Watch your back

As you may know, I have been struggling with a back injury since last spring. We all had high hopes that it would heal on its own and I would recover quickly. Sadly, that has not been the case and I have been in substantial pain for much of the last 10 months. It hasn’t been awful every day, but it never, ever goes away. When it is bad, I sob, can hardly move, can’t sit down and it even hurts to breathe. I’m not angling for sympathy, I just want to remind people how very, very precious mobility is! Pain is insidious and invades every part of your life. I think constantly about how much I hurt and what the repercussions will be if I do something like picking up Milly to put her on the toilet, or turning my head to look at something or even putting my own socks on. I have always been very independent and it is incredibly difficult to have to ask for help, then have to stand back and let other people do the things I should be doing. My husband and mother have been amazing throughout this ordeal – I seriously do not know what I would have done without them. I currently cannot drive, do laundry, wash dishes, vacuum, pick anything up, bath the children, run, throw a ball or sit on the floor to have tea parties or do puzzles. Do not underestimate the importance of looking after your back!

I have had two treatments at the pain clinic – an epidural and a nerve root block – to try to ease the pain to a manageable level. Neither treatment has been effective in reducing my daily pain. In fact, the last procedure made things much worse for a few days and I have been using a walking stick to help me get around. I have yet to have an MRI, but am scheduled for one in April. At this stage it looks unlikely that the herniated disk will repair itself, so I may be in for surgery at some point. We haven’t yet found an effective combination of medications, but shall keep on trying! Most of what I have tried makes me nauseous and extremely tired, which the girls like because it means I lay on the couch with them in the afternoon so we can watch a movie (and I can nap!).

I should clarify that I actually have very little back pain. It is mostly in my buttock and all the way down my leg, to the tips of my toes. Damn sciatic nerve goes a long way!

The only thing which I have not given up is sewing. We have done everything we can think of to make sure my workspace is not exacerbating the problem. The desk, sewing machine, cutting table and ironing board are all raised up so I don’t have to bend at all. I have a rubber mat to stand on, a decent office chair and everything within easy reach. This chair is the only place I can sit without instant pain, so I’m sticking with it.

On top of this, I have also had an eye infection after I scratched my eye removing my contact lens. Then I got an infection in my toe – on my good foot! If someone were to shake me, I think I would rattle from all the pills.

Milly will soon be turning 3, so I have been working on a number of things for her which I will be posting about shortly. Well, more accurately, I have been making things for her dolls. She has a few baby dolls that Pip never really played with and they hardly have any clothes at all between them, so definitely need some wardrobe assistance! As a joint present with her grandparents, we have bought her a beautiful 14″ girl doll and can hardly wait to see her face! I think she will be really excited. I need to get cracking on some more outfits, so I will sign off now and be back some with some pictures of recent sewing.

In the meantime, watch your back!

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~ by Pip 'n' Milly Creations on January 29, 2010.

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