It’s time to be honest. On 29th May last year when I was walking the Bibbulmun Track I was coming down from the top of Mt Cooke and I lost my footing and tumbled down the track a way. I lay there shaken for a few minutes. With an 18kg pack on my back the result was not a good one. My back hurt. I undid my pack and slid my arms out of the pack. Then after a few minutes once I had caught my breath and could think a little clearer over the pain, I manoeuvred into a sitting position. Then probed my spine at the sore area. A vertebrae was a long way away from where it should be. It was afternoon. Nobody would be coming past me now, so there was no way I could ask anyone to get me help. I had no phone reception on this side of the mount. I had to go on. After several more minutes I struggled to my feet. Then slowly hoisted the pack back on my back.
It hurt too much when the pack touched my spine. I had to keep it away from my spine somehow. I took the pack off again and took my sweater out of the pack. Wrapping the sweater around my waist, I put the pack back on again. The sweater was enough to hold the pack away from my spine.. just. I carried on slowly down the slope carefully picking my footholds.
I decided it was best not to blog about it next time I got phone reception as my family would be out of their minds with worry.
It was two more days before I reached the point where the pain was so great that agony forced me to stop. I sat down on a boulder and cried in pain. Two wonderful Samaritans came along and carried my pack for me in to the last camp site. The next morning I rang John and asked him to meet me at the Forest Hills Discovery centre to take all the weight out of my pack so I could carry on. I didn’t tell John about the fall.
Once I got home I went to the doctor. I had fractured one vertebrae, pushed a vertebrae out of alignment by 30% and damaged a disc in my neck. We had to wait for the facture to heal before we could do anything about it. Then we went to Europe North America and China. For the past year it has been hard to focus on anything as the pain has dominated my life and limited everything I can do. I think I have been in denial... I wanted it all to go away. It didn’t . In fact it has got worse. Now I have to have a spinal fusion. Date still to be set. I see the specialists next month. The thought of anyone operating on my spine had always been something I dreaded. Now I want it to happen as soon as possible. I need to be able to resume my life fully again.
I have to post this blog as my way of admitting to myself that it is time to get it sorted, have the operation and move on with my life again.