Monday, March 21, 2016

You Will Not Win Sciatica! I Will Survive!

I’ve had a hard time with this getting old business.

More so than most of my friends, family and class mates that are the same age as I. I hear them calling themselves “old man” and “old lady” and it’s like nails on a chalkboard to me because I think, “How can you say that? You’re my age and I’m not old!” I see their kids post pictures of them and thank God that they still have their mom and dad and I think to myself again, “Well of course you still have them, they’re young! They’re my age! They’re nowhere near the age where you need to be thanking God that you are happy to still have these feeble, old people in your life because they’re still young! Geez Louise!” Then I realize I used the term “Geez Louise”…and realize why those kids probably think of someone my age as old!

But yeah, that really irks me because I am having a hard time with thinking of myself as old. Actually my mind is having a hard time, my body has thrown in the towel!

My dread old enemy Sciatica has reared its ugly-ass head again! Oh how I hate Sciatica! There is nothing I hate more! There is nothing that can turn me into a quivering ball of painful nerves more quickly than Sciatica. My last episode was in January of 2013.

I’d been doing so well, I thought it was behind me! I’ve lost weight, almost 30 pounds. I am eating healthier, I am exercising daily. A few weeks ago I spent two days doing massive amounts of yard work. Pulling weeds, bending over and wrestling them out of the ground, lifting big loads of them into the trashcan, mowing the yard, trimming the hedges, edging the grass and other than a few muscles aches I was great, I thought Sciatica was behind me, never to be seen again! But that is not the case.

Friday, March 11 while doing my morning exercise (15 minute, 1 mile Leslie Sansone walking video) at work during a break, I felt a small twinge in my back on the left side which bothered me the rest of the day. But I powered through and did another mile at lunchtime and another at my afternoon break. By Saturday morning I was still feeling discomfort, but only when I would get up out of a chair and when I would sit back down. I would make those noises that old people make, involuntarily! But still I powered through. I was like this for the rest of the weekend and the week that followed so I gave myself the week to get better since I could feel the discomfort radiating from my back to my left buttock and then down my leg to my knee and I knew it was Sciatica, but a very mild case of Sciatica.

By the next Friday, March 18th I was finally feeling better, not making those noises, well at least I was able to hold them back. Saturday morning I was feeling “right as rain”…uh oh, dating myself again with that comment. Hey! Can I help it that I as the Quote Queen? Quotes are kinda my thing! Anyway, feeling right as rain, mom and I went out shopping Saturday morning but dark clouds soon gathered as mom got sick. I believe she has allergies, she swears it’s the flu, but regardless, she was miserable! So we cut our day short and headed home. I then made plans to drop mom off at the house and run to the store to gather supplies to make Ceviche! I’d been craving it since a friend posted a picture on Facebook.

Got mom inside and settled and decided to make a bathroom stop. I should just have kept on going with a full bladder because when I arose from the throne of the Quote Queen…I felt a twinge again and by the time I walked back to my bedroom I was hunched over in pain! As simple as that people! Sciatica is a Bitch! A conniving, scheming, back-stabbing BITCH! It comes without warning. You can’t protect yourself from it, you can’t take it easy, I mean how much easier can I take it than arising from the throne? I’ve been sitting down and getting back up for years with no problem and then “Boom!” excruciating pain! So here I can’t move and mom is sick too! From one second I went from being a self sufficient, strong, independent woman to being a puddle of pain and agony, unable to even get out of bed!

And it continued, all Saturday afternoon and night. I finally took a Vicodin pill, much as I hate taking any pills, especially pain pills! I felt well enough to make some dinner and shower and then went to bed. Soon however the Vicodin upset my tummy and I spent the rest of the night in major pain from Sciatica, nothing was comfortable, not standing, not sitting, not laying down and on top of that the pain and the pills made me keep throwing up and I couldn’t even manage the walk to the bathroom! Thank goodness for the trashcan in my room! I’ll spare you any further details on that except to say that I spent the worse night of my life that night and I just wanted to die already! Seriously! I spent that whole night in a cold sweat, vomiting and crying and writhing in pain!

