I hate it when I wake up and within seconds of opening my eyes, I am already registering the pain I am in. God knows what gymnastics I got up to in my sleep last night but my back is letting me know it really isn’t impressed. It has been quite some time since my lower back has complained quite so loudly, every step, every movement is met with a counter move of pain coming from the right side of my spine. Again this is unusual as it is normally the left side of my back that gives me the problems.
Had I been displaying any of the red flag symptoms I of course would have got medical attention. Red flag symptoms with back pain are loss of control of the bladder and bowel, I have had these drilled into me for years by my doctors, purely because I have presented with back pain so many times before. So whilst I don’t have any of these issues I am keeping a watchful eye on my symptoms with it being a different side of my back that the pain is originating from.
Initially I tried to just soldier on believing if I moved around, stretched and went about my day that the pain would lessen. Nine times out of ten getting moving helps. It didn’t, I even did an exercise session on my bike to see if that would ease things up. Whilst it didn’t hurt to move my legs, after a time my spine got so painful that just having the exercise bikes seat pressing on my spine was enough to make me jump. No positions was comfortable, so the next thing was to try was a lobster hot shower. No relief was provided with that either.
Contrary to popular belief I don’t run to the pain relief as soon as I have the slightest twinge, this morning I really wish I had as perhaps then I wouldn’t have had to put up with hours of pain that felt like I was being stabbed ( just above my right buttock, about an inch away from my spine) with a hot knife with every movement. I hate having to take more than my allotted amount of pain relief, mainly because I find it makes me really tired ( but so does pain) and it impacts on what I can then do that day because I am not fully with it.
If my back wasn’t quite so sensitive to touch I would have tried my Tens machine but anything touching my back on that right side is causing pain. I do get very sore over the vertebrae at the base of my spine, when the pain is like this it is best to avoid having anything touching it if at all possible.
As soon as I felt the pain in my back today I knew all my plans for the day had just gone up in smoke. I find that deeply frustrating, making plans at the best of times is always a bit hit and miss as I never know from hour to hour how I am going to feel. I wanted to do some sewing today but I know that this would make my back worse because being sat in one position and not moving around would have put more pressure on my spine. So I have a pile of fabric cut out ready to be quilted to make humbug bags a gift I got from my secret Santa in 2019 and haven’t had the time to make until now. So they will have to wait for a bit longer.
After my shower I took additional pain relief, the hot water hadn’t been enough to provide any relief. This feels like my spondylolithesis has shifted, it does this every so often, I may have quite severe pain for a day, days or even weeks and then it settles again. (https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/10302-spondylolisthesis#:~:text=Spondylolisthesis%20is%20a%20spinal%20condition,treatment%20can%20relieve%20your%20symptoms. ) My Spondylolithesis is at the level of L5 / S1 so at the base of my spine and I have had issues with this for years. You can see a diagram of the vertebrae and their names by clicking https://www.healthpages.org/anatomy-function/spinal-nerves/
It would be great if taking extra pain relief didn’t then cause problems of it’s own, the pain is better managed but at what cost? I find pain particularly bad pain exhausting, like most people. However it is a double whammy of fatigue when I take extra pain relief, as I find that wipes me out as well. I can also end up with really itchy skin when I have to increase the amount of morphine I have had to take to cope with the level of pain I am in. I have to attempt to ignore the itchy sensations on my skin because once I start scratching I will not stop and it wont provide any relief. I will scratch until I draw blood. So it is never a case of popping a pill and everything is made better.
There is the added complication of increasing pain relief that it messes with your ability to make decisions, work safely and concentrate. A blog post that would have normally taken an hour or so has taken close to three (and I am still nowhere near finished, despite it feeling like I have written 30’000 words). This also limits what I can actually do to while away the hours whilst my husband is out at work. TV shows I may normally watch are a no go because I will have no idea at all at the end of an episode what happened and it will leave a gaping hole in the story line for me. I have been known to watch episodes again when the pain relief has been dropped back to normal levels, and when I do it is like I never watched the episode in the first place because I remember so little of it.
I am pretty confident that whatever has shifted overnight in my spine to cause me issues today will more than likely shift back overnight and I will wake up with the pain having gone. People find that hard to believe, I have to be honest even I scratch my head with it at times. However with the connective tissue disorder EDS, things do move around far more than they should. Which can be met with incredulity by both medical professionals and friends. Many don’t understand how you can be in severe pain one day and then wake up the next day with the pain gone. It flummoxes me regularly, sometimes it doesn’t go away overnight and may stay for a few days.
So fingers crossed this back pain leaves as suddenly as it arrived so the bad pain days are limited.