Monday, January 8, 2007

May I Just Say, For The Record: OUCH!

My leg hurts. Not as much as it was hurting on Saturday, but enough. I'm just coming out of a bout with sciatic pain. I don't like it.

I have chronic problems with my lower back. They have something to do with my being 45 years old, over-weight, and out of condition. Every once in a while, over the last few years, things have flared up, causing discomfort. This week-end, I got the full effect.

It is my own fault, of course. I had been feeling some sciatic pain for a few days, but I volunteered to drive Christina and some of her fellow dancers up to Newark on Saturday for a Dance-School audition.

When I got out of the car in Newark, the pain came on in full. From then on, I was unable to find a comfortable position, standing or sitting. I spent the day leaning on the backs of chairs or hobbling along with burning daggers twisting in the back of my thigh.

Luckily, Karen had come along and was able to drive home. The ride home was rough. When we pulled into Lewes, I asked Karen to just head over to the Hospital so I could beg the ER doctor for some relief.

I must have been a sight in the waiting room. I was completely focused on enduring. When they took me back to the treatment room, I was shuffling along feeling very sorry for myself -- until I saw the various broken bodies already in the ER.

They took me to a room and asked me to strip to my skivvies and put on a gown to await a Doctor. That was tough; I was having trouble bending and reaching down. But I got it mostly done. Soon I was leaning on the back of a chair with the gown, untied, hanging from around my neck. Waiting.

When the doctor came in, he had two Sussex County Paramedics in tow. The EMS staff were shadowing the Doctors that night.

The Doctor took one look at me and made a sign for me not to say anything. He turned to one of the Paramedics and asked if he could tell what my problem was.

The Paramedic looked me up and down very briefly and said something like, "The way he's having to stand like that, I'd say it's sciatica."

I guess I'm not very original.

The Doctor was very nice. He made sure that I understood what was going on and how to treat it.

Sciatica is not a disease but is a set of symptoms that occur when the sciatic nerve, which runs down the leg, gets pinched or compressed. Short-term treatments can address either muscle-spasm or muscle and nerve inflammation. Or both.

In my case, they gave me a muscle-relaxant shot and prescriptions for a muscle-relaxant, a pain-killer, and an anti-inflammatory. I didn't like the muscle-relaxant; it just made me woozy. The anti-inflammatories, however, work fairly well.

So here I am, two days later, still sore and walking gingerly. I don't much like it.


Paul said...

That doesn't sound like much fun! I hope and pray you get better soon!

Nancy Willing said...

we who sit and type must get out and
thanks for the graphic peek at what shall arise should this overfed and static soul not get more time on my feet into each day!

brianjmann said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
brianmann said...


I assumed that you did Svaroopa Yoga, No?

I know that pain that you're talking about and it's the worst. I don't know how many different deals that I've tried to strike up with God to keep me from having to feel that pain ever again.

What kind of anti-inflam's did you get?

Mike Mahaffie said...

Thanks for the kind thoughts kind folks!

Brian, I did not ever get into doing Yoga, I just led drum circles. Now I regret not doing the Yoga too!

Eventually, I expect I'll be ready to try Yoga as a long-term lifestyle change. Are you teaching these days? What's a good place in our area for a badly damaged beginner to ... begin?

Brian Mann said...

Sorry Mike, I thought I posted a reply yesterday but I guess I screwed it up.

I don't teach anymore, but if I were you, I would call up Terry Gardner at Rehoboth Beach Yoga center (227-7646) and tell her what's up with your back and you should also ask her about something called Embodyment.

I discovered Yoga because I was looking for something to help me with the severe back problems that I was having back in 1997/1998.

Svaroopa Yoga is very good for this kind of thing because they don't look at yoga as exercise or as stretching.

The stuff just works.

I'll tell you more about it if you want by email.


Anonymous said...

Take Brian's advice: Terry is great!!!

Anonymous said...

My advice based on my experience? Get in shape, no excuses. You don't have to be totally buff, just lose a little weight and do a few situps every day.

I was in good shape (running and biking) in my 20s and had no problems. Then in my late 30s after ten years of a desk job and poor eating, the sciatica came on. After the acute phase was over I started running again and doing light floor exercise (situps and pushups) and got back into good shape, and the sciatica completely disappeared without a trace. Now I'm back to bad habits and not in such good shape anymore and probably at risk for another bout of sciatica.

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