Out of Commission
OK. This is a super long post. But there’s a week to make up on. READY! Here we go!
Last week was a really rough time for me. I woke up Saturday morning with some tension in my low back, thinking it was just DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) I took a couple advil and went about my weekend of more moving and heavy lifting up a flight of stairs to finish unpacking the apartment. Sunday I still had that nagging pain but I ignored it, got a massage and continued unpacking. There are still boxes randomly around the apartment, but it’s almost done.
Monday morning I woke up with the inability to get out of bed, or shift from laying on my back to laying on my side without massive amounts of pain. I called into work and called the Chiropractor. The good doc gave me a couple snaps and put me on the roller table for a massaging therapy. After the 12 minutes, I felt great laying down but could not get off the table. At all. I was near tears just standing next to the doctor, muttering expletives under my breath. I went home, iced my back and took more advil than necessary.
By the time CrossFit class came around, I was feeling better and I could get into the Deadlift position no problem. I figured it would be OK and I went to class. The WOD kicked my ass. We also did pull ups and I realized I suck at them. Hardcore suckage.
10 thrusters at 25 pounds
10 jumping lunges
I did this three times in 14:40.
Tuesday I woke up with the same pain and inability to get out of bed and called into work again. I drove to work in the early afternoon, grabbed some work so I could actually get some hours during the week, and went back to the couch. Another chiropractor appointment, a couple more cracks and she put me on the electrode therapy. I still couldn’t get off the table when done. It hurt like hell.
I called mom and told her I made an appointment for the following day with an Internal Medicine doctor to get an X-Ray. Mom feared I had a stress fracture.
I immediately went into panic mode and may have had an nervous breakdown purely because I didn’t want to be out of CrossFit for months. Boyfriend was leaving work when I got off the phone with Mom and I told him to hurry. I put spaghetti squash in the oven and the marinara sauce was gurgling away on the stove when he texted figuring it would take him about a half hour to get to my place.
He got to my place in 20 minutes. I was still crying when he came through the door and he hugged me tightly, singing “Soft Kitty” and rocking me ever so gently so my back wouldn’t hurt. I teared on his shirt and he assured me that it’s not a failure and I’ve been drinking the Kool-Aid by the gallon and that I will be fine and back to CrossFit when the time is right.
Dinner was AMAZING! I made up a double batch of marinara sauce and added mild and hot Italian sausages. Instead of pasta, I baked a spaghetti squash in the oven with olive oil drizzled on it, face down on a baking pan and 45 minutes in the oven. Then you take a fork and scrape it all out (THE BEST PART!) and then serve it up! I found it hard to sit down more often than not and I winced in pain every few minutes when the muscles would spasm. I sent an e-mail to Badger CrossFit telling them I probably wouldn’t be able to come to class on Wednesday and I’d let him know what the doctor said the next day.
In bed that night, Boyfriend comforted me while I tried relaxing, causing multiple spasms to wrack my back and cause immense pain. Boyfriend grabbed my hand and let me squeeze as tightly as I needed before I could finally relax enough that I could lay still. I knew this wasn’t any ordinary pain and I again feared it was a fracture. He squeezed me tight and I didn’t move all night.
I woke up Wednesday morning, still unable to move, called into work yet again and told them I’d update them after the appointment. Boyfriend helped me out of bed, made breakfast as I slowly made my way around the apartment getting ready for the appointment.
I hobbled into the doctors office in a dress as it was the only thing I could put on without pain. My underwear was tough enough to get on let alone pants. I told the doctor my symptoms, he assured me it wasn’t a fracture and it sounded like “Early Disk Degeneration” or herniated discs. He prescribed me pain killers and muscle relaxers and told me if it was actually the disk issue, he’d be recommending a doctor to do a cortisone shot and I’d be on my feet again in a week. He wanted me to get in for an X-Ray and an MRI as soon as possible but my insurance had to accept it and I had to be fit in the schedule. I went to the scheduling desk and the woman there became my hero. She processed my papers, got it accepted through the insurance company and got me in for an MRI an hour later. I went down to radiology and sat down in the cushy chair, curled up in the fetal position as it was the only way I was comfortable. The X-Ray was hell as I had to move and contort my lower half to get the right picture. She tech had to help me off the table and as soon as I sat down, another tech came over to find me for the MRI.
Now, I’m slightly claustrophobic around my head– basically if I can feel my own breath, I don’t like it. Luckily, the scan would be low enough on my body that my head would essentially be out of the scanner. A cool breeze came in over my face for the whole thing and I was comfortable enough, especially when the loud noises the machine makes reminded me quite a bit of Dubstep. My toes may have been tapping along every now and then. I went back up to the doctors’ office to find out if he could look at the films right away and give me an idea of how to proceed, but he wasn’t available for a while so I opted to go to walgreens to fill my prescriptions and head home to the couch. A couple hours later the doc called to say I had two herniated disks in my lower back. The disks between L4 and L5 and L5 and S1 were both herniated, which was the main reason for all of the intense pain. He said he’s given my information to an orthopedic surgeon who would be able to administer the shot and he would be in contact with me soon.
