Tag Archives: emergency room

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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