07 December 2008

I can breathe again

I don't have to have back surgery. That is the thought that keeps going through my head, even as the pain continues. I had truly prepped my self so much for the prospect that it is really a relief that it will not have to happen. I had started to figure out what I would do with the substitute teacher who would take my class, I had figured out who would take care of me, how I would rearrange my finances to pay for whatever the insurance would not cover, etc.

The MRI was an experience. No one, even the nurses, warned me of what it would be like. I was impressed that I would get to listen to music from satellite while in the machine. But then I asked them how long I would be in there since I was being offered music. They said it would be between 30-50 minutes.

I got on the machine and was lifted into the contraption. It was weird, but I don't get claustrophobic, so no biggie. The lady came on and asked if the music was loud enough. I said it was fine. She said we were ready to start.

The percussive sound was crazy-loud. And seemed incessant. I could barely hear the radio in my ear. I lasted for a total of 35 minutes in any where from 2-6.5 minute intervals of loud craziness.

The doctor who looks at the stuff was not there that evening so I had to wait to get the results. No big deal since I already figured that surgery would be the only option. I slept better that night.

I went to the chiropractor again. (A really good one. If you need a guy, I will definitely recommend this one. He taught Pete, who I think is the most knowledgeable in the field of the body movement. And he was recommended by Pete since Pete is moving and didn't want to start treatment on me if he is not going to be able to see it all the way through.) This guy was able to explain the results.

Mild to moderate degenerative facet joint changes with ligamentous hypertrophy throughout the lumbar spine. (not so good news) The lumbar disc are unremarkable. (good news)

Basically I have arthritis in my back. (Yes I am still not yet 30 and have bad arthritis in my back.)

But hearing that the disc are unremarkable meant that there would need to be no surgery.

I basically have the stuff that cushions my spine bones deteriorating. That means that the bones are not able to move as well as they should and that they aren't cushioned as well as they should be. Added to this is the fact that although I look like I workout a lot, I have not done more than 20 days of exercising in the past 4-5+ years. This means that my body has not been very mobile and my spine has been made to be stuck in its position. Due to my job, I also have added stress that tightens my muscles in my upper back and neck, which add to the pain.

I decided three weeks ago that since my birthday was coming up, I would start to workout. I ran, I lifted, I did ab stuff, I did back stuff. All this felt good at the time, but the doctor said that it could have led to what turned out to be the worst pain of my life.

The sudden movement of a basically almost immobile spine was not good. It produced the feelings of someone stabbing me through my insides, the inability to bend to even spit toothpaste adequately into the sink, the inability to sit in a chair, the inability to lay on my side, etc.

To make it better, I will need to start exercising, I will need to make sure that I stretch my back to loosen the spine bones, I will need to get adjusted every so often to make sure the gaps are right in my spine, I will need to not get fat.

So far, the adjusting is working a bit. I can move easier. I have also started doing the exercises the doctor recommended. They help a bit. But my back is so tight that I can't even bring my leg to my chest when laying down without pain. I can't do the cobra stretch on the ground higher than about 10". But I am getting better.

And I don't have to have surgery.

1 comment:

I share my thoughts and would love to read your thoughts, too.