Well, I figured I would share what’s been going on lately for Personal Share Sunday. If you followed this blog or know me, you know that my daughter, Erynn, broke her leg/foot in eight places last February. Full Story HERE.
Apparently there was another injury that I did not pay attention to. When I saw her in the street, the only thing I could think of is “that’s my baby”, and I picked her up and got her to the side of the road. Here’s the problem – she’s 100 pounds. I tried to get back up on my horse to run for help, but I could not… and I thought that was because I was freaking out, shaking, etc. After going through ER, doctors visits with her, x-rays, MRIs, etc., by the time things settled down, it was June. By that time, I was annoyed at the sciatic nerve pain I was enduring daily, but it still didn’t occur to me that I was injured.
I went to a chiropractor to see if that would help, and three weeks later, I was in excruciating pain that topped all pain I have ever felt in my life. Keep in mind, I’ve had two C-sections and multiple surgeries where I never took pain meds afterwards. All I took was Extra Strength Tylenol. I have a high pain tolerance, so the pain I was feeling was just horrendous.
I went to a sports medicine doctor who prescribed NSAIDs, pain meds, prednisone, physical therapy, etc., nothing worked. It got to the point where I was even questioning whether I could continue as a photographer. Pain was constant and all day, but by the evening, I could hardly walk. I would sit down, still be in pain, but then stand up, and my one leg would buckle under me, and the pain, it seriously was ungodly.
I finally received approval for an MRI (don’t get me started on the approval process – didn’t matter how much pain I was in, the insurance company didn’t care). Here’s my MRI result… see that nice herniation at L5-S1? Now wonder I was in so much pain.
Of the professionals I talked to on a casual basis, every one of them said that I would need surgery. At the very least a discectomy, at the most, a fusion of L5-S1. I didn’t want a fusion. If I received a fusion, I would most likely end up being told no jumping horses. Once your disk is out, it’s out. Well, I was on hold to see the surgeon for over a month. For me to get the next available appointment, it took that long. Many tears, much pain medication, a lot of rest, and frustration later, I got good and angry in December. I’m 36 years old, I am not ready to have back problems. I’m active, I’m healthy, why is this going on?
I got up one morning, and said, I’m going to do whatever I can to ignore this pain, and get on the treadmill, and get moving. The first day on the treadmill was excruciating. I limped and limped for quite a long time… every day, I felt my limp was getting a little better. A few weeks later, I woke up and realized that my back pain was going away. I couldn’t believe it. I was shocked.
I finally saw the surgeon this week. I flat out told him if I would have seen him a month earlier, I would have been in tears, limping, hunched, and unable to get on the table on my own. It’s been almost a year of back pain, and I can honestly say this is the best I have felt in a year.
He said what most likely has happened is my body has either started to “digest” the portion of the disk that is sticking out, taking pressure off the nerve, or the nerve has found a way to move away from the disk. He sees absolutely no reason for surgery right now, and to keep doing what I am doing and building my core strength back up.
I still have some pain, but I am so thankful right now that surgery is not required. He said if the pain comes back, our next step is cortisone injection, but hopefully I never have to see him again. That was a GREAT way to start the new year.