Saturday, November 20, 2010

At Last! A Diagnosis!

Saw the doctor yesterday and finally (FINALLY!) have a diagnosis for the cause of my leg and back pain:  herniated disk, sciatica, and a pinched nerve in my hip (meralgia paresthetica).  I have a list of back exercises to do, three prescriptions for (1) pain, (2) inflammation, and (3) spasms, and a couple of shots in the butt for immediate pain relief.  (Though I have to admit that 13 hours later I'm still not feeling much pain relief.)
However, I did get a good pun out of the butt shots.  The nurse had just given me the first shot in the left cheek when I asked her if she wanted me to "turn the other cheek."  It made her laugh.  This was one of the few times I actually thought of a pun right away instead of an hour later. 

Anyway, the doc discussed options with me.  He wanted to order an MRI, but I haven't any medical insurance and can't afford the $4,000 for the MRI, so that is not an option.  He also wanted to refer me to a bone specialist, but again, the new doc will want an MRI. So I'll do my back exercises, continue to lose weight, take my meds, including increased amounts of B-6, B-12, and Folic Acid (all of which I'm already taking).  And in another year I'll be 65 and on Medicare, so if things haven't improved by then, at least I'll have Medicare.

I'm just glad I finally have a diagnosis and a list of things I can do to help me get better.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

One More Leg Update

Getting tired of me talking about my leg all the time?  Well, me too.  As I write this, I am in considerable pain.  The leg is really bad today.  So bad that even using crutches is painful.  Both my feet are swollen.  And the right leg aches like a seriously bad toothache, only ten times worse.   The pain pills and aspirin only take the edge off, but don't knock out the pain.  Despite the fact the doc didn't find anything wrong when I had the ultrasound, I'm going to make another appointment.  We simply HAVE to get to the bottom of this!  I can't continue like this.  Standing alleviates the pain as long as I put my weight on the other leg, but after awhile, the good leg starts to ache from the constant strain.  Sitting is downright painful.  Lying down helps, but I can't live my life flat on my back.  Driving is excruciating. 

Today I am hobbling around like a cripple.  I've been doing leg stretching exercises and they only seem to make it worse.  I'm not overdoing the exercises, but yesterday I did some mild hamstring stretches and today I can barely walk.  So I'm going to make yet another appointment with the doc and ask for X-rays.  Maybe that will show something that the ultrasound didn't.  In the meantime, I've become extremely grumpy from the pain.

But there's good news.  I've now lost 13 pounds.  I've lots more to lose, but at least I'm losing!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Leg Update #3

Break out the Band-Aids!  I spoke too soon.  My leg pain is coming back.  It is just the most bizarre thing!  Now the entire leg is involved, from buttock/hip to foot.  Sitting for longer than 5 minutes is painful, and driving a car is excruciating (it's my right leg, so pressing on the brakes or gas pedal makes things worse.)  I now drive with my body twisted so that my weight is on my left hip and butt, to relieve pressure on the bad leg.  I look weird, but hey, it works!  Sort of.

I've lost 12 pounds, and have tons more to lose, but I'm sure that losing weight will help.  Or at least keep things from getting worse.  Now I have to get up and walk around some more.  Sayonara!