All gardening plans are on hold for a while because it seems I have messed up my back. I have had back pain for years but this past summer has been particularly bad with what I now realize has been almost continuous, at times severe, and worsening pain that I have stupidly been trying to ignore. Now I know why.
Last week was even worse, well actually very bad and by the time I got to the Dr on Monday I also had weakness in my left foot. Very scarey. It appears that I have ruptured a disc in my lower back between L4 and L5 which is an area that has been bothering me for all these years and where I have had a bulging disc for some time.
I have been amazed and so very grateful this week for the fantastic and very rapid care that I have received from my primary care P.A, neurologist, and interventional pain specialist. Today I will be getting a steroid epidural, the first of three with the hope that it will reduce the swelling compressing the L5 nerve root and fully relieve the pain, (though this has been improving anyway), and more importantly, relieve the foot weakness. If this doesn't work I will have surgery, something I have always dreaded but which now seems like a much less scarey prospect. I am confident that all will be well and as my Mum said now perhaps I wont have as much pain as I have been having for all this time.
There are several lessons here for me the most important one being that I have to listen to my body more and go the the Dr when things get bad, well actually before things get bad. I find it so hard to ask for help, always have, and yet the outpouring of care and support I have been receiving from friends, family, and healthcare providers this past week has been totally overwhelming and moving for me.
I find it hard to write about myself, and my health in this way, and yet I feel that I need to because perhaps it may encourage someone else to get medical attention when it is needed, and not to leave it too long.
I'll write more later.
Update- 9-30-11. First epidural completed yesterday and I think pain has improved a little more though it can take a few days for things to really have an effect. Second one next week. Feeling good.