Tuesday, May 24, 2011

the weirdest last few days (or why I skipped WW this week)

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you would know about my weekly Weight Watchers updates. You may have also noticed that on Monday morning there was no weekly update. There is a reason and that reason is that I did not go to my weekly weigh in and meeting. And here is why...
For the past week and a half my lower back (on the right side) has been bothering me, but it wasn't anything I thought I needed to be alarmed over since I get the same back pain once a month every month or every other month (hopefully you're catching my crimson wave drift). 
However, I work out 6 days a week. On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I work out at the gym with Lauren. On Tuesday, Thursday and Friday I do cardio (Zumba) at home. 
On Saturday, about an hour after my Zumba workout, I was getting out of the shower, towel drying my legs and feet. When I tried to straighten back up, I couldn't. I crawled over to the bed, wet hair and all, and laid there for what seemed like forever. I called to Dave to come upstairs and rub my back because it was hurting pretty bad. He was such a dear, found the knot in my lower back and worked it (painfully) until he had a hard time finding the knot because it had gotten much smaller.
I proceeded to get dressed and ready to go to our dear friend Joey's graduation party because I was determined we'd go no matter what my back felt like. Getting in and out of the car was difficult, to say the least. Every bump and turn in the car was painful. Sitting down was painful, so I stood while everyone sat and alternated between sitting and standing the whole evening. We had planned to stop by Kenny, Erin and Phil's house for a dance party, but the later it got and the more pain I found myself in, that plan was nixed. We came home to relax (lay on the couch with a heating pad) and watch a movie. Getting into a comfortable position was so painful and I was so frustrated that I cried for about 90 seconds, but pulled myself together and proceeded to watch The Green Zone (which Jeff and Lauren let us borrow), but I was having a hard time paying attention to the movie due to the uncomfortable positions I had no choice but to lay in, so I went to bed. 

Also, I think I'm going to start doing this awesome Steppin' Out Saturdays thing at Harper's Happenings. All the cool kids are doing it...

{my fishtail braid & outfit}

{my two favorite dudes: Davey and Dominic} 
{Scott & Joey, the grad girl}
{me & Davey... do I look pained?} 
{delicious rice tacos} 
{I love this man} 

Sunday morning I woke up at 6am to shower and get ready for WW and church. That was even harder than the day before. Immediately after my shower I made my way back to bed and Dave spent the next 10 minutes convincing me that I needed to stay home from WW and church, so I agreed and stayed home to rest. I immediately called my mom to ask if she had any pain killers and she directed me to my sister (who is basically a pharmacy due to her own back pain) and she saved the day. She sent Dave home with a baggie full of Vicodin and muscle relaxers. 
We had planned to have Jeff and Lauren over for dinner and hanging out that day and I was really looking forward to it all week, so I guzzled down those pain killers, stuffed an ice pack in my pants, pulled myself up by the boot straps and made pizza and pasta for Dave to have leftovers during the week while I'm at rehearsals. Then we tidied up the house for the arrival of our friends. By that time I had been feeling better, but the pain was still there, gnawing at my back, hip and leg. 
Regardless of all of this we had a really great time. The guys watched the game while Lauren and I researched Sciatica and Herniated Discs (I have pretty much all the symptoms) and then we just hung out upstairs and chatted for a while. By late evening I made us all potato tacos, we showed Jeff and Lauren our wedding video (I know that sounds weird, but they are the first friends we've ever showed the DVD to and we wouldn't have unless they actually wanted to see it). They ended up loving it and I think Jeff might have even gotten a little teary, haha!! Then I baked some chocolate chip cookies and we watched Swamp People while enjoying the warm cookies and looked through my Martha Stewart Baking book. Bogart LOVED Jeff and Lauren. He is usually the most anti-social cat and never really likes anyone (except for Dominic), but he just couldn't get enough of our friends. He even waited by the door after they left for FIVE MINUTES!! It was precious.

