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a kind of setback

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Hello, I guess it has been a long time since I wrote a blog.

I am experiencing a setback of sorts. Being an up and down kind of person with energy levels anyway, and with some health issues, I often struggle with the same few pounds, losing it and doing great and slowly it creeps back up when I wasn't looking because my attention is elsewhere. Consistency here isn't the problem, as my 1,425 day login streak can attest. It's part of my day for a long time to come to Spark, even when I am not up to par.

I don't know exactly when my back went out, it was about 6 months ago I was complaining about waking up in pain, a "crispy back" I would call it. It didn't go away. In October I had a physical and had a muscle knot on the lower right side with an unknown cause. A couple of weeks later I was back to the doctor with increased pain, it had moved into my abdomen on the right and that could be any number of things, I had to get checked out.

December saw me getting a CT scan on abdomen and pelvis, with the bad news that I have a bulging disc and narrowing of vertebrae at L4/L5 which is causing a nerve pinch on my spinal cord and that is why my back and abdomen hurt. Well. I wasn't prepared for that, or the medical bills; on Original Medicare (which is not very good insurance by the way) the scan alone cost me $1,000 out of pocket which I don't exactly have laying around. I'd missed signup for a Medicare Advantage plan by just a couple of days when I got the diagnosis. So because of finances there isn't a lot I can do to get this treated, anything beyond pain killers (NSAIDs at this point) is not really within my budget. Until I can sign up for better insurance for 2022...

I hope I can last that long. Some days are better than others, pain is something new to me at age 46, I found out how grating it can be on mood (and I already have a mood disorder). On the bright side, it isn't causing stenosis yet, I can walk. Half a sit-up causes my abdomen to cry out, so much strenuous exercise isn't happening, but I can still walk without pain. I have to figure out what I CAN do to stay active and remain in minimal pain.

A lot of people have a lot worse things go wrong than this. I'm trying to stay as positive as possible. My next step is to see a specialist and find out what further options are that I can afford, perhaps when another stimulus payment comes around I'll be able to afford that appointment?

In the meanwhile I'll be around here, keeping on Sparking. There is a lot I can still do for myself for proper health. I hope to get out to my State Park this week perhaps to do some winter walking on trails in the snow, and get some pictures of the lake and the woods. That will be fun.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    So sorry you are in so much pain, and it is hard to move anything that doesn't involve the back. Medical treatments besides surgery, such as anti-inflammatory meds or epidural injections can be very effective. Of course all treatment costs a lot, but hopefully not as much as surgery or that scan.
    100 days ago
    Thanks for all the comments on my blog. I plan to look into some of the stuff mentioned, a guided plan would be best if I can afford it, where applicable. I'm hanging in here, some days are worse than others and the last two have been pretty good. Perhaps I can hold out until 2022, time will tell.
    105 days ago
    I hope things get better for you. I have back pain myself and know how discouraging this is.
    106 days ago
    I am so sorry to hear about your pain. It really, really is hard to get anything done, or even be pleasant, when you are dealing with chronic pain. Did they offer any physical therapy? That's often a cheaper approach. Several friends have helped their stenosis, back, and leg pain with Pilates and yoga, though it would be best to have a therapist or a teacher at least when you're starting out.
    Hoping you find relief soon!
    106 days ago
    Hang in there, and keep connecting. Sending prayers and positive energy your way. emoticon you may want to check out alternative/wholistic approaches--yoga, qigong, acupressure, meditation, affirmations, foot and hand massage, while waiting to afford a Western medical treatment. Best of luck to you!

    Blessed Be, Amanda emoticon emoticon emoticon
    106 days ago
    It seems so unfair this medical system of ours. I hope you can manage the pain.
    107 days ago
  • LOF7203
    That's too bad about your medical condition. You might want to try acupuncture or yoga. I have back issues and yoga help me
    107 days ago
  • BONNIE1552
    So sorry for those issues. Yes, the advantage plans are better.
    107 days ago
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