Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Doctor, Doctor

Gimme the news.

I gotta bad case of ...sciatica blues

Warning: This post contains whining and possibly too much information. Sometimes you just gotta vent, you know?

I’m officially nominating 2008 as the worst year ever. I swear, since the first day of January, this calendar year has been nothing but dramas and traumas.

The latest incident is the excruciating sciatica pain caused by a herniated disc that I’ve been plagued with for the past 7 weeks. Despite two epidural steroid injections, oral steroids, anti-inflammatory drugs, antidepressants, a medication for nerve pain and Vicodin, no pill seems to cure my ills. I gotta bad case of sciatica blues.

I’ve been seeing a spine specialist and on Monday I had a follow up visit with him. He felt my condition was worsening and wanted me to see a neurosurgeon... pronto. He made a call to one of his colleagues and got me in yesterday.

After reviewing my MRI, poking, prodding and inflicting more pain than I thought possible, the neurosurgeon felt strongly that I should have a procedure called an Open Discectomy. This is a surgery performed to remove part of the damaged disc in my spine which will relieve the compression on the L5 nerve bundle, which is what is causing my pain.
Since I was ready to perform the operation myself, I agreed and surgery is scheduled for next Thursday. I’m looking forward to relief from this pain and from non-stop doctor visits, but I’m scared to death of anesthesia, surgery and hospital stays. It’s making me very nervous.

Of course,that can’t be the end of my story, right? I really thought I was feeling bad enough, but obviously whoever is in charge of these things decided that wasn’t the case. This morning I woke up with a fever, the chills and an absolute beast of a urinary tract infection.


You know, it’s bad enough to have to try to get to a doctor visit with sciatica pain, but combine that with a urinary tract infection and you’ll understand why I was practically screaming in the parking lot while attempting to get into the doctor’s office. Besides being physically broken down, I thought I was going to have some kind of mental breakdown as well. By the time I got into the doctor’s office, not only was I screaming out loud, I was crying out loud, too.


After two doses of antibiotics and some other pill that turned my pee bright orange, the urinary tract infection is feeling a little better, which is good, because I don’t think it’s possible to feel any worse than I did earlier in the day.

I am just wiped and ready to put this year, orange pee and the sciatica blues behind me. Is it 2009 yet?


Damien said...

Almost there! ;) Oh, this was so hard to read because you are a good friend and I hate to hear you are suffering. Try to pamper yourself and good for you for going to the doctor!

A. Jannelle said...

I was wondering how you were. I'm sorry to hear that the injection didn't give you any relief. I'll be praying for you and the surgery.

Sarcasm is just one more service I offer. said...

Dang, I'm sorry your having all these issues. A UTI all by itself is sucky enough for sure. I can't imagine combining that with that awful back pain. I hope the surgery works.

This Eclectic Life said...

Oh, Girl! I'm with you all the way on this. This has been the worst year EVER in my book, too. I'm pulling for you. I hope you get better SOON!

Crystal said...

Dang, girl. :(

I hope the surgery goes well.

pjazzypar said...

I am so sorry for your discomfort. I just fot to think that things are going to get better for you and that the worse is over. Hang in there RC.

Mike Salsbury said...

Do I ever hear you loud and clear, Rock Chick. 2008 has been one of my worst years on record. In January, I noticed a change in my body that was diagnosed as a "hydrocele" and required an operation. While the surgeon was examining that, he discovered that I had a hernia and sent me to another surgeon. That surgeon found a second hernia. In March, I underwent a simultaneous triple surgery to correct all three issues. Meanwhile, my mother's battle with melanoma, which she seemed to be winning, began going the other direction. On September 11, while my brother and I were en-route to see her, she died. One week after her funeral, I learned that I had thyroid cancer. In October, I underwent surgery to remove my thyroid. That used up my sick days and ate into my vacation days. Just before Thanksgiving, as part of the cancer treatment protocol, I had to stop taking thyroid hormone. I developed severe (think Charley Horse) muscle pains while doing ordinary things (like sitting at a desk typing), muscle weakness, shortness of breath, memory loss, difficulty thinking, irritability, tiredness, and more. On December 8, I had to start a low-iodine diet. The things allowed on this diet are vastly outnumbered by the things you can't have, which include: any restaurant food, any processed food, bread, dairy products, egg yolks or anything containing them, seafood or things from the sea, red dye #3, canned foods (some of which use iodine-based cleansers in their production lines), anything listing salt as an ingredient without saying it's non-iodized, and most things normal people eat. Although you might normally lose weight on such a diet, you don't on this one because thyroid hormone (which you aren't taking anymore) helps control weight loss. This week I start radioactive iodine therapy. Friday I take the "big dose" after which I'm required to stay at least 6 feet from other people for at least 6 days. On Monday, I'll still be radioactive but at least able to go back to a normal diet and back on thyroid hormone. By Christmas day I should be allowed around other people again. My dad used up his vacation time taking care of my mom, so I won't see him this Christmas and didn't see him at Thanksgiving. I won't see my sister, either, for the same reason. My brother lost his job in November and is currently looking for another, which as you can imagine isn't going well in today's economy. I wouldn't believe all this could happen to one family in one year, but it has. So I know where you're coming from. I really, really do. Best of luck and best wishes to you in the coming year!