October 4, 2011

Wanted: New back, good condition

Oh I've had a jolly time. NOT.

I have a chronic back problem.

My back hates me. That's about it.

I hurt my lower back about 20 years ago, whilst working in child care, carrying tables and not bending correctly. I've had issues on and off during the years, and when I don't stretch and take care of my back, it aches and gives me trouble.

The injury surfaced again in January this year, when I attempted to jog down the road, looking fit and healthy, but instead strained my back again.

After some physio I managed to keep it real until last Wednesday when I was getting out of the car at the bakery, buying the kids a pie and felt a twinge across my upper back.

And it was downhill from there.

The timeline is a very sad affair:-

Thursday - back kind of sore, but tolerable

Friday - back very sore, had some physio before work, and by the end of the day, I was in some degree of pain. The physio taped my back which really only gave me a rash and added to my already bad mood.

Saturday - back stuffed. Can't get out of bed without help. Can't walk, sit down, stand or squat on the loo without serious pain.

How do I explain it? Imagine a heavy glass ball seriously pressing on the lowest part of your back, near your tailbone, and every time you move, the glass ball sends out shards of glass penetrating your legs, arms and hips.

That's what if felt like.

All I could do was cry. Nothing else mattered. Saturday was hell day.

We drove into town and I don't even want to think about how much THAT hurt.

The Hubbster took the kids to a birthday party, but first, deposited me on the steps of the hospital. I was seen right away and perched myself on the edge of a chair and couldn't get up.

Like a little lost kid, I whimpered and sobbed and asked the kind doctor to help me up because I was totally stuck.

He explained that I need to have a management plan for my back, which includes medication for when it is really bad, and an exercise attack program for strengthening my core and my flabby stomach muscles.

I already know this, but you see, when my back feels good, I don't stretch. But I really have to......

The kind doctor gave me an injection of anti inflammatory drugs, and some meds consisting of anti spasm and muscle relaxant wonders, and also a nice little pill (Morphine anyone?) that got me back in the car and home.

Saturday was terrible. It took 10 mins to lay down, and I had to lay flat on my back which put alot of pressure on my chest. When I wanted to get up, The Hubbster had to slowly pull me up by the arm.

Sunday was much the same, but towards the end of the day, the anti inflammatory drugs must have been working, because I felt a little relief. I used a walking stick to get around, which the kids thought hilarious.

Walking sticks are good for reaching things on high shelves and for whacking the kids when they don't listen to me. I think I'll keep it.

Monday I was much better, and I slept most of the day, and just rested.

And today, I have a little more improvement. I'm just so scared of twinging my back again, so my movements are very slow and deliberate.

I have physio on Thursday and expect to get a scolding for not stretching my back and taking care of it. I really need to make this a priority in my life because I have felt so useless not being able to do anything.

The Hubbster and the kids have been amazing. My washing is up to date, the kids are fed and have clean hair and faces, and they have really looked after me. Thank you guys....

How's YOUR back?


Alyce @ Blossom Heart Quilts said...

Oh Michelle :( I'm bad at doing things like you not stretching your back when it feels good. I have funny shoulder muscles that a physio told me years ago aren't strong enough because I grew too quickly for them to strengthen with me. Breastfeeding and lifting kiddies aggravates it. I should stretch them, but do I?! :S

Mum on the Run said...

Oh no.
That is hell. and then some.
I'm glad you're (somewhat) mobile again.
I totally understand the lack of preventative care going on there!
We're busy - when it hurts we'll attend to it!!
I'm guilty too. One of those 'only see the dentist when I've a toothache' people.
Maybe regular physio appointments would keep you honest (and a tad broke) for a couple of months to establish a back care routine??!!
She spouts like a true hypocrite!!
P.S. - My word verification for this comment is - sobing!!!

Kat - The Organised Housewife said...

Ooh no Michelle, I feel your pain, poor girl, hopefully you can find comfort soon. xx

strongbow said...

I can understand completely your pain. I have a herniated disc in my lower back that has given me trouble over the years. A couple of debilitating times like you when you can't do anything. Most days I have some sort of pain, and I am restricted in what I can do. I recently went to a physio who said the same as yours, core strength is the key to managing the pain. He is the first person to teach me how to correctly do pelvic floor exercises which helps your core strength. I hope you recover quickly and are able to get back into life.

