Monday, July 26, 2010

The One Where I Complain A Lot With All The Complaining

My back is killing me right now.  Literally killing me - like, I'm making final arrangements.  I have a notoriously messed up back, partly due to genetics (thanks Mom!) and partly because I did Texas Gymnastics for much of my childhood.  Why do I say Texas Gymnastics? Because this kind of gymnastics wasn't Gymboree.  It was like Texas Cheerleading or Texas Football: BIG.  In Texas, you go big or you go home.  I have distinct memories of being in some kind of splits-like stretch on the floor and the coach would come up and put all of his weight on my back so I would go all the way to the floor.  Like, forehead touching industrial carpeting.  They did this to all of us, one after the other.  I told a doctor about this once and I thought he was goin to call up that gym just to yell and scream at someone for THE PAIN and THE ABUSE and THE CARELESSNESS!  And I was all, "dude, just fix my back, then we can work on fixing Texas, mmkay?"

Late last year, I hurt my lower back.  Bad.  Lie in a prone position and contemplate death kind of bad.  It happened at work (damn wily 2 year olds) so the workers comp paperwork made it even more fun.  This current pain is in my upper back and is not related to any specific injury that I can remember other than the fact that I am a complete klutz.  I walk into things that other people would have to search out to injure themsevles on.  So this new and painful pain has driven me to see my massage therapist twice and the non-force chiropractor once.  Finally it has come down to GIVE ME THE DRUGS AND NO ONE LOSES AND EYE!  My friend asked if I had ever done accupuncture and I said that yes, I had before for headaches and depression and that it had worked well.  She was too freaked out by the needle idea to give it a go.  This is all a really roundabout way to get to some stories about needles and my back. 

I suffered with migraines for years and they have only begun to disappear in the last year or so.  The height of these migraines, when they were worst and closest together, was also the height of the West Nile Virus craze.  It was the swine flu of 2002.  That year also happened to be the year that I spent 2 weeks in Costa Rica after High School graduation.  I highly recommend not mentioning migraines and Costa Rica in the smae sentence to a doctor unless you are really in the mood for a CT Scan or MRI or both.  After one CT scan showed slight swelling in my brain (which was later found to be incorrect and the diagnosis was actually Hypochondriac Aged Doctor With Bad Eyesight, or HADWBE.) I was sent for a spinal tap to check for "The West Nile".  I want you to let those words sink in.  SPINAL. TAP. Now, I'm not afraid of needles at all. Stick me, draw blood, give me an IV, no problem.  But I am kinda protective of my spine.  There is just some biological urge to run screaming from the room at the very mention of taking fluid from around the spinal cord.  I don't like those words, spinal cord.  They give me the shivers just typing them.  At this point, I was on a hospital bed totally freaking out.  Losing My Shit.  I was begging the doctor to "please just give me a sedative" and he kept saying "after I'm done".  After you're done? Thanks Dr. Backwards but usually the anesthetic comes before the surgery.  There's less annoying screaming that way.  I got through the spinal tap, otherwise known as one of the most awkward feelings ever.  It's not a particularly painful procedure, but highly strange.  Feeling the pressure of a large gauge needel in you back isn't pleasant at all.  I have also had epidural injections of steroids to fix some back issues, but they are nothing compared to a spinal tap.  The epidural injections don't actually puncture (yeesh, that word) the spinal sac (dry heave) but rather put fluid around the sac.  That makes all the difference in the world.

So, now you know that you can't freak me out with needles.  Although one college professor managed to freak me out a bit with a story about a darning needle in an eye.  I will share that story at some point unless 1. I discover some HIPPAA regulations preventing me from doing so, or 2. you leave me a comment saying please, god, no darning needle in the eye stories.  

1 comments to blog for:

kla_texasgirl said...

If you share you're darning needle story, I'll raise you a pencil story that happened in a family friends HS classroom!