Monday, December 01, 2008

Back Injuries SUCKETH!

The day before Thanksgiving I was outside playing with my dog. He pulled hard on his leash when I wasn't expecting it, my knees locked and I slipped a disc in my lumbar spine. I knew when I felt it happen that it was, at some point, going to require a trip to the doctor. That point came about two hours later.

I told the Dr. what happened and that I would probably need an x-ray. He said the x-ray tech was off that day and I would have to go to the hospital to get one. He gave me some samples of a time release muscle relaxer and wrote me a script for ten 50 mg Demerol (which shockingly didn't help my pain at all) and orders to take to the hospital for the x-ray. He also gave me a shot of steroids and a shot of Toradol. Both of those usually work really well when I have a flare up in my back. But not this time. Unfortunately he forgot to write his suspected diagnosis on the order and since his office closed at 12 the hospital couldn't reach him to fix the order and I had to wait til Friday when his office opened again to correct it.

At 930 Friday morning I went back to his office to get the order corrected and told them I needed some more pain medicine. So he gave me 10 more demerol. I went to the hospital and got the x-rays which the doctor will see today. I thought I would be ok thru the rest of the weekend. I was wrong.

Saturday I toughed it out even though I could feel the swelling getting worse and getting up and down was near impossible. I ate the pain pills which didn't seem to help all that much. I know that it's serious pain when Demerol won't fix it. That theoretically should have knocked me into next week.

On Sunday I lost my ability to get up and down without substantial assistance altogether and my ability to walk was starting to be affected. It was taking me 10 minutes to move from the living room to the bedroom. I couldn't lift my right leg at all...just had to kind of slide it along. This was some serious hurt.

I decided to go to the ER because I was too scared to wait til Monday. Not being able to walk and being able to feel the swollen disc in my back scared me badly. I took my pain medicine that I had left to the ER so they could see that I had been taking them as prescribed. I told the Dr. about the set of x-rays I had done on Friday. He looked at them and told me I needed an MRI.

My blood pressure was really high when I got to the ER. It was 191/134. My BP usually runs 120/80 and has for years. The ER Dr. prescribed another shot of steroids, a shot of muscle relaxer and a whopping shot of morphine. As I sat on the edge of the bed and waited for my meds I started feeling very dizzy and sick. I broke out in a cold sticky sweat and thought I was going to throw up and pass out. My blood pressure cuff came on and checked my BP again and it had dropped to 55/34. The nurse came running in asking if I was ok. She had to help me lay back and then got a cool rag for my head. My back was screaming and I couldn't have any of the shots until my BP got back up to something resembling normal. That took about 45 minutes.

When my BP had reached an acceptable level she gave me my shots. Before she gave me the morphine she made sure I had someone with me that could drive me home. I had her go and fetch my husband from the lobby. She gave me all three shots and then started teasing me about the morphine making me loopy. Except that it didn't make me loopy. A big shot of that stuff should have had me on Jupiter in a matter of minutes. But I hardly felt it at all. And it didn't do much of anything for my back.

This morning my back feels a little better. I can tell some of the swelling is down because I can walk, albeit very slowly. However, if I move the wrong way it feels like my spine is going to snap in two. I'll be back at the doctors office this morning to set up an MRI.

I think back pain is one of the worst pains you can have. Your back is the center of the universe when it hurts like that.

7 comments:

writechic said...

Ouch! My husband is getting a spinal block for back pain as I type! My stepdad is next. What's in the water, eh?

Don said...

I can empathize with you….I feel your pain. I’ve lived over half of my life with back pain that two invasive surgeries failed to relieve. I hope you have more success with yours.

If hugs would help, I'd be hugging you now.

Loretta Nall said...

write-chic...wish them both well for me.

Don...I would accept that hug but it would hurt too much.

I just got back from the Dr. and am waiting for them to call me with the MRI appointment. Dr. was surprised whan I declined more pain meds. I told him they weren't working and I saw no point in taking them.

The Ripley Porch said...

Having had three or four episodes like this in my life....I rank it just after root canal pain. But I've come to the point now of believing that bedrest for the first two days...is absolutely mandatory, with a medium amount of painkiller. So I'll offer my sympathy and tell you that there just isn't any painkiller that fix this issue in my humble opinion.

Loretta Nall said...

I was really surprised that the pain killers the doc gave me had almost no effect. I am usually very susceptible to opiate based narcotics and wind up in the corner drooling somewhere. But these were much stronger than the Lortab 7.5 that I usually take for back pain and yet had almost no effect. That's why I told him I didn't want anymore today...because they aren't working. The next step up would have been oxycontin and I do not want that.

Leonidas said...

Having been in your situation many times, let me suggest my own self-discovered therapy for your dilemma.

Lie on the floor with your butt pressed against a chair or couch. Put your feet up on the seat. The backs of your legs should be firmly pressed against the couch and your knees bent and resting on the cushions.

It may hurt or be uncomfortable at first, but, trust me, this will work.

Also, when you go to bed, lie on your back and put several pillows under your knees. The more, the better.

Your husband might get the wrong idea, but point out that the pillows are further down than for what he has in mind. I'm sure he'll understand.


In addition, despite what doctor's say, liniment and a heating pad can't hurt. But be careful not to get burned.

I injured my back in a car wreck when I was 16 years old. My back has hurt, on and off, for fifty years.

If you want to get some serious treatment for back pain, find a doctor with a bad back.

J. Craig Canada said...

I hope your back is better.

Craig