Thursday, February 10, 2011

Cortisone Shot

As promised, here are a few updates on the health of my back. First, this past week has been one of the worst. I had to leave work early on Saturday because the muscles in my lower back wouldn't stop spasming. I laid low all weekend, but to no avail. By Tuesday, all I managed to do was crawl to the bathroom and then spent the rest of the day on my bedroom floor. I didn't drink anything all day so I wouldn't have to go. I know. Awful. But I had my fancy phone and a couple books to keep me company. By Wednesday however, I was up and walking again and actually felt better than I had since Friday last week! I guess all those days on the floor were the necessary rest my back needed. And today's news: The Big Day of the Cortisone Shot! I have been waiting a solid month and a half for this day to come for the relief and healing this epidural can bring. Basically it is an injection to the injured area of steroids and medicine to help reduce the inflammation and begin the healing process. I admit, I was a little nervous about the procedure this morning, but it turned out to not be that bad! There were two needle pricks (getting blood drawn is worse), and then the injection of the lidocaine and cortisone. That was strange- took 4 or 5 minutes total- there was a lot of pressure as the good doctor slowly injected the medicine. Then the nurses had me sit right up and walked me out to get changed. My butt was numb, and my legs down into my feet, but that went away after a couple hours. He said I'll probably be sore for a day or two and it could be up to a week for the cortisone to take full effect...

I swam every day for the past two weeks (not this week, obviously), but have not run in almost a month. Which I promised I wouldn't do until things start feeling better. I've also been doing "press-ups," as my physical therapist calls them, which is basically laying face-down on the floor and going into a half-extension downward dog position. Hips stay on the floor, drop your shoulders and look up. Bent elbows- also on the floor. That should help the bulging disc go back where it's supposed to be. Don't know how much help or hindrance that causes on the herniation though (I'm just imagining the vertebrae pinching that disc- but then so does sitting and about everything else, right? At least I'm helping something!). I am determined to take things slow- walk in the mornings and swim in the afternoons. The swimming has been the biggest help, by lengthening the muscles and gently stretching them, but with no impact. And I do get a workout so I don't go absolutely stir crazy! :) Even if it's not the same as running~

So that's my news! Hopefully I'll have something else to report in a week or so...

2 comments:

Turi said...

Glad it's heading in the right direction. Hope you're back running soon!

Gretchen said...

Oh, I hope it works!!! That kind of pain is so awful. And so frustrating!
I do that same stretch - the "press up" - for my back and I love it. In yoga we call it dolphin, if it's the same one I'm thinking it is.
Anyway, good luck and let us know how it goes!