My Effing Back

When infertility’s shitstorm is not enough and you want more, let me introduce….

The L4/L5 Pars Defect of the Lumbar Spine.

A big thank you to the fuckwads in the ER back in November who didn’t think Xrays would be worthwhile since I didn’t have numbness/tingling and because the “treatment is the same no matter what”.

And a big thank you to the assholes at Kaiser back in the late 1980s when I was dancing three hours a day and suffered two stress fractures (one in each leg, yay!), where they not only didn’t check anything besides my lower legs, but had told me to “just use these bands to stretch with and make your legs stronger”…rather than putting me in a cast like I should have, thereby preventing any healing (since then I’ve never been able to do anything high impact without severe pain…to say I’m jealous of runners is an understatement).

You see, Pars Defects usually happens with gymnasts, dancers, and other athletes who do a lot of hyperextensions of their back (case in point: backbends, splits, split leaps, jump splits…). In fact, it is FOUR TIMES more common to occur to Caucasian dancers and gymnasts. “The mechanism of injury is repetitive microtrauma, resulting from repetitive extension and rotation of the spine. This may result in damage to any of the posterior elements of the lumbar vertebrae, but the pars interarticularis is the most common site of injury.” (source)

And best of all? It can be prevented with early detection.

Mother.Fucker. Sucks for me.

Twenty seven years ago I had to suddenly stop dancing at the age of 16 after a near-lifetime of it and within a couple of years had transitioned to yoga which I did along with low impact movement classes (step, zumba, weight-bearing) for the next 2+ decades. So I may not have been jumping but hyperextension? Yes please!

So yesterday I went in for a MRI. Not those older, wide tunnel like you see in the movies, but the newer (better) one where as you get inserted head first, your arms touch the sides and your nose is inches from the top. Let’s just say it took them a few tries (why didn’t I get recommended valium when I made the appointment instead of after the first panic attack?), tears, deep breathing, and a high dose of loud reggae music on the headphones. Thank goodness for Bon Marley and 3 Little Birds. But still, I had to smother the thoughts of Uma Thurman in Kill Bill using her training to escape the coffin.

So we await the results now to determine a course of treatment, and I am both grateful I finally did this (no one except my acupuncturist pushed me to though, which was so odd since I’ve been in pain for over 2 months, so, kind of like infertility treatments, I’m leading the charge) and trying not to collapse in sheer terror.

Why fear? Because if it’s not better in a few more months, “spinal fusion surgery” is recommended. Think back braces and being out of work for 2 months. They have a new, more minimally invasive version, but it still requires general anesthesia to do.

And guess who can’t get that? You guessed it. Pregnant women. And who’s doing her final transfer in 8 weeks? That be me. My RE even said “gotta get your back better, you don’t want to be pregnant with back issues!” just a few hours before the MRI.

So I have to hope the PT and chiro can do this. Big time.

Meditation and hope. That’s all I got right now.

#backpain #herniateddisc