Monday, August 25, 2014

I'm 24 and I have back problems....

This has nothing to do with my back problems, but it is a picture I took this summer at the Zilker Botanical Gardens.
So I'm 24 and I have back problems that started in 2008. Two herniated discs, in consecutive discs at the base of my spine in lumbar. In late March, they flared. It felt like my latissimus dorsii had shrunk to half their length, they were so tight. I could barely sit (less than two minutes at a time). It is an uncomfortable and painful feeling to be aware of your coccyx because the connective tissue around it and the sacrum are so inflamed. The only position that didn't cause me pain was lying down. Four months of physical therapy (PT) later and everything was great. No more pain. I could finally sit without a back support, which I have had to use for the past six years. 

But on Saturday, as I was on the floor organizing papers in my home office, my back spasmed badly. Ever since then, I have been in bed. When I walk or sit or stand, there is pain. I can trace the sciatic nerve down one of my legs, from my hip to my foot, because of the searing pain. I should not be able to do that. I don't want to be able to do that.

I think I'm going back to my physical therapist this week and I'm getting some medicine to bring down the inflammation in my back, which is causing a lot of the pain. But the real issue is not that my back is hurting. It is why it is hurting.

I was on the floor going through papers, leaning to put some in my recycling bin. That should not have made my back muscles spasm. I can protect my back from motions and actions that I know will harm it. I can do nothing against actions that I think will cause no damage but then do. I am quite upset about that. I don't want this to become my future. That I'm constantly thinking about every movement and whether or not I'm going to wind up needing four months of physical therapy as a result. 

I don't know what to do now. For the moment, it is go to PT. Get the current pain down. But what about the future? When I'm back on the floor, organizing papers? Or when I'm doing laundry, yard work, petting an animal, swimming, driving, biking, walking? There was only a month of no pain in between leaving PT and Saturday's bad spam. When will the next one happen? I don't want this to be my life from now on.

I'm 24. I don't feel as though I have or can have a 'normal' life because of my back. Most of the time I can get by by not thinking about it. But on days like today, these thoughts all come flooding in. I don't know what do to. And it scares me not knowing things.