Sunday, June 30, 2013

Back on the Pain Gang

As I limped into my chiropractor’s office on Friday afternoon, the sound system was playing “I Wanna Be Sedated.”

And, as I prepared to get emergency treatment for yet another flare-up of my merciless back trouble, the Ramones were quickly followed by the Beatles singing “Help!”

WFML was playing the soundtrack to my life.

Once again my back has gone bad on me, once again I’m limping around in agony, and once again I’m cursing the fates, my luck, and anything else that comes into my line of vision.

The only thing different from the last two back attacks is that this time the excruciating pain is radiating out of my left leg, not my right.

And make no mistake--the pain is excruciating. It hurts when I stand, it hurts when I walk and it even hurts sometimes when I sit—including on that most important seat in the house, if you know what I mean. Now that's just cruel.

It started midweek when I woke up with a slight discomfort on my left side. I thought I had probably slept in an odd position and that the pain would work itself out. Instead, it worked itself in and now I can hardly walk.

The three-block stroll to the chiropractor’s office turned into a moveable beast as I limped down Church Street like Walter Brennan.

Every step was torture and I had to stop repeatedly to let the pain subside. I work in downtown Manhattan so the area is mobbed with tourists going to see the 9/11 Memorial. It took a lot of effort to weave around these gawkers and still stay upright.

The Long March

On the way back I sat down in Zuccotti Park and stared at a break dancer who was twisting and contorting his body in all sorts of bizarre angles before finishing off with a back flip. Meanwhile, my biggest challenge was standing up.

I don’t get it. I do the exercises that the physical therapists told me to do and I even got cortisone shots the last time this happened. Yet nothing has prevented this third flare-up in just under two years.

The attacks are becoming more frequent and more intense and I’m afraid they’re becoming the new normal.
The gym, which I love, is out of the question for the foreseeable future and I’m concerned that I may have crossed a line here. I’m not young, but I was hoping I had a few more years of boxing left in me.

Any worthwhile exercise is going to involve moving around in some fashion, so I’m not sure what my next step will be if the doctors tell me to do something else.

And, of course, this had to happen in the summer, my absolute favorite time of the year.

I suffered through an interminable winter, longing for the day when I can walk out the door without putting on gloves and an overcoat and go anywhere I want.

On Saturday I limped a hellacious half-block down to Shore Road Park and stretched out in the grass like a sack of wet laundry. Hoo, wee, ain’t we got fun? Today my sister very kindly drove me to a local supermarket so I could stock up on some food.

I absolutely hate being so helpless.

I’ve scheduled an appointment with my pain management doctor, I’m going to see a local chiropractor and I’m praying that this misery passes quickly.

I don’t want to be sedated. I want to live an active, relatively pain-free life. Help me if you can…


Ron said...

Oh Rob, I am so sorry to hear about this flair up again with your leg, buddy. DAMN!

"Today my sister very kindly drove me to a local supermarket so I could stock up on some food.

I absolutely hate being so helpless."

I know what you mean because when I got ill with a very bad flu about 5 years ago, I was so sick that I couldn't do anything for myself. I literally laid in bed for a week and almost cried because every muscle and bone in my body ached. Even my HAIR hurt! I had to call a friend to ask her to bring me food from the store because I couldn't move.

"I’ve scheduled an appointment with my pain management doctor, I’m going to see a local chiropractor and I’m praying that this misery passes quickly."

Sending ya 'good vibes' that these two doctors rid you of this pain.

You take care. And if I lived closer I would come by and share some Reiki with you.

Wishing you a pain-free week, buddy!

Rob K said...

Hey, Ron, thanks so much for your concern. I'm at a very low point right now, so your support really means a lot to me.

That flu bout you had sounds really scary. It's so terrible when we can't do even the simplest things for ourselves.

I appreciate your good vibes, buddy, and hopefully I'll get through this thing quickly.

Take care!

Jay at The Depp Effect said...

Gah ... ! I SO feel for you. :(

I'd have got into a taxi for that chiro trip. Sometimes, when I'm that bad, walking is the worst thing thing. Well, walking and sitting, and of course when you hurt that much I just want to not move.

It's odd. OH is complaining bitterly about all his aches and pains (the shoulder is winning this morning), I had a text from our cleaning lady yesterday to say that that she's out of action, and I'm creased up with my neck and back, too (I had my neck x-rayed last week and am waiting for the results so no chiro for me until we know what's going on with the bones and joints).

Apparently, we're in a 'solar maximum' phase. This usually means more solar flares, but this one is producing fewer sunspots and flares than normal. NASA says that some experts are predicting a 'double maximum' which is rare ... and I wonder if it's connected with our own flare-ups? So many people seem to be suffering right now.

On the other hand, it could simply be that all the people we know are getting older, too!

I do hope your pain management doc can help you. It's so utterly miserable being in pain all the time. Hugs from one sufferer to another!

Rob K said...

Oh, thank you so much, Jay!

Those hugs mean so much to me! I'll go with the solar maximum theory--it's as good as any other!

I wish the best for you and OH and the cleaning lady--let's all get back on track!

Take care!

Bijoux said...

It's a rare treat to hear the Ramones......and sucks that you were in too much pain to enjoy it! Back pain is the worst because it really doesn't matter how you move, you are going to feel it. I hope you get some relief soon....and answers to why this is happening, as well!

Daniel Bullard said...

Morning Rob,
As you know from my other comments I have had problems with my back too. I can't remember if I had had or was waiting for my Micro dissection of L5-S1 last time. I
The dissection got rid of the pain down my leg but the damn doctor should have taken the disk and fused it. Well.. It has now been fused ,surgery number two, and the prognosis is pretty good. So says the new second doctor. As for the pain we will see in the next few weeks. Sounds pretty good huh? Well just to make you feel a little better about your situation....I get home from the hospital and get my sore ass into bed and my wife walks into the room and tells me "The medicine has changed you and I am leaving you. I am starting to pack now. I will let you know the day the moving van will be here." So as you can see it could be worse. I hope this makes your day just a little less sucky! It could be worse.

Rob K said...

Oh, God, Daniel, I'm so sorry! That's terrible. Talk about picking a fine time to leave.

I truly hope that you heal both physically and emotionally. It's a very trying time but you will get through it!

Rob K said...


Thanks so much! I'm hoping I get some kind of relief from this soon!

CrystalChick said...

Ouch! I am sorry to hear that you're having a bad time of it with your back right now.
My husband had some issues many years ago. He'd get a pinched nerve, muscle spasms etc. There were days he'd lay on the floor, on meds, and have to pee in whatever bottle/jug I'd bring him. TMI, I know! LOL He'd even been taken by ambulance to the ER a couple of times. He did exercises and saw a chiropractor for awhile. I don't know what caused it or what helped it but ... knock on wood... he's good now. It gets sore from time to time and feels like it might go out, but so far, so good.
Hopefully, you will heal very soon and be good to go for a long time.

Rob K said...

Thanks so much, CrystalChick! I'm glad your husband is--knock on wood--good now. Maybe there's hope for my sorry butt!

Take care!