|That's me on the gurney being wheeled|
into the Emergency Room.
Then Tuesday came in...like a wrecking ball, sans Miley.
Everything was pretty much normal. I left the house for work in the morning, ran around town getting information for the nightly broadcast, and everything was going according to plan. Around lunch time, I stopped home to fix something to eat before heading back out to the streets.
Out of nowhere, my back decided I wouldn't return to the streets with the same vim and vigor from the morning. I sat down on our comfy couch, and then sitting turned into a full-on laying down on the couch.
My lower back was extremely unhappy with me. I popped a few ibuprofen and figured I'd be fine once I left the house and got back to work. The pills kind of helped, but I wasn't exactly a happy panda the rest of the day.
Enter Wednesday morning, when I experienced moderate difficulty getting out of bed. I was sore and my back sounded every alarm possible by activating every nerve in my lower back. Oh man, that was not fun.
I managed to get the kids to school, but I was really quite sore. I waited until 10am before I decided I wasn't going to make my 10:30am interview. I cancelled that one and called the station to inform them I wasn't going to make it in. I popped some pain killers and hoped for the best.
The best did not happen.
After laying down for some rest, I arose at noon in search of a bite to eat. Getting out of bed was extremely difficult this time. It was similar to playing a video game on the easy setting the night before and changing the setting to the hardest level.
My back would not let me stand up without a fight. Eventually, I managed to get on my feet with the support of the dresser, but man, was that ever challenging. I returned to the bed for a couple of hours when I arose to Nature's call at 2:30. This time I could not stand up at all.
Try as I might, every attempt to stand was met with excruciating pain; the kind that makes you want to curl up in a little ball and cry for mommy. Yeah, that's what I said. It was awful, and awfully frustrating.
By the end of the struggle, I ended up on the floor, where I remained for the next eight hours until I finally caved and called for an ambulance to transport me to the hospital. It was embarrassing, for sure. I was carried out of my house on a stretcher, placed on a gurney, loaded into the back of the ambulance and carted off to the Commonwealth Healthcare Center.
Two shots, a pill, and nine hours later, I was back in my car with my wife en route to Casa de Ruszala. Standing upright was akin to a Jenga tower missing an awful lot of blocks. Every step was strategically placed so as not to shift my body weight too quickly from one foot to the other.
For the next couple of days, life was rough. I stayed home Wednesday and Thursday, but I needed to get back to work on Friday because I was getting tired of laying around all day. It wasn't easy working while numbed by pain killers, muscle relaxants, and anti-inflammatory pills. It wasn't easy walking around the office, getting in and out of my chair, getting in and out of cars, and between the pain and the pills, it wasn't easy maintaining focus.
Now I'm working a combination of modern and traditional medicine to get better. It's kind of an East meets West approach to recovery. While I'm resting and popping pills, I'm also receiving acupuncture treatments. We're talking needles, suction cups, electric muscle stimulation; the works.
I'm still feeling the pain and it's still pretty intense at times, but I'm learning to deal with it. I think I've almost got the step-by-step body positioning to get me in and out of bed with only mild to moderate pain.
That's a start.
I've missed a couple of great days for running and biking because of this, but I think it's what I needed. It's kind of along the lines of, "You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone." In the meantime, I'm eating healthy to help keep the weight down, but I have snuck in a couple of treats along the way (ice cream, baby!).
My appetite has been much smaller than usual. I'm sure that the pain is part of the equation, but the pills I'm popping have to be the main source of my hunger games.
I won't be in the weight room anytime soon, but the acupuncture doc said I should be feeling better in about a week. In the meantime, I'll head to the gym on Monday for a step on my nemesis, the ol' scale, to see how negatively the lack of activity has affected my progress.