life

What’s Going On With My Back?!!

July 4, 2011 • By

Some of my friends have been asking, “Why were you at the neurosurgeon?”  “What’s going on with your back?” so I thought I’d give everyone a rundown of what’s happening, in an attempt to save myself from having to tell the same story over and over.

A high school injury, years of being hunched over a computer, and moving heavy furniture last November have all come together to form “The Perfect Storm” (Cue epic disaster movie music.)

It’s actually not so much of a storm as it is a herniated disc.  What is a herniated disk?  It’s when that soft, cushiony, cartilage-y thing (disc) that sits between two vertebrae gets squashed and bulges out.  In my case, it’s bulging into the spinal canal and putting pressure in the nerves running down my lower back and left leg.  It hurts, but I’m tough 🙂

Last December, I started going to physical therapy and got prayer from anyone willing to lay hands on me.  I seemed to get some relief and bragged on Jesus to my physical therapist.  Then he sent me away and said I was good to go.  It only got worse after that.

The pain increased and traveled down my leg so I decided to find a chiropractor.  I started seeing Drs Andy and Trina Boswell in Rock Island.  They have proven to be massively caring and attentive.  They’ve seriously been a huge blessing in helping me navigate this issue.  I also made a few visits to Dr. Bob Kaminsky in Davenport who practices A.R.T. (Active Release Technique).  Experiencing A.R.T. is a lot like being tortured.  You sprawl out on a table while one person stretches you in uncomfortable positions and the other person digs his hands deep into the places on your body that hurt the worse.  You may find yourself wanting to scream obscenities, shout out to God, cry, or all three at once.  It’s painful, but brings results.

Eventually, my Family Practice Doctor sent me for an MRI (see below) so that we could get a definitive answer as to what was happening and why I wasn’t getting better.  THAT’S when we found out it was a herniated disc.

After seeing the MRI, my Family Practice Doctor sent me to see a neurosurgeon for a consultation.  I can’t say it was a great experience.  We waited for an hour and a half for about five minutes of his time.  He showed us the MRI, then shared my four options: do nothing and it might get better, take an oral steroid, get a localized steroid injection, or get surgery.  When I told him I wanted the least invasive treatment possible, he gave me a prescription for oral steroids, asked if I had any questions, and excused himself.  He had no advice for me, I didn’t get any answers, and I never took the steroids.

So, I’m taking the difficult route of doing nothing (medically).  I’ve set up a way to work while laying down (getting out of that desk chair has made a big difference).  I’m using an inversion table.  I’m taking a handful of herbal remedies and have adjusted my diet to include less inflammatory foods.  And I’ve also reduced my workout to just walking every day.

I have noticed improvements, but I still have a long way to go.  Thank you all so much for your prayers!  I can’t wait to wrestle you all when I’m better!!

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