First of all, the MRI last night. It's a non-invasive test and the only compliant you usually hear that the tube makes you feel claustrophobic. I knew going into the test that I would be uncomfortable laying on my back, in fact it is hands down the most uncomfortable position I can currently imagine. To prep for this, I took the strongest drugs I had (a narcotic and a Valium) and I felt good and loopy before the test began.
They had me lay back and put me in the tube to begin the test. As I was laying there, the pain was building. It felt like every muscle and tendon in my right leg was being ripped apart. I lasted about 5 minutes before I hit the button and asked if I could be in a different position. The tech (who was not exactly a shining example of patient care for the hospital) told me I could try a pillow under my legs and then asked "Is that better?" and I told her that it actually made it worse and asked her to take it away. Then she snidely told me if I interrupted the test again, they would bump me and I'd have to wait an hour to try again. If that wasn't heart-warming enough, then she forgot to turn off the intercom so I could hear her complaining about me when she went back in the booth. Yes, I am just faking all of this pain and my secret goal is just to make your job difficult. You caught me.
That MRI was the most painful experience I can remember and I came out soaked in sweat from the pain and there may have been crying. Good thing there isn't video.
After the MRI, it was like my pain medicine was out of my system because I wasn't loopy anymore and I could feel a ton of pain, but I couldn't take more pills so I just had to forgo that whole "sleeping" thing last night. At least that meant I didn't need an alarm to make my early morning appointment over at the orthopedic office. The PA I saw last week spent all of 10 minutes glancing at my scans and basically shrugged and was like "Yeah, you have a herniated disc."
She said one disc is herniated to the right side, which a monkey could have figured out without an MRI since I can't feel my right fucking leg, and that another disc is all dried out and degenerated. God forbid she explain what any of that means, because she obviously had somewhere more important to be and hurried me out of there like I had highly contagious gonorrhea and I was insisting on sitting naked on her chair.
She wants me to get epidural steroid injections into my spine, which *might* help. I can't think of anything more fun than a needle in my spine that might be completely worthless beyond checking a box. Oh wait, I can. She wants me to get THREE injections before I come back and each injection has to be two weeks apart. Oh, and that first injection? They can't fit me in for that until the 13th, which is nine days away. Since I've had no improvement in pain or sensation so far, it's a pretty safe bet to assume that this means I get to spend at least nine more days feeling this much pain. Unless the shot doesn't work, which in that case I'm just fucked because then I'll have even more painful waiting time.
The PA said that if I still have no improvement after the second shot, I should come back and see her. Actually, I think I'll insist on an appointment with an actual doctor, but I'll stick to that timeline for when to go back.
As far as running/working out goes, I still have no idea. The idiot PA said to do whatever my pain will allow me to do. Right now, standing up to cook dinner causes a spike in pain. Unless this spinal injection reduces my pain, I can't think of any physical activity that I could do that wouldn't be a pain-fest and likely result in even less sleep at nights from the pain. Once the pain gets out of control (like last night) it's really hard to bring it back down to manageable levels again where I can sit somewhat comfortably and have an appetite.
The PA also told me that the injection could reduce the pain, but not give me back sensation in my leg and they would still call that a success. Apparently the numbness and tingling can last for months. Awesome.
|This cat is my spirit animal|
So for now, I guess I'll just stick to my current activities of either being hungover and cranky, painful and cranky, or high and vaguely philosophical about life on earth.
Oh, and the million dollar question of "How did this happen?"
I got nothing beyond "Because fuck me, that's why." Sorry.
Anyone have any hobby suggestions for a broken person? I should probably do something beyond reading Reddit and excessively Instagramming my dog.