Yesterday I finally received a call from my doctor's office, and learned the results of the MRI. Astonished, I could hardly believe that the ONLY problem in my back was "arthritis" in my lower left spinal area (where I'd been hurting). IF this is pain from arthritis alone, I'm in for a long, hard lifetime of suffering. I just cannot believe that is the ONLY thing wrong, although I doubt that a strained muscle would show on an MRI.
I was assured by the nurse that there were no dislocated discs. Which temporarily made me feel better, but then...I began to realize that the excruciating pain I have been having might be here to stay, if not all the time, at least off and on. The hurt has lessened, particularly when we turned our "memory foam" mattress over and started sleeping on the hard underside surface. Still, if I turn a certain way, bend the wrong way, I have a sharp, piercing pain shoot along my waist and down my left hip. Then it aches for an hour or so.
I've been taking prescription anti-inflammatory medication, and it DOES help a great deal. Yet it is the very same medication that is in a mild OTC form and which lately has been linked to heart attacks. Damned if I do, damned if I don't.
I was depressed most of yesterday afternoon, worrying that I'll have to suffer with this the rest of my life -- and that will be difficult to endure. I think I may get the MRI results from the doctor, and see a chriopractor, or orthopedic specialist. If nothing else, maybe I can find some relief with their treatment.
Of course, my paternal grandmother had arthritis too, and lived to be 92. However, I sure have found fresh respect for her suffering. She always complained with the pain, had terrible knee trouble, but most people just dismiss arthritis as "part of aging."
I did a lot of research on arthritis online today, and found out what I already knew: there's not much that can be done for it. Oh sure, you read of "new" treatments, and just today I read that some researchers in Australia have found the enzyme responsible for eroding cartilege in arthritis sufferers (in mice, that is). Whether they can isolate and treat this in humans remains to be seen. I don't have high hopes!
The doctor was more alarmed by my bone density results, that I have bone loss, and called in a perscription for something similar to Fosamax. I haven't picked it up yet, but I'll probably try it. It's taken once a week only, yet seems to irritate the stomach -- and I already have acid reflux. Also I'm supposed to take 500 mg of calcium THREE times a day too.
I know that aging is to be expected, and that the aches/pains come along with the territory. I must have a low threshold for pain though, because I find that I HATE physical suffering; I had too much of that in my early 20s, and I certainly would NOT be here today had it not been treated and stopped.
Since the news of Terri Schiavo and her death today, I suppose we all wonder if we'd want to be kept alive in such a brain-dead state. I would NOT, and DH and I long ago made out Living Wills, had them notorized. When DH was having the heart attack, one of the questions they asked me is if he had a Living Will. Neither of us would want to be kept alive by such drastic measures, we discussed it early in our marriage. I think everyone should have a Living Will, then there will not be the media circus, parental interference, religious zealots, political posturing, etc that went on with that poor woman!
One other lesson from that situation: If you plan to commit suicide, you'd better do your homework/research and make SURE you know exactly HOW to do it right. Otherwise you might end up in a similar brain-dead state, being kept alive for years.
It's now morning, and we're having another rainy day. No storms yet, just a steady drizzle. The bright, vibrant green everywhere is dazzling; spring is definitely here to stay!
I have to get some prescriptions filled today, but other than that, I will be able to stay indoors. I also want to finish painting the new door we put between the living room and hallway, so we can shut off that room.
My back was killing me when I woke up this morning, but when I took the anti-inflammatory pill, it got better. I guess I just don't have the "Christian" attitude that physical suffering is good. I have noticed, of course, that a lot of "Christians" and others who think physical suffering should just be endured in silence haven't actually SUFFERED much themselves. It's a whole other ballgame when it is YOU doing the suffering.
And that's it for now.