So, I thought I’d provide a little update on my current condition, as many of my twitter and blog followers know I am going through a tough time physically. I injured my back at work a few weeks ago and the problem is progressively getting worse. I had to see a doctor in the emergency department while visiting my aunt in Dallas, Texas. He wanted to send me immediately to a neurosurgeon in Dallas because of the severity of the problem and the symptoms it was causing. I won’t go into detail about the symptoms I am experiencing as they are of a sensitive nature, but they are very necessary functions I would not want to lose.
I explained to the doctor that I was not a resident of Texas and, if possible, would prefer to begin the treatment process in my home state of Arkansas. He agreed, but urged I seek medical attention immediately. Well, immediately wasn’t in the cards for me, as it took nearly three weeks to finally get in to see the surgeon. I made an appointment with a surgeon the day I returned from Texas, and she could not see me until today. Upon interviewing and examining me, followed by a series of x-rays, she was very concerned and ordered that I have and MRI as soon as possible.
I am extremely claustrophobic, one of my many quirks, so an MRI is practically my worst nightmare. The test itself is not that bad. It just involves having your body slid into a tube with literally less than an inch of space all around you. If you open your eyes, the ceiling of the MRI scanner is literally right in your face. I was reluctant to undergo this test (of which I have been through numerous) but agreed because I knew it was essential to discovering the extent of my injuries. I informed the doctor I am extremely claustrophobic so she was kind enough to provide me with “sedation” which consisted of two Xanax to be taken upon arrival to the MRI center. After taking the medication, I only became more nervous! It didn’t work for me! Anyway, they managed to keep me calm by covering my eyes and plugging my ears. Finally the Xanax made me slightly sleepy and I managed to get through the first part of the scan. Then they pulled me out to do a second part of the exam with contrast dye. I was injected with the substance and that’s when the trouble began. The contrast caused an unusual and very uncomfortable reaction.
Almost immediately I started experiencing a headache that got worse very quickly. By the time the scan was finished, I had a headache that can only be described as being as painful as a full-fledged migraine. It was HORRIBLE. It also caused severe pain in my left arm, where the dye was injected. The pain has subsided a bit since then, but my arm is still in agony…as is my head.
My doctor was in surgery today, so it took forever for her to finally have the opportunity to read the MRI and start the process of treatment. She called my mother directly (I was literally unable to speak at the time due to the massive headache, pain, and nausea caused by the test). She was quite concerned with the scan, which showed damaged disks at the L4-L5 and L5-S1 levels. She is going to have to see me again on Tuesday, April 24 to discuss my treatment. I have to take even more steroids, which I have already been taking–only these I now have to take are much stronger–and they have done quite a number on my body already. I also have to take numerous other medications for the pain, the nerve damage, and very strong antibiotics for a lovely infection I have acquired as a result of one of the problems this injury has caused. The nerve irritation is also causing severe muscle spasms in my legs so I am also forced to take muscle relaxers to deal with that aspect of the problem.
To sum it all up, at 29 years of age, my body is in the process of completely falling apart. People my age do not generally have to deal with problems of this nature. I have found it very hard to maintain a positive attitude through all of this, as hard as I’ve tried. I wasn’t able to face it or cope with it today because as soon as I arrived home from the MRI I went straight to bed and slept the rest of the day. I was unable to do anything else. So, the road I’m about to go down is still uncertain. There are a number of treatments I am going to have to undergo and a number of others I have to consider having as well. I am facing long-term medication, epidural spinal injections, and even major back surgery. Not to mention the sickness and nausea that accompanies the huge pile of medications I have to take. I have a long way to go, guys. I’ve been pretty down, but after finally waking up and the headache improving some allowing me to put everything into perspective, I am starting to feel better about the whole thing. There is no way to avoid it so I might as well put my head down and charge into it full speed. I will get through this, and the help and support of my friends has and will continue to be the greatest gift and medication I can receive.
I appreciate each and every one of my friends and readers for your kind words and offers of support. My love to you all. I will continue to blog as often as possible, which may be frequently as I am not able to work at all right now. I am currently seeking jobs in the nursing field that will allow me to work from home or from an office (all I’m allowed to do at the moment), that will also give me time to work on my next degree, which will be in graphic design. I plan on leaving nursing and going into another field that I believe will be equally satisfying for me.
Thanks again! And if anyone happens to read this and knows of any jobs like those I described in the preceding paragraph, please do let me know!