The road to recovery

Six days past blood patch numero deux, and how was Wimpy Mum doing recovery wise?

Well, the headache improved massively around 4-5 days after the blood patch. However I have been waking at 4am every morning, when the painkillers wear off, with a lower back ache that feels as though someone has put my lower spine and coccyx in a vice and turned onto a maximum “squeeze”! This is usually eased with a strong dose of paracetamol and within an hour or two I’m able to return to sleep.

Except on Saturday, when the pain continued to worsen all day. I was also unable to stand or walk, due to my coccyx and surrounding nerves / muscles being sent into crazy painful spasms leaving me doubled over or sending me collapsing to the ground. I mentioned it to a friend who’s husband said this was not normal, and that perhaps my haematoma was resting on my sciatic nerves, and needed urgent attention.


And there was silly old me thinking I was improving. I decided to try my  best not to panic about this and sleep on it to see how I felt the next morning.

The following morning I woke at 4am, comme d’hab (as usual), took my painkillers for my back, but also felt an overwhelming nausea and heavy cloudy feeling in my head. This transformed into a migraine on the right of my head and behind my right eye as the day went on. There was so much pressure behind my right eye, that it even hurt to touch.

The horrendous pain in my back, though, had improved dramatically! I was bamboozled. It seems to be one thing or another at the moment, but I knew that I would take the back pain over head pain any day. With back pain I was still able to think properly, to communicate and to ‘do stuff’ mentally. With migraine, all I could do was lay there, my eyes closed and pray it would just ‘do one’!

When I did stand, I had to do so slowly, as any accelerations to an upright position, caused a painful spasm in my coccyx with coinciding spasm in my right temple combined with a few seconds of intense “whooshing” sounds in my right ear, which I could only put down to blood flow increase in that area. My only relief from the sudden pain in my coccyx was to elevate my left leg at a 90 degree angle, so I looked like a dog peeing up a tree or marking it’s territory. This has provided my husband and sons with great amusement over the past few days!!

I wondered if the migraine were hormone related, as a few days prior my breasts had swollen and were painful as my milk would have been due to come in. This was tied in with strong emotional outbursts, all of which had stopped just as the migraine started. I researched a little, and have discovered this is quite common after birth due to the rapid drop in oestrogen, and it wouldn’t be the first time I’d had hormone induced migraines.

I was a little deflated though, I must say. Just as I felt I was improving, something else would seem to crop up.

Seven days past blood patch and ten days since the birth of Arran, and by mid afternoon, my migraine suddenly disappeared. Like a switch had been flicked. I was still cocking my leg like a dog sometimes after sudden movements, and was struggling to stand or walk for long periods, but even the aching in my lower back close to the blood patch proximity had reduced to near on… nothing. Bleeding had almost ceased, and scared to say it for fear of jinxing myself, I felt quite… normal.

I can’t tell you how euphoric it was to finally accept that. If I could have run down the garden in nothing but my birthday suit, I would have. If I could have twerked like Beyonce and celebrated with a little victory dance, I would have. But one small step at a time.

For now, I was just elated at being able to stand and do some washing up, or to gently sweep up the dust I had watch accumulate under the arm chair from my horizontal position this past week. I was grateful to be able to sit up for 5 minutes to eat a meal, rather than spilling food over myself as I attempted to manouvre the spoon into my mouth without lifting my head, or insisting on meals that could be eaten laying down. I was relieved to be able to hug my children and lean down ever so slightly to kiss them goodnight.

But please dont worry… I’m not going to rush out and book in for a sky dive this afternoon! No… I understand I have a way to full recovery just yet, and I am going to allow myself the chance to get back to full health.

I just really appreciate and am somewhat, grateful, for how much this past 10 days has debilitated me. I’m thankful for it showing me just how much we take the little things for granted. And along with several other promises I made Arran when I said goodbye, I promised to not make excuses and do the things I can, just because ‘I can’. Like running, roller skating, climbing, learning guitar and skipping barefoot in the garden. Like sitting up, being able to walk to the toilet, to stand and do washing up and to have the strength to send your kids to sleep with the physical love of a hug or kiss.

These little things may seem trivial to those of us who are able bodied. But for those who are not, I imagine they would do anything for the opportunity to fulfil these tasks. I have been blessed with an insight into their World, and the even bigger blessing of being returned to ‘my’ world. And I owe it to them, and to Arran who can not physically live in this World – and to myself – to take the bull by the horns and really ‘live’. Why? Because I can…







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