Thursday, October 18, 2007

Keep feeling herniation

As some of you might remember, 3 years ago, during my last year at Brainerd, I had a problem with a herniated disk in my lower back. I was quite often in excruciating pain, especially After sitting for extended periods. As some of my students would tell you, when I had to stand up from my computer and walk to the front of the class, this action was a painful one for me. I would limp, all hunched over. When it got really bad, I would try to go whole days without sitting down. I would grade papers while standing at my podium, for example. And once, while driving to Zorbaz, I had such extraordinary pain shooting down my leg that I had to pull over--it was too painful to use the pedals in my car and I thought I might crash.

So, I was told I would need surgery, but first I had a couple of epidural cortisone injections. Well, much to my happiness, the injections worked wonders, and my pain more or less went away. So the doctor told me that surgery was no longer needed. Hallelujah.

So for the next two years (my grad school years), my disk pain has been more or less nonexistent, which has been great.

Three days ago, my disk pain came back, and it is in prime form. Though I am not in quite the amount of pain I was in at my worst a couple of years ago, it is bad. Sitting down is quite an ordeal right now. The train has been an especially uncomfortable affair.

I am calling the doctor tomorrow. Fuck.


At 10:51 PM, Blogger Pelk posited...

From my own experience, it's sometimes good just to do the surgery. It obviously isn't any fun immediately afterwards, but the assurance that you won't have to deal with the problem again more than outweighs the initial cost.

Whatever you decide to do, I hope it works out well.

At 11:15 PM, Blogger CoachDub posited...

Thanks. I appreciate it. Though I have heard from people who say that disk surgery can have long term complications and pain.

At 12:34 AM, Blogger Johnny V posited...

Your back isn't something to mess around with. That's one piece of advice my dad has consistently given me over the years.

Anyways, my dad had a herniated disk in his neck a few years back. For a few months he couldn't really use his right arm because it was pinching a nerve and it wasn't getting any better so he elected to have the surgery done.

Although for a few while after it he was pretty limited in what he was supposed to be lifting, after about 3-4 months he was back to normal and never had any side effects or regrets.

At 12:37 AM, Blogger Johnny V posited...

He had the vertebrae fusion done. I have never really asked him about if it has affected his range of motion, but he has never mentioned it either. Anyways, he goes about now as if it never happened. That's what medicine is all about.

At 2:16 AM, Blogger constant_k posited...

Sorry bout that dub.

So what causes a herniated disc? Excessive happiness?

Also, disk v disc? What's the deal there.

At 5:49 AM, Blogger CoachDub posited...

Disc vs. disk.
I don't know. I have always seen disks in the back spelled with a k.

At 5:49 AM, Blogger CoachDub posited...

Thanks, JV. I will let you know what the doctor says.

At 10:32 AM, Blogger Pelk posited...

Last spring, my dad actually had the exact same surgery as John's. He got a little frustrated during the recovery period (he couldn't lift weights), but he didn't have to take that much time off from teaching. He's doing just fine now.

At 11:16 AM, Blogger CoachDub posited...

In my Disc vs disk link, some extra HTML code got entered. Here is the real link:
Disc vs Disk

At 11:21 AM, Blogger gregariousmime posited...

Good luck!
Whatever you do, I hope it turns out best for you and you don't have to deal with this sort of thing again.

At 2:12 PM, Blogger sherlock posited...

My mom herniated a disk in her lower back about twelve years ago, and the solution then was simply to remove it, which still causes her pain from time to time. Last year she herniated two disks in her neck, and decided to have the vertebrae fusion done. The neck is the riskiest and most painful place to have a fusion done, but she is now virtually pain-free where she was in unbearable pain in the past.

My cousin also had the surgery done in his lower back, and because it was far enough down it does nothing to limit his range of motion in any normal activity. He no longer feels any pain in his back following his fusion. You should definitely see a doctor and get his/her advice.
Good luck!

At 3:19 PM, Blogger Josh posited...

best wishes from josh m. and sam w.

At 4:27 PM, Blogger Kath posited...

a friend of mine did spinal decompression & had a lot of success with it--almost no pain. check it out before you decide to do surgery...granted I'm out in hippy dippy Berkeley where everyone swears by their acupuncturist, etc, but I've heard that surgery is sometimes worse than the initial injury

At 11:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous posited...

Hey John

Sorry to hear about your back. :(

On a completely random note, I have some extra tix (Free) to Morrissy tonight in Merriville if you and a friend want to go. Just shoot me an email and we'll hook up. (I live in Lincoln Park)

Lisa M (from Marion)
email is first intital full last name at yahoo. (e.g.,


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