The next few days were a blur. None of the pain medication I was so generously given brought any kind of lasting relief, although some of the stronger drugs did help me sleep fitfully through the night. Still, the moans and groans of pain kept not only myself awake, but my poor husband, as well. I finally decided to sleep in my chaise chair in the living room, so as not to keep him awake. After all, he was the main breadwinner and HAD to go to work every day. I was fortunate enough to be able to work from home, although I could only manage to work at my computer a few short hours at a time. Constant pain is a selfish companion, and DEMANDS your undivided attention!
As the days passed slowly and painfully by, other things were now happening - not only to my body, but to my mind, as well. Severe constipation from a steady intake of opioids combined with cold, damp rainy weather made the perfect storm for a case of mild depression to settle in. And although my husband was was being super supportive and even took over ALL of the cooking duties and some of the cleaning duties around the house, I was depressed that I couldn’t even so much as straighten my back, much less walk ten steps from the chair to the bed. My whole “normal routine” as I knew it was in a tailspin, and about as ABNORMAL as it gets. In short, I felt like I was a prisoner trapped in someone else’s body. I hopelessly wondered if I’d EVER walk again, and feared I may even end up crippled in a wheelchair and disabled for life. That thought TERRIFIED me, as I was used to being super active and always on the go. I took my dog on long walks around our small farm - sometimes even twice a day, worked in my small herb/flower garden out back, took care of all the housework, laundry and grocery shopping, and traveled long distance several days a month to visit clients. But suddenly, all that came to a screeching halt, and I was as clumsy and helpless as a newborn calf - wobbly legs and all!
As is my curious nature,I frantically began searching the internet for any and everything I could find on my condition, which I finally self-diagnosed as “sciatica”. It would later be determined medically that my diagnosis was correct, as I had ALL the classic symptoms. I poured over medical, holistic and self-help websites soaking in every tidbit of information I could find on the cause, treatment and ultimately cure for this savage affliction that had taken a young, healthy and active woman to down to her knees. All in one quickening breath!
As the meds kicked in and took a thin edge off my pain, I started trying to implement some of the other treatments I had found on the internet for sciatica. Most suggested light stretching, which was a challenge when you can’t even stand up straight! But I was determined to get better and was willing to do almost ANYTHING to get rid of the nagging pain that was literally a pain in the butt! So every morning, I’d drag myself to the kitchen, fix a cup of coffee (thank God for Keurigs!) grab a container of yogurt, and hobble back to my chair for a light breakfast After the caffeine from the coffee kicked in and I had something on my stomach, I took a pain pill and waited a little bit longer for that to ease the pain before doing my floor stretches. At first, I couldn’t hardly get down on the floor without writhing in pain, but I soon learned the more I did, the easier it got. I also learned it didn’t take ALOT of stretching - just the right kind. I firmly believe the exercises I started doing was instrumental in helping me regain not only some function in my now defunct body, but was a tremendous help in relieving some of the mental stress that comes with sciatic nerve pain.
Along with the stretching exercises, I started taking a Super Magnesium supplement and just recently added a combination glucosamine chondroitin, MSM and Vitamin D supplement, along with my daily multi-vitamin. I also tried some of the highly recommended holistic treatments such as turmeric, apple cider vinegar, and grape juice, but can’t say I noticed any distinguishing benefits from them, although I may not have used them consistently enough to reap their benefits. A kindhearted Facebook friend even sent me a jar of an all natural pain relief ointment a friend of his makes, but unfortunately, it didn’t give me the long lasting relief I was hoping for. Still, I believe that ALL these natural treatments working TOGETHER, along with daily stretching and a positive mental attitude, are what got me through each painful day.
"A Twinge Turned Terror" - Part 3 Coming Next!