I'm a liberal pagan living in West,Texas..yes that West,Texas

Friday, July 11, 2008


That's what this last back pain scare gave me..Fucking freaked me out. Seriously folks..it scared the shit out of me. I just knew I had really fucked it up and I was in for either another operation or major pain for the rest of my life. Because it was exactly like it was before my last operation. I even resorted to pain meds. and trust me, with my allergies to pain meds, it's not something I do easily. I am allergic to Demerol, dilaudid, morphine, codeine, percodine, and talwin.
When I say I'm allergic I mean that my throat closes up from swelling and I can't breath. My hands, feet and face swell up also. Plus I itch so bad I think I'll go crazy. Which means if I have major pain, I either take not enough and it doesn't do anything for the pain, or I take enough for the pain and worry about it shutting down my windpipe. Nice choice. Thank the Goddess for Babs who still had some darvocet from her cat bite episode. I took one 3 all together and then I discovered the heating pad, another idea from Babs. I think I was in such a panic, and not trying to show it that I just wasn't thinking, because these are all things I know. So have been sitting on the heating pad so much that I'm sure my ass looks like a bratwurst. But it works..I have taken all of the week off, and with the weekend off too, I will have 6 days of straight R&R and that seems to be helping. It still hurts but not like it did..I went out yesterday and walked to the garbage and mail box, went to library and Food Mart. By the time I got back I had to call Babs to come bring in my groceries. I knew I couldn't lift them with out more pain as I was already feeling the pull, pain and tug in my right butt cheek. Just carrying 3 library books and my purse was causing pain.
In case some of you don't know the origin of my back problems, in 1994 I worked at Hastings Book Store as the Book Department Manager. It was a new store and as manager I was responsible for the placement of each book section and each and every book. Setting up the book cases, end caps, promotions, waterfalls, etc. It was hard and strenuous work. But I loved it..It was my book department, form the front to the back magazine sections. After the store opened I was working late to organize and pick up the department when I stood on my tiptoes to put a book on the top of a 6 foot bookcase. I felt a 'pop' and tug in my right butt cheek..I actually heard the 'pop'...I sort of walked around and it didn't hurt any more so didn't think any more about it. Got up the next morning to go to work and fell right on my face. The pain was horrible. I had to work for 4 days with horrible pain because they kept stalling me about letting me go ..there was a big 'inspection' and they wanted me there for my department. It was getting worse and worse. Finally after almost 6 months or better I had my first operation. They said it was done, I was fine, do a little rehab, go back to work. I was still in pain, and ended up having a second operation in less than 6 months. More pain, more pills, different, stronger, and more, more more..It was the worse time of my life and I've had some bad times. Finally after nearly a year or better they sent me to the Back Institute of Texas in Plano, where I had one of the best back surgeons take me on. He's the one that discovered that the problem wasn't the deteriorating disc like the other Doctor's thought, it was the pinched sciatic nerve. When I had stood on my tiptoes, my spine had rocked forward, and when I stood back down my spine closed on the nerve..So the last operation was to remove the pinched nerve and then build a cage around my spine, going in front and flipping me over and going in the back. Which is what they did. Seven hours later they were done. Except my spine was so weak and had deteriorated so badly they couldn't find places to put the screws in to hold the cage. But basically that's it.. It took years of pain pills, antidepressants, muscle relaxers, therapy and my becoming addicted to the pain pills for me to finally just decide that I didn't want to live like that any more..So I started weaning myself off the pain pills, from about 30 a day to none..Cold turkey. I did it a pill at a time over about 6 months. Which is why, when I hurt my back again I freaked out ..
What I have learned, hopefully, is that I am a 64 year old woman with severe back problems and there are just certain things that I can't do any more..Case closed. Because I can tell you right now, there will be no more operations, no more pain pills and if I go back to work and it starts to hurt again, I will have to give the job up..Then I will be able to spend more time blogging about what an asswipe George W. Bush is and what a colossal mistake it would be for our country for anyone to vote for John "I was tortured, but it's ok to do it to anyone else" McCain.
I had to do this in shifts so I wouldn't spend so much time on the computer. Between Babs, Shady Lane, and Unokhan who have made it their job to stay on my ass about resting and taking care of myself, I am feeling much better, but still plan on continuing the program of resting and relaxing over the weekend..So someone go out and play for me..Kay?
fuckme till my spine rocks.


old enough to moan said...

