Five months ago, I shared about my herniated disc; My Herniated Disc Experience. As mentioned, my x-ray turned out unremarkable. Of course, even then, I was not surprised because 1. I KNOW my body well enough to know that regardless of what the x-ray shows, something is wrong. And 2. x-rays only show hard tissues (bone) or dense materials like metal, air, and fat. To properly diagnose a herniated disc, the proper equipment would be the unfortunately expensive, but incredible nonetheless, MRI. This is because it has the ability of showing soft tissues from multiple angles.
Initially, after the pain medication did nothing but make me drowsy, I was referred to a Physiatrist who referred me to physical therapy. Been there, done that. This was my 4th time at physical therapy for my back. My therapist was great I must admit. He gave me numerous exercises & stretches to strengthen my core, back, booty, & legs. It provided decent compensatory strategies, which was helpful for the first few weeks. However, once I felt as though I were making significant gains, the pain worsened. I went from using compensatory strategies, to requiring pain management. In the meantime, I was also going to the chiropractor religiously, which did help quite a bit until the pain kicked back in.
After completing physical therapy, I was back to the physiatrist. This was in August, and my journey with therapy began in May. At my first appointment, my option was physical therapy, and getting an MRI or other methods of treatment (injection or surgery) were not really options at all. This time however, the doctor insisted I get an MRI. Sure enough, the MRI results arrived, indicating that I DO have a herniated disc. The first words out of my mouth were “I KNEW IT!”. Although I have only been in living in my body for 22 years, I believe I have come to know it quite well, in fact, better than anyone else. The options he gave me were either 1. Epidural Steroid Injection, or 2. surgery. Surgery is the last straw in my mind, so I opted for the injection. Due to my own conflicting schedule, my appointment was set for 2 weeks later (the doctor was willing to book me for the next day). During those 2 weeks, I swear, and I admit I said it, that I just wanted it amputated. The pain was GRUELING! Unlike anything I ever felt. I had shooting pain and numbness down my leg, excessive knee pain ( I don’t even have knee pain!), and difficulty doing anything.
Thankfully, I made it through those 2 weeks, and am still here today. To read more on my injection experience, see: Epidural Steroid Injection Experience
Thanks for reading!
Callie & Gabbie