Friday, July 6, 2012

Nothing Like Pain

There's nothing like real pain to give you a reality check about life, your life, and about the fragility and good or bad fortune of your body. It started about three weeks ago when I felt a sharp pain in the upper right hip. It dissipated but left my right leg numb from just below the knee, down the shin to the toes.

Then I noticed when I went up some stairs the right leg buckled. I realized something wasn't obvious right. But it was similar to last year with the left leg, the pain at the top of the hip, down the leg to the foot. Then it went down the outside of the calf, leaving it numb to the foot. I had to watch walking as I couldn't feel the outside of my left foot.

The numbness this time went right down the front of the shin to the middle toes. I decided it would go away as it did last year in the normal 6+ weeks. But alas it didn't as this last weekend and week through the Independence Day holiday showed. Saturday was the last good day, relatively speaking.

Sunday the episode got very worse but recovered later in the day. Monday was the day it became a full blown severe pain in the right leg and total numbness from the knee to the toes. The doctors found the two disc for the siactic nerve had a moderate bulging but thought the pinch nerve was "down the line" since the pain wasn't in my lower back but just in the leg(s).

Since Sunday I've been lying on an air mattress since it's the only position where there is little if any pain. By today the pain has dimished to only the area with the numbness, which is the knee, shin and foot/toes. My knee has no response to the reflex test. Yes, totally numb, and the surrounding muscles hurt from compensating or not working.

So that's why nothing is new in a week. I couldn't sit until I found a way to kneel with two pillows in a chair to sit here now, and the pain is bearable. I can only walk for a few minutes before the leg hurts but then the pain stablizes where I can limp around. I have an appointment next week after this week's visit to the local urgent care clinic.

After that it will be specialist(s) to see what, if anything, can be done to overcome what is initially diagnosed as degenerative disc disease. Last year it took 6 weeks to fade away. This looks longer without some medical intervention. It's worse and more widespread.

Today I went to Office Depot and replaced my old style wood banker's chair with a lumbar support one and am back in front of the computer. The pain is minimal but the numbness hasn't changed. In the end, it's the story of just one's genetics with your spine and back muscles, how you work and live, and how you take care of them.

As they say, nothing like a little pain to remind you of yourself.

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