Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My Aching Back!

I thought I would write a little blog about my back.  First I want to say thanks for the outpouring of concern for my well being. 
My back trouble started when I was 18 and my brother Stephen got us into a pretty bad car accident totaling the car and initiating my low back trouble.  Ever since then I have had intermittent pain and discomfort that got worse with over exertion. Over the years the pain waxed and waned but for the most part was completely manageable. 
 In the last year it has become manageable most of the time with meds and rest.  My job wrestling with and lifting large dogs has not helped the situation any either.  In the last month my pain has become unbearable.  I am not able to sleep most nights without a handful of medications and working has become a new and exciting experience in pain. It has even affected my mood pretty drastically as chronic pain will do.  
Lately I have had a pain radiating down the back of my right leg whether I stand or sit and it goes from dull and burning to sharp and stabbing.  Change in position does little to help.  So, as it was time for my yearly physical and TB test I thought it was high time I spoke with a doctor about my back pain.  After listening to my story and hearing my symptoms he said it sounds like a herniated disc that has bulged out to pinch a nerve namely my sciatic nerve which is the largest nerve in the body and runs from your low back down the back of your leg to your foot.
The plan is to try to manage it with medications: steroids, an NSAID and some Prilosec to protect my tummy from the combination of these two meds and some crazy person drugs to counteract the hyperactivity that I experience when on steroids.  I think this will be fun.  He also wants me to have some physical therapy as well as continued weight loss.  If these things fail to work then he wants me to have an MRI to identify exactly which disc it is and then possibly an injection of steroids in the disc space.  If that still does not work then he wants me to possibly consider back surgery.  Surgery is a long way off and he wants to avoid that at all costs, he says I am too young to have surgery.
At least now I am more sure of what I have been suspecting all along and have a plan of attack.  Hopefully these things will bring me some relief and I can avoid surgery until I am at least 50.  Thanks again for all of your love and concern.