Singaporean actor Desmond Tan posted on Instagram last week a photo of a 34-year-old in a wheelchair at the hospital. “2020 has not been the most exciting year. I recently injured my lower back, which forced me to steer off course at work. I couldn’t stand or walk without assistance for a couple of days,” he wrote. In a phone interview with 8days.sg, the actor shared that he is feeling better now and he is not suffering from a slipped disc in his back.
“[The injury] happened last Sunday (Nov 29), so I’ve been resting for a full week now,” he said.
“It’s an old injury that’s been with me for a long time, I have a weaker lower back ‘cos of the sports I did in the past. I was at home, and I was moving some stuff, and I think maybe my posture was wrong, or the load was heavy, so it triggered the injury,” he shared.
Tan did not think much of the injury at first as it is an old injury but the next morning the pain got worse.
“When I woke up for work, I couldn’t really get up from the bed, and I needed to roll out from bed just to get ready,” he shared. Unfortunately, he had a very full day of work ahead of him, including an imaging session.
“I needed to change in and out of outfits. As I was bending forward, standing up, and changing in and out, the whole process aggravated the injury, and I could hardly stand straight halfway through the session. I was seated on a high chair to change clothes most of the time. In the end, the team decided to cut the session short and I went to the A&E. Before I drove off, I was in such a state that I needed someone from the production team to walk me to my car,” Tan said.
“By the time I reached the A&E, I was in such great pain I had to use the wheelchair, as much as I didn’t want to,” he added.
“The whole day felt super long for me, I’ve never had such pain in my lower back,” he said, adding that when he reached home, he couldn’t even get up from the sofa after laying down.
“I decided to lie on the sofa, face down, to rest my back, but I ended up stuck in that position for a good 15 to 20 minutes. I tried to roll myself down from the sofa in that position [like I did in the morning], but I couldn’t. There were sharp pains everywhere, and in the end I had to take medication and my painkillers in that position. I couldn’t even drink from my cup, and had to sip water with a straw to chase down the pills. I only managed to sit up after a good 20 minutes, and still needed my family members to hold me up and walk me to my room,” he said.
“It’s lucky that I was staying with my family ‘cos my place is undergoing renovations. I think I received a gift of sorts through this incident as well, I saw how my family took care of me, helping to massage my back, and apply medication. I realised that everyone needs their family and I’m thankful that this happened when I’m staying with mine,” he added.
After a week of rest and rescheduling of work appointments, Desmond is feeling much better now.
“I really have to listen to my body, the moment where I overstretch or prolong a stretch too much, or once my body starts to ache or signal to me that I need to slow down, I stop immediately. We really have to give our body the rest that it deserves, regardless of whether it’s physically or emotionally. This is quite a huge reminder for me. At this junction, where I’m in my 30s, I have to start conditioning my body to make sure that I don’t get so much pain in another 30 years, when I’m 60,” he said, adding: “It’s a good taste of old age lah”.