Friday, January 22, 2010

Back In The Saddle

I'm sitting in SJC as I write this, waiting for a flight to go have a MUCH NEEDED girls weekend in Southern California. Because of my back, this ongoing injury, the associated Physical Therapy (PT) & doctor appointments, getting ready for this weekend AND regular day-to-day stuff, last week was exhausting and this week was a bit crazy. DaddySpeak has been a freak'n SAINT. Basically allowed me sit on my arce all weekend, (but kept the house up) so as to allow me to rest my back (and not freak out come Monday, or Tuesday in this case, morning).

Wednesday evening I finally got the results back from my MRI. I have an annular tear. Because of the craziness of my day and my shock at what the doctor was telling me, I did not find out what vertebrae is affected, tho my gut tells me it's still the L5/S1 variety because of the sciatica pain & such. This doctor did not have a copy of my old MRI results so I also don't know how this compares to the hernia I had, how close it is to that location, if it's the same place, somewhere altogether different, etc... Obviously, all good information to get, and I will. For now, I'm basically back to square one. I kid you not. I know!!! This is basically how they started out treating my disc problem, which is "wait and see." If it doesn't improve in a couple weeks, then we'll discuss "shots," which I know is epidurals w/steroids AGAIN! FML!!! Doctor also suggested, "if I'm open to it" (which I am) PT to help build my core and see if we can work out the tweaks being formed around the tear as a result of my response to the pain. I'm supposed to keep my activity to things that don't hurt. And that cost how much for you to tell me? Because I'm pretty sure I figured that one out on my own.

Surprisingly, I'm not devastated (yet). You would think three years into this, and starting over with a similar problem might be devastating, and at some point it probably will start to feel that way. Right now, I'm actually relieved. Shocking, I know. No really, I'm relieved that there is something that shows up on tests. Suffering from Fibromyalgia, I went 15+ years of going through test after test, doctor after doctor, only to be told time and again how "it's all in my head." I had symptoms that were severe enough to warrant the tests, but no one could nail anything down. To me, not knowing what's wrong, is actually the worst. Yes, a diagnosis with no treatment would be awful, but at least you know there's nothing more you can do for it. At that point you can "manage" it. Not knowing, you don't know what to do. And the not knowing, if it goes on long enough, people doubt something is really wrong with you. You get labeled a hypochondriac. Nevermind, that you have symptoms that warranted the tests in the first place. When the people who are closest to you give you that look, the one that let's you know they're wondering if you aren't being just a little dramatic, that when you start to doubt yourself. Once that happens, that's when the depression sets in. THAT's the worst. Being sick and being depressed about being sick, because no one believes you're really sick. (Turn that sentence over for a minute. Yeah, THAT sucks.) So you can see how, finding something on a test, even if that means it's not great news, brings me a sense of relief. It gives me something to work on, a goal, a direction. And for you interwebs, more of my horrible "back" puns.

Now, to get back to the business of getting better!