My Friend The Ice Pack

I’m sitting with an icepack on my lower back, and wired up to a TENS unit, as I have every morning for about 2 weeks. I have something called piriformis syndrome. The piriformis muscle is located under the butt muscle, and the sciatic nerve runs alongside it or through it. The syndrome is caused, in my case, by a fall I took off the bottom step of my deck and landed pretty squarely on my tailbone last November. The fall causes the piriformis muscle to spasm, and that squeezes the sciatica nerve, so the pain is making a trip from my lower left back, around my left hip, and down my left thigh. Often I can only walk all bent over. I went to the chiropractor then for about 6 weeks in November and December, and it seemed like it was ok.

I went on the cruise in December and came home really sick. I keep thinking I had COVID-19 back then, because I had a temp for a few days of 102°, a terrible cough, shortness of breath, no runny nose or head cold, just cough and fever…all the symptoms. But it was only the end of December. I went to the dr who told me I just had some kind of viral infection and I had to let it run its course. Yeah, ok. No one had really heard of coronavirus then. But I think I got it on the ship. I would take an antibody test, but they’re $170, no insurance. I felt pretty good a month later, and then in February, my back started acting up again, and has just continued to get worse. I’ve just finished a run of prednisone, which at first helped but toward the end seemed to make no difference, as the pain got worse. It’s difficult to walk from one room to the next, and is made bearable by an almost constant ice pack and the TENS unit. I’m scheduled to start PT on Monday. It’s a weird kind of thing. Does not hurt when I sit, or lay down. But walking or standing are very painful.

I called the dr back yesterday to ask for something for pain relief until I start the PT. He wants to see me again this afternoon. Which means I have to shower, etc, and drive over there.

I have no idea what caused it to act up again. Recently, in the last few days, I’ve read so many articles about all the secondary problems of COVID-19, and wonder if this is not somehow related to the illness I had after the cruise. That maybe it settled in my piriformis muscle after the cough went away. It was about 2 weeks after the cough was gone that this started up again.

I guess a little information can be dangerous, lol. And all this isolation just lets my mind come up with all kinds of theories…I guess I need to stop and just let the dr. do his job. I just hope he can give me something for the pain to get by til I start PT. Dan had some tramadol pills from when he had shoulder surgery and I took one of those, but it did basically nothing. I don’t do well with opiates, like Percoset or Vicadin, they make me nauseous. I actually have a few Percoset from when I had gum surgery, but I haven’t taken them because they make me feel so shitty. I only took one when I had the gum surgery and it made me feel so sick I decided I’d rather have the pain, and just took tylenol.

This getting old thing is not for sissies. I’m so sick of being in pain. My TENS unit uses a 9V battery, and I am on my 3rd one this week. Well, hopefully, the dr will be able to do something for me today.

Dan has been so good to me through this. Making me food, and helping me get around, rubbing my back, just being there for me. It’s so nice to have someone who can actually feel empathetic.

I just saw some stretching exercises online that are supposed to help this particular thing. I’ll try them in a little while.

Dan and I celebrated, as best we could, our 3rd anniversary of being together. We went to our favorite Italian restaurant and got take out, and had a bottle of wine. It was nice. But immediately upon finishing dinner, we realized that my AC was not working. The unit was new when I bought the house 4 years ago. We drove back to Dan’s house to sleep, but I was up early the next morning so I could be home when the service guy came at 9 AM to service it the next morning. It was a clogged drain, which cost me $260 to have fixed, and a new float switch installed. I also took out a service contract with them, to have the unit cleaned and checked out once a year. Good thing for the stimulous check, right?

Things are starting to open up here, though I personally feel it’s too soon. A few restaurants with lots of outside seating will be open today, and a couple who are good friends and musicians got a Friday night gig to play there, outdoors. I’ve been wanting to go, but unless the dr can give me some relief, I’ll be staying home. I also need to see if people are wearing masks and social distancing, because I won’t go if they are not.

I guess that’s enough whining and complaining for one day. Time to try to get in the shower, and go do some meditation. I hope everyone is safe and well. Love and light to all.

7 responses to “My Friend The Ice Pack

  1. Happy anniversary! I’m so sorry you’re in so much pain though. I really hope the doctor was able to help you some.

    As for thinking you had COVID-19, my father-in-law had a terrible case of the flu over Christmas and my husband and I had a fever and cough for a few days in early January. Theoretically it can’t have been coronavirus, not only because it was hardly even known in China back then but we hadn’t traveled outside of the Netherlands. However, since I got off rather mildly if it were, I’d love for it to have been COVID-19. At least then I’d be immune. I’m sorry you might have your piriformis syndrome as an aftereffect of that though.

    • Yes, I had a cortisone shot yesterday and it seems to be helping. I told the dr that I think I might had had the virus and he didn’t disagree that it could have been. We have an antibody test that just became available at major labs but it costs $170 out of pocket so I won’t be getting it, but I’d really like to know if I have the antibodies. That would make life a lot easier!

  2. When I have a weird pain issue and my mind keeps trying to figure it out, acting like a squirrel in a wheel, I remind myself that every body ache or condition I’ve ever had has gotten better, maybe not all gone, but better. Take care, take it easy, and feel better soon!

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