I passed the eight week mark and currently entering the ninth. Honestly, I’ve been so busy LIVING that I haven’t had time to update this blog! But I wanted to finish it and get it published so others who may be dealing with this horrendous condition may find some hope in my experience. I guess I was a “typical statistic”, as my sciatic nerve pain finally (but slowly) left me around week eight. Coincidence or was it a combination of all I had been doing? Who really knows? I just give all the credit to God, as HE is the one who works through ANY and ALL means to bring us to TOTAL healing.
If you have researched sciatic nerve pain as much as I have, you’ll agree that the treatment for it is as different as the sufferer who is to dealing with it, and that there is no “one treatment cures all”. Like me, you may travel down many different treatment roads, trying one remedy after another, until you find the one or a combination of several treatments that work for YOU. Everyone handles pain differently, therefore everyone will respond differently to various methods of pain control. For me, I just knew I had to keep trying to find a way to get through another day, in hopes of waking up one day and finding that I finally had MY pain under control WITHOUT having to rely on dangerous drugs or invasive surgery. Don’t get me wrong - I DO believe those treatments have a place in some cases, and would advise you to seek out those treatment options you feel are best suited for YOUR particular situation. I am NOT 100% cured myself, so it may be that even I have to relent to more aggressive treatment in the event I don’t get better soon! But for now, as long as I see improvement in my condition on a daily basis, no matter how small, I’m going to fight this condition head on with my arsenal of all natural and holistic treatments, along with the strength and power of Almighty God, and wage a full on frontal attack against this formidable foe!
I still have some weakness in my right leg and numb patches in my foot, knee and thigh, but nothing that has kept me from living a “normal life” again. In fact. I just got back from an extended trip to beach where I was able to walk along the seashore and enjoy doing all the things I loved to do - only slower and with more care! And frankly, I NEEDED to slow down, as I was ALWAYS in a hurry, rushing around, stressing about getting places on time, and just worrying about EVERYTHING. They say God has “ways” of getting your attention and I think this was His way of telling me to SLOW DOWN and ENJOY LIFE! Despite all the unbearable pain and frustration this condition brings, I’m sure glad it happened! For now, I have a NEW appreciation of life. I live each day at a slower, but more meaningful pace and don’t worry about being “left behind”. No, I DON’T want to go through this again, but I can honestly say it left me a happier, more carefree person. I hope it does the same for you!
Thank you for staying with me through this extended blog journey. If you've been helped by anything you read, or learned something about sciatic nerve pain, please share your comments with me below. Let's "pay it forward" and help others who may be suffering with this painful condition and let them know there is ALWAYS hope for total healing and a normal life again!
I’m one day shy of my 7 week “sciatica anniversary”. Not exactly an occasion I’d like to celebrate, but it helps to be able to look back and see how far I’ve come. And while I can definitely say I’ve come a long way, I regret to say that I am STILL having some degree of pain from this condition. I’m also two weeks post cortisone injection and feel pretty confident in saying its effects were minimal at the most. So, here’s what I’ve been doing to deal with the on-going pain:
I try to walk on my treadmill at least five minutes or more, do my sciatic nerve stretches, and stay active as much as possible. Yes it hurts to walk, but I do it anyway. Fortunately, my mind is finally clear from all the drugs I was taking and I’m able to focus more on doing things that will further my recovery. I still take Advil or Aleve 2-3 times a day, or as needed. I’ve also started taking the alpha lipoic acid again, as well as the turmeric, both of which I had stopped when I got the cortisone shot. I also just recently read about benfotiamine - a Vitamin B1 derivative that shows great promise in helping relieve nerve pain. I’m going to my local health food store tomorrow and get some, and will report on the results in a week or so. I’m also going to inquire about any other holistic treatments available that I could possibly gain some benefit from. It is STILL my goal to attack and treat this condition on as much a holistic level as possible until it is resolved to my satisfaction. With that said, I need to get up and get MOVING!
So, my trip to the health food store proved to be discouraging - and SCARY! I was hoping to get the benfotiamine, but unfortunately, they didn’t have any. However, my friend who runs the store suggested two alternatives - one was Tei Fu - a relaxing massage gel (which I really LOVE), and the other was a homeopathic blend of several different herbs simply called “Backache”. After a late lunch that afternoon, I eagerly opened the little bottle of tiny little white pills that I hoped would relieve the nagging pain in my leg. The directions said to take four pills every 4-6 hours, and dissolve them under your tongue. Knowing how “sensitive” I am to most EVERYTHING, I only took two. Four hours later, I took another dose - two more. Now we get to the SCARY part! Immediately after taking the second dose, I became dizzy and had severe shortness of breath. I quickly started researching the ingredients in the little pills and was disturbed to find they contained ACONITE - a deadly POISONOUS herb! However, in a “homeopathic” state, it was supposed to be quite safe and its poisonous effects very “minimal”. Ha! Safe or not, there was NO WAY I was dissolving another one of those little pills under my tongue! I decided the leg pain wasn’t so bad after all! lol! Fortunately, the shortness of breath wore off in a few hours and I had no further effects.
Ironically, it was shortly after this my friend messaged me on Facebook to see how I was doing. When I told him what had happened to me, he assured me that it only went to prove the “energy and frequency was very powerful” - whatever that means. All I know is that poisoning myself to get rid of my sciatic nerve pain seem to be going to the extreme. Lesson learned - herbal remedies can have dangerous side effects just like prescription meds, and you need to research ANYTHING and EVERYTHING before you take it! Fortunately, the Tei Fu massage gel works great to soothe and relax the cramped muscles in my leg, and helps me to sleep without that “restless leg” feeling at night.
So now I was feeling like I was back to “square one”, and didn’t know what to do next. God knew what I was thinking (doesn’t He always!) and whispered one word in my ear: “turmeric”. What? “Try taking the turmeric again”. I heard the words just as clear as day. Okay, why not? After all, it IS one of the most highly recommended and talked about all- natural treatments for sciatic. Maybe I just didn’t give it enough time to work! What did I have to lose at this point? I immediately went and got two capsules and swallowed them with a long chug of bottled water. Four hours later, I took two more. I did this for two days and amazingly, the stabbing pain in my leg started to retreat in a very noticeable way! I couldn’t believe it! I kept taking my other supplements - the Super Magnesium, Triple Flex and ALA, along with the turmeric, and over the next three or four days, the pain in my leg diminished to just a nagging dull ache, which was actually a refreshing change from the sharp, stabbing pain that kept me from standing or walking for very long.
Now here’s the REALLY exciting part: after about the fourth day, with my husband by my side, I walked around the field with him and our dog with NO PAIN!! Yes, my leg was a little “achy”, and I was walking very SLOW from weakness, but I was NOT in any pain! Praise the Lord!!! I was SO happy, I could have just as easy been walking on CLOUDS! And the next day, I did it again, and just yesterday, I walked around TWICE! Of course, I was quite sore that evening, but after a long epsom salt bath and rubbing my leg down with the Tei Fu, I slept like a baby that night! I can’t tell you how that one little feat brought great healing to me - both physically AND mentally! I finally feel like I’m living a NORMAL life again, and am looking forward to the day when I can finally put this nightmare behind me! As I near the eight week of this traumatic journey in my life, I hope to end this journal and make it public in hopes of helping someone else who may be going through the same thing.
"A Twinge Turned Terror" - FINAL CHAPTER coming soon!!
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!....