Apparently it was "a bloody stupid idea to walk all those miles yesterday, in the state you were in even before you started," according to the opinionated lady lying next to me, unimpressed by my view that I may have been able to "walk things off." But what does she know? I have a golf game on Craigie Hill booked for late next week, and have not entirely abandoned the hope that it may proceed. I have not told the lady that yet though. Meanwhile my leg is currently rather unwilling to bend at the knee, so I will let it sleep. Goodnight.
Posted by Andrew MacLaren-Scott