Thursday, June 26, 2008

Nighttime Freak Out

Sometimes I shouldn't be left alone with the thoughts inside my head.

If another person were here tonight, they would help me find the logic and comfort in the situation. But for now I am left with a laptop, access to the internet, and a pulsating pain in my back - and it's literally bringing me to tears.

Let's do an assessment of the situation, shall we?

I've battled the most uncomfortable (and sometimes excruciatingly painful) back pain for about a month now. The pain affects the right side of my lower back. I am not a doctor (nor do I play one on TV) but by careful deduction I determined I am experiencing a problem with a disc and it is affecting my sciatic nerve.

Two months ago I didn't know how to spell the thing. Now I can diagram the path of the sciatic nerve on a cocktail napkin.

But I digress.

I began self medicating with heating pads and ice packs. I bounced back and forth between ibuprofen and acetaminophen. I sought out any opportunity to enjoy a reclined position.

That's when Jos told me I was a big girl and that it was time to get a regular doctor.

I found an internist and made an appointment. She put me on a cocktail of nine Advil and three muscle relaxers a day.

It didn't work.

This week we switched to a steroid, and I am less comfortable than I was on the Advil and muscle relaxers.

And here's where the Freak Out kicks in.

I went to the alergist for an unrelated issue Monday morning (What the hell? I guess you start falling apart in your 30s) and the nurse there warned with express urgency that I "need to get that sciatic nerve thing taken care of immediately or your nerve could die."

I don't really know what the ramifications are involving the atrophy of the sciatic nerve, but I can't imagine it's anything good.

That's when I called the doc, scheduled a new appointment (the countdown is on to next Monday) and we switched to the Barry Bonds steroid prescription.

Here are my concerns:
  • I don't want this nerve to die. I know the internet is not the be-all-to-end-all source of medical information, but I have to believe there's a grain of truth to report there... and everything points to BAD where this dying sciatic nerve thing is concerned.
  • I am not a big fan of surgery, and it looks like that could be the best option if this thing doesn't get taken care of by medication. The closest I've ever come to surgery was the extraction of my wisdom teeth - and that wasn't all that bad.
  • My current employer doesn't offer short term disability, and I haven't been there long enough to have a sizeable chunk of vacation and sick days banked up. I had to take some unpaid days for an unexpected trip in May, but I don't know that I can take any more unpaid days for some unexpected surgery and related recovery.

As you can see, I inherited a bit of Worry Wart from my mother's side of the family.

Surgery is one option that has me more than a bit scared. Who will take care of me through it all?

Why can't I just buy a Hoveround, go to the Grand Canyon, and call it a day?

1 comment:

Melafina said...

Have you tried a chiropractor? I have scoliosis, which causes problems with my sciatic nerve, and the only thing that has really helped is going to a chiropractor.