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Each one of my post back surgery updates have held a common theme; pain. A year after the surgery to remove the portion of the L5-S1 ruptured disc that was pressing on my root nerve, I am still in pain. It is not the same striking pain that left me unable to function so that is the bright side. But it is still pain and there isn't a day that goes by that I'm not in pain. Some days are better than others. Some days I can get along with a facade of normalcy. Other days, I'm in so much pain that it ends up leaving me bedridden, my back swollen so bad, it feels like I'm resting on tennis balls when I lay down. In fact, as I write this, I am sitting up in bed with ice packs on my back. Sometimes pain rolls through my left leg (like right now) but I can usually adjust my position so it is tolerable. Oh, and the feeling did eventually return to my foot. The tips of three toes are still numb but it beats having no feeling in the majority of my foot like I did just after my surgery.
The kicker is that I believe I have more herniated discs but since an MRI eats up much of my allotted insurance, I can't risk not having enough insurance money in case one of my children needs it more. (Thanks, Anthem.) One of my doctors seems to think I have premature degenerative disc disorder, which is a premature aging of the discs in the spine. Though the doctor didn't know this, this is a condition that has already struck a few members of the paternal side of my family.
When this back stuff first started, I began to gain weight. Exercise became useless because the more I did it, the more I was in pain. When I understood what premature degenerative disc was, I realized that my Olympic dreams would never come true. Yes, I'm joking. I had to change my mindset about exercise, because I'd always hit it with fierce force. Now that I can't, I've had to focus on low impact exercising like walking, some biking, walking, swimming when I can, and walking. I realized I had to do more to promote weight loss. Weight loss, after all, would take unnecessary strain off my back, so I've been told. I have been doing portion control and really watching what I put into my body for the last three months. I'm down several pounds and two sizes. Has the pain let up any? Nope. I still have a few more pounds to lose so we'll see how much of a difference it has on my level of pain. I'll let y'all know.
My only option right now is to live with it the best I can. I don't have the insurance necessary to partake in pain management so I'm pretty much stuck with it for now.
If there are any changes, I will update. Until then, I hope you have better luck with your back pain than I've had with mine.
Peace, love, and dreaming of less pain,