The random thoughts of an architect-turned- lawyer from the deep south living in Washington, DC...

Friday, November 14, 2008

A glimpse inside of me

I've been miserable and whiney for months now. I won't say "depressed" - but definitely miserable. Granted, some may say I've had good reason (see, dissolution of my lawfirm). As if that was not enough, I have also been dealing with this crippling back paid.

I have actually dealt with lower back pain for years. Last diagnosis was a degenerative disc. I have had x-rays, medications and physical therapy. I invested in a tempurpedic mattress, a $1500 ergonomic office chair and I have pages of stretches to do when it acts up.

This recent pain, though, has been different. It's a pain that none of the above could make any better. It is a sharp pain that shoots through my butt and down my legs, sometime bringing me to my knees. In fact, it once flared up while I was in a partner's office talking about a brief we needed to file. I'm sure he thought I was a little "off" when my body doubled over and I had to catch myself on his chair - then followed up with "I'll be fine, it will pass." Nothing has worked to relieve this including muscle relaxers, anti-inflammatory pills, and pills for muscle spasms. (Doctor put me on them all at once. Two weeks ago, there was a day where I had to take 19 pills.)

Most people keep telling me "oh, it's probably stress related" and "you just need a good massage" and "I have lower back pain too, you just have to learn to manage it." I ignore them because this is different - really different

I had an MRI yesterday - which incidentally is a pretty miserable experience itself. The cool part though, is that they sent me home with a CD of the scans of my spine that I am supposed to bring to my doctor. Of course, before I brought it I popped it into my computer. Really cool stuff.

Now, I'm no doctor or expert on reading MRI scans, but I am pretty sure that this is not how my spine is supposed to look:

In case you are having trouble reading, let's compare my spine (with the pain point highlighted) to an image I found on the internets:

Since the stupid MRI does not come color coded, I am having trouble with my self-diagnosis. I am down to "bulging" or "herniated." Either way, I'm thinking this sucks.