Back at Square One

Uncle AndrewUncle Andrew
Filed under: @ 8:24 pm

Well, it looks like everything is not all wine, roses and toned, properly aligned synovial sacs for me after all.

I was all set to go on a river rafting trip (okay, so that’s tarting it up a bit; floating down the Yakima River in an innertube or other quasi-buoyant means of conveyance while slurking beer, hard lemonade or Margaritas from your Camelbak is more like it) with Margaret and her cronies from her old clinic last weekend when my back decided to go gink! again. At first it was just a muscular thing, and I brushed it off; I had somehow managed to forget that these little adventures always start out feeling like “just a muscular thing”. It’s as though my back muscles are aware of what’s happened deeper down in the infrastructure long before my brain gets clued in, and they’re caught in a perpetual wince for a few days, just anticipating what’s to come.

By Friday it was clear that the river adventure was out of the question, and by Sunday there was no doubt about it: my disc(s) were doing their discy dance again. Dicks.  😡

It has been just over a month since I underwent my cortisone injection. Even before I went under the needle things had been improving. Certainly by the time we left on vacation some three days later, I was quite comfortable and more than ready to board a plane for a five-hour trip….well, at least my back was more than ready.

But once again I seem to be at, if not Square One, then at least Square One and Three Quarters. I’m having trouble sleeping again, I can’t stand up straight and my right leg zings with little electrical pains pretty much all the time. So it’s–ahem–“back” to the doctor for me.

I suppose there may be more cortisone injections in my future. Plays hell with my blood sugar, but they really do reduce the inflammation of the nerves and help the disc to, um, reseat itself, find its karmic center, whatever. Honestly, if I could get away with undergoing two or three of those a year and have that mask the symptoms, I’d seriously consider it. But no responsible doctor would let a patient get a steroid injection once every month-and-a-half if there were any other options available. I’m afraid that this will most likely end in surgery. I am comforted by the fact that the procedures have improved dramatically since I first went under the knife. The process of removing impacted material from around sensitive spinal nerves is now an outpatient procedure, with only tiny holes poked in your dermis through which the surgeon feeds the battering ram or shop vac or whatever they use to get the job done. I have faith in Doctor Roh. Certainly much more faith than I had in my last surgeon, may his yacht capsize and his hair plugs necrotize.

As much as I fear the concept of surgery (hardly surprising given the shit I’ve gone through as a result of the first one), I think I’m ready for it. I’ve said before that I could live the way I feel right at this moment for pretty much the rest of my life if I had to, but boy howdy, I’d rather not if it can be avoided. Right now I can’t do much of anything that involves moving anything other than my own fat ass around. Getting the mail is tolerable, going shopping less so. Mowing the lawn is right fucking out. I mean, I always dreamed of finding some way to get out of mowing the lawn, but not like this. My fantasy usually involved a lot of concrete and some nice patio furniture, maybe a barbecue pit.

Tomorrow I call my doctor to see what he suggests. Time to nip this problem in the bud, one way or another. It’s either this, or it’s back to my brain-in-a-jar plan.

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