Yesterday, I managed to stand up for myself. I forced the specialist to finally realize exactly what I was going through. All the pain, all the self loathing, all the indifference, all of it caused because there is something wrong with my back.
My pain is disproportionate to my problem though. Yes, my L2 disk is in rough shape. I have scoliosis, which is kind of surprising because I’ve always tried to have good posture and I didn’t have it as a kid. In my case, it’s “sway back,” meaning my spine curves inwards too much. And after a second look at the MRI, my L1 disk has a small bulge in it.
I do have inflammation in the area, but not much. Most of it is actually centered around my SI joints (which are part of the pelvis) and the nerves that run through that area. It’s those nerves that have been causing my leg pain. Which I’m happy to report, decreased after the injections into that area. I didn’t realize it last week, but I had to play all night, normally that makes me want to scream and cry when I get home and all the next day. My legs did hurt afterwards, but not the bone crushing pain I had been experiencing. So, we may have to increase the frequency of those considering the difference it made.
But what about the other pain? The one in my back. The one that has been constant for over a month. The one I can actually touch.
Yep, I can touch a spot on my back, in a strange place that may or may not be my spine (I can’t tell, which is weird) and send severe pain throughout my body. There’s no lump, no knots, no indicators that there’s something going on there, except that’s where I feel the popping. And the popping also causes extreme pain.
So, I finally broke down and told the doctor “Hey, I can touch this spot and it nearly cripples me.” He did some tests. I have weakness in my right leg, weakness that isn’t explained by the SI joints or nerves, or the small bulge in the disk, or the disk degeneration process. And it gets worse when pressure is put on that specific spot. When he gently pressed where my fingers indicated, I yelped and jumped away from his touch. He might as well have stabbed me.
I was fitted with a brace. It’s a nice one. It feels like the bottom section of a good, strong corset. I’ve always loved wearing corsets with true spines in them. They do so much for my posture and as a woman, they do a lot for holding up the jiggly bits and taking the weight off our shoulders, when I wear them, I slump my shoulders less. This eases the stress on my neck, shoulders, muscles in the front of my chest, muscles around my shoulder blades… It’s just better. What was I talking about?
Oh yes, the brace… It’s to help the scoliosis. I did notice my back was a little less stiff after several hours of wearing it. I wish it was a full torso brace, but that would just be a corset by another name. But my insurance might pay for it that way.
I also got Tramadol. I’m not a fan of this narcotic pain reliever. it doesn’t seem to work well. However, we have decided to check for bone inflammation. I do the test Friday. We want to minimize the pain without minimizing inflammation. Tramadol is one of the few narcotics not mixed with acetaminophen. While acetaminophen isn’t awesome about reducing inflammation like NSAIDS or steroids, it does reduce it some.
Then it’s off for nerve testing!
So, tonight, I have some relief and tomorrow I’ll get a little more.