During the past decade or so I have battled with bouts of "sore backs" that have kept me inactive for weeks at a time, but never pain like this. This time, I’m in pain with a capital “P”. And no, it’s not emotional or spiritual or even creative in nature. (Although I could do with a little of the latter I guess – strife being good for the creative juices and all…) This is a throbbing, pulsating waterfall of pain emanating from my lumbar region [L4-L5 to be precise]; down my left leg ensconcing itself in my left foot. This is the pain, I surmise, that they must have been imagining when they coined the idiomatic expression: “Hitting a raw nerve.”
Thirteen years ago; (and no (even now) I do not suffer from “triskaidekaphobia” actually it’s a lucky number in an Italian’s book.), I was diagnosed with a herniated disk [L2-L3] and had a diskectomy to rectify the situation. My experience in hospital at the Montreal Neurological Institute had impressed on me how much the quality of one life may vary from another. Watching patients in glass-walled cubicles as they were constantly monitored by staff for any aberrant behavior lent a surreal, almost Orwellian tinge to the experience. The patient that affected me the most was a woman who in preparation for her surgery (I logically assumed: for a brain tumor) had had her head shaved and her scalp mapped out into quadrants (for obvious surgical purposes) much like something from a Clive Barker movie. The upshot being that Alighieri had it wrong: Heaven, Hell and Purgatory can all concomitantly exist – sometimes even in the same room.
Note: Thanks to those that e-mailed me to inquire as to why I had not been posting as often as “usual” whatever that is. I’m glad you noticed. Mille grazie.