Monday, 2 September 2019

Back to Back

I was going to write about our trip today but my brain instead has been caught up thinking about the events of today.

A couple of weeks ago Craig and I traveled to Melbourne to get a standing MRI done for me.  Whilst we were there I persuaded Craig to get his lower back scanned.  He has been struggling with his back for a good few years now but over the last six months or so I have noticed him wincing when he bends over or tries to lift anything. I have also watched him struggling to get out of bed for the last few months. He has played down the pain he has been in because of me, I know that. 
I thought I would be relieved that he was finally getting a scan.  Hoping miraculously that it would be some minor problem that would eventually clear up by itself. I couldn't have been more wrong.  What's the expression? It never rains but it pours?

The scan showed extensive damage to his four lowest lumbar  discs.  Not only is one disc completely obliterated but there are another three discs that are protruding and pressing very heavily on his spinal canal.  I couldn't believe what I was looking at.   I tried not to cry standing talking to the doctor but I suddenly felt so overwhelmed and helpless. All these thoughts rushing through my head wondering how on earth we were going to cope plus the thought that he had been going through such a lot of pain without making any kind of fuss was heartbreaking, but is so Craig.  He is always so worried about me and how I am, that's just the way he is. went back to the Gold Coast feeling pretty depressed if I am honest, the flight home was very quiet.  Overwhelmed by guilt I feel just awful that I am about to have my back fixed and here Craig is just at the beginning of his journey, with all the horrible tests and injections I have had in front of him now.  I just wanted to take it all away for him, it made me so sad. Plus I started worrying how we would possibly get to Europe for my operation, how on earth would he cope??  I think we may have taken this sharing of all things a little to literally!

We talked about what to do.  We knew he couldn't have the operation he needs at the moment so how do we get him through the next six months until we can get him the treatment he needs?  We have a wonderful GP who is very easy to talk to and he suggested that we get Craig a steroid injection into the disc space, in the hope it would give him maybe six months relief from the pain and get us through the upcoming trip.

Today I had the 'fun' of being on the other side of things when Dad and I took Craig to south coast radiology (I can't drive, so bloody annoying) for what we thought would be just one injection as a pain block.  I tried to play down how uncomfortable and painful the procedure would be, so he wouldn't do a runner!  The nurse called me through after the injection said Craig looked rather pale and would I come through and sit with him.  I have decided it is far more difficult being the partner than the patient.  I just wanted to take it off him, do it for him, spare him the pain.  Poor man was a horrible grey colour and was cold and clammy. 

The nurse came in and told us that one injection will not be enough that he will need another three injections at different levels.  Craig looked like he might throw up instantly just at the thought of it.  I don't mean to moan because I know there are plenty of people in the world who have it much, much tougher than we do and we are so lucky in so many ways, I know that.  But today I am feeling really down, so miserable.  Miserable about what I am facing and miserable that my love is also in so much pain and there's nothing I can do to help him.  

I have put Craig to bed, and he is looking a little brighter than he was but I just want to cry.  I don't know how much more we can take.  We hobbled into the house leaning on each other for support and if it wasn't so sad it would be funny!  At some point surely life will turn the corner? 

I just hope beyond all hope that the operations I face in Zurich will be a huge success and that I can in time offer Craig the support he needs going forward and that it won't be long before we look back at this time as a moment of inconvenience in an otherwise perfect life with each other. 

Craig is far more philosophical than me, he has the ability to look forward and he has this way of just making everything alright, even when everything is far from being alright.  "It will pass", is what he says, "because everything always does".  He's a lot like my Dad really, he always tells me "not to worry about things because 95% of the things we worry about never happen".  

I have just lost my way today and the tears just won't stop coming but lets face it feeling sorry for yourself doesn't achieve anything!  But maybe just for today I might cut myself a break.

I just want to be able to get on with our lives.  The new business is so amazing and working as celebrants together is amazing.  I feel like we have finally discovered what we are supposed to do.  We have two funerals this week, one of which was this morning.  Watching Craig up there this morning I don't think I could have been any prouder of him and our work.  I just wish we could get past all this crap and get on with what we are supposed to be doing with our lives. I feel like our lives have purpose and I am so excited to be on this path with Craig. keep asking how they can help us, there really is only one way to help us right now and that's to help me get to Zurich for this operation.  We have never needed anyone's help as much as we need peoples help right now.  I know people think that giving money seems impersonal or they worry that the few dollars they can spare won't make a difference, but it does, every cent helps and we are incredibly grateful for all the donations and shares our story has received.   We have an incredibly long way to go but it's been an amazing week and I can't thank you all for all your kindness and generosity. 


  1. Hi Kate,
    I can't believe the amount of misfortune you and Craig have received. I can't offer help in the form of money but if there's anything else you and Craig need, please let me know. If you want help with the website for your new business or anything else business related, maybe I can help that way.

    Best wishes,

  2. Thanks so much Hayden for your kindness and for the donation. Just knowing that people are sending good wishes is wonderful all by itself!


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