too quiet

Sean started second shift at work today. Classes start next week. We decided that the easiest way to handle the transition was for him to start his second shift this week and then start classes a week later so that he could get his sleep schedule straightened out this week before he had to deal with classes as well.

I guess I had gotten used to always coming home in the evening and Sean would already be home. Most nights, dinner would be almost ready by the time I got home. Tonight, I got home and the house was quiet. No lights were on. No dinner in the preparation phase. No Sean to welcome me home after a long day. I sighed, put the groceries away and started working on dinner. It’s going to be a long semester. Miss you already Sean.

The Barrett Identitiy

So there is an ongoing joke in my family that the Barrett blood always carries with it weird medical situations. I am not going to name everything that has happened, but needless to say my Mom and my sister have been affected, as well as myself in my earlier years. Well it look like issues have struck again for me.

For those that I have not talked with lately I have been having problems for about the past 5 months with my lower back and right leg. I sometimes have pain in my lower back and I get sciatica symptoms down my right leg. At first it was not too big of a deal, I thought it would just go away, at the time I only felt the sciatica. But after it did not go away for the next two months I knew something else was up.

So I went to my general practice doctor, he had me checked out and then referred me to a back doctor, usually the type of symptoms I have originate in the back. So I go to the new doctor, he has me go in for a MRI scan, unfortunately looking at the pictures that came back there was nothing definitive that he could see that might be causing the problems. We decided that physical therapy would be a good way to start, usually strengthening the core of the body will take pressure off the spine and fix the issue. Since sciatica is usually caused by a pinched nerve or a herniated (one that is swelling outside its normal place) disc in the spinal cord, most of the time being the L4 and L5 vertebrae.

After a month of PT I was actually worse off, not only did the sciatica not go away, I was not have a bunch of pain in my lower back. To the point that I am driving in Kat’s Fit and not my Legacy (that is a big deal, I love my car). So the doctor did a trigger point injection to see if it was not a spinal problem but instead a problem with a muscle in my butt to be precise, one of your major nerves runs under the muscle, and if it is tight, it can cause the same symptoms as the disk problem. Other than hurting this did not do too much, it was an injection of lydocane and some steroids (no, it did not make me have one regular and one very muscular butt cheek).

My next step was one that I was trying to avoid- a steroid epidural, basically a couple of injections directly into the spinal cord area. It is an outpatient procedure, and I had to be awake for it. I did manage not to pass out (I have a needle thing) but they did have to hold smelling salts under my nose, I was getting nauseated and that is usually how I feel just before I pass out. I had that done about 2 weeks ago. It did fix that lower back pain I was having, but the sciatica is still there.

So where I stand now is that I am trying out a drug called Lyrica that is supposed to be specifically for nerve pain, and I have referrals to two other doctors, one being an acupuncturist. At this point (no pun intended) I am willing to give anything a shot to get back to normal. My Sister had a herniated disk in her back and had spinal surgery. While that is an option, my doctor wants to avoid that if at all possible, he does not like doing invasive procedures, and that is one thing I greatly respect about him, also the fact that he looks into alternative medicine like acupuncture (he went to med school with the doctor he referred me to.

So that is the back story for now, I basically live with the pain and hopefully something I do here in the next few weeks with the new doctors might work, cross your fingers out there for me folks, my spirits are good and everything outside of this for my life is great. I would also like to thank Kat for being exactly the person I needed by my side going through all of this, I could not imagine having anyone else here.

Sean