Recently I spoke about not being able to or rather just not participating in the Shamrock Run as I mentioned way earlier that I would be doing in an effort of bringing exercise back into my life more regularly. I wanted to take a few moments and write why that was. You see, I went out to the Shamrock Run’s website and thought very seriously about whether I should sign up for the event as one of the last 500 people they would let in at this late date. I felt like I owed it to myself to do it as I had said I would but was torn because I knew that I would likely not be able to finish it. I knew the cause was a good one and the entrance fee, although now $90 for slackers like me was not prohibitive. I just physically would not have been able to complete much of the walk which happens to be 3.1 miles long.
As you can I had a lot of conflicting thoughts running through my head at the time as evidenced by the random thoughts that spewed forth in the last paragraph. On with our story. Several months ago while my wife was away in Canada I started to experience some light numbness in my left leg. This immediately freaked me out because I went through a similar thing about 7 years ago that ended with my right leg’s sciatic nerve being damaged somewhat. The surface of my right leg above the sciatic nerve is numb running from my right buttock down the back of my leg, behind my knee, my Achilles tendon and the right side of my foot. You can see why I panicked.
I immediately set up an appointment with my PCP (Primary Care Physician) to see what was going on. After a 10 day wait I was able to get in to see my doctor during which time the numbness was joined by pain and lots of it. He ran me through a series of movement all the while asking question about pain and range of motion. Afterwards he thought that what was happening was my nerves were being pinched by the piriformis muscle and that was causing the numbness and pain. He prescribed some pain meds that would also help me sleep as well as some stretches that should stretch out my hamstrings and with any luck, make all this go away.
After 4 weeks of this the pain got progressively worse until it culminated in my making a same day appointment to see any doctor to help with the pain which was registering at 11 now. He too put me through an exam and berage of questions after which immediately recommended and MRI.
One MRI and consultation with my PCP later it was revealed that several discs in my back have some issues that are applying pressure to the nerves which are causing the numbness and tingling sensation along with the pain. I am now scheduled to see a neurosurgeon to go over what my options are in terms of treatment. This might be anything from physical therapy to surgery. I am hopeful it wont come to that. Needless to say that I have been a little on edge lately. Not to mention feeling a little sorry for myself.
For this reason I had decided to not do the Shamrock Run (walk for me) this year because I would likely not been able to finish even half the event before I had to stop. there is also the prospect of doing more harm the help by undertaking something like this and forcing myself to complete it. With all these options before me I decided to err on the side of caution.
Recently the pain has subsided some and I actually slept for 5 hours straight last night for the first time in months. I also did it without the aid of ibuprofen or anything stronger. Boo-ya. The reduction in pain I am experiencing has roughly correlated with me not doing the stretches. It may be coincidence but I am not willing to spit in the eye of good fortune and temp fate at the same time. For the time being and until I am told otherwise I will only get on my inversion table for my 5 minute daily hanging routine.
So, this is what I have been dealing with the past 2+ months. I am convinced more than ever now to document what I experience during this process. To me this is cathartic and by sharing this maybe some other people who have gone through this or maybe are going through this now will open up and share their experiences.
More to come…