Sunday, July 10, 2011

Pain in the back

I've got a few big projects I'm raring to get done before the baby is born, but instead of working this weekend I've been laying around on a heating pad. The chronic back pain has flared up again and it can render me useless for shortperiods of time.

Little-known fact about me: I was born with a birth defect in my back known as spondylolisthesis, which basically is a slippage of the spine. Essentially I don't have a fully continuous spinal column as there is some separation down in my lower back. I've seen the X-ray and it's something between the Grade 2 and the Grade 3 version in the right.

The condition puts a lot of pressure on my spine at times and in turn causes a great deal of pain, so I've learned to be careful. Once it was discovered on a fluke X-ray while I was in high school, I wasn't allowed to play sports that had decent amounts of contact for fear that it would make the slippage even worse - thus the end of my glorious multi-billion-dollar sports career before it even started.

If you've ever seen me walking like an old geezer around campus, now you know why - I'm probably dealing with the latest flareup. The pain at times can be excruciating and the hardest thing for me actually is to sit in meetings because it usually involves an uncomfortable chair. And some of my favorite restaurants here Do. Not. Help. I'm looking at you, Sal's.

Lately I've been getting the flareups more which may or may not be a sign it's getting worse. The doctors told me there are things that can be done to alleviate the pain but some of them are fairly risky. But with things the way they've been I've been thinking more about looking at fix options. I don't want to risk a treatment that leads to paralysis just as a baby is coming into our lives, but I don't want to be grounded when my wife is going to need me to step up around here.

For now the medicine is rest and heat, which seems to do the trick after a couple days. I've been dealing with this off and on for a few months now, though, so it may be time to see a specialist. I know one thing they'll tell me, which is that I need to lose a little bit of weight in my waist area (and they're right, it's something that is up and down for me). Part of me wonders whether I should try weight dropping and then go in, but whatever the case I probably don't want to let this continue for much longer.

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Post #25 in my 90-in-90 blog challenge. Blog with us and join the fun. I'll be blogging both here and on my professional blog for the challenge. For more about the 90/90 challenge, read about my call for participants. The blogs participating are on the list at the right, or follow us on the #LUBlogTribe hashtag on Twitter

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