On Monday morning I woke up feeling a bit achy and sore, mainly in my lower back. I didn't think too much of it because sometimes I lift something a little too heavy or wear the wrong pair of shoes and it can lead to slight back pain. But within a few hours, the pain had spread throughout my back, was starting to feel more like intense cramps (not right "timing") and even my legs were feeling strangely sore. Mind you, I hadn't run in a week at this point due to my necessary half-marathon recovery and then promptly getting some kind of flu last week.
By mid-afternoon on Monday, I was having difficulty sitting in my work chair because of the pain but managed to stay at work, and keep on a brave smile, until around 4:50. On the drive home, the pain intensified and I wasn't sure I'd make it home okay. I let out the dogs and then promptly went upstairs and took a hot bath. It didn't help much and around 6:30, I was laying on my bedroom floor in child's pose hoping for some relief and starting to cry because of the fear and pain. I texted and called Keith multiple times but unfortunately he had his phone off. I finally decided to call his office phone line and as soon as I got through to him, started sobbing and asked him to come home.
He left his office within minutes, then called our local urgent care doctor and told them all my symptoms (some of which I won't share for privacy sake). The doctor immediately said I needed to go to the ER because they were concerned I could be having kidney failure or internal bleeding and urgent care isn't equipped to test for that. Clearly I didn't have either of those serious conditions, otherwise I'd probably still be in the hospital and not able to write this post. But as this was my first ER experience, I thought I'd share as my non-fun "brave act" of November.
The ER nurse poked me with four different needles ("hiding vein" issues) and took five vials of blood to run one of the many tests they did that night. I hadn't eaten dinner, and they wouldn't allow me to eat until everything was tested, so by the time we left very very late into the evening, I was pretty dizzy and nauseas. I had to lay in one of those hospital gowns for hours with Keith alongside me while nurses came in and out along with a doctor who pushed on painful spots in my back and asked non-stop questions. I was surprised that we got into a room immediately and the nurses and doctors were very personable, even while poking me and jabbing me with more needles.
Finally, hours after arriving, all my tests came back fine. The doctor said it was probably a combination of a few things going on, but mainly, I somehow severely strained my back, tore some muscles and was having intense back spasms. I was very relieved it was nothing more serious, and though typically I drag out going to doctors for as long as possible, I am happy I went for that sense of relief. I'm also very grateful to Keith for taking off work early to be there with me and take care of me. The scary/crazy thing is I have no idea what I did to cause this injury. I have a bad tendency to lift heavy things on my own, don't always wear the best shoes, and could probably work on my posture but to be in this much pain, you'd think I'd been in a bad car accident or something.
I'm on several different pain meds and muscle relaxants now, was told to stay in bed for the two days, am not supposed to run again until fully healed, and can't lift anything heavier than 10 lbs. I'm definitely disappointed and frustrated. In the past three months I've wound up at the doctor for a migraine attack, hurt ankle that was giving me a limp, chest congestion from a cold that refused to go away for five weeks (and severely messed up my running), and now this. I'm feeling pretty old and beaten up these days, even at only 28. And the funny thing is, I'm not one to normally go to doctors. I typically push through any illness or pain and rarely miss work, but these past few months, I've seen far more doctors than I have in probably the past ten years.
Next week I'm going to go back in to see my primary care doctor and find out what I can do to strengthen my back and hopefully prevent something like this happening again. I'm trying to just focus on the healing process and not worry so much about all the training I'm missing out on. With this string of poor health, perhaps I should also visit some kind of juju doctor. Goodness knows I could use some good juju right about now.
p.s. Please forgive any typos in today's post. Pain meds make your brain a bit fuzzy so I'm not 100% sure everything is spelt properly or even if it all makes sense. And thanks for sending any good karma my way this week. I can always use that too.