stick a fork in me, i am done.

it is official.  i am hurt.  a herniated disk is the diagnosis.  i spent most of my wednesday researching tons of information on how to relieve the excruciating pain. i couldn’t stand up straight.  i couldn’t sit. i couldn’t lay down. i was in complete misery.

i am the girl that ran a 4 mile race with a fractured tibia.  i know pain.  i can deal with a lot.  but this.  this was unbearable.  for after 3 days of trying to steer clear of drugs, i went to the doctor for x-rays and drugs.  today i am asking myself, “why i was so foolish.”  drugs are good.  drugs are so very good.

click for source.

here is a great image of a herniated disc.  if you click on the source there is more information on what it actually is.  i found a great doctor (unfortunately it was at an urgent care but i would have totally asked if he could be my primary doctor).  he spent 30+ minutes with the husband and i explaining my injury.  the value of pain meds and steroids and then went on to talk about treatment alternatives.  my fear with going to a medical doctor for back pain was they would either just give me pain meds which isn’t solving the problem but masking it and/or send me to a surgeon.  to my surprise, this doctor strongly recommended acupuncture along with physical therapy after a couple days of letting the anti-inflammatory meds do their job.

a medical doctor strongly recommending acupuncture.  i was sold on his credibility.

plus he described the herniated disk using a jelly donut reference.  unfortunately, all i can now think about is how badly i would like a jelly donut.  but i understood what exactly is going on in my body which, along with the drugs, gives me a sense on calmness and control.

click for source.

so my plan is to rest, laying down as much as possible today while using the heating pad.  tomorrow much of the same only in a reclined/sitting up position.  this weekend spend equal time off my feet as on.  then monday seek a acupuncturist and physical therapist.  luckily, i have a great reference for one guy that is qualified in both fields.  two for one.  if that doesn’t work i have a great reference for a chiropractor.  the time is not on our side because we are leaving for our big jamaica trip in about a week.

today is a much better day.  i woke up wanting to sing “its a whole new world” via aladdin.  i may be currently humming that exact tune as i type.  yesterday i had a shot of toradol at the doctors office and then before bed 800mg of ibuprofen and also vicodin.   this morning i am trying to manage without the vicodin and doing well so far.  i feel like for a couple reasons wiping out the pain completely isn’t in  my best interest: (1) i am stubborn as hell and like to be busy. if i wasn’t feeling any pain, i wouldn’t be resting (i.e. laying down all day). so feeling a little pain reminds me to REST. (2) the more pain pills i save the more i will have as an emergency in jamaica.  i need to check customs but since i have all my paperwork and prescriptions it shouldn’t be a problem. my fear is something happens down there and i don’t have access to the local urgent care. (3) i am a pill minimalist. i hate taking pills. so the less is better for me.  if i can tolerate the pain without the vicodin, then i will.  see stubborn.

click for source.

so i am going to stop being sad.  yesterday i broke down for a full hour before the husband came home to rescue me.  it is so emotional being in so much pain.  at some point i became the girl that likes to go to the gym.  i became the girl that relied on the stress relief from a hard workout.  i don’t know when that happened but it is pretty cool that it did.  but it just makes me sad and scared that i will fall out of my healthy habits.  lets be honest, it will be a while before i can do my weight lifting routine or go for a run.  i am not a patient person so this is stressing me out.  but all i can do is be take time to heal.  i am going to start being awesome instead of sad.  i am going to focus on our amazing trip and try to be optimistic that i will be pain free by then.

thank you all for your amazing support, advice, and kind words that you have sent via facebook yesterday.  you guys seriously rock!  please keep sending your positive juju my way.  i fear it is going to be a long road back to where i was on saturday pre-injury.

side note: i feel like there is a connection between me being on the dl (disabled list) along with my favorite red sox, jacoby ellsbury.  the husband thinks i am high and ridiculous.  i am just putting it out there.

2 comments
Sarah
Sarah

Oh girl - I am SO sorry. I had two herniated dics in college and they have continued to flare up ever since. HOWEVER, I've been really dutiful with physical therapy and stretching and I'm able to run long distances and lift heavy weights now. High heels are my kryptonite, but frankly, so what? Anyway, point is, I agree with your above-stated aversion to drug therapy (though short-term, pop them pills) and just want to encourage you to rest FOR REAL and seek out a PT. I've not tried accupuncture, but I could see the benefit there too. Here are my big don't-recommends: chirpractors and surgery. My dad dealt with the former for years for his own lower back problems (almost identical to my own injury) and had at best temporary relief and we've been counseled by a number of great docs that the risks with surgery are too high. We've both benefited greatly from physical therapy, however and from massage therapy (the notion being that when you're in pain you carry your weigh differently, burden different muscles and pull your spine out of whack..so ease up those muscles.Okay, I've written a book. Sorry :). I'm happy to share any further info if you need/want it. In the meantime, take it ease and heal up!!

Anonymous
Anonymous

Kelsi, my husband had lots of nerve pain (which is apparently a really intense type of pain) and surgery from a herniated disk that made his right hand go numb. I am glad to know there are other alternatives out there! While waiting to run, have you explored the pool? May I also recommend yoga? I've been teaching group fitness for ten years now. Spinal flexibility (like a chiropractor would give) is one of the best things you can give your body and it's no/low impact!Best wishes on a good recovery. I love your blog!Julie Ludlow Noblitt