Sciatica: What a Pain in the Ass

The last two weeks have been a pain in my ass. Literally. I woke up two weeks ago to find my left leg completely numb from my buttocks to my toes. It was annoying, but didn’t interfere with my lifestyle of pool parties and drinking, so it wasn’t that big of a deal. Yet.

As the week went on, I started experiencing pain. In my ass. A pain I was familiar with from when I was pregnant. It was definitely my sciatic nerve shooting right through my left butt cheek and down my leg. But this was just the beginning.

I went to my fave, Dr. Bollywood.  He said he would have to give me two shots, one in each butt cheek. I said I was going to need a picture of this to show my friends. That’s when he called the nurse in to administer the injections. They hurt like hell. But I did get some relief. He also sent me on my way with a few scripts. Taking pain meds when actually in pain isn’t nearly as much fun as taking them just for the hell of it.

The numbness was the real problem. I was literally dragging my left leg behind me. When I would get out of the car, I would fall right out. Every time. I can only imagine what people thought when they saw me. Actually, I know exactly what they were thinking. Then I started falling over when standing because the numb leg would just give out. Falling over sober is not nearly as fun as falling over drunk.

I went and had an x-ray and it revealed nothing. Great. The pain was getting worse by the day. I went back to the doctor because a new symptom was developing. It can only be described as some sort of rectal pressure. Awkward! I was numb down there as well. I had to ask my sister-in-law, Volleen, who is a nurse, what the proper terminology was for that body part. She told me anus. Well there was no way I could say that word with a straight face.

My beloved Dr. Bollywood was off, so I had to see another doc. I explained my new symptom and the increased pain. I ended up going with the term “butthole”. He knew what I meant. And apparently it’s a word he uses because his next sentence was, “No good. No. No. Can’t have that. You need feel butthole”. So he wrote me even more prescriptions. One of them was for a steroid with a side effect I didn’t much care for. Increased appetite and weight gain. For the love of God! Not only am I falling over all the time but now I’m going to be fat! This is where I draw the line. Enough is enough.

Here I am in the hospital clearly after the pain meds kicked in.
Here I am in the hospital. Clearly after the pain meds kicked in.

Later that night, the pain got out of control and it was time to go to the ER. Beau took me first thing in the morning and it was quite the scene. It is exactly like you would picture an ER, in the city of Chicago, in the summer, in the early hours of a Saturday morning. So we waited and waited and finally I was called back. The first thing they did was give me a pill and almost immediately I felt some relief. I was even able to lay down. It was incredible.

Next, I went for a CT scan and an x-ray of my stomach. My back hurt, so I was confused as to why they were doing an x-ray of my stomach. Well turns out, since I had taken so many pain killers the doctor suspected I might be constipated. I didn’t feel constipated. But then he showed me the x-ray. Oh Em Gee! I was literally full of shit. It was quite the sight. I’m going to get a copy of that x-ray to hang in my bathroom for inspiration.

The CT scan wasn’t quite as exciting. It revealed two herniated discs that are pinching my sciatic nerve, causing all of my troubles. The next step is an MRI. But in the meantime, the doc sent me home with a new pain killer, valium, miralax, and a stool softener. I am now officially taking all of the same meds as my eighty year-old Aunt Batsy.  So I got that going for me.

I’ve been inundated with texts messages inquiring as to whether my bowels have moved. I am happy to report the laxative worked. Or perhaps it was all the alcohol I drank yesterday at my I’m finally feeling a little bit better pool party. Either way, I’m a new woman. I had to take a break from all the damn pain killers and numb myself the old-fashioned way. With vodka. It worked like a charm. Like it always does.

So now that I’m getting some relief from the meds I’m on, I’ve been able to get a few naps in. But every time I close my eyes, my phone rings. And every time, it’s Aunt Batsy. She starts by saying, now I don’t want to be bothering you, but… She likes to tell me how I’m making her crazy with all these problems. I’m sorry, I know how hard my herniated discs and pinched nerves must be on you. Then she goes on to tell me that she’s going to find her bus pass so that she can come on over here and help me. She’s never actually taken the bus. So at least I don’t have to worry about her really showing up here.

This entire experience has been incredibly painful. I now know what it must have been like for poor Beau right after I had given birth and his back went out. Except for I had just given birth. Beau did not just give birth, to my knowledge. And I did not get an IV of dilaudid. But enough about how woman are stronger than men.

The greatest part of this entire ordeal is that I have once again been reminded of how awesome my family and friends are. Everyone was, and is, here for me. My kids were taken care of the entire time. And everyone is still helping me out. It makes me feel so lucky to have such amazing people in my life who love me. I can’t possibly thank everyone enough. I just hope I’m on the mend soon and can get back to my business as usual.

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