Back in the hospital

**This was written in advance. Comment approval and reply will be delayed***

piriformis

Due to the joys of the American medical system, my herniated disc compressed the sciatic nerve for around five months to the point where it was so irritated I couldn’t walk unassisted until I finally got back surgery in late 2006. Ever since then, though, the nerve is easily irritated. I have had searing pain through my butt and hip on and off. This was actually piriformis syndrome, but was misdiagnosed as bursitis. It would be treated with ultrasound therapy and NSAIDs like Ibuprofen and would subside.

However, in 2013 after I tore a second disc in my back, I began to make a commitment to physical fitness. In four and a half months I went from zero fitness to one and a half hours at the gym five days a week. I had a trainer, I was up to take classes, my core was strong and taking over the work for my damaged back.

Then the searing pain returned along with sciatic pain. My doctor used an ultrasound to image the area and said that what was actually inflamed was my piriformis. As the piriformis sits next to the sciatic nerve, inflammation results in a compressed nerve and the accompanying sciatic nerve pain.  We did an injection with an anti-inflammatory steroid. I returned to physical therapy, I took it down a notch at the gym, lowering the resistance of my cardio machines and avoided any cardio with impact (such as the treadmill). Things were okay until I was cleared to take it up a notch. I ended up back in pain and with another injection.  Then I tore my knee, which resulted in rehab and no gym time.

Again, I was cleared for the gym and again I found that regular training at the level that resulted in a strong core (which means no back pain) and other health benefits triggered the piriformis syndrome.

Last March, I received a botox injection in the piriformis–the idea being that you paralyze the muscle to prevent inflammation and compression of the nerve.

Did it work? Well, we don’t know–about a month later I became critically ill and that recovery took over everything.

What we do know is that once again, I was cleared for the gym and once again I had pain. I received an other steroid injection in the muscle right before we left for Hawaii, and it was only effective for 10 days.

Today I entered the hospital for a repeat of the botox injection to see if it works. If it doesn’t, I need to contemplate surgery or treatments that make the sciatic nerve much less sensitive–but both carry risks.

In short, I have a literal pain in my ass that I can’t get rid of.

Send get well soon vibes, and enjoy the photos from Maui that I’ve scheduled for this coming Wednesday. I’m trying to return to regular posting, but a delay means that I am in pain and not out of the hospital or on pain meds that make it difficult to focus enough to write.  Last year I was in and out of the hospital for two weeks post injection (you’re putting a bunch of fluid into a tiny space and irritating both the muscle and the nerve until it is fully absorbed and they calm).

Comments are closed because while I love you, I don’t want your medical advice.

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