Monday, June 1, 2009

Once more with a vengeance

BACK 1, ME 0 - My earlier reports about the discomfort in my back turned out to be a prelude to the main event. These past 3 days have shown me the benefits of drugs if nothing else. I am a walking medicine cabinet as I try to regain my bearing.

I have dropped out of blog sight recently as my energy and focus have been directed on dealing with an unwanted companion. I thought I had managed to avoid long term issues with the pain, and returned to my golfing, walking and ignoring ways of the past. Not so fast.

By last Monday, the first signs returned. 2 trips to the physical therapist and 2 more to the chiropractor last week provided small windows of relief, followed by longer and longer periods of increasing discomfort.

By Thursday night, the moans that were coming from the marital bedroom had nothing at all to do with pleasure. I couldn't sleep on either side. The pillow between the legs trick didn't work. Lying on my stomach only proved annoying. Hobbling downstairs, I tried to watch hours of Sportscenter, repeated and repeated. I felt like Goldilocks. The chair was too soft, the floor was too hard. Standing on 1 leg for long periods was impossible. Welcome to 36 hour nights.

Friday night was a virtual repeat. But on Saturday morning, I found some salvation. At the urging of my wife (who has the excruciating pain of living with a lightweight in heavyweight discomfort) I called the service for the orthopedist at 7 AM. The return call at 8AM and a recitation of my complaints, certainly led to the doctor wanting to avoid me in the future, but more importantly, to his calling in a laundry list of remedies to the pharmacy.

I waited impatiently while the pharmacist filled the orders. Hurry it up, I shouted internally, I need relief NOW.

I hobbled out with Lidoderm (lidocaine patches that I put all over my backside and hip), a 6 day course of a steroid anti-inflammatory, a painkiller (percoset) and a muscle relaxant (skelaxin). I think I am in love with the painkiller. I stare at the clock to see that 4 hours has passed since the last pill entered my system, and another one joins its brethren on its trip to tell my brain to cool it.

The nights are still bad but have turned bearable. I managed to spend until 4 AM in bed last night (which I am not sure my wife would view as a positive, given my state of being). Whereas even yesterday morning a one block walk would be considered a triumph, by 8 AM today I found my way to the car and my office. One small step for man.

I do not like the odds of this being my last bout with this foe. I fear there is trouble around the bend. With my trusty supply of weapons at the ready, I will wander through this week in a slight haze, but hopefully with receding pain. The only way to try to even this fight, at least for now, is with the magic of medication. Maybe next week I will be ready for more manipulations, and dare I say it, some exercises. Maybe.

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