“OK” Is Not As Flippant As It Sounds

I am OK.

Friends, family and colleagues ask me how I am. They ask me how my back is. At the moment my answer is “OK”.

This always feels a little bit like I am fobbing them off, or not wanting to talk, or a bit flippant in the face of a genuine question. But here’s the thing. It is not flippant, or fobbing off, or hiding behind a vague answer.

I do not feel amazing. I do not feel ready to jump and run and lift my 4yo onto a zip slide. I am still in pain, often.

I do not feel crap. I am not bedbound. I am not wincing or crying when I move. I can walk for an hour or two at a time instead of 2 minutes. I have halved my medication. I can put my children to bed by myself if I need to, and we don’t need people staying to help out anymore.

Sometimes “OK” is exactly how I feel.

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How Can You Know What You Don’t Know?

Hello again. 

It’s been a while. Turns out it’s quite easy to let a blog lapse once you get out of the routine. But here I am again, with my fingers on the keyboard and things to say. 

I am doing well. The surgeon who operated on me has discharged me and I don’t need to see him again. I have been assessed by a doctor, a physio and a psychologist to check that I am right for the pain management clinic, which will take place in June. 

When I saw the surgeon and then the doctor, the meetings were brief. They both smiled at me and told me I was doing really well and that was pretty much it. In part this can be very reassuring. However, it has struck me how infrequently you get to see anyone who is a specialist in your area of pain, and therefore, how infrequently you get to ask anyone who knows stuff any questions. 

I have taken to writing down questions I would like to have answered, so that when I have an appointment with a doctor I don’t leave and then kick myself afterwards (not a good feeling).

When I have asked questions, both the surgeon and the doctor took their time to answer, answered thoroughly and made sure I understood the answer. This led me to thinking – how can I ask what I don’t know about?

The speed of being discharged can be very unsettling. I have stood in the waiting rooms, realised my appointment is over and walked away feeling distinctly unsettled and unsatisfied.