It happened after a fairly routine medical procedure for those of us who are older. Something went amuck.
Seriously, I had a colonoscopy five years ago and the next day I was perfectly capable of doing my daily routines. But this time, my lower back went out and stayed until I considered sending a posse to find it.
The ability to bend, roll over, sit, stand, or walk for extended periods was gone. The only relief I had(I’ve been told I was blessed)was lying in bed and sleeping relatively pain free. After a couple weeks of steady decline, I notified the doctor and he scheduled more tests and scans to try to find out what was going on.
Well, just like when you take your car in for a funny noise and it ends up being something else that costs an arm and a leg, we found something else that probably wasn’t causing the back problem. I thought, “Just keep mining for gold! There has to be something in there that’s causing my pain”!
I had read online many good tips from seasoned chronic back pain sufferers and it seems the best course of action was to take an NSAID like Advil along with an ibuprofen like Tylenol. I ran it through my doctor as the older you are, the more NSAIDs are discouraged because of complications. It helped but not enough, and I couldn’t understand why the pain seemed to be getting worse instead of better. The prayer warriors were dispatched.
On week four, it finally occurred to me (thank you, Lord) that maybe the time-release extra strength Tylenol wasn’t delivering enough ibuprofen at once to combat the pain and inflammation. I got hold of some 500mg per tablet BackAid Max and took that with the Advil and it was almost instant relief. After 4 days, I am feeling almost like my old self and am cautiously weening off the doses as I do a bit more activity each day and continue to use the back saving tricks I learned from this experience.
As of now, I don’t know what hurt my back but I suspect it was all the jumping in and out of bed the night before the colonoscopy. The next time I have one scheduled I will be sleeping on the floor or the recliner during the “purge”. I’m thanking the Lord for this experience for several reasons.
First: I have much greater empathy for those who suffer from chronic pain and mobility issues. Until it happens to you, you don’t know.
Second: I learned how to ask for help for the simplest of things like putting food in and taking it out of the oven, looking for something in the back of a cupboard, or picking something up off the floor. A hot bath feels good but then there’s the problem of how to get out without pain. Showers are better.
Third: I never realized how many things I drop in the course of a day! I have one of those apparatuses that picks things up but it wasn’t always handy, so I started leaving items right where they dropped and my wonderful hubby would pick them up in passing. He knew.
Fourth: Putting on pants and socks, and tying your shoes is torture. I learned to wear low cut socks and slip-ons. My jeans went on hiatus and I got some of the stretchy pants I said I would never wear. These days, stretchy pants don’t look like the ones Grandma used to wear and they are in style! Just make sure they are not too tight or the wiggling to get them on is going to kill you.
Fifth: Remember that long, delicious, full body stretch first thing when you wake up? I had to be satisfied with a careful stretch of the legs, and rolling over was in slow motion in a completely relaxed state. Doing either of these simple actions the wrong way would painfully shock me into full awareness. Same with getting into or out of bed. My bed sits 36” high due to a 14” mattress. I got a small wooden foot stool to help me get a leg up so I could learn how to crawl into and out of bed while keeping my back straight.
Sixth: Get a bidet. Trust me.
Seventh: None of this is sexy. Everything doesn’t have to be sexy. Love is sexy.
The important thing is I’ve gleaned whatever good there is to learn from the experience and hopefully, I”m better prepared if it happens again. I’m grateful, so very grateful for my husband and all the prayer warriors who prayed on my behalf, and to be able to share with my words anything that might help someone else going through the same thing. As an old friend once told me long ago, “We all need each other so very much”.
To God be the Glory.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28