Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I'm Back!

Well, as much as one is ever "back" in the thick of the holidays. And speaking of my back it is, dare I say it? Showing signs of improvement.

I went to see my doctor a week ago and to my relief she determined this was most likely a muscular issue rather than a slipped disc or something of that ilk. Whew. My family has a "curse" wherein some of the lumbar vertebrae like to give out in the early forties.

And guess who's forty? Hint: check the sidebar, kids.

Fortunately, though, this curse comes out of the male side of the family and thus far only males have been old enough to be afflicted with it. Of course, on the minus side, my distaff progenitors have managed to produce a particularly vicious strain of spinal arthritis.

So I'm likely screwed regardless. But not yet!! Heh. I'll take it.

Treatment-wise we kept to what I had been doing: 650 mg aspirin every 4 hours, 4-6x/day (preferably 4x, due to me preferring that my gums not bleed), and heat with either an adhesive heated pad at work or a heating pad with 20 minutes on/ 20 minutes off at home. She also gave me an anti inflammatory ointment that I looked over but opted not to take after reading that it was contraindicated for folks who've ever had hives from taking any of a laundry list of NSAIDS.

Both Naprosyn and Anaprox gave me hives back a little over 20 years ago. I'd taken Naprosyn for a year for "girlie" issues and it was awesome. Then one day I took it for the usual reason and my skin felt prickly. I didn't know what was causing it and didn't really put 1 and 1 together until the next dose when I took it around my mother, and within moments I was scratching at myself a bit and welts were breaking out. Mom quickly recognized the hives for what they were.

I was pretty bummed, but my GYN said sometimes folks have a reaction to one formulation and not another, so she gave me a sample of Anaprox to try. I got home and my parents insisted I try it when they were both home, with Benadryl at the ready.

More hives. Yippie.

So at that point, my GYN told me this ridiculously long list of stuff I couldn't take that effectively knocks any NSAID into contraindicated territory.

For years I wouldn't touch even an aspirin, but since Tylenol has never been effective for me I started taking aspirin when I was absolutely desperate for migraine pain relief about five years ago, and I haven't had a problem yet. So since I've been okay with aspirin it's possible that I could use this anti inflammatory ointment, but the name of it is somethingorother-sodium, and the similarity of that name to naproxyn sodium just... doesn't sit right.

Plus I just wasn't desperate enough to risk hives. If the aspirin and heat hadn't been helping, I may well have sung a different tune.

So I figure I'm going to have a sit-down with my doc at some point and see what I can do about all these supposed contraindications for just about every other reasonable pain medication out there I've been told I have, because if I can actually take some of them as I get older, my life is going to be a whole lot more pleasant. This is one huge reason why I make sure I have a primary care physician, because at least there's someone in the world who knows my record regarding pain medication (i.e., as a rule I don't request it and I don't take it) so that if I'm ever in the position to actually need something at least there's good backup that, in spite of the ridiculous allergy list, I'm not "drug seeking".

I hate how the jerks of the world make it harder for the rest of us to get needed medication.

And don't get me started on the restrictions on cold medicines that actually, say, WORK. I swear, if one more pharmacy tech gives me the look that says she just knows my 20-pack of Drixoral is going straight to a meth lab, I won't be held responsible for my actions.


In other news, the Gum Zombie has enjoyed a full recovery from Hurl Fest 2010, and was able to completely enjoy his 8th birthday this past Saturday. We just had a little family party this time around, with the child's grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousin in attendance in addition to the Elder and me (Choreboy was working). And as a special surprise, Miss P, GZ's preschool/in-home-daycare lady came!! She knew him before he was born (the Elder and her grandson went to the same preschool so she saw me waddling around nearly 42 weeks pregnant), and had him in her daycare from the time he was 18 months old until he left for kindergarten. She's awesome, and it was so good to see her again and have her over.

Outside of that? Not much. Oh, my eating is terrible at the moment. Yes, I've lost all control. I'm below 150... barely. Well, maybe not now considering I ate birthday cake, chips, and dip with reckless abandon and followed that up with all the office treats well-meaning professionals keep dropping off at my workplace.

And I can't do my tabatas because I'm scared they'll hose my back if I jump back in before it's healed.

So color me frustrated. I'm trying to just count small victories at the moment, like the fact that I had a lower-calorie soup for lunch instead of going out and getting a sub. It's not much, but that's 600 fewer calories than I could have eaten. I'm more or less good with that.

Okay, time to get away from the computer and back onto my heating pad. Merry Christmas and/ or Happy Holidays, folks!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

My Buddy Murphy

Yes, that would be in reference to Murphy's Law.

Yesterday my back was doing much better by the time I got home from work. It wasn't great, mind you, but if I was just standing I was fine -- no stabbing pains, no burning, nothing. Awesome!! And I could recline on some angles, with proper support, rather than having to be perfectly parallel to whatever surface I was on.

It was marvelous. I caught up on some blogs and even managed to comment here and there. I didn't go straight back to my bed, and gave the poor forlorn Hound some attention. And thank you, all of you, for your well-wishes. I'm no fan of back pain, and I have every hope that this too shall pass. However...

... it won't be as quickly as I thought.

So, the Gum Zombie was complaining that his tummy hurt. Considering that the child had mixed tortilla soup with Oreo Cakesters, I had chalked it up to indigestion.

[Note: this is the part where, if you're eating, you should go away for awhile, then come back without food and with a settled stomach. Trust me here.]

Anyway, I was on my way to rest on my bed, after enjoying my first more-or-less normal evening of the week, and the Gum Zombie was still grousing about his tummy. He decided he wanted to go to bed also, and we had just turned to head that way when the floodgates burst loose.


His stomach contents for the day were ejected with such force and at such volume that they covered fully two-thirds of my entryway (blessedly wood), splattered three feet up two walls, and splattered another three feet into the kitchen and onto my family room rug (oops).

Choreboy was at work. The Vomit Comet was on one side of Lake Puke. I was on the other.

He'd managed to keep most of himself out of the line of fire, so I sent him down the hall to his bathroom where he proceeded to turn his stomach inside out (and worse) while I scrubbed down the carpet and cleaned the floors and walls. Poor little fellow... he was absolutely miserable.

As I got onto the floor to scrub the carpet I had one brief thought of my back, then I was too wrapped up in scraping everything up and helping my shivering boy that I didn't think of it again until this morning.

On the plus side? My nose has been stuffed up for days, so I couldn't smell a thing. Also, the child is doing much better. After he'd fully purged everything from his body last night I tucked him into bed, and this morning he woke up looking much more perky. He's run a low-grade fever today, but after a steady diet of Gatorade, ginger ale, toast, and rice pudding he appears to be on the mend. Bless his heart.

As for my back... let's just say that "ouch" is an understatement.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Back Issues

Hey gang, I managed to hose my back somehow. At the moment I am functional, but once I'm home from work I can't sit at my desk too long because apparently some idiot installed a freaking knife in the back of my chair that jabs me in my mid-back any time I'm parked in it.

So anyway, the upshot is that I'm trying to get my back in a less painful situation. I'm giving it another week to see if the pain changes (it's already gone through a few mutations), and if it's the same or worse I'll be hauling myself in to see my doctor. Fortunately I'm having some luck with aspirin and positioning for the pain aspect.

Speaking of positioning, sitting here typing doesn't work for me for long. I'll keep y'all updated, but it'll be brief until someone pulls the sawzall out of my spine.