A while back, I was in a Sciatica group on Facebook that scared the heck out of me. The people in the group would post about how the pain was so bad that they wanted to die and some would post about how they had to crawl on the floor to get to the bathroom and I thought, “That will never be me!” And it wasn’t me, but only cause I couldn’t even manage crawling to the bathroom! Needless to say I got out of that group right away!

Sciatica is a horrible, horrible illness and I hate it and fear it and I can’t protect myself from it because as I said, it’s an evil, conniving bitch that comes without warning!

Sunday morning I was unable to get out of bed. Luckily I remembered my TENS Unit. Tens stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. It works by sending stimulating pulses across the surface of the skin and along the strands of the nerves. I applied the electrodes and let it run for 30 minutes and tried getting out of bed and was able too. So I sat in a chair and did another 30 minutes. I continued to use it on and off throughout the day and it definitely helped. The one drawback is that it numbs my leg and gives me what I call “spaghetti or noodle leg”. That leg becomes very weak and I have to be careful putting weight on it as it will give way and I will fall! But I was able to make it to work today and we’ll see how the day progresses!

So to make a long story just a bit longer, I feel old today. I feel like my body is giving up on me. But not my mind! My mind is still 22 years of age, even though it knows all these old quotes, my mind is young and strong and refuses to allow my body to be old. I will survive, like the song says! Oh my gosh, there I go quoting a song from 1978! But…I will get better and get healthy and keep exercising and losing weight! Sciatica…you will not beat me! You will not Win!



  1. I had sciatica when I was younger (around 30 years of age). It left me with a sort of dull pain in the low back, but this pain didn't interfere with my daily functioning at all, so I ignored it.

    During the last two years, however, I feel things are getting worse in the low back area. Perhaps I should get myself a TENSE device too as I don't take pills and physioteraphy has little to offer. From forums on the subject I've learnt two main things: everyone has an X-ray and an MRI to precisely diagnose the problem; surgery is recommended only when it affects the bladder and the legs. In all the other cases one had better learn to live with the pain. Hot packs and baths help relax the muscles, naturopathy might also help (turmeric, boswellia, etc..).

    Anyway, you should refrain from lifting heavy loads or doing hard yard work. Even intense walking might arouse the devil from its sleep.

    Feel better soon! I greatly love the song in the video.

  2. I am so sorry to read this, Alicia. You have had a terrible time of it. I hope that by now you have had a little more relief and I hope that a doctor can prescribe a medication that is effective and doesn't make you so ill. Sending hugs and best wishes for relief....

  3. I salute your fighting spirit. I can't even tolerate a simple cough and cold. When I am down with fever, I turn whole world upside down. After reading your motivational story, I am ashamed of myself. All the very best! I'm sure Sciatica can't claim victory over you. It will surrender.

  4. Sorry to hear about your sciatica returning. Have you ever looked into yoga or hot yoga to see if there are any benefits for sciatica? I am not saying there is, just something that jumped into my mind. I hope you get it back under control.

    I am sort of in the getting old sucks camp, myself. Bad lower back and bad knees are just a way of life any longer. Oh well, it makes the grave more palatable.

  5. DUTA - I tried many things. Therapy, stretching exercises, pain meds, shots, massage..but the only thing that help me back in 2013 was the TENS unit. It's an amazing little machine and I definitely recommend it!

    You are so correct in that there really is no real relief out there other than surgery and that is not always successful. Try the TENS unit and I hope you will find that it helps you as much as it does me. Best wishes to you, I feel your pain.

  6. Dear Pondside, I hopelessly bad at taking medications of any kind. Even simple over the counter medications put me to sleep. But I feel much better today and will continue to recuperate with time. Thank you for your kind words :)

  7. Ankita Shukla - Thank you! I hate to complain and to bother people and to have anyone take care of me, so I usually always suffer in silence. But it is better to be like you and to allow others to help you. So you be you because people want to help me and I don't let them!. Thank you much for your comment! :)

  8. Sextant - I hear ya my friend. That night I gladly would have been willing to go. I've pretty much tried it all when it comes to Sciatica but the TENS unit is the only thing that has ever really worked. I just need to keep working on strengthening my core and eating healthy!


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