Aggressive Non-Surgical Treatment

It’s been a hair over six weeks since I woke up with a sensation that could only be described as a pair of Doc Emmett Lathrop’s (Back to the Future) ten thousand Jiggawatt electrodes stabbed from my back down through my right leg and flowing at max flux.  I’m gathering you may have read the previous post and sensed the fairly strong tinge of depression during the first month of surviving sciatica (or radicular pain for the geeks out there) my L5S1 disc herniation. photo source

The four weeks following were by far the lowest key, and most physically painful months I’ve ever experienced.  Not gonna lie, I hope I never get the pleasure of experiencing that again.  I mean, I’ve definitely made a pattern in my life where pain can be pleasureful, and pushing through pain has helped me achieve new levels.  However, pushing through sciatic pain secondary to a herniated disc is just not reasonable or prudent.  And it’s with much relief that the steroid (and high dose ibuprofen unfortunately) has continued to provide relief and allowed the sciatic nerve some space, even if it meant I’d fail any out-of-competition doping tests in my Cat 1 mountain bike racing career.  Man I hope USADA doesn’t show up any time soon or I’ll have to take this two month ban on racing to a two year ban and making the front page of!

I’m imagining that if I could zoom in like a microscopic camera into my region of injury, I’d see a scarred, but healing disc with ragged edges, deep fissures, and a warmth from the increased circulation as the body attempts to heal and seal for ultimate disc appeal.  Next door, just towards the rear, I’d see this dark, slightly dried and shriveled prune looking body that was still pushing up against my spinal chord while resting quaintly on my pissed off nerve that runs down the back of my leg to my calf.  That would be the fragment of disc that ruptured and is likened to like taking a piece of crab meat and leaving it to dry and desiccate on the kitchen table.  However, as we know the inside of the body is a little moister than a nicely ventilated kitchen (I love the word moist, don’t you?), so it takes a little longer.  As my symptoms have turned away from extreme pain and cruised towards odd numbness, tingling, and sometimes crampy sensations, my days have become increasingly welcomed and fruitful.  Knowing that real progress is happening, and most days I feel like I am one step closer to having my life back, working my job, and not cursing every little object I accidentally drop to the floor.  Seriously, you’ll never experience this if you don’t have a serious back injury, but if you do, you’ll realize that you drop in the order of 50 things a day and pick it up without even thinking about it.  Now I curse every crumb, every pacifier, and feel my knees aging at an accelerated rate as I bend down with an upright flat back.  Anywho back to the case in point, I really am optimistic that the aggressive non-surgical treatment of lasers, chiropractic, physical therapy, and lots of rest and ice and walking is going to pull through for me.  I even have been able to set up my bike with a short steep stem that allows me to pedal again, albeit looking like a 70 year old with his bar ends pointing sky high like a skyscraper of aluminum.

I still have good days and bad days, but on the whole, I’m definitely on an upward trajectory of healing.  Sometimes it seems like I’ll be better any day, then I wake up from my dream, literally, and I realize it’s another day of icing, zapping, planking, bird-dogging, and appointmenting to hope that tomorrow I wake up a little better than I was this morning.  I secretly keep hoping for rain and poor weather because I don’t want to be healed and come back to a raging summer of wildfires.  But heck, to feel strong again, have my life back, find my (new) routine back, I’ll be pretty all right with choking on smoke knowing that it’s better than waking up and eating right away just so that I don’t take 800 mg of ibuprofen on an empty stomach.


Teaching the little guy young, protect the bean!


I’ve also spent a lot of time cooking, pureeing and turning these veggies in food cubes for Rowen.  Also really fun stuff, let me tell ya…


Til next time… A D Os

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