I have backache everyday. It isn't pleasant but it isn't unbearable. Maybe I've grown used to it. The morning stiffness. The constant niggle knowing things aren't right. The mechanics of my back not aligning as they should. Relying on medication every single day to keep the pain at bay and to ease the inflammation and stiffness.
Back Pain is different. Backpain isn't an annoyance - it is agony.
Backpain robs you of joy, changes your personality. Feeling beyond grumpy because the constant intense pain makes it too much effort to smile or make small talk.
Everything is difficult. In some cases impossible. Things normally taken for granted - sleeping, walking, preparing a meal, sitting and watching TV. All unbearable.
It's unbearable to lie down to rest, it's unbearable to sit up, it's impossible to find a comfortable position.
I've had back ache for the best part of 30 years since being diagnosed with juvenile arthritis at the age of ten. But backpain has come and gone in intense flare ups at varying intervals.
Sometimes the simplest thing can trigger it - attempting to do my shoelace up, helping strap one of the kids into their car seat, walking a little too far or a little too fast.
This time it was swimming. I'd taken my rheumatologist's advice to swim more instead of just doing my usual stretches and movement exercises at the hydrotherapy pool. I did have my reservations because I have spent 30 years getting to know my body's limitations. Often the hard way. But the promise of the possibility of one day being able to reduce the daily pain relief medication was enough of a lure to try.
Swimming is often recommended as a great form of exercise for arthritis sufferers. Doesn't have the stress of joint impact the way other exercise does. It is considered to be a gentle form of exercise. Particularly in a hydrotherapy pool where the warmth of the water can help.
But when my hip joint is worn and warped and distorted, when it is my hip joint being misshapen that has taken its toll on my back in the first place, then swimming with my hip movements being not as they should be puts strain and stress on my back.
For the past two days I have been housebound. Living off freezer food and unable to keep on top of even the most basic of chores - putting the washing machine on, doing the washing up, preparing any food - all causes too much pain to even attempt.
I feel so frustrated and helpless not being able to look after my family.
I can now understand why the elderly sometimes have that characteristic penguin shuffle when walking along. It is not (as I had previously surmised) fear of falling, it is back pain as I have only been able to move around the house with that same penguin shuffle movement.
My family have had to help me get dressed. They've had to tuck my chair in at the table. Brushing teeth has been agony. Any movement requiring even the slightest lean leaves me crying out in pain.
And when I'm like this, I can't imagine a future where I'm better. I think that this is it now for life. I clear my diary knowing there are things I now cannot do. The words from an arthritis advert I saw many years ago ring out in my mind ...arthritis won't kill you but it can take your life.
But I need to remind myself, I've been here before. I will probably be here again at some point. But I will get back to being my own kind of normal. Where I can have my own normal life back, albeit full of limitations compared to someone else's. But give me backache rather than backpain anyday.