My back is worse than I thought/it had been. I went to my PCP yesterday because the pain was no better, I couldn’t sleep, my calf was still very crampy/achy/numb and I’ve nearly tripped over my own foot more than a few times (drop foot).
I explained all of the timeline to him and my symptoms and he checked the strength in my leg and performed an exam. He immediately suggested calling a surgeon. He wanted to get that ball rolling because it could take a while to be seen. He said if it’s as severe as he suspects, I’m going to need back surgery. He prescribed me a much stronger pain medication (hallelujah, I slept last night!) and Ibuprofen in a larger dose and sent me for a “stat MRI.” They got the results back quickly and it confirmed what he suspected. It’s pretty bad. It’s my L5 vertebrae that is herniated and is pressing on the S1 nerve root (I think that’s what she said) which explains why I have the pain and numbness in my calf down to my foot.
It felt good to have my pain validated. I normally have a pretty high pain tolerance but I always fear that maybe I don’t. I’ve been in pain for over 3 weeks now and I’m frustrated, exhausted, and miserable. It made me feel better to know that I had reason to be.
I asked what the chances of me having surgery were and she said that it’s up to the surgeon, of course, but if she had to bet, I should go in there prepared to have the surgery. It’s severely herniated. I really don’t know what that will entail and I’m not sure if it’s something I should be looking up. I’m a worrier and I feel like I’ll end up making myself sick over it. I was assured that the surgeon is amazing so if it needs to be done, it needs to be done. If it needs to be done, I hope it happens soon so I can get it over with and that it fixes the problem. It would be really nice to not be out of order for a month or more every time. I was told that I might be trying physical therapy in the interim. I don’t know what that will involve but I’m happy to try anything to help with the pain.
The surgeon appointment is on March 15 so hopefully I don’t end up making things worse somehow in the meantime. I’m thankful for my family and Andrew who have been amazing. My mom and brother and sister came over today to straighten up my house. It’s the only thing I want to do and I can’t. I so appreciate them and Andrew stepping up and being helpful and considerate. Poor guy has been forced to hold the fort, make dinner every night and still is caring and patient with me. I’m so thankful for him.
I feel like there is light at the end of the tunnel but I don’t know how long this tunnel is. Hopefully it’s not that long and I can be on my way to recovery soon.