Good News and Bad News- SOL #4

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For the past two weeks, I’ve been in pain. It started in my back, but then about a week ago, it traveled to my foot. What’s weird is that it’s only on my left side. Yesterday and today were pretty unbearable, so I decided it was time to see the doctor to figure out what’s going on.

Now, I’m no stranger to back pain. For nearly 20 years, I’ve experienced lower back pain (and I’m only 32!), but for the most part, it’s been a manageable kind of pain. I don’t regularly take pain killers, and I don’t normally complain about it. Quite frankly, it’s just a part of my life. Sometimes I forget that not everyone deals with this. For some reason, however, the pain has become pretty severe since February 22nd. Ever since the pain traveled down to my foot, I’ve acquired a noticeable limp, and I have not able to get comfortable whenever sitting, standing, or lying down (which is pretty much all the time). After being brought to tears today, I decided it was time.

Dr. Kyoko, the eccentric doctor with the blue hair, was very thorough. I spent two hours at the doctor’s office today getting all manner of tests, discussing my medical history as it pertains to my back pain, and even getting a referral to a physiotherapist. Through our discussions and tests, I came to realize that when people (frequently, and for as long as I can remember) ask me if I’m OK because I appear to be limping, it’s not just the way I walk (as I always respond). It’s due to the fact that I’ve been dealing with nerve damage for so long, that I’ve overcompensated by putting my weight on my right leg. There’s actually a 1.5cm difference in circumference between my left and right legs, which apparently is uncommon. My left leg has some muscle atrophy due to this issue.

The good news is that I have a diagnosis and an initial treatment plan. My vertebrae in my lower back are pressing on my nerves, causing nerve damage, pain, and tenderness on my left side. The doctor ordered an MRI to assess how much damage is actually there, but we are waiting on the insurance to approve it. I’ve been approved to start physical therapy to help alleviate the pain and strengthen my left side, and I’m planning on starting this as soon as possible.

The bad news is that we don’t know yet how extensive the damage is to my nerves. Considering that I’ve had pain for so long, it’s likely that I’ve done some major damage. Surgery was mentioned, but only as a last resort. Some other not so great news is that no matter which course of treatment, from physical therapy to surgery, it is highly unlikely that the pain will ever completely go away. What we’re hoping for is to minimize the pain and reduce the pressure on the nerves, resulting in a more normal life. Sheesh…I sound like an old person!

I’m a little worried about what the MRI will show, but I’m more relieved because now I can start to treat it and alleviate some of this pain. Positive thoughts for promising results! 🙂

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13 thoughts on “Good News and Bad News- SOL #4

  1. Susanne

    I was so excited to see your teaser- good news, bad news. That is the favorite book in my first-grade class! It’s falling apart so many kiddos want to read it. It’s also been several children’s topic during writer’s workshop this month.
    I hope your Dr. is able to find an answer. Positive thoughts for promising results!

    Reply
  2. chrisleish

    So sorry for your pain and your worry. Sometimes the worry is the worst part. A wise friend often reminds me to not worry about the things that are beyond my control, and that if I am worried about something, I should do something about it. You did. You set the wheels in motion to fix what has been causing you pain for years; your part is done. I am not religious, but I do pray at times like this- it beats worrying. Keep us posted.

    Reply
  3. gardenlearning

    Sounds painful – you described your condition well. I have had dealt with on going back and hip pain as well and found that gentle yoga has really made a difference if I stay with it. You might ask your doctor or physical therapist about it as well. Good luck – hoping for little to no nerve damage!

    Reply
  4. luckygurl

    Yeah. This sounds more like bad good news to me. 😦 I want more stories about the blue haired doctor! Hope your results are the best news you can get!

    Reply
  5. Pingback: From Inside The Machine- SOL #11 | my heart is happiest when i travel. read. write. connect.

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