I always tell those who are close to me that I am more cerebral than emotional. And while this may not be a good thing when it comes to relationships, I’ve always thought leading with my mind was more of an advantage in life. This proved to be true, for me this summer.
It should have been a happy day. It was the day my friend Urim got married and I was supposed to be at the wedding (as a guest). Instead, it was the day when my back acted up the worst. On the previous days (starting May 4th) I’d had difficulty bending my back and doing simple things like getting out of bed. Sneezing and coughing were torture as every jerk was like a stab to my lower back that radiated up my spine.
When I woke up on Saturday, May 13, something was different. Getting out of bed had been difficult for days, but not quite like this. In the previous days I could roll to my side, drop my feet off the side of my bed, and from there, stand and get up. On this day I could not even roll over. I could move my arms and my head but any attempt to roll to my side filled me with intense pain from the middle of my back and down. And to make matters worse, I could not feel my legs at all (they were cold to the touch) and my feet were tingling (pins and needles).
It took me 30 minutes just to roll to my side and drop my feet to the floor. I thought of calling out to my mom for help earlier on but decided against it because I did not want them to panic, even though I was panicking inside. What calmed me down was knowing that while I could not feel me legs at all, it turned out I still had some control over them … but they were heavy! In my head I was saying right leg – step forward, left leg – step forward until I could make it out the room shuffling my feet.
I managed to walk downstairs by leaning on furniture, door jambs, and banisters. With shaky legs and tears in my throat I tried to calmly tell my parents that I was in trouble, that my back hurt like hell and I could not feel my legs at all. My mom immediately told me that I should call my therapist for a session in hopes she could help. I called her up and made an appointment. My dad decided to accompany me and drove me there.
I was laughing at myself when we got there. Getting into and out of the car and walking to the clinic, I was inching along like an octogenarian with osteoporosis. My dad was even teasing me that I must be older than him! When my therapist saw me, she got worried, too. She had two of her assistants help me and it took them around 2 hours of working on me before I was ok to get up walk. And I was able to walk after with my back straight. But I was so tired that when I got home all I could do was tell my geek friends that I could not make it to the wedding anymore and promptly fell asleep.
That was the worst day. Since then I have been resting when I can and managing better. I’m not very good at staying in bed, especially when there is work to be done, so I work and then I walk around the house every 30 minutes to keep the circulation going. Through this “therapy” I’ve managed to be well enough to go to work come May 23. To be sure, though, I’ve been bringing my meds with me and I take them as needed (as I was prescribed to do), which thankfully, has not been often. Usually, I can hold off until I get to bed and am about to sleep.
I was able to have my MRI scan last week (June 2) and this is what appeared.