Friday, September 21, 2007

A Great Big Pain in the BACK!

I turned the corner yesterday. About half-way through my shift, I began to feel better and was able to sit at my workstation a little longer. Why was I feeling bad, you ask? You have to go all the way back to the day before Father's Day in 1990. That's when the vehicle Bill Love and I were traveling to west Texas in went airborne and rolled 4 times before coming to rest upside down.

Two MONSTER back surgeries and months of physical therapy later, one would think I'd be feeling great. Since the second surgery, for the most part, I had forgotten I was ever in that wreck. A 4 1/2 hour drive to Victoria last Wednesday night changed all that.

The pain started slowly (more of a discomfort really) much of the day Thursday while Darlene was having her all day allergy test. By Friday, I couldn't even sit without pain stabbing me in the left hip and shooting down my left leg. I stood or laid flat much of the day Friday and Saturday morning. Our plans were to drive home Saturday afternoon. If I couldn't sit in a chair, how would I be able to sit in the car for the 4 1/2 trip back to Brownsville? It was mandated that I would NOT drive and that we would stop every hour so I could at least walk and stretch. Much to my surprise, the drive wasn't all that uncomfortable and we made it home with only two stops along the way.

Now, people who know me will tell you, I don't like Doctors and would pretty much rather die than have to see one. Sunday morning, I actually called my neurosurgeon and begged for help. When pain is so intense that you can't eat breakfast at Shoney's, it's time to call for help! He gave me two options, go to the ER for a shot and x-rays then see him Tuesday afternoon or simply wait until my appointment and he would examine me then. Despite my dislike of needles, I chose the ER. I was instructed to have the nurse in the ER call him and he would order the shot and x-rays.

The shot of Torredol did little to alleviate the pain. I guess you could say it made the pain "manageable" but it never went away. Before leaving, the ER nurse said to take 800 Mg's of Motrin every 4 hours until I could get a prescription from my doctor. This is a good place to point out that my neurosurgeon is not a big pain medication advocate. I found that out while in the hospital after my most recent surgery. I was given two shots following surgery, one in the afternoon and one that night. After that, I was only given Tylenol 3, no matter how much I begged for something stronger!

Much of the time waiting for Tuesday afternoon's doctor appointment was spent flat on my back on a heating pad. I did call the doctor's office Monday morning and asked for something for pain. Much to my joy, they did call in a prescription to Walgreen's. Darlene picked up the Darvon on her way home from work Monday afternoon. Like the Torredol, it has made the pain tolerable, at best. Once in the doctor's office Tuesday afternoon, I stood while Darlene sat patiently for over an hour. Finally, my name was called. After a detailed account of the drive to Victoria and the subsequent pain, and after reviewing the x-rays, I was offered a Cortisone shot in my spine. Again, I have this needle thing and when you combine that with my spine, I politely said NO! My doctor said he was 95% sure if was inflamed muscles, probably from sitting in one position for so long. He suggested physical therapy for 4 weeks but wanted to see me in 3 weeks. If the pain is still there, he will order a MRI.

So, where does this leave me and why do I blog it? I've been in pain for most of the past 17 years, since that fateful day near Comstock. I know my body and this is not muscle pain. My worst fear would be to have another herniated disc and have to face yet another surgery. Could I do it? Yes. Do I want to do it? NO! My friend "XXXX" jokingly said to me, "you only have 10 or 15 years left so just suck it up and take the pain". For everyone who reads this with back pain, you KNOW how hard it is to take the pain for a single day.


Dawn Oestreich said...

Pain is the pits. Have you ever tried an inversion table? Don't know if it would be okay for someone w/ your history, but I love mine. I get back and neck spasms - ugh! The inversion table elongates my spine and has really reduced my "episodes." It's also kind of fun to watch tv upside-down! Hope there's a simple solution for you, and I hope you feel better soon!

Steve's girl said...

Sorry to hear you have been suffering with your back. Hope you feel better soon.
We left our boy in his new digs, but he isn't able to get online so can't update his blog yet. I'm sure he will have news and pictures to share when he is able.
Take it easy and get well.

XXXX said...

Have you considered just sucking it up?

LaVibora - Jim Campbell said...

XXXX - I'm sucking harder than ever but it still hurts!!! By the way, congratulations on being named "Master Pickup Artist".

Dawn - I have a pair of inversion boots but no table. I have an inversion bar in the bathroom door jam and I used to use it regularly. I've already been shopping on-line for the table.

Steve's girl - I called Young Kyle Friday (he was talking to you know who!!!) and he said that you had just left. I know he's looking forward to his new job but we already miss him. By the way, the IMPORTANT people didn't get any cookies that Steve delivered!

Beth&Leo said...

I am a bit behind in blog reading and hope by now you are "better."

Back pain is horrid and no one should have it.

May the "force be with you" and the pain be gone!


PS: Leo says "the same."