I then popped a muscle relaxer and went straight to bed.
I woke up yesterday morning in excruciating pain. I couldn't move without wanting to shriek. Dave ended up coming home from work to help me get dressed and drive me to urgent care where we waited, and waited, and waited, and waited. I didn't take any medicine AT ALL because I didn't know if it would interfere with any meds they were going to give me, so I was in a lot of pain. I honestly think I have a pretty decent tolerance for pain. I've had more than one surgery where the recoveries were very painful and I've handled them pretty well. The worst pain I've ever felt or cried the most at was when I burned my hand from grabbing the handle of a skillet that had just come out of a 500 degree oven earning me nearly 2nd degree burns all over my palm and fingers and even that I handled alright.
But when I have no meds in my system this back pain is intense. I barely move a centimeter and I cry out in pain. I can't sit, I can't stand, I can't lay down. There is no comfortable position.
So after we were finally called into an office and after we waited for the guy to come and check me out, feel my spine, vertebrae by vertebrae, press on my sciatic nerve (OUCH!), he lays me down on the examining table and I can't even get laid down before the tears are flowing and I've got that ugly cry going. He moves my right leg around and I want to scream. He then asks me if I have a low tolerance for pain and for some reason that bugged me. Dave tells him I do most of the time and I say, "Well I thought I did" through tears. He asks if I can get up and I'm just like, "Uh, no. I'm gonna lay here." He tells me he thinks it's just a pulled muscle that could have occurred from lifting something wrong at the gym or from my cardio (Oh really?? Are you sure? JUST a pulled muscle? Am I really that much of a wimp?), then he says he's gonna have a nurse give me a shot of some kind of anti-inflammatory drug that should relax the muscle, therefore alleviating the pain. About forever later a nurse enters with a shot, shoots me up in my "hip", and says we need to wait 20 minutes to make sure it doesn't give me an allergic reaction and that it helps the pain. "Twenty" minutes later, the pain is still just as bad as it was "twenty" minutes before so the doc is all like, "Okay do you want morphine?" to which I, without skipping a beat, say "Uhm, YES."
So a while later another nurse comes in and shoots the other side of my "hip" up with the morphine and another shot of a drug to counteract the nausea that the morphine would give me. Within 5 minutes that seems like 30, I am high as a kite, but the pain is still there, albeit slowly abating. I can't sit because my back still hurts, but I can't stand because the room is spinning and I'm sweating and laughing for no reason at all. Finally the pain settles enough for me to lay down without crying and I drift in and out of whatever conversation Dave and I are having. They let me go with a prescription of a drug stronger than Vicodin and a muscle relaxer to take at night.
Sometime in between laughing and itching my face off, I exclaim that I really want whole wheat pecan pancakes from Bake n' Broil. I mean, we're in the area, why not? So we head over to the pharmacy where we wait and wait and wait for my golden pills and I start to get pretty nauseous. I still insist that I want some pancakes drizzled with super rich and thick syrup and homemade jam, but while waiting for a table I rush to the bathroom and heave out nada. We get a table and I go back to the bathroom, still nothing. I make the executive decision that pancakes are probably a bad idea given my currently weak stomach situation so I order a grilled cheese and fries. Apparently everyone was staring at me because I couldn't hold my head up without wanting to hurl and I looked like I was "going to die", as Dave so lovingly put it. Dave gets a chicken pot pie that immediately makes my stomach scream out at me in fury and I try my darnedest to eat my food. Five bites later and the waitress is getting me a to go box. 
I don't remember the drive home, but I do remember taking the most glorious nap of my life. I mean that nap was incredible. I don't know what it was but I could have laid there forever. It was weird. It was like I was asleep and awake at the same time. It was just so heavenly. But as all good things come to an end, I get up feeling great, no nausea, the least pain I've been in in days and hungry as a bear. I immediately scarf down that cheesy deliciousness of a sandwich, talk to Lauren on the phone about my current state and the morning I had, thanking her for her prayers, had a wonderful text convo with Kris, got dressed and ready for rehearsal and then felt like I was going to see that sandwich again. 
Dave gets me in the car to drive me to rehearsal and I make him stop by my moms so I can take a second and a third look at that lunch I hurriedly shoved down my throat. I immediately felt better, but only for about 10 minutes so naturally I worried about how rehearsal would go. Sue (the director) was going to be absent, so as such Christi and myself (the assistant directors) were to split up the first Act and take over for Sue. I took the first half of the first Act since I wasn't in any of those scenes and Christi took the second half. It was actually a really awesome rehearsal, especially since by the time it started my nausea had disappeared and everyone, including myself, was getting a kick out of my loopy state. 
As time passed the morphine wore off more and more and my pain came creeping back. I couldn't do most of the blocking for the scenes I was in, so I had to just say my lines from the audience. Thankfully I was able to keep down some grapes and by the time Dave had picked me up and we got home I was able to eat a little more food so that I could take my muscle relaxer. Since it was 11pm by the time we got home and I had just eaten, I stayed up and watched Medium until my pill kicked in.
This morning I woke up in pain again, but thankfully it wasn't as bad as yesterday morning. I showered, ate, took my pill and here I am, finally able to update you all on my weird journey the last few days. Halfway through this update I started to feel the meds kick in and I'm feeling alright, although still in some pain. I plan to go to a chiropractor today and get a second opinion on this "pulled muscle". I mean, I really am hoping that that is all it is because if I have Sciatica and/or a Herniated Disc, that would mean the pain will last a lot longer and I will have to get physical therapy for who knows how long and how often. Honestly I don't have the time or the means to be able to do that. I'm in a play as well as assistant directing it and I'm also leaving the country for two weeks immediately after this show closes. Oh and did I mention that I have a house to keep clean and food to cook for my husband while I'm not rehearsing and a diet and exercise plan to keep up? I don't think I can handle much more than a pulled muscle.
We'll see. If I don't feel better by Thursday, I am going to need to get an MRI. I'm hoping that it doesn't come to that. Also, my insurance doesn't cover chiropractics (of course) so any adjustments will be coming straight out of our bank account. Can we afford the luxury of a chiropractor? I don't know. I'll just have to keep up this waiting game and find out. If you pray, please keep me in your prayers. I know that back pain isn't the utmost importance when it comes to everything else in the world and a lot of the more physically and emotionally painful things that so many others go through, and I'm really not one to make things more dramatic than they actually are to get sympathy or to get anyone to feel sorry for me, but I would appreciate a quick prayer sent up on my behalf, if you are so inclined <3

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