Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Down Time Update...

Thanks for all the comments, emails, and recommendations. Many people have recommended Peter Egoscue's Pain Free book...the good thing is that I have been using Egoscue's methods for many years now for relief from minor back issues.

However, with my current issues the pain has been so bad that I have not been able to perform any of Egoscue's exercises until just a few days ago and even then performing the exercises were rather painful to do.

Today is better though and I can get through all the exercises without any "real" pain and the results are already clearly felt...last night was the first night I spent the entire night in my own bed all night in the past 2-wks (previously I was up every hour or more and spent much time just trying to find some position or pillow wedge that would decrease the pain that the narcotics were not even touching). Typically I have been getting 3-4 hours of sleep a night, but last night I slept at least 6 or 7 hours (whoohoo!)without any pain. And today I have only a very mild ache in my back and left leg plus the numbness in my lower leg feels different for some reason (more tingly than completely numb), which could be a good sign.

I also saw the slicer/dicer today who of course offered surgery and presented with much less enthusiasm when I was questioning him asking about alternative treatments and his opinion on such treatments and comparisons of recovery times. The bad news is that I either way, with surgery or conservative treatments, the recovery time is at least 6-8 week (or more) until I will be able to ride or lift anything significant.

The really bad news is that my employer (TriState Memorial Hospital - ER) will not allow me to return to work without a sign-off from a practitioner that I am able to lift at least 50 lbs. So essentially I am out of a job...hmmm

Anyone know where I can get some light duty work?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Down Time...

I've been literally down for the past 3-weeks due to a pinched nerve causing huge issues in my left leg - like continuous numbness and very painful burning sensations from my knee cap to my foot, uncontrollable and very severe muscle cramps above the knee in my quads, groin area, and outer hip areas, plus massive pressure sensations in my knee when I walk (when I can walk that is). I've found that sometimes there is nothing to relieve these symptoms (medication, topically, or re-positioning) and reality is that I just have to live through the pain.

After 3-weeks of pain I'm very humbled and beyond ready to be done with it. The real kicker is that I have received ever differing opinions after consulting with chiropractors, physical therapists, and several doctors - Why is it that no one is on the same page with this kind of issue? We all suspect the same cause - either a bulging or herniated disc in the lower back pinching a nerve (I think it's that Saphenous nerve personally). After much research I have determined that surgery is only helpful in 10% of the cases and that these things typically heal themselves on their own in 3-6 weeks, which is defined as 3-6 weeks of essentially no activity (including no work).

I'm sick of sitting (laying) around doing nothing and feeling helpless...Donna (the love of my life) has really done a super job of keeping me contained and well cared for. In the mean time I am dreaming of riding my bike(s) again while at the same time contemplating selling most of my bikes just to pay the bills while I'm not working. Hmmm...reality...

Just to make myself feel good I have gotten on a bike mounted in a trainer for 3-5 minutes at a time when I can (which is typically 1-2 times a day if at all depending on the pain). In the mean time I will continue to dream of riding again and drool over new bikes.

Update: An MRI done today reveals I do have something that is actually causing all this pain. The report states, "At L3-4, there is a massive far left lateral disc extrusion...(that) markedly impinges the exiting left L3 root..." Now that we know the cause, the next step is the treatment options - conservative or surgical? Will know more on Monday after I get a chance to talk out both options with prospective practioners. In the mean time - ouch!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Hot Huckleberry Times

Yep it's stupidly hot out (106-degrees yesterday, near the same today)...the time of year when I need 4-liters of water per hour, but can only absorb 3-liters, I'm always thirsty, my tongue is constantly swollen, my jersey has white salt stains...I'm flat-out baked well-done on any ride!

So the only recourse is to give up the bike (yes, I actually said that), head to the mountains (in the fuel-guzzling-noisy-diesel-monster-Bubba-truck) and pick those delicious little purple berries that have a cool, refreshing taste...better known as huckleberries!

Can you say yum!!! Bikes can rule another day, today is Huckleberry Day!