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Friday, January 20, 2017

The Lost Season - When Help Isn't Helping

Sunrise in PEI - The beginning of something new
It was a pretty sucky holiday season. Because of my hip and leg, we really didn't get to enjoy any of the usual treats this holiday. No parade, no checking out the monigotes (we'd call them effigies) and the large community installations that they burn with such joie de vivre here. It was pretty bleak, even though we've tried to make the best of it. It feels like we missed the whole thing. I did make shortbread and caramels, but that does not a Christmas make.

This whole sciatica thing has been a long, painful, but educational process. I'm gobsmacked by how long I've been suffering. Granted, I'm partially to blame, as I ignored some of the warning signs for longer than I should have. All that being said, I've come to a crossroads.

After eleven sessions of physiotherapy I was only marginally better, but, by no means, was the progress satisfactory. Because I was suffering so terribly after treatments they called in the big guns and had the owner of the rehabilitation centre evaluate me. So what was his conclusion? The muscles and/or tendons are so horribly inflamed that they are impinging on my nerve and the treatment and all exercise was only making it worse. He decreed that I need to rest for 15 days, meaning limited activity and lots of least as much is comfortable. He's not certain that it's my sciatic nerve that's impinged, but another nearby nerve that mimics sciatic symptoms. Good times.

In summation, what I'd been doing to make myself better was making me worse. Sigh. So here's to hoping that rest will do the trick, even though I did rest for three days in the infancy of my little problem.

Being in pain has given me new insight. The effect is devastating. Not only do you hurt on levels that cannot be understood by those who haven't experienced it, but it's depressing. The thought of being comfortable again is so far distant from reality that it seems like a childhood dream that you can no longer remember in detail. It is soul crushing and spirit killing. There is no room for anything else but the pain and you live in that darkness without hope.

The slightest twinge sends me into a panic, wondering if a full blow episode of agony is coming on. It makes me fearful to even move, lest what little comfort I've found gives way to another bout of throbbing, shocking waves of pain. Even though I know, for a fact, that I'm not suffering as I did in the beginning, it doesn't seem to make any difference; that there is pain, even reduced, is enough to set me to tears and despair.

All that and yet, here I am hoping, once again, that relief might be in sight. I send out huge respect to those of you who are living with chronic pain. I don't know if those around you can even understand the challenges of  your day to day life, but bless you for your courage in going on. I don't know if I'm made of strong enough stuff.

The lesson, for me, in all of this? If your body is telling you that there's something else wrong - something beyond what the doctor has found - listen! Had I been more insistent originally, I might already be out of the woods. I know the road to recovery will be longer than I would like, but at least there is hope.


  1. There is definitely hope. I'm going to ask the obvious and forgive me if you've already covered this... are you on prescription level anti-inflammatories? And if you are, are they prescribing a big enough dosage for you? I really feel for you, as I have had afflictions for which I had similar thoughts. Chronic pain is physically and emotionally draining. You will get relief. -Jenn

    1. I was on prescription grade anti-inflammatories, but I'm trying to wean myself off. I'm back to OTCs. The rest has been helping, so I can see a faint light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks for the support and hope.

  2. I told Stella what you were going through, she had similar issues years ago and was in bed for three weeks, she was in fear of moving when the pain subsided so it wouldn't come back. She did get through it with just pain killers. So hopping that you will start to recover, even if its slowly.