Monday, February 3, 2014

Still Useless

So I've wrapped up another weekend of being absolutely worthless but the good news that I should be getting more answers about my back on Tuesday morning!

On Friday afternoon, I went to go see the orthopedist and after reviewing my history and symptoms, she concurred that I have indeed royally fucked myself. She had medical terminology for that, but that was the gist. She needs a MRI to know exactly how broken I am, so she put me in for the first available one, which will happen tonight at 10pm. MRIs are painless, but I need to lay flat on my back for the scan, which is not a painless position for me. Since I need to stay still in that position for 30-45 minutes, I'm going to take a pain pill. This means my husband gets to drive me while I'm loopy on pain meds, that lucky guy.





After the MRI tonight, I'll go back to the orthopedist first thing tomorrow morning to go over the results and talk about treatment options. The treatment plan will hopefully address my top two concerns:

1. Regaining sensation in my leg and foot.

2. Pain management. I still can't do daily activities without significant pain, let alone something wild like cook dinner or the dishes. I'd be more optimistic about the pain if it was improving at all, but it's been pretty constant.


Before I get comments and emails about how your aunt's best friend Sharon had back problems and went to go see some shaman who did magical chiropractic acupuncture combined with a gluten free diet and now she's totally fine and I should do that too, please save yourself the time and effort.





First of all, I don't have an official diagnosis yet so there is a chance that this could be more than just a spine issue. Second of all, if you'd feel comfortable pursuing alternative medicine instead of first doing conventional medicine when you have significant sensation loss, then you are either more patient or stupider than me.

Chances are that I'm going to get epidural steroid injections into my spine and if I'm lucky, those will help. If I'm not that lucky, then there is a fairly non-invasive procedure that could remove the part of the disc that's pushing on the nerve and numbing my leg. The surgery wouldn't be to "fix my back" (so don't feel the need to point out how lower back surgeries don't solve back pain), it would be to fix my leg. Most of my pain is in my leg, so this would be a huge break for me.

This is all assuming that it is a disc problem, which can't be known for sure until after my MRI tonight. After tomorrow morning, I'll know a lot more about my recovery timeline and treatment plan, and until then it's all just conjecture.


Note: 

I'm not bashing all alternative medicine options. If it works for you, that's fantastic. One of my old kung fu instructors used to burn weed-smelling incense and tell people their problems were from clogged qi in their kidneys and using microwaves to cook food.



Although, I bet some powdered endangered seahorse mixed with white tea would fix me right up...



On a totally unrelated note, I saw a commercial for this new Subway sandwich last night:


This is totally the kind of sandwich an 8 year old "invents" when they are hungry after school. I don't think I'd ever try it. Is Subway smoking weed now?

Would you eat this Frito...sandwich? 

39 comments:

  1. You know what they call alternative medicine that works? They call it "medicine."

    You're a tough-as-nails badass Kara. Heal up, navigate the health care system as best you can, and you'll be back to kicking major ass.

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  2. I'm intrigued that they schedule MRIs for that late at night. That's bizarre. And my friend's cousin's piano teacher hurt her back and then she ate that Subway Frito enchilada sandwich and she got better, so...just sayin.

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    1. Most MRI machines run almost 24 hours a day because demand is so high. I've had an MRI appointment at 6AM on a Saturday. It's crazy.

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    2. I had no idea! Obviously I'm going to go buy one this weekend and and make some extra cash...

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  3. At camp we used to used to eat chili and fritos mixed together in the bags. Freaking delicious. That being said, that sandwich looks gross...also, I was like 7 at camp.

    On the more pressing topic of your back...I'm all for alternative medicine, but sign me up for a real MD if there is a chance I might paralyze myself.

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    1. I've had chilli out of a fritos bag. It was good but it was after a 22 mile trail race in the rain. I would have eaten anything.

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  4. ugh that sucks. Back pain/problems are the worst. It is such a scary place. I'm sure they will take good care of you though and hopefully have some answers tomorrow.

    That sandwich is just weird and I can't believe they are selling it. What happened to Jarrod and his "I've lost half my weight by eating subway sandwiches" campaign? This sandwich is NOT on the road to weight loss….

