Temporarily Abled

Yesterday I was playing badminton with my friend. I won 4 out of 5 games. I might be fat, but overall I’m not in a terrible shape as I’ve been going to the gym and tried to work on my health lately.

Today at about 17:10 I felt a jolt in my back.

Despite my past background in sports, my recent-ish fitness craze and attempts at building a healthy lifestyle, I too am only temporarily abled. Today was a grim reminder of this.

For about ten minutes, I tried to stretch my back. Slowly, my posture sank and I couldn’t stand up straight. I shouted for my wife, but she couldn’t hear me. I had to call her on my phone, despite her being in the next room. I couldn’t walk, I had to lean on the bed with both hands.

For the next 20 minutes, we tried to get me into a chair, into the bed, on to the floor, anywhere really. I couldn’t move. Every tiny rotation on my spine felt like I being stabbed. For 20 minutes, I was stuck leaning on the bed.

Yesterday, I was bouncing around the court, today I couldn’t sit without swearing and crying in pain. Eventually, after pushing through the pain, I managed to get in the chair. Sitting was painful as well, my spine compressed on itself and no position I was in gave any relief. The EMT’s arrived just after 18:05 and I got some temporary relief from a muscle relaxant shot.

This isn’t the first time I’ve had issues with what appears to be sciatica, but it was definitely the first time I’ve been fully incapacitated by it. I’m only 32 years old, in my mind I’m still young. I exercise and try to lead a healthy and active lifestyle. In reality I’m overweight, I smoke and I’m too sedentary.

Depending on the statistics and definitions, roughly 1 in 4 lives with some type of disability. Unless you die an instant death in a freak accident, you will with a 100% certainty be disabled at some point in your life. I know it’s cheesy, but one shouldn’t take their health and a functioning body for granted.

I’m not scared of death, but I am scared shitless of living in pain and disabled. Maybe the fear will ease as I get older, I do not know. For now, the only thing I can do, is to work harder on maintaining my health. When I do start showing my age and the eventual health issues start to creep up, I want to minimize any ill effects of my own doing.

Currently my shitty lifestyle decisions outweighs the good decisions manyfold. Lifting heavy weights for a couple of hours a week doesn’t offset sitting at a desk for 14 hours a day, doing the occasional leg presses doesn’t compensate for never going on a jog.

I don’t plan on ending up stuck with a bad back because I felt lazy or didn’t want to do something mildly uncomfortable. Fuck that.