Once we were at the clinic, I was admitted back fairly quickly where a nurse took my vitals. My blood pressure, as well as my pulse had skyrocketed well above my normal readings. Finally, the Dr. came in and started to question me about my symptoms, and the reason for my visit. I explained to her what had happened, and that my major concern was that in stretching, I had caused a blood clot to dislodge and travel to my brain. She listened quietly and patiently, did a quick exam of my legs (checking for DVT) and listened to my heart and lungs. With a reassuring smile, she confidently assured me I did NOT have a blood clot and that my “mystery symptom” was nothing more than a strain on my already aggravated sciatic nerve. And because she worked out and lifted weights frequently, and had experienced the SAME thing, she knew EXACTLY what I was feeling! To say I was relieved was an understatement!
We discussed my sciatic pain condition in further detail, and she suggested I should consider further testing with xrays and an MRI, neither of which I could afford.(No insurance, remember?) However, I wasn’t about to get out of there without SOME kind of pain relief, so I quickly asked if she could give me a cortisone shot, to which she replied, “of course.” Finally! I could get some relief from this painful gorilla that had been literally “on my back” for the past five weeks! .(I know what you’re thinking: “But I thought you were going to get through this conditions WITHOUT any drugs!” Well, yes, but if a simple cortisone shot can “help me along the way”, what’s the harm? Besides, with a 50/50 chance of the shot resolving my pain issue once and for all, what did I have to lose?) The injection was 80mg of DepoMedrol, and was delivered quickly and painlessly in my “gluteus maximus”. But pain relief was not as quick....
The first few hours after the injection, I felt a false sense of pain relief as the numbing agent took the edge off my pain. But when that wore off, my sciatic nerve pain came back - with a VENGEANCE! That night, I felt like my whole body had been run over by a tractor and it was all I could do to catch forty winks in between tossing and turning from side to side, trying to find a comfortable sleeping position. I finally gave up, got up out of bed and went and slept in my chair in the living room. My husband awakened my when he got up for work the next morning. Feeling groggy, nauseous and painfully stiff, I managed to drag myself up, fix some coffee and pull myself together enough to make it to a scheduled client meeting. I shoved an Advil down my throat as I walked out the door, hoping to allay some of the pain long enough to get through the morning. Strangely enough, my pain was numbed again somewhat for several hours, even enough so I could make a quick trip to the grocery store without very much pain - something I hadn’t been able to do in over a month! I was encouraged that the shot was finally kicking in and expected my condition to improve soon.
Unfortunately, as the day wore on, my old familiar pains kicked in instead. Again, I had a rough night and felt just as bad the next morning. And again, I forced myself to get up, dressed and on to another client’s office where I spent several hours that day. However, I kept having “moments” where I felt LESS pain and was encouraged again that the shot was doing its job. Still, it was now going on 36 hours post-injection, and I still couldn’t understand why I wasn’t having MORE pain relief. Naturally, I had researched the matter thoroughly and everything I read told me that I SHOULD be feeling greater pain relief by now, and the more time that passed, I feared the shot wasn’t going to work AT ALL for me.
That night, I took another Advil and slept pretty well, waking up only once hurting. I again took an Advil I had left on my nightstand and promptly went back to sleep. The next morning when I woke, I noticed I wasn’t hurting as much, although I still felt tired and a little queasy on my stomach. Not having any appointments, I looked forward to a quiet, restful and hopefully pain-free day. As I went about my morning routine, I still felt a nagging pain in my leg, but it was “different” - and not as noticeable. Wanting to know more about what to expect from the shot, and more importantly how SOON to expect RELIEF, I phoned the clinic and talked to a nurse about my injection. She explained that it was a SLOW RELEASE injection, and that I SHOULD expect to start seeing some significant pain relief over the next few days, but that if I didn’t, I could come back to discuss other options. Encouraged by her call, I decided to give it a few more days before giving up. As the day progressed on, I actually DID notice a slight decrease in pain and I could walk further and longer without my leg hurting as much. At this point, I’m feeling VERY encouraged that the cortisone shot IS working and that I’ll soon be PAIN FREE!! I’ll post another update in a few days....
So, its been 8 days post injection and what a roller-coaster ride its been! I had a slight emotional melt down around day 5 as it seemed like the cortisone shot “stopped working” and the sciatic pain once again reared its ugly head. After my meltdown, I was determined NOT to let this intrusive ailment get the best of me. It was at that point I got MAD. Mad at my body. Mad at the damn cortisone shot. Mad at the dr. who gave it to me. Mad at myself. Just plain MAD. But it was that anger that drove me to do something MORE. From that moment on, I decided to live my life IN SPITE of the pain. With my newfound determination, I cleaned my house for the first time in over a month, even squatting down on my knees to clean under furniture. No, I didn’t “overdo it”, and had to stop several times to rest, but I managed to get it done. The feeling of accomplishment was potent medicine, and I was further encouraged to tackle other things I had been putting off for so long - like walking around the yard with my dog and helping my husband out in the kitchen at meal times. I was finally LIVING again, despite the relentless pain in my leg. I vacillated back and forth over whether or not the cortisone shot was working, whether to go back for further treatment, and what to do if the pain didn’t soon let up. It was at that point that I discovered two books online by Dr. John Sarno: Mind Over Back Pain and Healing Back Pain.
Dr. Sarno is the father of TMS - Tension Mytosis Syndrome, and offers a revolutionary approach to back pain that is based on his discovery that tension is the underlying cause of most back problems. Reading these two radical, yet common-sense books helped me to realize and understand the source AND treatment to my sciatic condition, based on his documented research and experience with hundreds of “cured” patients who had suffered from the same condition, as well as many other similar ailments. If you have an open mind and are willing to “consider” Dr. Sarno’s “theories”, you, too may glean a powerful benefit from reading these two little books. All I can say is that after reading BOTH of them within a 24 hour period, I have been able to walk with LESS pain and have a new “euphoric attitude” about finally being rid of this horrid condition ONCE AND FOR ALL! Suffice it to say that I am a FIRM believer in “mind over matter”. As I enter into my 6th week, I feel enormously blessed and hopeful that God has finally brought me to MY “promised land” - a full recovery and total healing of the curse of sciatic nerve pain. Further updates forthcoming!
"A Twinge Turned Terror" - Part 6 coming next!....