January 12, 2015

It was back to work today.  I woke up and my back was killing me.  I had to walk with a limp because the pain was radiating down my leg.    Everything felt a bit off today, but I couldn’t put my finger on why.  I was tired all day and kept making stupid mistakes at work.  It was nothing major, but I still prefer to do the best job I can.

I had my first chiropractor appointment today.  Last week they did a whole bunch of tests on me.  Today I found out the results.  My feet are on the flatter side so they recommended shoe inserts.  They would fit me with custom inserts for $375.  Yeah, that’s not going to happen.  They showed me the results of my EMG (electromyograph).  It’s a graph showing the electrical activity produced by skeletal muscles.  Apparently the muscles up near my neck and upper back had issues.  Oddly, the muscles in my lower back near the spot where I was in pain and where I had surgery were absolutely fine.  I started thinking it was a quack chiropractor (I do know there are some out there) trying to make money off of shoe inserts and claiming that cracking my back can fix issues unrelated to the spine.

Then I saw my x-ray results.  He had them on a board next to a poster showing what things should look like and look like in the various phases of decline.  I was able to look at my x-rays and determine how bad my spine was.  I saw the x-ray of my upper back and neck first.  Before I could make the comparison, the chiropractor was able to tell me that I had whiplash 10-15 years ago.  I was in a car accident 17 years ago which caused a lot of neck pain for a few weeks afterward.  My analysis was quite similar with his.  My neck was around phase 1-2 depending on which vertebrae.  My lower back, on the other hand, was surprising.  My spine looked ideal except where I had the surgery.  There was almost no disc left.  I knew that surgery to fix my herniated disc would take out the disc that was pressing on my spine.  What I didn’t understand was why my surgeon was able to say there was a 95% chance that I could return to ALL of my previous activities after a reasonable period of recovery and PT. Seeing how little disc I had left, it immediately became clear why I was still in so much pain three years later.  If anyone out there is reading this and you are considering back surgery for a herniated disc, don’t do it unless it’s a big problem.  My post-surgery pain levels are pretty similar to pre-surgery levels.  It’s just slightly better and much more unpredictable.  I hope the chiropractor can help.

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Hygiene – Bad.  My hair was already clean, but I still didn’t brush my teeth.

Mood and temperament – Not good.  I was hurting so I put off doing what my boss told me for a few minutes so I could take some pain medication so she said something to me about it.  I did not exactly snap at her, but I was definitely less than respectful.

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