Keep it rested and know your limitations; but even I don't heed my own advice sometimes, lol

Take Care Jackie

Nan said...

How does your body respond to muscle relaxants? When I messed up my back a couple years ago the doctor I had then said the pain becomes a feedback loop -- you're in pain, so you tense up. Because you're tense, you end up with secondary pain from the rigid muscles. The tense muscles end up inflammed. More pain, on and on in an endless loop. The muscle relaxants help break that loop.

Jan said...

I was going to write pretty much what Nan did. Pain makes us tense and the tension creates more pain. Muscle relaxants and biofeedback helped a friend who had similar problems to yours.

Take care. We love you.

Anne Johnson said...

I have alerted the bored goddess of back pain. She is on your case, and glad for the assignment. She says to rest until she guides you back into the sunshine.

Mouthy Girl said...

JACKIE. What in the hell?

I will not lecture you. Rather, I will resort to threats:
If you do not take this seriously, I will send Richie down there to pack your shit up and move you UP HERE. We do not have kolaches here. We have rednecks. Who eat a ton of fried food.

I will not come to get you. I will not allow Buddha to make the trip. I will torture you with a trip from TX to VA with my husband. That will be punishment enough. Har!

sageweb said...

Great post, I really hope you feel better so soon. If you want you can come to CA and I will take care of you. And my dog Homer.

texlahoma said...

Sorry to hear about your back, ouch!
Take it easy, give your body time to heal.

Rox said...

When you said you heard a "pop" I instantly thought it was your sciatic. Damn. I should have gone to med school.

Ice and heat and rest. It's all you can do.

billy pilgrim said...

ever hear of the "alexander technique"?

the central theme of the alexander technique is correct spinal alignment. practitioners claim it works miracles with back problems. it's worth a google.

Goat Yoda said...

Oh man, I do know how you feel! I've discovered a way to pop my back out again when it goes into spasm- and it does when the barometric pressure drops due to a front coming in. My Lumbar area siezes and the sciatic nerve screams, not to mention feeling the pinch of disks moving between vertebrae.

Lay down on the bed with your legs out straight then flex your feet as far out as you can like if you were in traction, heels as far down as they can go, toes up. Lay there a bit till you feel the spine shift a little and then lean into the pain. The thing should pop back out or you can get it relaxed enough so if you twist your upper and lower body in a semi-yoga sort of move it will go back in on its' own.

good luck and feel better!

tsduff said...

I get freaked out too when the back pain thing happens. I have an extra vertabrae (thanks Dad) and bulging disks courtesy of my genes... I threw away all the muscle relaxers and pain meds because they make me feel worse than the pain. Hot packs and ice... and rest. Hells belles... when G and I come down to Texas we can't wait to stop in and see you because you are such a kick.

Sling said...

Damm girl!..
I didn't see Vicodin on your list of allergic meds.

Anonymous said...

oh darlin' I feel your pain! I had sciatica once that lasted for ONE YEAR! Seriously, I just lived with intense shooting pain every day for a little over a year. Horrible. Awful. One year I would never do over again.

Gadfly said...


Please take it easy.

You're supposed to be all capable and ambulatory for when I come down for Westfest :o)


oetm:I am really working at learning my limitations..but it's hard...
nan:i have such strong reactions to drugs, that Im not sure how I would relax to muscle relaxers...might put me into a coma..ha
Jan:if it's not back to normal by monday i will go by dr E's and get a muscle relaxer and see if that helps..thanks sweety, I love you all too..
anne:ahh, nothing ever drags me out of the sunshine...at least not for long..
buddha:holy shit..im on the mend...im on the mend..ha
sage:bring homer and come here..i've done the calif trip many times and always come back to texas..we have dublin dr. pepper here..
tex:thanks sweety, I am resting and sitting on heating pad..think i will do some ice packs tomorrow..
rox:yup, ice and heat..ice and heat..
billy:all i could find was places to do it, but didnt find anything that told me what it was..will keep googling..thanks for the info..
gy:my back isn't spasming, or need to be popped out..it's just an aggravated nerve and since i have a narrowing of the spine at l-7, all i can do is keep putting ice and heat on it..
tsduff:come on down, come for westfest..it's loads of fun...check out westfest.com and see what it's all about..
sling:yup allergic to it too, just forgot to add it..and can't even be in the same room as that other shit they came up with..took one and was fucked up for 9 days..
cheerful retard:i had it for 7 years...couldn't even sit down to go pee with out screaming in pain..nasty stuff..
gaddy:i promise, come down for westfest and i'll be more than ready to show you the town...

