My Summer of Discomfort

From now on I will have way more sympathy when I hear that anyone is suffering from sciatica! I never really thought much about it till I was struck with it in mid-June. Actually the symptoms started months earlier but being a typical guy and former athlete that lives with constant pain, I ignored it figuring it would go away. Instead the slight bit of back pain that started in late April early May has become a nightmare for me! By the third week of June the pain became more intense and spread all the way down my right leg to my ankle.

I have been undergoing Physio treatments, including spinal decompression since the 22nd of June, which helps a little bit. This week I got a cortisone shot, but that made it worse for a couple of daysand then when I thought it felt better yesterday, took a short trip to Edmonton to see a show and that knocked me down again.

The problem is that I have a bulging disk that is pressing on the sciatic nerve and causing me all the pain. I am unable to sit or stand for more than a few minutes (and I pay the price if I do more) and have spent most of the last month lying on my side. I have been taking Tylenol 3s for the pain, but they only give me relief for 2 1/2 to 3 ½ hours and I don’t like the side effects.

This summer has been absolutely miserable for me. I have been robbed of spending time with my family, I missed Stampede for the first time in 29 years, have had to pass on numerous invitations to events, can’t golf or do anything. I have been able to work since I can do that from home with my fulltime job, but my own business has been suffering as I can’t do much. When I have tried to do things, I am afraid that I am a bear due to the pain. For example we went to a show in Edmonton last night, (Walking with Dinosaurs Live), and the pain from the drive caused me to be short tempered with the kids, in addition having to walk through Northlands Park, take the stairs to the top of Rexall Place and try to sit in a tiny seat with no leg room didn’t do good things. I ended up finding an open supply room door and spent 30 minutes of the show + the 15 minute intermission lying on the floor. I choose the store room because when I did lay on the floor in the hallway for a few minutes everyone that walked by asked if I needed help.

Now the rest of my family has made their annual drive to Winnipeg for their summer visit. I usually tag along for the drives and fly back but this year I can’t even do that and am here at home while my wife makes the long drive on her own!

I really wish that this pain would just go away and I can go back to a normal life. Right now it is unfair to my family as I have not been able to help with anyone around the house, and can barely take care of myself. I have been told that these things usually go away on their own but can last several months to a year. I can live with a little poain as I have done this for the last 20 or so years, but I don’t think I can handle even another two months of this. It has been a real mental test for me as well and am hoping I can continue to get through. So if you meet me on the street in the next little while and I seem a little short, it is probably the intense pain talking and not me!



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