It has been a long time since I've had anything to say on here, it seems. I think that is mainly because all I have wanted to say to internet-land for the last couple of weeks is, "OUCH!" What began with a strange pain/weakness in my right hip the morning I hopped out of bed to fly to California in mid-October has become a constant, painful companion of late. I recognize the patterns from chronic pain of the past... I'm struggling to focus, to do what I need to do, to get out of the house. I'm terrified that if I stop moving now, I'll stop moving for good.
Some progress with the doctors reveals that it is some damage happening to my L5 nerve root happening in my lower back that is sending the shooting pain and painful numbness down my right leg. My lower leg burns. Even my toes tingle painfully with numbness. Not surprisingly, I've maxed out on ibuprofen so that I can function a bit but by the time evening rolls around, I'm more often than not crawling off to bed whimpering. But then at some ugly hour (usually beginning with a 4 - or 5 if I am really lucky) I'm up, howling in pain. Really, I've found myself howling. I was actually screaming in my car the other day while stuck at a light on a 5 minute drive: the pain had flared up, I had to get out of the car, but I was stuck.
I've got some better drugs, but I'm not taking them now (4:40am) because it is my morning to drive the carpool for middle school. And then there are meetings. And a sizable stack of term papers that must be graded. I will, however, take the prednisone I started yesterday. Yesterday was a better day than I've had in a while, so maybe there is some hope but then the system is doing a crappy job of finding me a specialist to see and a place for physical therapy. There is much more waiting ahead of me. I call the doctor and wait. The nurse calls me back, but only half my questions are answered. So she goes back to the doctor and I wait. Then the referral is not clear, so the clerk has to find the doctor and I will wait some more.
In the meantime, I'm feeling somewhat paralyzed by my partial diagnosis (we now the nerve group but won't know how it is being impinged until I get the MRI next week). In the meantime, should I go to the gym? It feels okay when I am there, crappy after, then (after a nap) I generally feel better for the rest of the day. I have felt myself getting weaker, especially in the last two weeks, sometimes I'm shuffling when walking.... This terrifies me. Maybe the gym makes me feel better because I let myself think I am fighting the decline and confirms that I can still move. But what if I'm making it worse?
Goal Achieved !
6 months ago