I’ve had chronic back pain for the past two decades. Due to being thrown from a horse, a car accident and a degenerative disk, my back is pretty messed up. While I’ve had bouts of back pain severe enough to land me in bed on pain killers a few times a year, I have managed to stay mostly pain medication free and manage ok without any serious treatment or surgical intervention.
As some of you know, I have been having pretty bad back and SI pain for the last couple of months. I have been pretty much bedridden with it. And outside of that a lot of things in my life have kind of fallen apart at the same time. I have been pretty quiet online because what am I going to say? Whine about how much back pain sucks? Talk about how pain killers can make you vomit, and make your injury worse? Cry about how much I want to play around with Butterlump and can’t because it hurts too much? Bitch about my life? That gets totally old, totally fast and really, I doubt many of you want to hear about the unbelievable crapload of TV shows I have watched in the past few weeks. (Although you should totally check out the remake of Sherlock Holmes they run on Masterpiece Mystery after Downton Abbey Sundays on PBS. TOTALLY AWESOME.) they had on WE. I have been hoping and praying I will get better and get out of this bed but despite a lot of rest in bed and being on painkillers and all the other treatments I usually have had success with over the years, I haven’t been getting better.
And then today happened.
There has been a lot of change in my life lately. Some good, some not so good and some that are probably for the best in the long run but are just difficult and painful in the short term. One of the few things that I still have that is the same in my life was singing in the choir I belong to. I agreed to head up their social media committee along with my friend, Ben. Y’all might remember that he played the extremely convincing janitor in the flash mob we put together for the holidays.
Ben has been doing the lion’s share of the work for the social media committee lately, but I have been trying hard to keep choir in my life because I really need something in my life to stay the same. Singing not only gets me out of the house but it utterly fills me with joy. (I am likely going to have to take another sabbatical from it and the thought breaks my heart…we are doing The Messiah and it is my favorite musical piece to perform in the world.)
Ben came over to my house today to work on a project for the social media committee. Before he came over I tried to put on a pair of jeans and it was so painful I had to stop. I had Jonathan help me put a pair of scrubs on instead and I hobbled downstairs to meet him when he rang the door. I warned him that I was in pretty bad shape but he had back surgery a few years ago and he knows how bad it can be.
I went to sit on the couch and that is when…something happened.
My pain went through the roof.
Searing, horrible, awful pain.
To a level of pain that I fell on the floor screaming obscenities on the floor in front of a guy I don’t know that all that well and sobbing my guts out because it hurt to even breathe. I have not experienced something to that level without being in hard labor without an epidural. I feel totally embarrassed that it happened in front of Ben but he had back surgery a couple of years ago and he was an ENORMOUS help to me and my husband helping to get me moved. Having been in that kind of pain, he knew the least painful ways to move me. 3.5 hours after it happened, lots of pain killers and heat packs later I am finally able to lay still without total agony.
But if I move, it is awful.
I fear that today has become a game changer and what I have dreaded and feared for so long is here.
Jonathan is calling my doctor on Monday and telling him the time has come to get an MRI.
We both have a feeling that I am going to have to have surgery. The doctor I spoke to on call felt that was probably the most likely outcome with my history and the symptoms I have going on right now.
To complicate matters, my husband is self-employed and I don’t have insurance. So, whatever we do is going to come out of our pockets. But Jonathan is firm that we need to do what we can to get me better. I am only 37. I can’t live like this. I was crying to him that I was worried about something going wrong but as Jonathan pointed out, it CANNOT get worse right now. And he’s right. Breathing hurts. It can’t get worse.
And as for the cost of it, well…it is what it is.
We’ll just have to make it work. We have had huge medical bills before and know all about payment plans. I am grateful beyond words that this didn’t happen before we got into our beautiful house. I DO see the positives in my life. I just feel so awful. I want to feel better. I want to make my life better.
In ALL ways.
Because I am not happy the way that things are right now.
So, there we are.
There is a big part of me that hopes the MRI will happen and there is another option for me.