So right now I am staying focused on the silver lining.....I finally know what the deal is with my back.
I had an MRI (which alone is a TRIP) and it shows that I have a severe herniated lumbar (L5 near sacrum) disc. There is a large amount of disc tissue that has broken up and moved into the spinal column and is pressing on my nerves.... hence the PAIN radiating into my left leg, numbness in my foot and cramping in my leg muscles. not fun.
The Dr. has informed me that I must have high tolerance for pain. Who knew? Not I, apparently I must for the pain to just now be bothering me. It is at the point where physical therapy is not really an option. I am sure I have had this progressing for years. 10 years ago I was pregnant when I began experiencing numbness and sciatic pain in my thigh.....it would come and go. With each pregnancy it worsened. It was something I became use to and found it lessened with stretching, yoga, ibubrofen (my b.f.f.) and chiropratic adjustments. That is until recently when the pain has become much more difficult to tolerate and manage.
So, it is looking like physical therapy wouldn't have a chance in touching this problem. A cortizone shot would be a temporary solution. Pain meds don't even touch the nerve pain. At this point we are trying to prevent permanent nerve damage. Next Monday I will be consulting with a (top notch) neuro-surgeon about the options, surgical and otherwise. The risks, pros and cons....all that jazz.
Here is the silver lining.....always trying to see that! I have a real sense of relief to know there really is something wrong. To know what is actually happening in my body is important and empowering. I also know that I am young, strong and healthy which means I will likely have a great surgical outcome. And I am incredibly grateful to have wonderfully competent health care and have full medical insurance .....I am counting my blessings knowing I am so fortunate.