chronic pain

100 Miles of Pain

Disclaimer: some pregnancy talk ahead, but mostly this will be about unrelated pain.

I think I’ve mentioned in the past that I have sciatica. It comes and goes, sometimes flaring up to the point that I’m barely functional, other times I almost forget it’s ever a problem. I’ve had this problem for nearly 15 years, ever since a gymnastics injury when I was doing musical theater stuff. I don’t think it’s ever been properly dealt with by doctors. The first doctor I ever saw back when it first happened basically just told me to stretch. I’ve never had an MRI or anything to determine the precise cause of it. Mostly I’ve just learned to live with the pain. The most relief I’ve gotten from it has been from a wonderful reiki practitioner. I miss her, but seeing her requires a two-hour drive each way and she’s expensive and books up fast. It’s been so long now I’m honestly not 100% certain she’s still practicing.

Of course, sciatica can also be caused by pregnancy, although I think that generally happens more in like the third trimester. But my big trigger every since this all began has been driving. Sitting in general can cause a flare up and my sciatica is on the right side, so my driving leg. My worst birthday ever involves trying to get out of the city early because it had started snowing and my boss let me go and I ended up sitting in barely moving traffic for 2+ hours while in screaming pain in my back and leg. I think my mom and I just ordered Chinese food for dinner that night, although maybe not because delivery in that weather would have sucked. Either way, happy 18th!

But I digress. Driving. So as I’ve mentioned, my husband is still in his cast but back at work. The only way for him to get to and from work is for me to drive him. It’s about 25 miles each way. This means I’m driving a minimum of 100 miles every day just to get him to and from work. If I have any other plans, like say a doctor’s appointment for him or me, it’s more. Yesterday I took my dad to breakfast and clocked around 150 miles. I was supposed to go to a change of command ceremony in the afternoon but the idea of sitting through a ceremony in this pain was just not happening. It is excruciating. Next Wednesday hubby is getting the hard cast off and a walking cast put on. But we don’t know if that means he’ll be able to drive or not. It would be great but honestly I doubt it will happen so soon.

So next week I will be driving closer to 150 miles 3 out of 5 days because of doctor’s appointments. On Monday I’m meeting with the genetic counselor to talk about my inv9 and also the fact that my half-sister’s daughter has spina bifida and what that could potentially mean for the baby. On Wednesday I’m meeting with the OB social worker to talk about all my stress and fears (thanks again to the Tweeps who kept bugging me until I made that appointment). Of course hubby is getting his cast off at the same time but at a different hospital so I have to miss another of his post-op appointments and I’m not happy about that. I meant to try to reschedule for Monday after my genetic appointment but didn’t get a call in on time yesterday because I was distracted by pain. Finally on Thursday I have my first “centering” appointment, except that they changed it and this one isn’t a group appointment anymore but one-on-one with the OB. I have mixed feelings about this but that deserves its own post. Oh, and bonus, tomorrow I have to pick my mom up from the airport. I’m not sure exactly but my guess would be that the three legs of the trip (my house to airport, airport to her house, her house to my house) will probably be around 60 miles.

Just thinking about this all makes me want to weep. Just sitting here at my desk typing this is painful. I have stretches I should probably be doing to try to ease some of the pain but they really only do so much. Same with things like heating pads and warm (not hot) baths that I could try. I do not know how I’m going to get through next week and the weeks after until hubby can drive again. In August we’re going on a family vacation with his family for a week. It’s about a six hour drive to get to where we’re meeting them. Please, please let him be driving by then.

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