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The weather and my back

 Thanks to Phil – 6 more weeks of winter and it sure looks like that outside!

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It was a good morning for something warm for breakfast.

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After breakfast, John went out to snow blow for the first of 3 times today.  With my back in a flare, I was not able to help, which drives me nuts. I don’t think I complain a ton about things.  I think if there is one thing I do complain a lot about is work, which is not atypical.  I think the second thing is probably my back.  It’s just always there reminding me.  With the issues I have in my leg from it and periodic aches, it’s an unwanted constant companion. Of course, I now have the added addition of the herniated disk higher up that happened in December.  Now I have a pair.  Guess the first disk needed company?

This latest flare is getting better, but what irritates me the most is how it gets triggered by seemingly nothing. Nothing!  On Sunday, I was unloading the dishwasher. I leaned down to get a dish out, turned and raised the dish up to put it away and bam, the pain started. It’s just ordinary activity. I can’t seem to trace it to anything I did recently that was out of the ordinary at all – and I never have been able to link up any pain flares to anything.

The hardest part is having to do less and move slow. Of course, that automatically happens because of the pain that gets triggered. I get pain jabs when I sit down, when I stand up, sneezing, when I bend over, rolling in bet, etc. Once I get into position it feels better, but it sure doesn’t make me want to move around, you know?  A little thing like dropping something and when I look down to think about picking it up and it seems 100 feet away.  There really isn’t much I can do except keep my core muscles strong and try to avoid inciting movements – which if I could just figure out what they are, I would be all set.

The worst part of this problem is that you start to develop a little fear in the bag of your mind. Just a little niggling though when you do something that says “Will this create a flare?” I have to say I do not trust my back. I am 45 and I don’t trust my back.

Anyway, we all have some chronic nag in life, and this happens to be mine. I just needed to vent a little about it :D  Thank you. I am not really looking for sympathy, I just needed to bitch a little.

The snow just kept coming today. The roads were actually fairly quiet, which means most people were being smart about staying off of this yuck.

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Poor John went out for pass number 3 with the snow blower and it stopped working. He had just fixed it, too.  So, he had to shovel.

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You know there is another storm that might hit over the weekend and it is supposed to be the worst of the ones that hit this week?  Eeeps!! As long as it doesn’t affect our travel plans.

By the way, I haven’t forgotten about the Healthy Heart Weekend for 2014!  I will have a sign up post on Sunday. It will be the weekend of the 21st through 23rd.  Later than usual because of our vacation. So, stay tuned for that.

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26 comments to The weather and my back

  • Joanne

    It’s been a nasty winter everywhere. Supposed to be 15 below zero here tonight AGAIN! The snow we get just blows like crazy with all the wind we get here, too. I’ll take only 6 more weeks of winter – that mean winter until March 16. Last year we were still getting snowstorms the first week in May. When do you leave on vacation? A week in New Orleans? Bring on spring like weather.

  • Ahh, yes the aches and pains of life. Of course I can tell you that sitting all day doing transcription (which I have done for quite some time) doesn’t help. Some people feel it in the back, some in the shoulders (which is where I get the pain) and some carpal tunnel. People have praised me that I haven’t had carpal tunnel with all my years of medical transcription but I can say I feel it in the shoulders. Love your blog, though, and your meal photos are so inspiring. Love this picture of the waffles with…is it blueberries? Frozen waffles? Frozen blueberries? I am always looking for new ideas. Hope you can get some relief with the back and enjoy your vacation.

  • Kim

    Sucks about your back – sorry you have to deal with that. Do you think that the cold makes it worse?
    We have been stuck inside with over a foot of snow today – I’m bummed that tomorrow I have to be out in the snow and extreme cold.

    • I don’t think the cold makes it worse. I think it is just maybe that I do different activity in the winter. I don’t seem to have the issues with it during biking season. Who knows, though.

  • I understand your feeling of not trusting a body part – it’s crazy, because this shouldn’t be happening so soon! It’s incredibly frustrating, and yes, that whole “I didn’t DO anything to cause this” can really get to you. Here’s hoping this flare clears up soon.

  • Bonnie

    Lori, I too had back problems, made me pass out sometimes! I have been doing yoga almost daily since last summer and its been a huge improvement. Not the hot (Bikram) yoga or the over energetic stuff. Just the stretching, balancing and strength building. I highly recommend it for back protection!

  • I hope you’re able to figure out a trigger or a prevention for your back. Worrying is never fun.

    The weather is just crazy. We’ve got cold-cold-cold but at least we don’t have to contend with snow or ice (so far.)

