Saturday, September 8, 2012

Oh, it's just an old back injury...

I find myself saying these words more & more lately.

I haven't mentioned it on here, or really anywhere else, because I've ignored it best I can.

But the truth is, my back has been hurting for at least 3 months.

The numbness & tingling from last year never went away, I just got used to it. But now I'm in pain. Near constant pain.

It's tolerable. I'm not on pain meds yet. Then again, I tend to be the refuse-to-take-meds-until-I'm-completely-nonfunctional kinda person.

Using the 1 thru 10 pain scale, I'd say most of the time my pain hovers around a 3, but there have definitely been spikes up to 9, and I've thought about staying home from work / leaving work early because of it. You know, when I almost collapsed walking between buildings because of the pain that shot into my back. That day, I almost went home. But I toughed it out.

Which, if you know me, the fact that I thought about going home is saying a lot.
It feels a lot like last time, before my surgery. Lying down hurts in no time, so I wake up every night in pain & try to change positions to get comfortable again. Sitting down for long periods of time makes it very difficult to get up. I'm doing the old-lady-shuffle in my trademark hunched over fashion.

And so, I finally gave in and saw my primary care physician.

He cringed as he watched me walk, offered me pain meds (I refused), and kept saying I'm too young to be going thru this.

He should have seen me 7 years ago.

In the end, he ordered an MRI and referred me back to my original neurosurgeon. Pretty much what I was expecting.

I'm trying not to get ahead of myself, but I don't know what I'm gonna do if I need a repeat surgery. I mean, financially things will be much better (I have paid sick time, as well as short term disability now, which I did not have before), but the recovery was so difficult. I don't know how I'll manage with a preschooler.

To give you an idea, the surgeon prescribed a med to essentially knock me out within 15 min of taking it, and keep me out for 2-3 hours. The point is to force me to be as immobile as possible so the surgery site can heal. I basically slept for a month after surgery. If I remember correctly it was 4-5 weeks before I was cleared to drive. Walking was difficult. And someone has to check the site daily & change my dressing. As a single 20-something, I moved in with my folks for about 10 days (till the dressing no longer needed changed), then went home to my apartment with my cat & spent my days sleeping & watching TV & being bored out of my skull.

But healing. Which is the point.

I just can't figure out how that would possibly work with a preschooler, house, & 20 animals to take care of, plus a husband whose job requires him to be gone every 3rd night.

I know I need to stop worrying about it, because I don't even know for sure if I'll need surgery, but the planner in me can't help trying to figure it out.

So anyway, that's a little update on me. As always, thanks for checking in!


'Yellow Rose' Jasmine said...

Sorry to hear this. Sounds like a terrible conundrum... Not sure I could offer any advice. I do have an old back injury myself and it does rear its ugly head once in a while. For me, keeping a strong core seems key. Best of luck finding what works best for you.

Anonymous said...

Is he able to take a leave of absence while you heal under FMLA?

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