Tag Archives: back pain

Discouraging Words


It’s been 9 days since I almost broke my back.  Okay, maybe that’s being a little dramatic.  But the Dirty Girl Mud Run ended up costing me a lot more than the $70 entrance fee (which I don’t think was worth it at all, but that’s beside the point).  After a huge copay at the ER that day, pharmacy copays, followup visit copay, and lastly an MRI – this race was my most “expensive” one yet.  Add to that pain and suffering.

The results of my MRI are:

In medical terms:  L4-L5 disc bulge with an annular tear, edema in the bone marrow and bruising to the bone.  No direct impingement on the spinal cord or nerves.

In layman’s terms:  I don’t have a herniated disc (just a slightly damaged one), and my spinal cord is not injured.  I don’t need surgery and the tear should heal with time and medications.

So, I should be happy right!?  Well, I definitely am glad it wasn’t worse.  But I still have trouble not whining about how much it sucks to be injured.  I had to miss the 5k I was planning (and paid for) this past Saturday.  The Windcrest City of Lights 5k – it was a nighttime race through an amazing neighborhood that is lit up every year with thousands of Christmas lights.  My husband ran it and really enjoyed it.  My kids even ran the Candy Cane Dash that was right before the 5k (their first race EVER)!  It really was an exciting night for our family.  It was just very hard being a spectator at a race I was supposed to participate in.

I’ve rested.  Now it’s time to move into recovery mode.  I’ve already started taking short walks through the neighborhood and local trails and it’s been great getting out – although I’m paranoid that I’m going to get hurt again:  Before I cross the street, I look both ways 3 times and cross only if it’s clear for miles.  On the trails, I am leary of every rock and root sticking out of the ground because I am sure one will send me flying and I’ll get hurt again.  I wonder if this overwhelming fear is normal??  I’m not sure when I’ll start running but I hope it’s very soon.  Part of my plan is to also get back to swimming at the gym because it is such a low impact workout.

Any advice is appreciated!  Wish me luck!

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Smiling Through The Pain


Saturday I participated in my first – and last – obstacle race. The day started with a (freezing) bang, and ended with an injury.  The Dirty Girl Mud Run was held in 28 degrees (wind chill of 17) and my coworkers and I were psyched. We were nervous but prepared.


Layers – check!

Our fingers, toes, and faces were numb as soon as we got out of the car.


Our team trying to stay warm.


A shot of whiskey warmed us all

We were pumped! The obstacles were fun but early on, we came to this obstacle that proved to be my doom:


This pic is small and low resolution. My husband was following our team along the course and happened to snap this picture, perhaps at the exact moment of my injury. I was bouncing down this inflatable pyramid on my bottom. And, just like when more than one person at a time is bouncing on a trampoline, someone else bounced just a split-second before I landed and it “popped up” at me from below. There was immediate pain in my lower back and I had trouble getting down.  I bent over in pain and my teammates knew something was wrong.  I thought I could shake it off so we kept going.  Between obstacles I walked a lot.  I would start to run and I would feel the soreness in my lower back with every step.  I went around obstacles.  Besides being miserably frozen, now I was dealing with a back injury.

I really thought I could shake it off, or that it would be fine by the time we got home.  I iced it and took ibuprofen and rested the rest of the day, but by 7pm I began to have numbness in my right leg, down to my foot.  My husband decided to take me to the ER.  Now, I’m a nurse – I don’t go to the ER for minor problems – in fact, I don’t remember the last time I went to an emergency room before this.  I hesitated, even standing outside the doors of the hospital, thinking mainly of the costs of this visit.  Ultimately, we went inside and I was treated.


If there can be such a thing as a “positive” ER experience, this was it. The staff was professional and seemed genuinely concerned for me.  I left with diagnoses of lumbar sprain and lumbosacral radiculopathy, prescriptions for Vicodin and Valium, and they had given me a shot of Toradol (an anti-inflammatory).  I was instructed to followup with my PCP in 3-4 days if not better, which brings us to today.

Today I was still in extreme pain – I couldn’t bend forward to bathe my daughter or put on my socks.  I couldn’t get comfortable in any position.  My mom drove me to the doctor for a followup.  I got another shot – a steroid – and was given a prescription for muscle relaxers.  They are scheduling an MRI soon but if I feel better I don’t have to go for that.

I have a 5k scheduled this Saturday which is very unlikely to happen now, and I’m OK with that.  But I just have to wonder how long it will take to recover from this.


Down in the Dumps in San Antonio

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