Wednesday, November 10, 2010

You've hit a nerve.

"You’ve hit a nerve"

Usually when you hear that comment, you know that you have touched someone’s feelings a little too much. You have hit them in a spot a little too tender, basically, a place that hurts.

Imagine now that the discs in your spine are not discs, but individual vanilla slices, all stacked perfectly upon each other. They move perfectly to allow you freedom to move. Beside these scrummy yummy treats lies a nerve that runs from the top to the bottom and affects your entire body, keeping you physically well, allowing you to bend, sit, run, crawl.

When two of those precious vanilla slices get squeezed and the fluffy yellow custard spurts out the end of them they hit the nerve and things go down hill, fast.

The herniated, burst vanilla slices now have big bulgy globs hanging out of them and every time you move they hit that nerve. If you bend to pick up your baby it hurts, if you try to get something into or out of the dishwasher, it hurts. If you sit in the car for too long, it goes stiff and spasms and you can barely get out. You can’t lie on your back to sleep, or your front, you cocoon yourself in pillows to support every bit of your back that is possible. You start to live with constant pins and needles in your leg and foot.

You start on the nurofen and voltaren and before you know it you are taking about 24 a day to cope with the pain and to manage to look after a newborn and a toddler.

The physio doesn’t help much.

The doctor sends you to the neuro surgeon, and the MRI confirms the lumps are big, but thankfully not cancer. That is the very good news. The bad news is she recommends you do nothing to aggravate the nerve, do not attempt running, or swimming – the kicking motion annoys the lower discs and keeps hitting the nerve.

Your best option is surgery. Then rehab for ten days and then about two months of rest….mmm have I mentioned new baby and small child to look after?

And so it is that I ventured to a new physio and one very small stretch at a time, I have moved from barely able to bend to being pain free. It has taken 19 months. I still can’t run or swim or move very quickly. But I can walk and I have learnt some exercises to keep me in this place as much as possible.

So now, here I am painfree, but not lard free. When I finished breastfeeding I kept up the same calorie intake. Pushing the double pram is not good for my back; the weight of it causes stress on my spine. So I can’t do that.

When I am walking I can’t take big long strides because the herniated discs are low and get annoyed with me. So I didn’t do that.

I can’t do any high impact classes, running or swimming. So, I didn’t do that either.

I have every excuse possible not to exercise. I know, because I make them up for myself every day.

But the muffin top is not so funny anymore. The few clothes that suit me I don’t really like. I see photos of myself and I really don’t like what I see.

So I am trying to make some new choices.

I am drinking more water. I am not buying chocolate biscuits for the household. We are eating more salad and I am using the extra light from day light savings time to go for a walk on my own a few times a week. I have to walk slowly, but I can still walk for 30 minutes.

I need to lose about 8 kilos. In my head I think “that isn’t much, just go and do it”.

And so I shall.

P.S. That image is from an entire blog dedicated to vanilla slices. If you are a boombah who loves vanilla slice, don't go there, but if you are searching for snot block heaven it might be for you.


  1. Ouchy that's no fun :( But your on the mend now so *yay*

    I had tendonitis in my hips/upper legs at the end of my last pregnancy, I could barely walk, I couldn't lift my legs up/forward but I could move them back. I had to lift my legs into a car and step sideways/backwards to get up steps lol

    I remember getting back on the treadmill for the first time, very slow baby steps, maybe 2kph, but I did it first thing every day and eventually I got back to normal.

    You can do it!

    (Voltaren makes me vomit :$)

  2. I forgot what I was going to say lol At my second child birth the midwife gave me that needle that's supposed to help the 'after birth' move along and she hit a nerve in my leg! One side of my thigh felt numb and like a big bruise for about 6 months and everytime I walked I'd get a shooting pain in the spot where she jabbed me :$

  3. That sounds unbelievably unfun. Good luck in getting the weight off! You can do it!

  4. ouch ouch and ouch.
    I did my sciatic nerve this time last year and it is the most painful horrible thing ever! Hope you find a way to get better soon

  5. I'd much rather think of how yummy the oozing vanilla creme is. For nearly 2 decades I have dealt with severe bouts of sciatica resulting from a car accident. Three things have helped chiropractic weight training and acupuncture.
    Weight training gave me back my life, a chiropractor helped me keep it and acupuncture freed me from interludes of reoccurring pain when the the two remedies were just not working. It's difficult to take off weight with incapacitated by pain, so that has been I wish I could say a 'losing' battle, but ongoing is more accurate. A raw food diet worked really well and very quickly, but is difficult to continually maintain, so I just eat raw as much as possible and walk as much as possible. It can get discouraging at times, but mostly I try to maintain a positive attitude and find other things in life to be thankful for.
    Your salad choices combined with walking will help immensely as will caring for your child in the long run. You can do it! {{{Hugs}}}

  6. Back pain is so hard to live with - it affects your whole body, including your mind. I hope things improve, and good luck with it all. xx

  7. Unfortunatedly, I know what you mean... Be a good lady, no efforts at all and... get better !!!
    Besos from Spain,
    Marta ;O)
    (Do you understand Spanish and/or like decoration? I invite you to my new blog, also participating in WW, I hope you enjoy -

  8. I'm so glad you found what works for you. Kudos to you for managing it this far and best luck with continuing your recovery. Things like this are a big reminder to up the care of ourselves. : )


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