By Amanda Knox
The pain started Sunday when I was on a plane for five hours. It was a dull ache across my lower back, like I had been punched in the kidneys the day before. A few days later, the dull ache was accompanied by stabbing pain in my abdomen, especially on my right side. It hurt to hinge at the waist, sit up or down, get into a car, carry a bag over my shoulder. It hurt to laugh.
The least uncomfortable position was to lay prone on my back, which I did. I lay in bed in the middle of the day, alert but weary, willing the pain to go away. Despite the fact that my partner was there to care for me, my anxiety spiked. The pain made me feel estranged from the functional world of people uninterrupted by pain.
I cried. It took a lot of talking to get me through what felt like a baby panic attack. The problem was, though the situation of being nursed by my partner for a kidney infection was as far away as you could get from the isolation of imprisonment, the feeling of physical pain triggered the memory of existential pain.More ›