Major Disappointment

On Saturday I started to feel a familiar pressure in my right calf.  I assumed I’d overdone it and rested.  Sunday I was in Church and found that all I could focus on was the creeping up bad sensation in my leg.  Again, I rested.

On Monday, as I made my way to work and proceeded to SIT at the computer most of the day. Sitting at you computer

My leg just started to tingle and burn.  I thought well, it will still get better with rest.

Tuesday I had my follow up with the actual Neurosurgeon, not his nutty PA.

He was quite concerned about the ongoing tingling.  He put me on a prednisone pack to try to reduce the irritation and wrote me for a follow up on the 7th of April.  I will need a new MRI, and it is likely I have reherniated the disc.

In discussion with the Doctor it seems it was highly likely that this would occur.  My pars defect has apparently made my lower spine very unstable.  The Doctor explained that my original herniation was not due to severe training and the same thing may have happened with sneezing or coughing.  He also explained that I was still at risk for this with sneezing or coughing.  He really had wanted to fuse the bone, but felt I needed the other surgery emergently. My disc segment he removed was 3 cm by 3cm which apparently is quite large, about 1/3 to 1/4 of the total disk.  Usually it’s about 1 cm. It was twisted around the S1 nerve root which is why I had such difficult symptoms. So, he did the right thing in removing it as soon as I would let him.

So it’s now Friday.  I fully expected the prednisone to work miracles.  It has not.  My leg has now pretty much the same symptoms as before, though much reduced.  I’ve definitely spent a few nights crying over the situation, because it isn’t just being active that is affected.  I am in a low level of constant pain and it is very frustrating.  Many people suggest “doing something different” to occupy the mind, but it is really hard to do anything that requires deep thought because of the pain level all the time.  I do “ok” at work…but that’s enough for me right now.

On Thursday I kind of gave myself a bit of a pep talk.  I realized that to have a spinal fusion I would need about 4 weeks off from work, and I do not yet qualify for FMLA, so I will not be having a fusion until the very least November of this year.

I also realized that I had had pretty spectacular results from the 2 epidural injections I did have, given the size of the disc.  I don’t think this disk extrusion is as big since I still have great motor function.  So, this may be an option to get to feeling better.

I also had a meeting with the new coach. 10978576_10152629909261497_1566455192216217738_n

He reminded me of this.  He also was in some ways just exactly what I needed.  He listed to me very intently…took notes…admitted to some of his own foibles, and made me laugh long and hard.

I am still allowed to swim (as long as I use a swim snorkel) so he is going to give me some swimming lessons and had me order a special mat with lumbar support so I can start to do Abdominal exercises.

So… I feel as if I am back at square one, but, actually I am more like back at Square 2 in a 100 square process.  It is still better than when it first happened. I feel as if my life is just completely controlled by my back situation.  I’m trying to not let that happen, but well… Coach did say things would improve, so I’m gonna bank on his words…

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4 thoughts on “Major Disappointment

  1. I’m sorry to hear this. I can understand the frustration, not to mention the pain you’re feeling right now.

    You might think I’m being facetious, but when I was recovering from an injury years ago, I played video games, the kind with fantasy-themed stories, or RPGs. My son also tried to cheer me up by getting me to play fighting games with him, not that I was any good! But I think the distraction helped a lot. It may also been just the fact my son showed enough concern for me to want to play video games with his totally lame mother (literally: I couldn’t walk at all and had to stay on the couch or in bed)—thinking about this still touches me—but you might want to recruit a friend or two to come in and keep you occupied or at least lend a sympathetic ear. And yes, I know, it’s really hard to ask for help when you’re feeling down and are in a lot of pain. I think people want to be able to help, however.

    You’re in my prayers! Also sending you good vibes, California style…. 🙂

    • Thank you! I think if I knew it would somehow someday get better, that might help. It is really frustrating because even Sitting hurts, and there is not much one can do laying flat…but… I have started to do some swimming and ordered a special “Ab mat” to work on abdominal strength and I must admit, just having the coaching set up (I start tuesday!) helps. New Coach and I have known each other for 3 years and have been bumping up against each other a lot … he is pretty intense, and hopefully will be able to really help me at least FEEL involved.

  2. Being in constant pain is so depressing, you poor dear. Meditation helps me at such times, as does music, but it is so difficult day after day, so wearing. I am sorry, I know you try so hard to be fit and healthy and the universe keeps plotting against you. We care…

    • Thank you! it helps to have support. I am finding the entire thing exactly that, very wearing. I do have some small things I look forward to and I am just trying not to really focus too much on the projected outcome…. and at least I can still swim… a bit anyway.

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