(While this is the same injury as mine, this picture is not my MRI.)
In the interest of full disclosure, the MRI of my lower spine reads like this:
1. At the level of the L4-L5, there is a large left paracentral disk
herniation measuring 8 mm in anteroposterior dimension x 12 mm in
transverse dimension x 12 mm in craniocaudal dimension, causing sever
left lateral recess narrowing, impingement on the left L5 nerve root.
There is no evidence of left nerual foraminal narrowing. Mild to
moderate canal stenosis is also seen. The right neural foramen is
normal. Mild bilateral hypertrophic facet degenerative changes are
2. At the level of L5-S1, the disk is desiccated, with a 3 mm right
paracentral focal disk protrusion, causing no signifigant neural
foraminal narrowing or canal stenosis. There is a focus of high T2
intensity zone within this focal disk protrusion, consistent with
Also in the interest of full disclosure, while there was a chain of events leading to the actual break, the incident that sidelined me happened when I bent over to pick up a pencil. I’d love to say it was the landing of 720 McTwist on my snowboard (that I will never get to ride again) or while doing a back drop in belly dance, but no. Fate afforded me not one amazing tale to boast with. There was simply a pencil on the floor.
I had the MRI on 2.2.10 and had been struggling with it for a half a year prior. With terrible math skills I deduce that for 2 and a half years I’ve been struggling with the long slow process of recovery from injury.
Treatments have included, very angry Thia women walking on my back, all the acupuncture needles possibly in the world, cracking bones at the chiropractor, Pilates, heating pads, pills, needles with electric volts, needles with motrin injected into my spine, ballet and dance to stay active and secure and strengthen my core.
It has been a long and painful uphill battle but I’ve made it through to the top of the hill and I never had surgery. I was determined. I never stopped staying active. I never took more then 3 days off. For 2 years even on the worst days I’d make myself walk 15 minutes a day to (
prove to myself I still could walk) make sure the muscles didn’t petrify.
Yet, no matter what I did, I could not get rid of the shooting pains in my leg. They started at the top of the hip and collected in what felt like the center of my calf muscle. I would just grab my calf and hold it, squeezing it so hard until my hand cramped and let go. That effort only proved to be a momentary suspension on pain.
Then in December of this year I went to Grenada for 11 days. 11. I sat in the sun drinking beer and pina colada’s. Sure on occasion I went for a float in the warm water but more often than not I’d turn to my friend and we would complain about how much our butt’s hurt from sitting and sleeping. We decided the best remedy was to shift our butts to another angle. This worked out well.
Whatever the magical formula was, whatever it could be, all I know is when I rose from my lounge chair after the 11 days. 11. The pain in my calf was gone. It totally paid off. I have my limitations, I have to be careful and avoid certain actions but I dance now 6 days a week, compete in ball room events, do Pilates 3 times a week and the only thing that is sore after that are my feet.
So dear readers, to whomever is reading this, when I offer the advice of staying home, taking a break, having a beer and doing nothing it is because, for me, that is the final phase in the cure of finding your way back to a healthy life.