I’m going to admit something: that birthday I mentioned a little while ago? I just turned 22. Which seems awful young for any sort of leg and /or back pain, right? I think so, and that’s what everyone tells me. This past February, however, I managed to unknowingly strain my back and then make movements that aggravated the nerve that runs through the SI-joint. The pain down my left leg got to the point that I collapsed, screaming, onto the floor while my parents listened on the phone.
A scary night for everyone, I was panicked and convinced I would never walk again, the pain was so severe and mysterious.
I’m writing about this because today looks like it will be a bad day; I have them every once in a while. My left leg’s nerve will jump, sending unnatural messages to my muscles, making me feel as though my own limb is alien. My hips tend to snap in and out of place a lot, too. I’ve tried some research here and there on why my hips have started snapping, but let’s face it: I’m terrified I’ll find something that says I require surgery, and even though my mother is a nurse I am terrified of hospitals.
Side note: Sometimes I wish, just for the back support, that corsets still existed. It would force me to stand/sit up straight all of the time. And cause me to faint should I get too excited and breathe so deeply that the stays cut me off. You win some, you lose some.
But there is a good side to this experience: I know the exquisite pain that comes from using your body incorrectly. I have some idea of how a person would walk, would change their habits, in order to accommodate something that will most likely never go away. And it just so happens that I have a character (or had a character since he’s dead) that, while his accident happened much differently, has many of the same symptoms.
Do you use your personal experiences to flesh out your characters? If you do, does it ever hurt to relive those memories in order to write it on your character’s behalf?