I've been dealing with a lot of pain lately, in my knees, hips and back. The knees are an old pain, one I've become accustomed to since I was a teenager. But the hips and back are new, or at least haven't been bothering me for a long time, and are keeping me from standing up or doing certain kinds of work for more than a few minutes at a time. I finally went to the doctor when simply taking the dog out to do his business was enough to feel some pain.
They diagnosed me with arthritis in my lower back and knees, and bursitis in my hips, and told me to get x-rays to confirm. I was pretty freaked out, not so much about the knees as about the back. The knees were basically inevitable. Diagnosing them with arthritis now is just sticking a label on it. And bursitis can be made to go away, eventually. But arthritis in my back could seriously prevent me from doing things I love in the long term. Could stop me from getting a job in the short term, since a lot of jobs I've been applying for are standing-up types of things.
So I worried and I fretted and I worked myself up.
My doctor's office has this cool new thing where they make your results available online, which I love. I got a notice that I had new test results, and that was my knees, and yeah, arthritis. I got another one, which turned out to be the blood panel they made me do, and everything was fine except my liver enzymes blah blah blah nothing to worry about. (Hey, that means my cholesterol is back down.)
So then I was just waiting for the results on my back, which took a day longer than expected to show up. They finally do and I go look, and I read:
Interestingly, your back xray shows an extra vertebra in your lumbar region and also some slight scoliosis. This may explain your back pain. I still recommend the treatment plan we discussed.
I have an extra vertebra? What? What?
That took a while to digest. I was pretty freaked out at first. It's weird to discover that your body has such a serious deviation from the norm. And it's yet another in a long line of random problems that my body develops. Bad knees, migraines, random aches and pains and brain issues and... well. Every time something else comes up, I feel frustrated and put out with my body. I feel like I'm broken, and helpless against it.
But I'm getting used to it. Making jokes about having more backbone than most people, and being a mutant.
Sannion connected it to my interest in death and dying, referring to it as "the bone-white road". I like that.