human, being

Damn you, sciatica!
April 20, 2009, 12:17 pm
Filed under: Health | Tags: , , ,

Ah, sciatica. The achy, burning, needling pain in the ass. Literally. I have it and I hate it when it rears its ugly head.

I first experienced sciatica when I was pregnant with Lauren. I’d been having a sharp pain in the middle of my left butt cheek for a few weeks. I took it to be just another pregnancy ache. Then it got worse, and became a line of stinging fire ants from my low back to my hip, through my butt and down my hamstring and inner thigh to the inside of my knee. After about two days of this, I couldn’t walk without dragging my left leg behind me. The only good thing about it was it doubled my chances of cutting in long lines in the ladies room (pregnant leg-dragging lady coming through to pee! would send them scattering left and right.)

My doctor told me what it was. Since I didn’t want to take narcotics, I decided to try acupunture. I went to the acupuncturist and chiropractor twice a week for the last two months of my pregnancy. Those treatments helped a lot, but they didn’t kick all of the pain.

During the next couple of years I had a few flares, but never so bad as the first. Then in 2003, I was broadsided in my Grand Cherokee by a guy going about 60 mph as I turned out of my neighborhood. I had been on my way to buy a tomato for a recipe I was working on; one reason why I hate tomatoes, I think. Anyway, I got hit from the left, square on the driver’s door. My lower spine got spun about 5 degrees to the right and moved over about 2 inches to the right, giving me some lovely lumbar scoliosis. I also smacked my head against the window frame and wound up with a moderate head injury. I was in so much pain all over that my sciatica, which flared to a 10 for the next two months, seemed like a mosquito bite. I was more concerned that I couldn’t remember the words for car, door, table, phone, that I couldn’t keep track of time. I healed (although still have some issues with wordfinding), but ever since then, the sciatica has been back with a vengeance.

Well, two weeks ago, I got dipped wrong at the DNote. Then, I did too many twists at yoga class. Then yesterday, I was on my feet working an event for five hours, and I thought it would be fun to go dancing afterward. For a smart girl, I can be really, really stupid. After just an hour of dancing, I could hardly walk. The pain, which I immediately tried to disperse through the usually successful trick of alternating heat and cold, taking a muscle relaxant and Aleve, has not gone away. Once again, I didn’t sleep last night. I am not comfortable standing, sitting or laying down. I can tolerate one position for about 10 minutes.

So, instead of going to a big cancer research conference today, I’m alternating laying in bed, sitting at my desk and standing at the kitchen counter. My acupuncturist is off today, but I will be calling her for an appointment for tomorrow and Wednesday, and maybe even Thursday. I have to get this flare calmed before Friday, when I have to travel to Philadelphia for a conference. Lugging a bag through the airport and sitting in coach for 3.5 hours isn’t going to help me. I’ll probably drug myself up, which should make for a fun flight at least.

I wish there was a magic cure. If you have any suggestions that I haven’t mentioned here, I’d love to hear them.


1 Comment so far
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Hey Lynn,

I had Sciatica with all three of my pregnancies. With my second pregnancy, I had it really bad (before I knew I was pregnant) and I thought to myself, “Hmm, the last time it was this bad was when I was pregnant with Sofia…” then I realized I was 10 days late. As soon as I had my D&C for the miscarriage, my sciatica pain was gone. When I got pregnant with Abby, same thing. I would lay on the couch and have to roll off to stand up. I ended up in the ER omnce because I couldnt get up after I took a nap and all they gave me was Tylenol…yay, they may as well have given me an Altoid. The only thing that helped me while I was pregnant was getting good massages. My massage therapist would work on my butt for an hour and a half. She massaged the sciatica as well as the ligaments that attach to the sacrum. After I was pregnant, I am able to take 800mg Ibuprofen when the pain starts. I searched and there is an herbal supplement specifically for sciatica, here is the website… Hope you feel better Lynn, I know it isnt fun.


Comment by Mich

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