Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Severe Back Pain + Two-Year-Old Twins = No Fun

My back pain has gotten progressively worse...I've never had a great back, but this particular case has been going on for three weeks now. I've been seeing an urgent care physician for the time being, hoping that anti-inflammatory medicine would bring down the problem and ease the pain from what we thought was just regular ol' sciatica. Wrong! The doctor was concerned about the fact that pain was radiating from my back and shooting down my left leg, so he recommended an MRI. I had that MRI today, and went home afterward thinking I'd hear something from my doctor in about 24 hours, since that was the "normal" window of response according to the MRI tech who did the scan.

Wrong! Apparently, when you have a REAL problem, they really do call you as soon as possible. The report from the scan was forwarded to my doctor almost immediately, and his nurse called me less than two hours after I had finished my scan. Nothing like a quick response to just set you off. I've known her for more than a few years, since she used to work for a doctor's office located in the hospital where I used to work, and she's very good to me. She doesn't believe in wasting time on fluff, and she prefers to get straight to the point when it comes to relaying information, and I am SO grateful to her for that.

Anyway, the MRI showed several things happening. First, typical wear and tear that everyone gets. No surprise there. Next, I have a protrusion a little higher up from my sciatic nerve. I have to get more details, but that doesn't seem to be causing too much trouble at the moment. The main culprit is an "extruding fragmented disc" that is currently pressing on my S1 nerve root (sciatic nerve). I guess all you have to do to get me worried is tell me that there's something fragmented in my back. That just doesn't sound very promising.

The doctor is referring me out to an orthopaedic specialist, someone who has experience with spinal issues. Whenever I can get in to see this specialist, he or she will discuss my options. I'm not keen on the idea of surgery, which is what a friend of mine went through for a similar problem last year, but if nothing else will work I guess we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. I'm holding out hope that something non-surgical will be an option for me, something like Physical Therapy or some epidural nerve blocks, or anything that involves relieving pain and providing ease and range of motion.

I'm currently walking around with a halting gait, and it's not very comfortable or friendly-looking...bride of Frankenstein is more my speed, apparently. Steve just started back on night shift tonight, so I'm back to being on my own with the kids half of the week again, not to mention during most days since he is now officially nocturnal again. I don't mind taking them places to play like the playground, since they are old enough to know how to behave (9 times out of 10), but I still worry that somehow this will affect them. I want to be healthy again, to be able to pick them up without fear that my back will scream in rebellion, to be able to sit on the floor and play with them without wincing in pain. I really think that they can sense that I'm not well, and the other day when I was lying on the couch trying to get comfortable, Megan brought me a blanket and covered me and kissed my forehead. I have angels for children (at least most of the time!).

Tuesday, March 11, 2008's March...

Wow. I cannot believe how long it's been since I last posted! I would love to say that my life has just been filled to the brim with new and exciting events and activities, but the only thing new is whatever the kids are up to these days. I just do my best to keep up with them! :)

The kids turned two back in December, and two weeks later they promptly began identifying the letters of the alphabet. They don't know the alphabet in order from A to Z, but ask them what any specific letter is (seriously, it's like a game to them now) and they race to see who can yell it out first. It actually freaked me out a little, and then I got used to it. They have really picked it up from Sesame Street and Word World on PBS, so I can't even take credit for it. I guess I'm just amazed and thankful at the same time, since twins tend to be a little delayed on certain aspects of least I know they shouldn't have much trouble with learning to read later on. It's funny though...Megan and I went to the doctor to check on a minor issue, and while we were waiting for the doc to come into the exam room, Megan was reading me the letters in a book (not the words, just the letters). The doc walks in and just gapes, mouth hanging. Very calmly, she turns and says, "How long has she been doing that?" She was even more shocked when I told her they were both doing it, and very clearly. Like I said...can't take the credit, but I sure am proud of them.

Megan has gotten very sure of herself, and sometimes the confidence she has borders on snottiness. She woke up from her nap yesterday and informed me, "Mommy, I would like Word World." I told her I was watching the news, and that we would watch it later (I record it on my DVR to keep it close at hand) and she smartly replied, "But MOMMY, I would LIKE Word World!" Sheesh. Jeremy does pretty well holding his own with her now, so I no longer worry that she is going to boss him around the house as much. He's a dancing fool...we took the kids to Sea World for Steve's birthday at the end of February, and in the lobby of our hotel there was a one-man music presentation, and Jeremy boogied in front of the stage, all by himself, for two whole songs before we dragged him away to give the poor musician his spotlight back. :)

Time for me to try to get to sleep. Take care and keep in touch!!!