It’s been a long couple of days around here. It started about a week ago when my lower back felt very tight and stiff. This isn’t a rare feeling for me, as sitting at a computer or even playing horn can wreak havoc on your lumbar area. I did what I normally do and nursed it with Aleve and heat. Then on Wednesday night, after resting on the couch, I sat up and felt a shock of pain from my lower back to my left ankle. And it wouldn’t stop. From then until Thursday night, the area from my hips to my feet was radiating pain and there was no amount of ice or over-the-counter meds to make it stop.
Friday morning Joe took me to urgent care where they gave me a steroid shot in my hip and took a series of xrays. Let me tell you, climbing up on a tall, cold, metal table and being told to lay perfectly still was not in the cards. I was shaking from the pain so they had to tuck these little foam wedges all around my back and legs to stabilize me. And then, of course, you have to get down. Basically it was my lowest moment of the week, maybe of the year.
I left there with an order for 72 hours bed rest and a handful of prescriptions for steroids, pain pills and muscle relaxers. The only thing I didn’t leave with was an answer.
Most would think having 72 hours to do nothing but lay on a couch would be wonderful. Me too, in most cases. But, I’m here to tell you it’s not a walk in the park. Because of the meds’ side effects (dizziness, drowsiness, etc.) reading and/or coherent thinking were pretty much out of the question, but here’s what I managed to do with the 72 hours:
1. Watch the entire second season of Homeland (no coherence needed, I guess)
2. Take 37 pills
3. Turn 32
Not bad, huh? (#sarcasm).
This isn’t my first foray with muscle relaxers. Circa 1998, on a trip to Chicago with my family, my very-concerned aunt passed me one when my cramps threatened to ruin our shopping day. (Priorities, people!) All I really remember is my sister leaving me passed-out in a heap of oversized stuffed animals in FAO Schwarz to find my mom and aunt (in another store on the Magnificent Mile), who quickly put me in a cab back to the hotel. I’m a total lightweight.
Back to 2013. Having your birthday fall in the middle of something like this was a major bummer. Joe and I had already decided to delay any celebrating, but I was pretty down all day and didn’t even feel like really talking to anyone, which isn’t like me.
Joe did bring me Starbucks for breakfast and an old-school birthday dinner from Olive Garden that we enjoyed while watching the series finale of Dexter. So, it definitely had its good moments.
As of right now, I’ve managed to take a shower, leave the house twice with Joe for brief errands and have gone an entire 15 hours without a pain pill. Let’s hear it for small victories. I’m not yet ready to release my grip on the steroids or muscle relaxers.
The xrays came back inconclusive, so while I’m thrilled that nothing’s broken, no disc has slipped, or worse, I’d love some answers as to why I couldn’t move for four days. Right now I’ll just consider myself lucky and continue to take it easy.
Major props to Joe (and Bella) for keeping me sane during Couch Camp 2013. I meant every one of those drowsy smiles and slurred “iloveyou”s.