As the afternoon Winter light faded into darkness I was walking to my local high street, the usual visit to the supermarket, bank and post office. Suddenly I felt a numb pain in my right foot, I had been laying down for the previous few hours, maybe it was that. I carried on walking on.
A few yards later and I experienced pain in my lower back, a pain I have been had before. I felt the need to bend over and as I did, all of a sudden, I just fell forward and onto the wet pavement. At this point I’m in the side street so haven’t made it to the high street. While on the floor, like an upturned beetle, it starts to rain. I noticed a man sat at a desk opposite in an upstairs window, he sees me on the floor and gets up from his desk then closes his curtains, he doesn’t come to help – this is London, what can you expect.
I lay on the floor and the street is very quiet. Taking my phone out of my pocket I manage to book an Uber (taxi), it will be 20 minutes. I lay there feeling helpless as the rain falls. A few minute pass and a familiar face appears. John is another plot holder who has been shopping and is heading home. He notices me and asks what the problem is. He only lives a few doors away so kindly offers to take his shopping indoors and come back out to help. We manage to get myself into his camper van. I lay on the floor as he slowly drives around to my house.
Having called NHS Direct for advice, I’m still on the floor and going through a series of movements they suggested. The pain appears to be easing but they advise getting a doctors appointment as soon as possible. I call the surgery but after an hour of hearing: “You are number 1 in the queue and will be seen shortly”, the call is cut-off. Very frustrating. It’s these moments, stuck in a position, not able to raise professional help that are the most scary – the feeling of being alone while the world still revolves but nobody close by.
I managed to pull the laptop down onto my chest and make an online booking to see the doctor later in the week. The pain now stretches down my right leg and it’s difficult to walk anymore. After a few text messages with Vivi, Geoff and friends in Wales, we’ve all come to the conclusion it is probably sciatica but I’ll wait to see what the doctor says later in the week. I’ve never been one for long term relationships but at a time like this, I can see the advantages.
I lay on the floor with the laptop on my chest and surf the web until my eyes cannot take anymore and fall quietly to sleep.