I’ve referenced “that time I had to get emergency back surgery” a few times on my blog, but have never really told the whole story. And people like stories, right? Well here you go. =) Please forgive me because this ended up being WAY longer than I anticipated, so I’m breaking it up into two posts and will post the rest of the story soon!
Disclaimer: I am certainly not a medical professional, so take everything below with a grain of salt! This is just my personal experience of what I went through and what I recall from it.
I can’t remember exactly when it started, but throughout college, I suffered from sciatic pain. Your sciatic nerve is the one that runs from your lower back down either leg to your ankle, and mine was always on my left side.
Sometimes I’d just have a dull pain in my lower back, and other times the pain would shoot all the way down to my leg to my ankle and be much more uncomfortable. When it would get really bad, I’d go to a chiropractor and have them do electric stimulation (those suction cups that make your muscles tense up and release) and it provided a lot of relief. The pain was never constant – it was very come and go – and sometimes it would disappear for months at a time and I’d completely forget about it.
This all changed in September 2006.
I was working at my first “real” job after college at a place called Georgetown Learning Center (very similar to a Sylvan’s Learning Center) to offer tutoring to high school kids on all different subjects. Towards the end of the torturous training (they literally made us take the SATs and SAT IIs for every subject we were going to be tutoring), my sciatica started to flare up worse than it ever had before. I was having trouble sitting down for any length of time and the pain just got more and more unbearable by the day.
I remember it coming to a point the Friday before Labor Day in 2006. I was devastated to be making this type of impression at my first job and was crying to my supervisor explaining how terrible the pain was and how lame I felt for needing to go home. He assured me everything would be OK and sent me home to take care of myself.
I went home that day, tears streaming down my face from the pain of driving my stick shift car. When I got home and dragged myself up the two flights of stairs to my apartment, I collapsed into bed and was honestly taken aback at how incapacitated I was.
I was just 22 years old, barely even overweight at this point since I’d lost a lot of weight doing Atkin’s, and considered myself pretty healthy overall.
How can this be happening to me?
How can I be in so much pain that all I can do was lay in bed in tears?
What am I not doing that I should be to make it better?
Despite these thoughts running through my head, I somehow drifted off to sleep, but then everything changed.
The next morning, I woke up and literally couldn’t get out of bed.
To be continued…