Farmers Wifey said...

Thank you so much for your kind comments, back pain is really a silent pain because you can't really see the physical injury, but boy does it hurt!

Farmers Wifey said...

@ Strongbow, do you have a blog I can visit??

Anonymous said...

Ouch! I feel your pain, almost, because I suffer from a muscle spasm in my lower back though it isn't too bad these days after an intense course of physio together with several aides to help my posture.

Sounds like you have your family on the ball. Definitely keep that stick, lol.

Take care,
CJ xx

Posh Totty said...

Oh no, sorry to hear this, I hope you back is better real soon Xxx

Annette Piper said...

Ouch, ouch, ouch! I 'tweaked' my back a couple of years ago ... from leaning down to pick up my handbag off the floor ... and I could hardly move for days. The physio didn't work. I can't take regular pain meds and so I ended up at the chiro. He was so gentle but put everything back where it was supposed to be and I was able to walk out and around and drive home! It took about 4-5 appointments to recover completely - but since then I swear by my chiro for anything to do with my back!
Hope it continues to improve for you!

Foursons said...

Oh no! I can so sympathize with back pain. I'm sorry it got so bad you had to go to the hospital. I take muscle relaxers every night before bed to keep my pain managed. (I have fibromylagia and most of my pain is in my back.)

Farmers Wifey said...

@ CJ omg its those muscle spasms that nearly kill me, and yes I'm keeping the stick!

@ Posh Totty thank you so much for thinking of me x

@ Annette, it only takes a small movement as you say to wreck our backs!!!!!

@ Foursons, it hurts!!!!! I know I"m not the only one who tries to explain back pain, because you can't actually see it......xo hope you are okay...

Dreaming said...

I am so sorry that your back is bad - I know exactly what you are going through. One time when mine 'went out' it took me over 30 minutes to slowly...oh so slowly, roll out of bed and stand up. Then...another long period of time to walk to the bathroom. It was agony. I cried - a lot.
Some work with a chiropractor and then some strong anti-inflammatory pills finally helped.
I hope they do the same for you and that the pain recedes. Good luck!

Tina ~ Tina Gray {dot} Me said...

Oh Michelle, you poor thing. I suffer from lower back pain but nothing compared to what you just went through!

Oh, and I need me a walking stick ;)

Farmers Wifey said...

@ Dreaming, I was only just thinking of you this morning, the meds are wonderful but I don't want to rely on them too much!!

@ Tina, walking sticks are wonderful, for the reasons I said :)

Kirsty said...

Ooh Michelle, I hope your slowly starting to feel better! I have terrible back pain since a netball accident when I was younger and then children, but nothing compared to you.
I hope your getting lots of rest when you can xx

sevencherubs said...

Michelle you poor thing. How terrible and painful for you. I so hope you can get your back sorted out. Rest up and relax if you can. N xx

Farmers Wifey said...

@ KIrsty, doesn't back pain HURT! I can give you some sympathy as well xo

@ Naomi, I feel better again today, I'm scared of stopping the meds though but I don't want to rely on them,..off to physio tommorrow!!!!

Zoey Martin said...

Back pain is the worst! I hope it gets better soon. I've spent a whole lot of time at the osteopath dealing with weird back and hip problems. No fun!

Farmers Wifey said...

@ Zoey, I'm going to have to try something to get me through, physio and maybe acupuncture too!

ClaireyHewitt said...

Snap! We are a match. I swear to you, I was in such extreme pain and had two kids under two and my Husband went and took on a job that left me alone for long periods of time. The pain took over my life, I was so alone and in so much pain I considered leaving him!!! True. When our marriage was so goo. The pain was ruling me.

After months and months my Dad demanded I get it checked properly, I was sent to a neurosurgeon with urgency. The great news is that the masses on the CT scan were confirmed not cancer on the MRI, the bad news, the herniated discs are so big the nerves can't help but hit them.

18 months of therapy and medication(never morphine, damn it!) and I have a greater understanding of my body. But my core is weak. I feel guilty for struggling with my post baby weight, but it truly is hard when the slightest twinge may put me back in that horrid pain, so I now am reluctant to push my body physically with running or gym classes. I just walk.

So, I hear you, I know this pain. And all my doctors have said start with pelvic floor exercises and work up your torso to build back the strength you need...it is a very slow process.