I called Badger Crossfit and explained the situation to him. He suggested I wait until the July Elements class to pick CrossFit back up because I didn’t want to make it worse. I agreed with him but hedged, thinking I’d be ready to be back to it on Monday if the shot worked. I told him I’d call him back. I then called my Chiropractor and he suggested I come see him more often because the cortisone shot won’t fix me forever. I scheduled an appointment for Friday morning before getting into see the pain management docs. I got a call from the Ortho and he didn’t have any availability until next week Wednesday. I wanted another option to see someone Friday. I wasn’t about to miss more work and be in pain for another week. The pain killers were working wonders but I didn’t want to live off them for the next week. A Pain Management office through Aurora had an opening Friday afternoon and my insurance just needed to accept it before we could schedule the appointment officially.
The Ortho himself called me later Wednesday and badgered me about how the cortisone shot may not actually be needed and the herniated discs might not be my real problem and I needed to be seen etc. I told him I’m not willing to wait a week when I’m in this much pain so I’d be seeing the other doctor. He was practically scolding me like I was a child about to go into surgery and how it was so important that I see him and no one else. Every word coming out of his mouth made me want to cry so instead I told him I needed to think about it. I called mom, freaked out for a minute and she offered to come over. I had already sent an e-mail to work saying I’d be out the rest of the week due to this issue but I had plenty of work to do so I’d get that done while convalescing on the couch.
Mom and I watched TV and she didn’t leave until after 10 p.m. when the OxyCodone had kicked in and I was super sleepy and glazed over. I wasn’t in an ounce of pain when she left and I slept soundly until my alarm went off at 6 a.m. Thursday morning. I had a raging headache, much like a hangover so I rolled over and went back to sleep until 8 a.m. when the pain management office called to talk me through my appointment the next day. I asked the appropriate questions: will there be an evaluation beforehand to make sure this is what I need, can my mom be in the room when the injection takes place, etc. and I answered all of their personal questions. I hung up with them and went back to sleep until 12:30. I slept for 15 hours after taking the Oxy. I was still hurting but it was much less. I managed to get some knitting done and I got a good chunk of work done while chilling out for the entire day. I tried taking the other non-narcotic muscle relaxer but got dizzy and sleepy so I napped for a short time before the drugs wore off. I felt normal just in time to take a pain killer and head out to Boyfriends’ for the night. Another Oxycodone was taken during dinner and I slept amazingly again.
Friday morning I woke, stiff and slightly groggy. Boyfriend didn’t make breakfast but I was running late. I got to the Chiropractor and, after sitting for the electrode therapy, he took it pretty easy on me and it, again, was really hard to get off the table. I went to Mom’s for the day as she was driving me to the appointment. I made a quick breakfast of three eggs, onions and peppers and lazed around until the appointment suggling with the kittens.
The appointment was scary. There was no evaluation but the pain management guy said this was definitely going to help and I wasn’t displaying any other pain that would be associated with anything other than the herniated disks. So I agreed to it. Mom couldn’t come in but the nurses were very sweet and the shot was administered within a matter of minutes. It wasn’t immediate pain relief, but the lidocain was definitely working its magic, making my left hamstring and butt numb.
Mom told me to lay down on the couch, propped my legs up with pillows and put a kitty on my stomach. We watched TV, I fell asleep for a while and finally woke up with enough pain relief that I could go to the bathroom. I went home later in the evening, ate some larabar with the Oxycodone and went right to bed.
Saturday I woke up feeling much better. I generally bummed around and went to Boyfriend’s for the night. We stayed up and watched a movie even though I had taken the Oxycodone– it wasn’t starting to have the narcotic affect right away anymore which was really nice. Sunday I hung out at Mom’s again for a while, went to the grocery store and did other small errands and Boyfriend came over for the night. I hadn’t taken any pain killers or muscle relaxers since the morning which wore off around noon.
Today we woke up, boyfriend made breakfast and I went to work. I could actually put pants on with minimal pain! The pain is all but gone with just a little stiffness in the right side of my spine. I’m going to knitting tonight. Tomorrow is Stitch n Pitch! I called Badger Crossfit again and Tyler was awesome about letting me sign up for July’s Elements class to re-start. It’s starting up again on July 9 so hopefully by then my times will have gotten better. In the meantime, I’ll be doing lots of plank holds and overhead squats with a PVC pipe to help strengthen those muscles.
OK I think we’re all caught up. Thanks for sticking through it with me!