    Unrelated note, there are charmin ads on your gifs. I hope you get paid for that. I'll click the hell out of it if you do.

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    1. I noticed the new ads too, I think it's a change by BlogHer. I also hope I get paid for it lol

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  5. My mom had a bulging disk that pretty much ruined 10+ years of her life before they figured it out. They figured it out, she had minor surgery to snip it out (like you mentioned above) and it CHANGED HER LIFE. She went from being a person who was constantly laid up not able to move because of her back to only having her back go out once in the last 15 year. I know everyone is different, but if this is a viable option, it may totally work out.

    Also, my mom is a PT - so I'm not a chiropractor kind of gal. That is all.

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    1. Of course surgery should be the last option, but I have to admit the idea of going in there and snipping out the offending piece of disc sounds AWESOME to me right now.

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  6. You should have eaten your placenta...is it gluten free?

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    1. Damn it, I know it would come back to haunt me that I didn't eat that.

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  7. I'm all for using modern medicine combined with alternative medicine. Like if this kung pao incense will increase the effects of the already effective steroid shot then great. But I certainly wouldn't drink the seahorse tea and NOT go see a doctor. I hope you feel better.

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  8. Well, after a little weed AND if that Subway sandwich were on gluten free bread (celiac, **sigh**) why yes, I probably would eat it.

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  9. My disc issue is just about healed now thanks to some good fucking drugs and physical therapy. No chiro or acupuncture needed (despite many recommendations!)

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  10. I rarely ever comment on blogs - but when I first read your post on your back/leg pain issue, my first instinct was to comment on what happened to my back last year and what worked for me (luckily just time/rest/chiropractic adjustments), and then I realized - SHE DOESN'T CARE! What worked for me is in no way helpful to you and your situation. I am so glad you pointed that out. Everyone is different and it would be so stupid to assume that whatever helped my pain go away would be in any way related to what will help you.

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    1. I think it's because back pain is so common that everyone has "tips" and for most people, those would be helpful...unless there is some kind of structural injury, then it's a good way to further injury yourself. I actually had someone say I was wasting my time with an orthopedic because an orthopedic never helped them and what I need is a chiropractor. That's just stupid and borderline dangerous advice.

      I do care about hearing about other people's back injuries, especially what helped you avoided recurrences of pain! Once I get past this acute stage, I'm going to love any information on that :)

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    2. Was going to comment about our twitter conversation last week. I really wasn't saying not to waste your time. Just commenting that after a couple of months of nothing working at the orthopedic guys (and him telling me to just quit running and take up slow walking), another MD suggested I see his sports chiro. I thought they were all just fakes, so I was surprised he even suggested it. It worked for my issue, and I was glad I tried it as a last resort. Yeah, I misread your tweet as being in the same boat. Two lessons learned - keep with the "don't give advice" policy that I usually have, and not to fall behind on reading your blog.

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    3. It wasn't just you, so please don't think I singled you out in this post. :( You weren't even the one who told me I was wasting my time haha. I got so many comments, tweets, and emails about how I could be solving my problem and it's just hard to read that stuff and know that it's not going to help (right not at least) and having to explain over and over again that it's not something that can be fixed with an adjustment or acupuncture or doing the freaking hokey pokey. I guess it just...struck a nerve? Hahaha I crack myself up.

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    4. Well... if you want to know ;) Over a year ago I started having serious lower back pain and some numbness/sharp pain in my left leg. I tried just dealing with it but it eventually got so bad that I was bed-ridden for 3 days and couldn't eat/drink, and ended up in the emergency room (this was after seeing my doctor and getting pain meds/muscle relaxers). In the end just some rest and making sure I iced my lower back helped me get back to manageable. I had an MRI and it showed a herniated disc by L5. I couldn't handle the pain meds - they made me more sick. I ended up seeing a chiropractor that was recommended by my boss and even though I was feeling mostly better at that point, I underwent an intense corrective process with him for 3 months and I still go once a month. I have no idea if it really helps, but I haven't had any issues since. But my doctor said that if the pain ever came back she would refer me to a local "back center" for more specialized help - so I didn't rule out "regular" medicine if it got worse. I have no idea why it happened - other than possibly being out of shape and lifting my son too much (in the wrong way?). I have to say that when I start to feel stiffness/pain in my lower back these days - ice really does help. My first instinct was always heat but the ice helped bring the swelling down around the nerves and was more effective for me.

