Knowing is half the battle...

This nifty photo to the left explains the nerves that are affected when you have a bulge or herniation. 

I've explained in an earlier entries that I don't just feel pain at the site of the injury, but also the places where those nerves control.  With my lower back, I feel pain down my leg.  I also have fun experiences while sneezing and other sundry things. For my neck -- the pain radiates over my left shoulder, down my biceps/triceps, to my index finger and thumb.

I've mentally compiled (and sometimes unleash on Twitter) lists of "It's fun to ____________" statements such as "it's fun to do laundry with a herniated disc in your neck" or "it's fun trying to pick up the sock you dropped."  Even the simplest things become difficult tasks that require a bit of creativity and humor. But sometimes it's really hard to find the humor (like when I have to brace myself against a wall when I feel a sneeze coming on, or else I'll totally pee at the same time).  

I'm feeling very sorry for myself lately because it's hard to feel young & vibrant when my body is crapping out on me.  I go to bed every night wishing someone was lying next to me, lightly tracing his fingers over my spine and saying "It will be okay."  I wake up in the morning wishing he was there saying "I'll help you in the shower."  I wish he was there saying "don't worry, I'll do the dishes." 

9 comments

I'm keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that it all gets sorted out and that your recovery swift and goes smoothly! Chin up babe!

Chris aka @Ichi_Bear <3

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Oh boy, that is quite a mouthful in a small post...when I'm feeling down on myself, I try to break down my issues into little, chewable chunks, and see if I can swallow it...of course there is the food reference there! ;-)
So 1.) your back...are you a surgical candidate? I know recovery is long, but you are young and probably at good odds since you are so skinny! :-) Or are you on steroid treatments? Or is it a rest and wait thing?
2.) Housework, small chores-got any friends you can call on, or family? Dishwashing machine? Maybe you can lure some help with some free beer and munchies? That's what friends are for...
3.) Man. Ok, I realize it is hard to get out and enjoy yourself when you are scared of sneeze/peeing on yourself...what about internet dating sites-good ones. I know at least 4 people who married someone they met at one of the big dating sites...it doesn't mean you are desperate, it just means you don't want to wade through the bullshit to find a diamond...

We are here for you, and I'll help you however I can...

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Thanks Chris!

PM -- I'll break my response into the same chunks:

1. not a surgical candidate yet. all my doctors agree that surgery is just delaying the inevitable (i.e. the need for a spinal fusion), and while i still have more good days than bad, or even more good moments than bad ones, that we won't talk surgery. but there will be a day when i'm wheeled to my surgeon, in craploads of pain and all I'll have to say is "do it."

1.5 my epidural is scheduled for next week.

1.75 rest, of course to not aggravate things further. I'm limited to basically just walking in short bits.

2. i should reach out and ask for help -- but as an independent woman, it's really hard to ask for it. It's admitting that I can't do everything for myself right now. But I'm managing for the time being and there are friends that know what i'm going through and have offered to help (and i"m learning to accept the help)

3. http://www.okcupid.com/profile/incognitosweets

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HUGS Friend as you know (or maybe not?) I so so so get this...

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MIZ -- I thought you were superwoman...

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I hope it all works out for you, my mother slipped, wait for it, 4 lumbar discs, and put up with the pain for over a year! She had been seeing an osteopath for a while, but surgery was her last and final option! thankfully she's on the road to recovery, it was rather funny when she was so doped out on the morphine patches the doctors gave her! Really hope you are feeling better soon! Make sure you have people there to help you! don't suffer in silence like my Mam did! x

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Becky -- "slipped" as in bulging or herniated?
I feel her pain. I have 3 bulging in my lower back (L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1), 1 bulging in my neck (C6-7) and one herniated (C5-6). My mom had 6 herniations by the time she died at 44. She dealt with it by drinking rum all day every day.

I decided long ago that i was going to get educated, treat things cautiously/conservatively in order to give myself the best chances of recovery and range of motion, and get a really good team of doctors.

But you bring up a very important point -- it's not something you can go through alone. Being injured is a very lonely thing. Trying to do everything for yourself can cause more injury. Letting friends and family be there for you while you're hurt isn't a sign of weakness, but a sign of great strength and trust.

I hope your mom is feeling better!

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I had no idea these were spinal hernias! I was thinking of the kind my husband had in his abdomen! This is so bad! I'm sorry you're going through with this.

Believe me, it's not a sign of weakness to ask for help. Your friends are looking for ways to make things better for you. Let them!

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Susie -- there are many types of hernias -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hernia

the one your husband has is probably an inguinal hernia (though, I'm not a doctor and i don't know his symptoms -- but that's what most people mean by a "hernia" versus saying a "herniated disc")-- and those are pretty rare for women.

Letting my friends help me, and letting them understand what's going on has been a great comfort over the past few months. I tried to keep my 2007 injury contained, but that just ended up alienating me from the people i loved instead of allowing them to help me. Lesson learned.

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<3 Robby