I spent much of yesterday and the night before in tears.
I woke up Saturday morning with a slight twinge in my lower back. It wasn’t bad, but was just annoying. I chalked it up to sleeping wrong or something, and I couldn’t think of anything I’d actually done to tweak it.
Sunday and Monday weren’t horrible, and it wasn’t getting any better – in fact, it was worsening. So, I just made a point of taking it easy.
Tuesday though, was a different story. I started on some Advil/Ibuprofen and a heat pad.
Wednesday was so bad, I walked over to Magnolia Physical Therapy around the corner, but they wouldn’t be able to see me ’till Friday. I upped the Ibuprofen and iced/heated. minimal relief.
Thursday was even worse. By the time I’d finished dinner with my brother-in-law and tried to self-medicate w/ beer, I needed to be home. If I’d’ve had one of those walkers with the tennis balls on the feet, I would have gladly taken it. Bea came over and dropped the dogs off, and I could barely get out of bed, much less get lower to the floor to pet my dogs. The pain was bad enough to bring me to tears. I’d try to find a more comfortable position – a process which hurt by itself – but whatever temporary relief I’d fine was fleeting.
I saw the Physical Therapist Friday morning for an eval. She narrowed it down to my first or second lumbar vertebrae, but said my muscles were so tense and guarded that it was difficult to narrow down what was actually going on. She suspected that I have a dysfunctional facet – that more or less one of my aforementioned vertebrae was rotated a bit, and that a slipped disc seemed unlikely. Regardless of what was going on, she apparently couldn’t treat me as she needed a prescription.
I shuffled home, and set up my laptop so that I could lay on my belly on my bed, with my head hanging over, and at least do some light computering and watch some Netflix.
By the way, if you’ve ever had a dog, petted a dog, seen a picture of a dog, or read about them in a book, you need to check out Wilfred (Netflix link). I had to stop watching after ~10 minutes, as laughing really hurt. I’m not going to go into what the shows about, just watch it and be pleasantly surprised.
Anyways, it was just about 10 and I was facing a very long, excruciating weekend. I decided to take up a friend on a very gracious offer of the rest of his Vicodin from a recent prescription. I’ve never been a recreational pill taker – mostly due to the fact that it’s ridiculously easy to get, and apparently easy to get hooked on. But I got over that, as even taking a deep breath hurt.
Seven hells, I could have kicked myself for nothing taking one of these earlier. Inside of 30 minutes, I went from and 8.5/10 on the pain scale, to a 2/10. I could still feel what I’d describe a little soreness. It didn’t hurt, but I still had that reminder that I was injured and to take it easy. It was a complete game-changer. No fuzziness, not “high” sensation. I had a clear mind and a relatively trouble-free back.
Feeling less doomy, I also managed to schedule an appointment with my doctor for later that afternoon. The Vicodin wore off completely in a little over 3 hours, and by the time I was in the waiting room, I’d already cried a few times. Despite the fact that he knows my Dad, I grew up playing soccer with his son, and the only time I’d asked him for pain meds was when I blew up my knee, he almost seemed to be skeptical of my pain. Like I was trying to scam him. Eventually, he came around. I got a cortisone shot, a Vicodin scrip, a muscle relaxer scrip, and an ASAP referral to see a spine/back doctor.
I cried on the way back to my truck. Being ~4pm on a Friday, I called Southern Orthopedic Specialists – the clinic I’d been referred to – to go ahead and get an appointment as soon as possible. Apparently the doc I was supposed to see is out of town ’till the 12th or so. Boo. I went back inside, and the super-kind woman at the front desk of my doc’s office did her little back-channel thing and got me an appt. with a different doctor on Wednesday. Cried some more.
Got to Walgreens, got my prescriptions, cried some more. But, about 30 minutes after popping that sweet, sweet pill, things were much better. I decided to do the muscle relaxer once the Vicodin wore off, to see how I’d sleep only on that – it wasn’t bad.
Things were definitely better this morning, but I still needed a pain pill shortly after getting up. I took one a few hours ago, and right on schedule, it’s wearing off already. Thankfully, I have awesome friends nearby, and am going to float in their pool for a while, pill-free. I want to see how the cool water and zero-pressure environment of the pool feels on its own.
So there we go. Not sure what exactly is wrong or how it was caused, but I’m optimistic that I’ll be on fewer pain pills by the time I see the doc on Wednesday – and I’ll make sure to time it so that the drugs will have worn off by the time I see him.
And just when I had made new plans for more physical activity. Well, once this is all done, I’ll be hiring a physical trainer to help out with strengthening the weak areas at my neighborhood gym, and perhaps have some quasi-regular Pilates sessions with my friend who teaches that.
Ok, off to the pool.