Back joints and no Pain Relief!

I’ll keep this one short.

Backs go too 😦

Mine went for he first time when I was 21 and pregnant. It is not unusual for pregnant women to pinch a nerve in their back and so despite the fact that I could not move at all, and was VERY pregnant, there was nothing that could be done for me 😦

I have lost count of the amount of times my back has “gone” since then. In the early days I had X-rays and pokes and prods, but they just said that I had a weakness in my discs in my lower back, probably from having big babies and putting on so much weight with each of my pregnancies (I put on about 60% of my body weight each time!!!).

My muscles have always been really strong (now we know why) and I have always been very active. Not in a sporting way AT ALL, but I was always building things, painting the house, doing renovations myself, digging holes, planting trees, pulling out old gardens etc, and I was always fine from those things, but then every now and then, picking up a small child, turning around to talk to someone, it was always the little things that “did” my back in.

And doing my back in means up to a month in bed in absolute agony. I am sure that I escaped some years and other years I know there were two or three or four times. But that means that I have probably done my back in somewhere between twenty to thirty times already!!! At worst I was bed ridden for a month, at best a week or so and then always there was the long recovery afterwards.

It turns out that discs are made of connective tissue and so back issues are a massive problem for us Zebras, our spines have tons of bones, and between every one is essentially a joint … so it isn’t exactly surprising!! … and it makes sense that it is often something small that sets it off.

I had really quite good health over the three week Christmas break, with loads of help from the family who were staying, and really my only problem was that because I sat and rested a lot, every time I got up my bones and joints had well and truly settled and so I was very sore each time I stood. But it was manageable and I think that we only used the wheel chair once or twice, but for the most part we didn’t even leave the house unless we needed food.

By the end I was starting to convince myself that I am actually fine, that there is nothing wrong and all I need to do is rest and now I can continue with my “normal” life … (which still surprises me that I ever thought that I have reasonable health when this has been happening my entire life! I guess that we just assume that others have the experiences as us!)

Then it was clean up time and I chipped in the teeniest bit and reached up to turn off the ceiling fan and both my Achilles tendons “went”! I don’t know if it was the sound or the pain that was worse, but my feet have been in particularly bad shape the last ten days or so! Add to that last week’s CT scans and Ultra Sounds and being poked and prodded I was particularly sore in and around my abdomen for a few days, so I think that I have been walking funny through this to try and reduce pain and compensate for my feet and tummy. Then two days ago a friend’s dog jumped up to say hello. He barely touched me, but he jolted my pelvis just that little bit. And I felt my back go but kind of ignored it as much as I could.

So I don’t know if that was the last straw or if my back was giving up slowly anyway, or if it was a combination of all those things. But the bottom line is that by yesterday afternoon I could barely walk and I am in agony from my lower back and every inch of the way down to my heels and LFI in my left foot… How did I think I was in such good shape only a week ago?? It is amazing how fast we forget! And now I forget what it is like to be able to walk around pain free, or even lie in bed pain free!

Rest, rest, rest and anti-inflammatories and pain killers is what I need. But it is not as easy as all that …

  • Firstly, one of the problems with pain is that pain killers don’t work for me. Not Pethidine injections, not Paracetamol, not Codeine, nothing 😦 … even a local anaesthetic, which works but wears off almost straight away, so when ever I have had stitches the stitching up happens after it has mostly worn off !!!!! I always found that very strange, but now that I know that I have EDS it too makes sense. I am not sure HOW it works, just that one of the huge issues with EDS is that pain killers don’t work for us. (General Anaesthetics and spinal blocks are different and therefore do work, but they have their own issues). I still take painkillers, not for pain as such, but because they make me very sleepy. During the day they take away no pain but make me sleepy, so even if I have a headache, I can never ever take a painkiller during the day, but at night, when I am exhausted and in agony and desperately need sleep and rest, I can take them because they pretty much knock me out, which is the same thing as no pain right! So they “work” at night, but I can’t take a thing during the day.
  • Secondly, when I rest, my bones settle and the ligaments loosen and my whole body becomes weak and out of joint, so I NEED to keep moving to keep me strong.. so when I am “resting” (such that it is) I am not only in a lot of pain and can’t do anything about it, but my muscles get weak very quickly!
  • For the same reason when I rest, the settling of my joints and bones means that the rest of me becomes pretty sore 😦 So when I rest, my whole body hurts, and hurts a LOT!

So the days are pretty tough and when I have nights like last night when my brain is spinning for whatever reason and the strong pain killers wouldn’t knock me out, I have a truly bad night and wake up in pretty bad space, both physically and emotionally…

But as they say, no rest for the wicked and I have appointments today and tomorrow that I can’t afford to miss, so it’s up and at it! But hopefully I will be back home and in ned again by mid afternoon 🙂

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