  • Molly

    It might help to have a physical therapist do an evaluation of your back. You would tell them in detail how it was re-injured and about any other ordinary things that help throw it out. Then he or she would come up with an explanation for how those ordinary things worked against you and give you some exercises to do to help shore up any weak links.

    I always thot that PT was for more specific injuries or for post-op recoveries. Plus, I know all the usual stuff – ice, heat, rest, meds, etc. But, after injuring my lower back doing something very ordinary (picking up a grocery bag with 2 half gallons of milk in it) I saw a physical therapist and was so surprised at how helpful it was – both in the explanations of how & why (something about how I turned when I lifted the groceries) and in how helpful some simple exercises were.

    I’m self-pay too (no medical insurance yet) and had to pay for it. The first appt (evaluation, exam and exercises) was about 175.00 and that was after a self-pay discount of 50.00 off. (You have to ask about that – most places from radiology to surgery offer self-pay discounts but they don’t offer, you have to ask.) I had a few follow-up appts and they were 100.00 for an hour. It was all worth it. Even if I could have only afforded the evaluation it would have been worth it. (I went to a local office of Select PT – I think it’s a chain.)

    Just an idea. I hope you get to feeling better soon.

    It was more snow for us too (yesterday) and more on the way in three days. I know spring is coming though as my snowdrops are trying to reach through the snow. happy

  • I am so sorry you’re going through so much pain with your back. Hopefully you’ll be able to find some relief.

  • I missed where you will be going on vacation. Hope it’s somewhere where there’s no snow!

    I’m so sorry to hear about your back, back pain sucks. If I have pain somewhere it’s always in my back too but nothing compared to what you are dealing with. Hope it gets better soon, for now hang in there sweety.

  • As a fellow low back pain sufferer I hurt just reading this. And it sounds like your disc is pressing your sciatic nerve too. Any chance you could get a scrip for a muscle relaxer? When my back is bad that is just about the only thing that gives me any relief. Of course, you have to take them a night because they do make you drowsy.

    Funny, you wanted to go out and help John and I never have any desire to help remove the snow, even when my back is fine lol!

    • I do have a muscle relaxer for nighttime. It sure does knock me out and the next morning I am really groggy. I went without it last night as it seems to be settling down now to being annoyance pain, which is good!

  • Well, you can b*tch all you want on your blog. We understand! I think everyone has something that just won’t go away and sometimes you just need to vent and not get the 1000000 suggestions you’ve already tried that invariably come your way. So I’ll just say, hang in there babe!!

    I’m not jealous of the snow. The temps have stayed so low but luckily we’ve avoided snow for a while now. I’m really glad. It’s that time of year where being cooped up inside is starting to get everyone a little stir-crazy, but I was excited to notice the days are getting longer. At least that’s something!

  • I just keep seeing pics & reading stories of the crazy weather & temps below 0 so many places – horrible!!!!

    So sorry about your back! Seems like once a person injures it.. well, it is a life thing of strengthening & all that. I hope you are able to figure it all out.. I do get the nervousness about doing things which makes it worse… HUGS!

  • I’m sorry about your back. I understand how you feel re: injury. It’s hard getting back after one and trusting your body and NOT getting super uptight about every little twinge…

  • Biz

    Yep, your back effects everything, doesn’t it! John was a trooper to shovel for the both of you though!

    Yep, seems we have the same pattern as you – bitter cold/snow/bitter cold – gah!

  • karen

    My herniated disc (fixed with surgery in 2000) was tweaked by bending and trying to lift at the same time. For example, lifting groceries out of the car trunk. You might want to empty the dishwasher by picking the item up, straightening up, then turning to put it away. I worked temporary for the post office years ago and they were big on this. The mail carrier would empty the tray of mail in the jeep (said it was years ago) and turn to the back seat and grab the next tray of mail and lift and turn back to the front. That’s how every one did it but they wanted you to get out of the jeep and walk around to the back and get the loaded tray. Lifting or bending or turning at the same time is bad for anyone’s back.

  • I know just how you feel with the back, Lori. I had the flare-up of all flare-ups the last couple of months which made me basically lose my mobility. I could tell I wasn’t coming back from this one if something wasn’t done, so had decompression surgery on February 14 (Happy Valentine’s Day to me!). I am already feeling so much better. They gave that nerve some breathing room (mine was caused by bone spurs, thickened ligaments, etc. from inflammation (arthritis) that closed off the foraminal opening at the L5/S1 level. I can tell this is going to make a difference, so hopefully I can get more exercise and keep going on my weight loss efforts, which will help my back more than anything, I am quite sure. I have other problems too, including 3 bulging discs and spondylolisthesis, for which they would do a fusion (something I don’t want). Hopefully weight loss will keep that from every having to happen. Hope yours is doing better, since I am commenting on an older post.

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