Thursday, March 7, 2013

Spinal injury just sounds BAD...

Just over 3 weeks ago, I went to get my yearly mammogram. I was in an out of there lickety-split, with a clean bill of health. I even had the parking spot that was closest to the breast clinic. And then, when I was backing out, I made a mistake. I didn't see a little bit of curb that was jutting into the middle of the street and although my wheels completely missed it, the bottom of my car didn't and when I wanted to pull forward, I realized I was stuck. Looking at the bottom of my car I saw that it was one bolt on the bottom of the car that was stuck. A fairly important bolt, I'm sure. And it was less than 1/2 an inch stuck. Which is when I had the brilliant idea to lift the car with the jack. Only I couldn't find the jack. Plan B. I called over 2 guys and asked them to help me just lift the car that tiny 1/2 inch. Not wanting to look like a helpless woman, I helped too. In fact, I was totally into it. They weren't. And nothing happened. To the car, at least. I finally found the jack, lifted the car that stupid 1/2 inch and was safely out of there. Only my back wasn't OK.

I could tell right away that I'd pulled a muscle or something, but it wasn't too bad and I went about my day certain that by the morning it would be all better. It wasn't. The next day was OK, but the following day it was a lot worse. And it continued to get worse until finally, 6 days after the injury, I went to the doctor who gave me meds (narcotics, actually. Perhaps that's a benefit of being allergic to NSAIDs :-)) and told me I probably had a partially slipped disk. I took the pain killers (they helped. A lot.) and quit before I finished them, relieved that I didn't have any more pain.

And then on Saturday we took a walk. We were only planning to go to the doggie park (where Charlie, our new dog, can run free and practice some of his skills)... but it was close to Givat HaTitora - a hill full of wild flowers and a generally calming atmosphere. So we decided to take a little climb. I didn't realize what kind of climb I was getting myself into until it was too late. I started to feel unsteady and then my knee buckled and I fell, scraping up both of my knees. We finished the walk and I felt myself still unsteady and holding on to the railings extra-specially tightly on the way home (about 1/2 a mile). And at home, I still didn't feel steady. Going up the stairs was difficult and I could tell something was wrong with my left leg. Actually, I thought something was wrong with my left leg, but I also thought that I was probably imagining it. Making it up. By the next morning, I decided it was better to check it out. An appointment for Monday (it was Sunday) seemed like too far away, so I insisted on Sunday afternoon. Hadas (my soldier girl) came with me and was there when the doctor checked my strength (OK, not great) and my reflexes (almost no response in my left leg, hyper-response in my right) and was there when I nearly fainted. (See, Stacey, it's just something I do periodically when I have trouble taking in information ;-)) She got me some water and I put my head between my knees (as well as I could)... and I recovered and went home.

I was able to get a quick appointment for Physical Therapy, where the Physical Therapist (really nice woman, btw) was very thorough and explained everything to me as best she could. Right now I have 2 problems - strength and reflexes. My leg seemed to respond ever-so-slightly to the exercises we did and she says that that is a sign that we caught it early enough so that I won't have any lasting issues (I hope she's right). She also said that she needs to see me again on Monday and then on Thursday - and has me doing exercises at least 4-5x a day until then.

I'm keeping my elbows extended* that this will work and everything will be back to normal soon.

Right now, it's sort of scary.

*The exercise I'm doing requires extending the elbows.


Rona Michelson said...

That one piece of motherly advice I forgot to give you...

"Never lift a car."


Sara said...

Your mom is hilarious!

You have my sincere sympathy. I'm battling a spinal nerve problem also, and it's really frustrating. The good news is that I've been through a cycle of this problem before, and it did resolve fully in about six months. The bad news was that it took six months! Also, it's back now, two years later. Numbness, pain (you'd think that numbness and pain would be incompatible, but it turns out that they're not), muscle weakness and weak reflexes on the right. I'm going on two months now, and only limited improvement. Sigh. I didn't lift a car, though. I was just goofing around with my daughter and took a bad step somehow. At least you have a better story!

I hope you heal quickly.

Melinawatson said...

Times are distinct we but we see things from a distinct perspective as we get older and our family situations change from when we were young.