September brings change....
Change is in the air… The Autumnal Equinox (equal day and night) will arrive on Saturday, the 22nd of September. We begin that transition from summer toward winter with the delightful season of Fall. Warm days, cool nights, dryer and windier weather…. Time to begin gathering inward.
You may or may not have noticed that I didn’t write up a ‘blog entry’ for August. No, I wasn’t on some fabulous vacation…. I was already on that inward journey toward understanding my own physical body & the limitations, listening to that inner voice after finding myself in a rather injurious situation, where I felt as though my SI joint (Sacroiliac) had gotten a little “out of sorts”. As I was “listening to my own body” …. It became painfully evident, that perhaps I had been overdoing things just a bit. I couldn’t decide if the resulting pain was because of a slip on a hike, or the task of carrying a heavy piece of furniture up several flights of stairs in our home. Regardless of the why….the end result was a very painful lower left back and hip, with pain radiating down the Sciatic nerve… all the way to my foot. After weeks of chiropractic adjustments, doctor visits, investigating probable causes, outcomes, treatments and physical therapy options – I finally was able to get an MRI to have a look at what was happening. The L4 nerve root is being compressed by the “squishy” layer between the vertebrae….. the herniated disc/bulging disc or “ruptured disc” as it is sometimes referred to; is pressing down on that L4 – L5 nerve area and causing a lot of pain in the lower leg for me. There is some weakness in the muscle and loss of strength and difficulty with the dorsal flexion of my left foot. Over the last 6 weeks, having seen a variety of health care professionals, including a physical therapist, my primary care physician has called for “conservative treatment” as I continue forward. The pain is much less, just a little tingling in the leg and she believes that over the next few weeks (with my continued efforts with strengthening, stretching, Pilates exercises and other things that I do in the course of teaching ‘exercise classes’) that I may continue to improve. I am expecting to go for an “epidural steroid injection” to help with further anti-inflammatory help… to get that disc and nerve to quiet down….before any consideration of surgery. I suggested to my Primary Care, that I was concerned about “waiting” ? if I wait 6 months or a year, or longer, until I feel the pain again, would that be “too late” for surgery. She was adamant that it would not be, and that it was not in my best interest to go forward with surgery (that may or may not actually be “successful”) whether it was done sooner or later. The best course of action was to allow the inflammation to continue being relieved, and the pain would subside. In some cases, that bulging disc is relieved enough that it will no longer be pushing on the nerve. Yes….the “fragment” of bulging disc will still be there…. It can only be removed by surgery (cleaned out) a “discectomy”
Since I am improving (yes, a little residual pain and tingling)…. The chances are good that I can continue forward with little or no pain. Primary Care was sure that no surgeon would be that willing to attempt surgery on someone whose pain was actually subsiding and not getting worse. So, this “conservative” course of treatment, is (like I said)…”listening to my body”….not doing anything that is ‘dangerous’ or ‘pain producing’, and give it a little more time to heal. I will continue teaching my classes at the Caldwell YMCA (although I may back away from anything that feels like I am pushing my body too hard) and see what time may bring. I am hopeful that I will improve, and not have to endure surgery (for the moment). Thank you all for continued support and your concern for my welfare.