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Monday, May 21, 2012

Spondylolisthesis (May 21, 2012)

Last night was kind of rough.  I woke up with pain and had to take meds to get back to sleep.  You know how everything seems worse in the middle of the night?  I became worried that I am getting worse.

I did some reading today about spondylolisthesis, which is the most acute problem I have in my back (I do not remember if I have grade 3 or 4, but it is more than 2).  I thought I had read up on this, but I guess I had it in my mind my problem is stenosis and that is what I have read about.  I do have some stenosis, but I remember the doctor telling me the “spondy” (don’t want to keep typing that big word) was what they would treat if they did surgery, since it was my most severe problem.  After reading about it, it makes more sense.  It definitely goes along with my symptoms.

If my sisters are reading this and I am wrong, please correct me.  But I remember my mother telling me the doctor said I had been born with a form of spina bifida (my backbone barely grew together).  This could be where the spondy came from (or at least predisposed me to it).  Spondy can also cause all the pinched nerve and sciatica symptoms I have.  But the weakness I feel in my hips and thighs is definitely one of the symptoms associated with it.

Fortunately, spondy does respond to weight loss.  It may not fix it, but it will certainly help.  My doctor seemed pretty positive that it would.  I just hope my body will hold on a little longer while I get some more weight off.  I am starting to hurt more, just sitting in a chair.  (I do not, however, hurt when I ride my bike, thank the Lord.)

I wish I knew what position it is best to sleep in.  I seem to do better when I sleep in my recliner, but sometimes that bothers my neck (which I had surgery on almost a year ago).  I just have to make sure I am sitting up high enough where I am not resting on my elbows and jamming my neck into my collarbone.  I am going to try a little more elevation in my bed tonight and see how I do with that.

I am also going to get back to doing my physical therapy exercises and work on strengthening my core.  I have to be careful not to overdo, but I feel confident those exercises will be okay for me.  Twisting is definitely something I should not do.  It will set off a bad flare-up in a couple of minutes.  The recumbent bike also helps with my core.

One good thing about pain is it is a good motivator.  Getting this weight off is my biggest hope to feeling better.

I would appreciate your prayers.  I am ready for my life not to be so consumed with pain.  I know it is going to get better.  I am just going to keep plugging along with what I have been doing, knowing it will help me more than anything.

By the way, I have already done 5 workouts toward my goal of 10 for the week.  And it is only Monday!  (My week starts on Saturday.)  I am feeling a difference in my fitness level -- the workouts are getting easier.  That means I need to increase intensity, but I think I will enjoy it a day or so first.  :)

Update:

I drove home from work after I posted the above and I felt compelled to add this.  Despite my struggles with pain right now, as I was driving along, I felt such a peace and contentment.  It is because of the positive steps I am taking to take care of myself.  Exercise is the best antidepressant I have ever had (and I had to be on them for a time earlier in my life).  I want to bottle this feeling and take it out and use it when I forget.  I am so glad I am on a positive track in my life.  I truly believe I will get better.  The pain I am enduring is only for a time.  I know it.

Now I am going to go enjoy my dinner, including some beautiful, ripe strawberries I picked up at the store.  Yum!

Blessings to you.

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