Monday, December 19, 2011

Morning comes too early

We really did have a lovely Sunday evening, and Mojo and I had a nice time together after the kiddos went to bed early (finally!) so I was on track for a pretty damn good weekend when some time around 1:20 a.m. I must have rolled the wrong way and managed to yank on the big nerve that's caught up in my arthritic left hipjoint.

Here's the thing; I've lost about 20-30 pounds - I'm as lean and fit as I've been in years - but that doesn't seem to make a lick of difference. My hips, both hips, now, are utterly wrecked, and they both contribute a degree of discomfort unlike anything I've ever experienced.

Doc Le has provided some pretty effective pain pills, but whatever this sciatic nerve thing is that is going on in my left leg cuts through them effortlessly. I rolled out of the bed and took one at 1:20 and then spent the rest of the night trying to get back to sleep without success. There was just no way to lie or sit without pain.

Finally at 5:30 I went out to the couch and got about an hour of sleep in a sort of semi-sitting position. But had to get up to go to work, so to say I'm working on some pretty decent sleep-debt is putting it mildly.

And the thing is all the sources I've read suggest that this - if it is some sort of sciatic-nerve compression related to the arthritic degeneration of my lower back and hip - has very poor resolution regardless of the type of intervention. Apparently surgery has better results in the short run but by 3-5 years is no better than PT, chiro, massage, or just drugging yourself stupid.

Again, I'm trying not to whine. But it's hellishly frustrating to have depended on my body to do what I told it to for fifty years and have it suddenly quit on me.

I think I'll go have a drink now, thanks.


Podunk Paul said...

Sorry to hear that Chief. I know you'll soldier it out, doing your job and engaging all of us with the power and verve of your writing.

Pluto said...

My condolences, Chief. I went through similar pain when I accidentally crushed four disks in my back (NEVER, EVER, lift extremely heavy loads with your back over the age of 35).

My problem eventually went away after several years of PT when the disks dissolved. I hate the thought you're going to be in that level of pain for any length of time, it really eats at you and, as you've already noted, the pain pills don't even take the edge off.

Best of luck on this difficult road.

Labrys said...

Back crap sucks hairy monkey balls, there is nothing else honest to say about it. My issues are all up in my neck so I get more shoulder/arm crap. The only thing that helps at all?

My tilt table, purchased at a yard sale for $20. I hang upside down on this thing for 3 or 4 minutes off and on thru the day and it lets the squashed nerves sort of decompress a bit. Not perfect, but it helps.

It does not help enough that I'd tell anyone to pay full retail price for one to them. But if you see one cheap, you might give it a try.

Also, talk to your doc about something besides pain pills. Some of the pain is caused by nerve damage, even nerve death (neuropathy). I take a low dose of something called gabapentin daily and it helps me more than all the damn useless pain pills they used to shove at me.

Good luck and sympathy...

Lisa said...

I'm very sorry to hear this. You've done so well with the weight issue, and I hope that contributes eventually to some relief.

I'm sure you've done your research, but per labrys, I stumbled upon an excellent vid (you tube?) done by a chiropractor who spoke of this compressed/sciatic nerve problem as emanating from a compression caused by the Ilio-Tibial band, which either entangles it somehow or becomes too tight. He said it was under-diagnosed and did recommend inversion table + specific exercises.

He found it obviated the need for surgery by over 50%. I do wish I had book marked this.

Lisa said...

Here is the link I spoke of which I hope has info that may help you:

<a href=">Piriformis Syndrome</a>

Lisa said...

Piriformis Syndrome

FDChief said...

Lisa: Thanks SO much for the information! I've been doing the stretch recommended in the video and the pain in my left leg has receded noticibly, suggesting that it IS related to Piriformis Syndrome. I suspect the muscle inside my left buttock has been aggravated by my uneven gait related to the shortening of my RIGHT unsurprising development.

At any rate, for this relief, much thanks! Again you prove yourself a woman of many gifts, and I am deeply indebted for this among your other numerous and variate fine qualities!