Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Miracle in Medical Land

Mia Rose - You won on anniversary week and I have not heard from you. Please contact me at jana (at) janadeleon (dot) com. If I have not heard from you by this Sunday, I will pick a new winner.

The last couple of weeks, I've been suffering with enormous back/neck pain. The root of the problem is apparently a pinched nerve that runs down my neck and to the center of my back, just to the left of my spinal cord. And you'll never, ever guess what activity hurts it the most - yep, typing. What are the friggin' odds, right? I could probably go dig a ditch and be fine, but NOOOOOO, my problem has to be typing. How lame is that?

And of course, there's the whole other issue...typing is sorta, well, necessary to both my jobs. I mean, you all know I write novels, but the job that pays the bills and provides the insurance is the day job and at that job, I'm a technical writers.

So this problem is not new and has repeated itself several times in the last five years or so, so this time instead of just loading up on pain killers and muscle relaxers, I decided I was going to try something different and see a chiropractor. After all, it was no coindence that the same problem kept recurring in the exactly same place. Well, an x-ray told the whole story - my spine from the base of my neck to the center of my back is curving to the right, which is pulling everything on my left side. So when experiencing extreme overuse, the muscles knot and pinch the nerve and it take simply FOREVER for it to work itself out. The doc is trying to fix the problem, but fixing the problem involves loosening the muscles surrounding my spine enough for him to force the vertebrae back in line. And it will probably take months of visiting twice a week to get anything somewhat permenant accomplished. Of course the alternative is to walk like the hunchback when I'm 60 and need some maryjane for the pain the arthritis would bring, so vertebrae popping seems like a better choice.

So I asked how this could have happened, and my doc (who also did sports medicine for the NY Jets) says it's a impact injury. Put simply he said "you've played hard. This is the kind of injury I used to see in football players. Did you play sports?" So I said "Yes, motocross." So then he says "Well, that would explain this injury and the dislocated shoulder and the fractured collar bone." And I stare and say "I've never dislocated my shoulder or fractured my collar bone." So he stares and says "Yes, you have, and I promise I won't ever ask you about your tolerance for pain again."

But you see, my curved spine and unknown fractured parts aside, that's not even the miraculous part. The miraculous part is (drumroll please) He didn't even once suggest that if I lost weight, the problem would go away!

You see, my regular GP, whom I love but is sometimes a little silly has suggested that everything I have wrong with me could be cured if I'd just lose weight. And I mean everything. His latest was how I could cure my allergies by losing weight. According to my GP, if I lost weight, I'd be thinner, younger, more beautiful, smarter and posses talents I never knew about if I could fit in a single digit size. The hole in the ozone layer would close, world hunger would be solved and I'm fairly certain Michael Phelps would have won NINE gold medals (even though he only competed in eight events) if I'd just dropped five pounds or so before the Olympics started.

So, you know me, a glutton for punishment. I can't let it lie, so I had to ask. "I suppose if I lost weight, it would make it better." And get this, the doc actually says, "well if you were in here for knees or lower back I would agree, but not where this is located." Unbelievable, a golden opportunity for a doctor to tell me I needed to lose weight and he didn't even take it....a miracle in medical land.

Deadly (Gimpy) DeLeon


Keri Ford said...

Oh, Jana, I wish I have known you were having trouble! We could have been swapping moaning gripping emails about hating the way we feel (even though typing isn't working for, phone?).

Over the past couple of months, I just haven't been up to par. insomina, crappy during the day and sleeping when I get chance.

First we find out my thyroid is working. Fix that, body still not happy. FINALLY! After weeks of blood tests for anything you could think of and a trip to the rhymotologist, I am in the early stages of fybromyalgia. I take two pills a day and have felt like a new woman!

I would have been soo tempted to asked that doctor for a copy of the xray's to show your loose weight happy doc.

Anonymous said...

As luck would have it, I have been suffering from the same pain as you have for the past 3 weeks. My husband has finally convinced me to call the doctor. I think all doctors tell us to loose weight as part of their training. But, as you know, the older you get the harder it is. Keep us posted on how your "therapy" is going

Linda C

Gemma Halliday said...

Ouch! Hope the chiropractor is helping!

And I about died laughing at the Michael Phelps crack. So it's your fault he only won 8, huh? ;)


Terri Osburn said...

Oh, I feel your pain. Though I've been lucky enough not to pinch a nerve in a long time. I have scoliosis so my spine does the same thing. Which means my shoulders and neck hurt all the time but I'm used to it now.

I did go to a chiropractor years ago and I can tell you, that is the best I have ever felt in my life. I've had physical therapy (and therapists that HATE chiropractors) and it's almost never done a thing for me. The chiropractor is the only one that has ever helped.

Now, unfortunately, I have the knee issues so I really do need to lose this weight. *sigh* Hope you feel better soon and I can't believe you broke your collar bone and never knew it!

Christie Craig said...

Ouch, Jana!

Sending you cyber muscle relaxers to ease the pain.

Here's hoping you get better really quick like. We gotta have our Deleon books, you know!

Crime Scene Christie

Anonymous said...

Ooops, Jana I just sent you an email - I never paid attention to the winning names when I would log on-obviously. (I tend to be UNLUCKY with stuff like that) :D So, thanks for the alert!
ANYWAYS, I'm so sorry to hear about your back! I've had the same types of things happen (I have scoliosis in two places) so I know how painful the most insignificant moves can be when it's pinching. I once had my ribs slide out of place & pinch nerves - I could not move my head to the sides for weeks. (I wasn't a very safe driver during that time).
The chiro saved my life - so I'm glad you ended up finding a good one!
Good luck, relax, and see if your chiro has an icy-hot-type cream for sale, I forget the name, but it's awesome. Bio-something maybe... hmmm...I'll try and remember or search the internet.

Estella said...

I have been to a chiropractor numerpus tomes. He always made me feel better, til I did something stupid and threw my back out afain.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I want to go this chiro!!! I'm pretty sure I need to go to one, but 700-800 miles is a wee bit of a commute. *g*

Jana DeLeon said...

Keri - I'm so glad you're feeling better now! Nothing is more frustrating than something wrong that they can't figure out. And the x-ray suggestion is a good one. Might have to take that under advisement. :)

Jana DeLeon said...

Ugh, Linda - so sorry to hear you're got the same pain...and it's DEFINITELY pain. I hope your doctor figures out a way to help you soon!

Jana DeLeon said...

Gemma - you caught me. Phelps might only get 50 million in endorsement money instead of 60 million and it's all my fat butt's fault. :)

Jana DeLeon said...

Terrio - yikes, I can't imagine having this all the time! Have you tried the chiropractor again???? Boy, I'd be tempted. He managed to adjust part of my neck and mid back today and I'm feeling tons better already.

Jana DeLeon said...

Thanks, Chrisite - and not to worry. My Feb 09 release was accepted and sent to production today - YAH!!!!! Now, if only I had that next book written. Hmmmmmmmm.

Jana DeLeon said...

Thanks mia rose! Biofreeze is probably what you're talking about. And yes, I have a lifetime supply. :) Hazards of extreme sports. I also have a tens unit and am using that too.

Thanks for the well-wishes and reminding me of my biofreeze - probably should be using that at night when I can't offend anyone but the Sheltie with the smell. :)

Jana DeLeon said...

estella - I hear ya. It's really, really hard for me to take it easy - and impossible to not type. My doc is fighting an uphill battle.

Jana DeLeon said...

Tori - yeah, that commute might be a killer. Heck, anything he managed to fix would be sore after the round trip drive. LOL