Nit Wit said...

I used to throw my lower back out all the time until I had my neck fused. It seemed to stabilize everything for a while. I used to wear one of those elastic waistband things while I worked and it helped for quite a while. Then one day my back went out worse than ever before. I couldn't stand to have the pressure on my back from the supporter after that. The doctor told me he thought I had worn the thing so much that I weakened my back. I used a heating pad all the time when mine went out until I fell asleep with it on high and burned my back. I had a big red spot on my back for more than a year. Didn't use it so much after that.
I hate taking pain pills. Mostly they go down the crapper. Pain Pills are a large part of the problem we're having with my oldest daughter right now. That and the fact that she has a great talent for picking assholes to be the father's of my grandkids.
You better take it easy and heal up so you can keep doing interesting things to blog about.
I'm gonna try to do more before I get bipped but today I have to take number one son to Pittsburg and move him into his dorm. His classes at the Art Institute start on Monday morning. Take care and get better.

Nan said...

Muscle relaxants might knock you out, but they're a different class of drugs from most pain killers so shouldn't trigger the same type of allergic reactions.

Good luck.

unokhan said...

the road to recovery aint on the road

Raspootin said...

I was sitting here reading your blog and thinking my back kinda hurt. After reading your story, my back miraculously felt better.

I really feel for you. Back pain is the worst bar none. Worse than tooth or ear aches.

Rest up, but do not allow yourself to become paranoid of moving around. Do you wear a back support during the day? That might be of help mentally and medicinally.

Anonymous said...

awww Jackie - I had no idea :( So sorry to hear - hope you get to take as much time as you need to recoop. Heavy lifting is a bitch if we don't do it right, hell it's a bitch anyway ;)

Take care of yourself. I'm glad you have a lot of people around you to help :)

Nan said...

A clarification:

"knock you out" = sound sleep, not a coma.

Anonymous said...

Been there done that.
It is amazing how much pain such a small body part can cause.
Take it one day at a time, don't put any pressure on your back, and let it heal itself.
I find that drinking lots of water also helps.
I never did the surgery thing, so I really don't know what your situation is like. It looks like some of your doctors don't know too much either.


nitwit:ohh, #1 son is going off...well,at least it's just to school and not to war..
i just have to keep reminding myself, that im not 25 years old any more..not even 60 damnit..ha..need to act my age..and so far, im not..
nan:I took anti-depressents, said take one 3 times a day..took one...was out for 18 hours..took muscle relaxer, said take as needed...was out for 18 hours..i did too many drugs in the 60's..nw every thing is 'too much'...
raspootin;nah, can't wear those back brace things..it's not the bending, it's the stretching..and they won't let me tote anything heavy so that's not a problem..
glad your back's better, ha..
tina:babs has been terrific...'cept when nascar's on and i'd have to be bleeding out of the ears to get her away from the tv.hahahahaha
nan:yup,....i like coma's...they have their appeal...ha

Elizabeth said...

Oh honey, I am sooo sorry. I wish I could come over and give you a back rub. That's the frustrating thing about cyber friends; you can't bring soup and flowers to help out. Sending good wishes anyway. xoxo

Robin said...

Wow!Ouch. Other than that...you rock!

I had to check out your blog, love your posts on Travis' site (we might be neighbors?!) You are too funny and I really want to be you when I grow up (I'm 40 and still not a grown up..check out my blog if you don't believe me!)

I thought about starting an "assertiveness training class for southern women" to move us out of passive/agressive behavior. You're the honorary dean of admissions!

Keep it up...your amazing! (obviously deep gene pool, you're granddaughters are beautiful!)

Josh said...

Oh shit, sorry to hear about that. Pinched sciatic nerves are the devil.

LostInColor said...

Hope your back gets to feeling better.


elizabeth:yup, but those internet 'feel better' are really healing..
thanks so much..
robin:you call it assertiveness training classes...I call it 'asshole lessons'...hacome on back...we have fun here..and like your blog so will be back to visit ...thanks..i think they're beautiful too...ha
lic:actually i feel much much better..not 100% but a hell of a lot better than before..

Heidi said...

Jackie Sue, I'm glad to hear your back is feeling better (based on your comments above).

There's nothing worse than a bad back or neck. You take care of yourself, Yellowdog! Keep us posted!