Friday, October 09, 2009

Back In The Saddle Again....

As I write this post I am sitting in the PvtRn's recliner with my feet up using her laptop, feeling poorly -- both figuratively and literally.

Yesterday I threw some paper into the trash can and missed. As I reached over to pick up the paper I heard a "pop" in my back and went to my knees. I couldn't get up.

After several attempts I was able to put one hand on the kitchen table and one hand on the kitchen counter and pull myself up. There was a spot, when I was about halfway up, where the pain in my lower back was so intense that I didn't think I could make it up all the way, so I went back down, caught my breath, and tried it again.

One of the advantages of having a PvtRn is she knows what to do. I received a crash course in how to sit (straight up, feet flat on the floor, no crossed legs), how to pick stuff up (don't bend over, squat with knees bent and keep back straight), use the hot tub, and how to get in and out of bed. She impressed upon me the need to not put my body in compromising positions.

I am glad we put grab bars in the bathroom.

I spent yesterday sitting in her recliner doing absolutely nothing except taking tylenol and focusing on relaxing. When I went to bed, lying on my back was uncomfortable so I slept on my side with my knees drawn up. I slept until almost 11 today.

When I woke up this morning I felt pretty good until I started moving. Putting on my pants liked to kill me. I walked into the kitchen and opened the dishwasher to get out a coffee cup. As I bent over I immediately knew that was a bad idea.

The PvtRN counseled me to do nothing today --no lifting, no working in the shop, no working on the jeep and to take it easy.

I am comfortable sitting in her recliner right now but I have pain in my back at my waist level. It is a dull, aching pain that is constant, tolerable but a nuisance.

About 10 years ago I had a really nice 1955 Ford F-600 grain truck with a dump bed, low mileage, good seats, good tires and a well running truck. If I can find a picture, I'll post it. The truck had a ladder on the side for climbing up and checking the load. For some reason I was on the ladder and jumped off. I must have landed wrong because my back started hurting major.
I mean to tell you the pain was so bad that if a doctor would have said we can fix the pain but we will have to cut off the leg I would have said cut the leg off. It was my sciatic nerve. I couldn't sit, couldn't lie down without pain. Walking hurt, standing was tolerable. I kept trying to push through the pain. The PvtRN told me I was crazy,quit trying to be superman and go to the doctor. I did as she said. I went to a neurologist, Dr. Mace.

X-rays, MRIs, dye testing, all that stuff. Surgery was suggested. I didn't want to do that. (There was a woman who lived in a town who had back surgery once, I didn't know her but I lived in the next town over so I could imagine how her back felt.) Are there any other options I asked. I could go on bed rest for a month and do nothing, I might get better. I chose the later. I went to the lake cabin and lived down there on the couch and watched TV and read.

I kept a pain diary and it hurts just to read it. The only way I could get comfort was to lie on two boat cushions. I got an Rx for pain pills and I would cut them in half and quarter them so I wouldn't get all foggy minded.

I did nothing but lie on the couch. The PvtRN stocked the fridge and would come down and check on me. My Dad was still alive and he would come down to his cabin next door and get me meals and help me get up to the bathroom. I was in misery but I didn't want to go under the knife.

Then one day, about three weeks into this regime, I woke up pain free. I remember being afraid to move for fear the pain would come back. Slowly I wiggled my toes and then moved my legs, drawing them up and moving from side to side. No pain. My three weeks of bed rest had relieved the symptoms.

I had a doctor's appointment. I went and my previous test results had gotten misplaced. He wanted to do them all again. I said no need, Doctor, I am feeling so much better!

And so, other than the normal aches and pains of a 60 year old man, I have spent the last ten years relatively pain free and healthy. Until yesterday.

So I am going to be taking it easy until I get back in the saddle again.


Horse-farmer said...

First you tore your back up, then later I ruined mine,

then I fall off the top of the hay piled in the back of my truck and am down for awhile,

now you are back in the saddle (recliner) again

danged hope it don't happen to me again.

get better

bro #3

longrooffan said...

Jim: This happened to me a couple years ago and again last summer. I wrapped a ziploc full of ice in a bath towel and kept it as cold as I could stand it. Within less than a week, I was up and running on all six cylinders again. Hope you feel better soon.

Becky said...

Good luck with the back. I know first hand the troubles of back pain. I almost went as far as surgery... however I stumbled across Dr. Richard E. Busch III's book "Surgery not Included: Freedom from chronic neck and back pain," and asked my Dr. about the techniques offered in the book. I was able to get over the pain without surgery. I highly recommend this book to anyone suffering with back and neck pain

Anonymous said...

I am surprised it is your back and not something lower hurting you since you have been "spanked" in every election in which you were a candidate! (of course against tough, uh, okay breathing, opponents). LOL. In all seriousness, hope you get to feeling better soon.