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    5. And I know chiropractic care won't help everyone. I was very skeptical at first because as a teenage my mother had really bad back pain (herniated or ruptured discs, I can't remember) and she went to a chiropractor for quite a while and it never fixed it - and she ended up having to have serious back surgery, So... it's all relative. I think I was just a baby about the pain because yours sounds so much worse and I don't know how you are getting through every day. You are one tough woman! I hope things start to improve soon.

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    6. I think once the acute pain dies down, I'll be much more open to consider "alternative" treatment options. I'm just currently in so much pain that it sounds like the worst idea in the whole universe to have someone "adjust" my back haha

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  11. Kara... as I know you'll take this as it's meant: My Dad's solution to a slipped disk: "sex, missionary style". Yes.. that's the advice he once gave me. (Oh.. and my Mom "broke" him before they were married... he fell thru a hay hole in the barn at my Grandparents place... He's has back pain pretty much 80% of the time. Guess he's having sex the other 20)

    Hope you feel better soon. Back pain, leg pain, not being able to run... all these things together must be fun for you hubby!!

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    1. Well, that's the first time I've heard this as a solution to my problem....well, this particular problem anyway :)

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    2. You're welcome! ;-)

      Enjoy your pain meds as you go thru your MRI.

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  12. Major "boo you whore" at the back pain. I had a headache last night and thought I was going to die with the constant "dancing" I have to do with my 15 month old to get her to bed. She hasn't gone to sleep once by herself since EVER. I hope you're not having to deal with something like that on top of the back pain, but with 2 kids I'm sure it suuuucks that you can't just do nothing while you're in pain. Doing nothing is one of the only things I miss about pre-kid me.

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    1. Oh yeah, there are still a ton of things that if I don't do them, the world ends so I just suck it up. You can't reason with a 15 month old and you can barely reason with a 3 year old, so what can I do? :)

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  13. What Tai said...nothing much else to say on that part...

    As for Subway, Taco Bell called and they said to stop stealing their menu. Seriously, they are eventually going to morph into the same.place. Before you know it, they'll have $5 foot long nacho cheese, chicken enchilada subs topped with siratcha.

    Sounds like the hardest part of it all will be sitting still for 45 min under the MRI. Good luck with that!

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  14. Except that I said I had the epidural steroid injections and they worked like a charm. So you're following my advice. So I'll be sure to always throw my hat into the ring when it comes to helping you make important decisions ;-)

    I think you should join Marie and me in our self-surgical contest. She's doing her c-section unmedicated at home by herself and I'm doing my hip replacement unmedicated at home by MYself. With a double mirror, you could probably do your own spinal injections! And make a VLOG!!!!

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  15. Are they corn chips on a sandwich? Seriously?

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    1. It's Americas answer to the marmite and chip sandwich.

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  16. The internet is so great, you can get so much advice that you don't even ask for! I was going to suggest Whole30, I'm pretty sure gluten is the source of all of your problems, and also all problems everywhere.

    I would eat that sandwich. I liked when my mom but potato chips on my tuna sandwich as a kid, so why not? Everyone I was watching the superbowl with instantly reacted like "YES, I need this".

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  17. I hear you on not wanting to hear about the miracle cure that worked for someone else. And yes, I would eat that sandwich. I'd feel guilty later, but I have a weakness for fritos.

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  18. so so sorry. When stress fractures sidelined for me( for 7 long months) I wanted to hit people who a. complained about their long 3 mile runs b. hit non runner who tried to give me nutrition and fitness advice and c. throw things out the window as I drove by runners. I was a joy to be around.

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  19. Don't tell me you've never put potato chips on a sandwich, for some extra crunch?!?

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  20. I've never had back problems, so I have no good advice except to enjoy those pain pills. I hope you get some answers this morning!

    Also I had food poisoning/the flu this weekend and every time the commercial for that subway sandwich came on tv, I had to turn it off or turn it on mute. So so gross. Ew.

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