I’ve had a dodgy-ish back for years. I’d get that feeling that I couldn’t quite straighten up after I’d been hunched over my phone for thirty minutes scrolling through Instagram. I’d step out of my car after a fifteen-minute drive to Waitrose and hobble to the trolleys until my back decided to loosen up. I guess I never really questioned it because I knew I wasn’t taking care of myself, in terms of staying fit.
The lower back pain I’m experiencing now was inevitable really. Years of mistreatment by sitting on my leg at my desk for hours, lying in bed watching TV like a slumped up mess and lifting with my back instead of my knees. All the stuff you’re told not to do, that you do anyway. It’s not a rebellious act, I just feel that my limbs have never been strong enough so I’ve relied on my back for support and finally, it’s said, “hey Leanne, fuck you” – I get it and it’s time to make some changes.
My day job requires me to be active and to use my body correctly, in order to maintain a healthy state. I can’t afford to not listen to my upset muscles. My back completely went a few weeks ago and from there it’s only gotten worse with every passing day. I’ve never felt so useless and frustrated.
I love being an independent woman and not just in a Destiny’s Child kind of way. I enjoy doing what I want, when I want. Being able to go for a long drive, a tiring walk or even just sitting around watching Netflix but that independence has been stripped from me in the past few weeks.
Now I depend on medication, hot water bottles, pillows, and hot baths to allow me to do what I love and even then it’s not to my full capacity.
It may just be me, but I think we push our bodies to the limit sometimes until we snap, and then we realise we need to make changes. I want to get fit. I want to have muscles and joints I can depend on to get me through the day, but I need to nurture them. This has never been as clear to me as it is right now.
I’m currently seeing a physiotherapist who has given me exercises to complete. As an ‘all or nothing’ type of person, I can sometimes get a bit carried away. I do the exercises and then I think, “surely I can do more than that” and then I become tempted to over do it. I’m trying to use my (very little) patience and go easy with my body. After all, it’s not used to all of this pressure.
I could walk around with a miserable face, rely on my GP for drugs and cry about the circumstances, but that will only increase my pain and make me angry. I’ve noticed a correlation between the days when I’m feeling upbeat and positive and the level of pain and flexibility in my back. Maybe it’s a game of cat and mouse, but I won’t let pain defeat me. I don’t have time and life is too precious.