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!).

No comments:

Post a Comment