The shot heard ’round the doctor’s office

Some people have asked me how my back is doing. Here’s an update.

After the whirring and thumping of the MRI machine, sitting still for close to an hour (so long I was numb in spots by the end), I got to see the pictures. It indeed looked like a slipped disk. Those pictures are so clear! I studied nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) as physics student, but nothing matches seeing your nucleus squishing back and pinching your spinal nerves….

So the orthopedic doctor talked with me about a steroidal spinal injection. He talked about “raising my threshold for injury” rather than doing surgery on the back. I was thankful for that. The conservative route seemed like a good place to start.

Of course, I hate shots. One of my old doctors used to tease me sometimes about my aversion to shots and difficulty swallowing pills, saying it is a good thing – that I’ll never be a junkie. He can be a regular comedian sometimes. What he doesn’t say is that I’ll also never be a good patient.  

Back in the orthopedic doctor’s office, getting my courage up for the injection (an office procedure), a nurse came in with a form for me to sign. There were all sorts of things on this consent form that the doctor failed to mention. The form listed a bunch of possible side effects to the injection including meningitis, infection, paralysis, and even death!

Now I had to calm myself all over again.

I won’t leave you hanging. I got the injection. I’ve also noticed some improvement. I can sustain walking at a faster pace without my leg going numb. That’s really good. I was also able to assemble an armoire and re-hang a closet door for my girlfriend with no problems. I’m continuing my exercises and I hope to see some more improvement from strengthening the correct muscles and keeping a good sitting posture. The only thing I’m avoiding doing at this time is lifting heavy things and bending or twisting at the waist.

I feel blessed that I can do so much. I’m doing so much better than I was in the spring. Thanks to everyone who has kept me in their thoughts and prayers. Take care.

David Frost. “He’s turned his life around. He used to be depressed and miserable. Now he’s miserable and depressed.” [Quotes of the Day]

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