Last year, my brother died at the end of June. My blogging came to a hard stop.
This year, it’s me. That is, the reason for the full stop this July, is my sudden but severe incapacitation from severe back pain. This came on quickly last Sunday morning after I had been awake awhile and went to let the dog outside. I had been fine up and down the stairs a couple of times already, so while I felt my lower right back aching slightly, I was fine — until I wasn’t.
Suddenly, for no apparent reason, searing pain shot through my lower back, starting in the muscles above my right hip, shooting down into my thigh with such force, my leg nearly buckled. I spent several hours that morning trying to get comfortable. Some measures provided momentary relief, but nothing lasted more than a few minutes.
By the afternoon, we headed out to seek help. The local urgent care center was closed, shunting us (and everyone else) over to the ER, meaning they were overwhelmed. Remember, this was last Sunday, the day before the 4th of July. We spent 5 hours in the ER. By now, I had discovered the only position that worked to reduce the immense pain was lying flat on my back on a hard floor. That’s how I spent most of my time in the ER.
Spondylolysis— that’s what they call this.
I call it torture. The term describes a tiny crack or stress fracture in the boney arch over the spinal cord. Apparently, I received an injury to a lumbar vertebrae some years back that somehow got re-injured. The x-ray showed calcification around the area and that likely exacerbated the situation.
While it’s great to get a diagnosis, of course, that mostly becomes helpful when it leads to treatment options. ER staff diagnose and provide emergency interventions, but my next step is consulting with s spine specialist. We tried to expedite that this week, but the specialty clinic needs an MRI first. After jumping through a few hoops (great fun when you’re in near constant pain), we’ve got one of those set up for Tuesday.
I’ll update y’all later as to further treatment, but for now, these blog posts may be sporadic.