Things are evolving here at about snails pace. Are snails faster than sloths? Well... whichever one is slower, that's me and this situation right now. At the very least I seem to have found a little internal peace, so though what I might tell you is dreary, please know that actually, I'm dealing much better with the whole hurting my back thing than I was before.
The good news is that my scan at the hospital came back to my doctor and he said he sees nothing "grave", meaning no herniated disc is evident, nothing that could be classified as serious permanent damage. This was a relief to hear.
The bad news is I'll be seeing a specialist friend of ours soon, who has stepped in at this point because he doesn't think that after a month of doing nothing that I should still have the symptoms I do. He explained that he thinks an MRI is actually what's needed, since scans (3D Xrays) aren't nearly as clear, particularly when it comes to spotting disc issues. So the bad news is basically that even with a scan that shows no problem, my specialist friend believes a herniated disc might still be lurking there.
I'll see my regular doctor again tomorrow, and I expect that since I still can't really do much of anything physical, he'll probably extend my medical leave from work. I hope so at least, since my job is very physical, like a sport really what with the race-walking, carrying heavy things and so on. Given that right now, I'm at the point where even a short and slow walk (one of the only things the doctor has told me is ok to do,) usually results in more pain afterward and reduced flexibility, I know that I would be an epic failure at meeting the demands of my job. Even the simple things like clipping my toenails, shaving my legs, and tying my shoes aren't at all simple to get done for the moment, and it's been 4 weeks.
The regular doctor has said that since it's not something that's shown up on the scan, it must be a muscle/tendon thing, and so he'll be sending me to a Kiné (physiotherapist,) and he hopes they'll be able to figure out (finally) what it IS that's gone wrong and give me a good set of instructions like "you can and should do these sorts of motions, but definitely don't do these ones." Right now it's just me going by feel, playing it safe, and taking muscle relaxants and pain killers daily... which I'm not thrilled about though they do seem to help at least for the time-being.
The ideal situation would be that the Kiné will proclaim "oh yes, I've seen this before and I know exactly what to do to fix you." and they'll be right, and have some treatment plan/technique that will help me see some real improvement in a fairly speedy manner. As you might have guessed, I'm not thrilled that after a month I still don't have much instruction to help me improve my own health other than "move very little and take these pills." I'm anxious to be better, I can't wait to feel normal again!
One thing this time has really shown me is that my sense of self worth is too closely linked to my mobility, and my ability to do work. Logically I understand that this makes little sense, but I've also felt that each time my mobility has suffered so has my self esteem. Each time I've not been working in my life, I've felt worse about myself too. The protestant work ethic is only a good thing if you can work... the flipside isn't nice as it turns out. So this has been a double-whammy for my ego.
Even now while I'm being told that my job is to get better, and while my income and job are, I'm told, protected, I still feel like the fact that I can't do as much means I'm not worth as much as a human being. Obviously this isn't the right way to think about your intrinsic worth as a person, and it's not a set of attachments that will serve me well when I'm old, retired, and possibly infirm. I don't really know how to tackle this 'mis-valuation' though, how to work through it.
As for the hotel... well, they are still heel-dragging, but I've decided not to take it personally and just to press on. They are legally obliged to keep up and fill out the paperwork in a reasonable period of time, whether they want to or not, no matter how busy the hotel is or not at the moment, and I can understand that nobody likes dealing with extra paperwork, but it's got to be done.
I should add that the incident at the Citadel has smoothed on the surface, though I don't feel it has smoothed on the deeper level. I feel like even if I didn't want to, I've taken another step backwards as far as emotional trust goes with The Boy. I just can't deal with someone who says a good portion of the time that they want to build a life and a family together, and then hear from that same person when things flare up that it's probably best I go, that I'm not welcome with them in certain social circumstances and so on, that we are kidding ourselves and don't share any of the same goals. How can you know which of the two opposites is true to this person when they are capable of saying (and repeating) both?
After awhile it's hard to keep faith that the one you hear more often (the good) must be true... because if it were then how is it possible for the same person to say something that is pretty much the antithesis, repeatedly, and with seemingly equal emotional conviction when they're upset? I need more stability, comfort and consistency than this in order to believe in a relationship and in the idea that it could go the distance, that we could build a life.
We're certainly not at that level right now. I need to be able to trust that I've got a real teammate who's going to stick it out, persevere and talk it out like an adult through misunderstandings and rough patches because their faith in our love and their desire to keep it is bigger than their frustrations. I don't know if The Boy can do that. I hope so, but I also know that I can't compromise on my needs in a relationship. I can be patient, yes, but only for so long. I'd like someone by my side who demonstrates an ongoing commitment to try and keep their integrity even when seas are rougher. It's not fair to hurt your partner simply because you, in a particular moment aren't happy. (I don't say I'm perfect at this, but I'd say it's clear enough that I try very hard to follow this principle, even when I'm seriously pissed off.)
Trust is slowly built, but easily destroyed by careless words. Mine's in little bits on the ground right now. I'm left with the lingering worry that this is someone who though I'd rather not, I may simply have to (in the end, should it come to that,) accept as a fair-weather friend. I feel like maybe The Boy is someone who, after years of 'building a life together' might be capable of taking off one day when things aren't feeling perfectly rosy for him. Have we spent all this time working on creating a foundation, testing it for weaknesses and addressing them before building up... or have we just dug ourselves a hole? I'd like to think it's one hell of a strong foundation and that there's been lots of progress made and shoring up done over the last 5 years. I'd like to think that all of our efforts to this point have been for something, but you know... Maybe he's right, what he says when he's angry. Maybe we're kidding ourselves. Maybe he'll never be able to get control of himself enough to not say hurtful things he doesn't mean. And maybe that will be the end of us. And that creeping doubt is the thing that has made me take a tiny step backwards.
It will take a good deal of consistency over times good and bad to change this. No matter how rosy the rosy moments are, they do very little to soothe the doubts caused by what goes wrong with us when things go wrong. It's easy to be loving and considerate when life is easy. It's simpler to say sorry after the fact, when things are calmer, and even to honestly admit the wrongs on both sides, sort through the misunderstandings and such, but in the end these won't keep you afloat as a couple for the long haul, I think.
It's harder to be loving and considerate in the thick of it, to remain a partner right in that moment even when things hurt and aren't going your way, rather than to abandon ship, set fire to things, and run away. But in the end it's probably what counts the most to me.
That, and being able to stop living the physical reality of a 77 year old sometime soon. That would be really nice too.