I suppose I have to update you on my back. It’s pretty boring, so feel free to skip it. I don’t think blogs about people’s minor health concerns are particularly interesting, unless by chance you happen to share that particular health concern. But maybe I’m wrong and you’re champing at the bit out there.
So I had an MRI and some neurologist tests and all the blood tests the doctor could think of, just in case there was, I don’t know, something he might find out by doing that. And I’ve been going to the chiropractor twice a week, where he cracks my back and pushes my legs around and I get buzzy electric massage and then he gives me some exercises to do.
My bloodwork is fine, the results of the neurologists’ tests were all perfectly normal, and his interpretation of the MRI was just what I already knew. I have a bulging (or herniated) disk between the two bottom vertebrae in my back. It’s impinging a little on a nerve on the left-hand side, so I could get pain down that leg. But so far, I don’t.
The neurologist talked about prescribing some sort of non-habit-forming painkillers, and I explained that I’ve yet to take as much as an Advil for the discomfort, so that’s jumping the gun. Mostly, I hope to keep it under control by working on my core so that my ab muscles can take up some of the slack and help my back stay up. Not flop over. Whatever it would do otherwise.
It’s a bit unnerving when someone tells you about the “visible degeneration” of your bones. It feels as if possibly the next step is death, because your bones will finally just crumble away and you’ll be gone. I do worry about how this is going to affect me as time goes on, because it’s not going away on its own, and I don’t know how fast it will get worse. Both the chiro and the neurologist said that many people with this level of – bulge, degeneration, whatever – would have a lot more pain than I do. So either I’ve a high pain threshold (um, I don’t think so) or I’m lucky, for now.
I do feel it, and I can’t really tell if I’m noticing it more now because I know it’s A Thing, or if it’s actually got worse in the past two months. I’m trying hard to sit up straighter and use my muscles to pull in my stomach and do the exercises, and that helps.
So I will use it as required to get out of lifting heavy objects and shovelling snow, but otherwise will hope it motivates me to work on my core and that I can just shut up about it from now on. I’m sure you hope that too.