“You would need surgery!”
His voice paralyzed me for a few minutes.
“It’s a small minor surgery…” the rest of his explanations got swallowed by my racing mind.
Everything felt like they came crashing down on me when I walked out of his room.
The Big Reveal
I’ve blogged a lot about my back pain lately. How it caused sciatica pain that went down my leg and so excruciatingly painful.
Lower back pain is nothing new to me. I’ve had it for years but it does gotten worse since I had A. Massage has always been my remedies all of these years. They helped somewhat.
But the pain has gotten worse.
Few weeks ago it started going down my left leg. Sharp shooting pain would made me scream even cried silently, difficult to explain but at times it feels like something is ripping my calf apart. Some days the pain felt like sharp pains of a thousand needles being jammed down my leg.
Massage stop helping.
I have to thank my father who forced me to go see a doctor after he saw how I could barely walk and was in so much pain.
“You need to get MRI” said the orthopedist.
Should I follow my father’s wishes, he’d want me to get the MRI done right that afternoon. I said no, let’s wait until my Krakatoa trip.
The doctor prescribed me pain killers.
I kept quiet about how painful it feels from my family because knowing them, they will surely wouldn’t let me go if I’m in so much pain.
Stubborn or stupid? Not sure but I just didn’t want to miss out on this trip only two days away at the time.
The pain grew worst and worst. It stopped me from hiking up the child of Krakatoa and from snorkeling in that vast blue water. It made me twisted my left ankle.
A day after I got back to Jakarta, on October 9, 2012 I booked the MRI.
Anyone who had MRI done knew how uncomfortable that big machine is. I laid there wondering if these companies can make such a high-tech machine that can scan your bones why on earth can’t they make it at least NOT that loud? The headset they put on my ear that suppose to play some music didn’t do anything to block out the loud knocking sounds from the MRI machine.
I had to get the MRI done twice that day! The guy said the radiology doctor wanted to made sure of some things. What am I to do but lay back down?
After they were done, the radiology doctor sat me down in her office.
She showed me my MRI results and my non-medical eyes can’t seems to grasps what I was staring at.
Not good…not good at all…
Returned back to the orthopedist the next day to hear my diagnosis.
“You have HNP…” he pointed to one part of the MRI result and he explained how bad mine looks right now.
Followed by the surgery lecture.
That’s what I have. Herniated discs on L4-5 and L5-S1 with L3-4 showing early signs of herniation. That’s what causing the sciatica pain that put me to tears.
Squat is a big no-no. No more lifting weights. My heart was dragging behind my steps as I walked out the doctor’s office that day. It took me a couple of days to shake off the depressions.
Because I refused surgery, I was referred to do Physical Therapy and prescribed with some strong pain killers.
The next day, I went to see the Physical Therapist doctor.
This doctor rocks, I tell you! She explained everything to me in ways that I could understand. She answered all my questions. She understand why I refused surgery unlike the cold orthopedist that just wanted to cut me open and assured me IF I follow what she ordered by consistently doing the physical therapies, hydrotherapy and swimming there is still a big chance I can avoid surgery.
We talked about what may have caused this. Why my back is now looking like a 75+ years old back instead of a 33 years old woman who has been taking care of her body.
What I love about this doctor is the way she did not blamed my working out like so many people did.
“Working out is very good! There are many factors, and the fact that you’ve been having lower back pain for years. Weight lifting could be put a strain to your lumbar discs, it’s just a trigger but the source of the problem may have been there all along.”
She’s right…of course I didn’t know how serious my back has been other than it’s been hurting but I pushed through all my workouts. Plus it’s not like I was dead-lifting over 100lbs! But I may have had poor posture and that made my back even worse without me even realizing it.
There are a lot of factors so it annoyed me when people immediately blamed my workouts when they found out I have herniated discs.
So I began my physical therapies. Every other day.
I’m wearing a lumbar support brace that forced me to sit straight. Can’t sit for too long. One of the therapist showed me stretches I could do at home.
I am on the mend…
Have you had herniated discs? Share me your stories. I’m inspired to hear how other can avoid surgery. Thanks, friends!