Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 19 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Saturday, June 24, 2017


It's been a rough couple of days here. My back appears to be healing, at least in the area of L4 where the surgery was performed, however I now have increased pain a few vertebrae below L4. It is significant pain, too. It hurts just to the left of approximately S1, the uppermost vertebra of the sacrum. It's been difficult to find a comfortable position, and the pain is waking me several times a night. I called my surgeon's office yesterday. The nurse I spoke with assured me it was likely pain related to my surgery and encouraged me to be more consistent with taking my pain medication. I hope she's correct, but I fear she isn't.

I'm pretty sure this pain is not related to my surgery. I think it's part of the original injury but at a different vertebral level. I complained about this pain a few days prior to my surgery, which is when it first presented itself, and was told it was likely referred pain from my L4 injury. I was hopeful they were correct then, too, but I don't think they are. This pain feels different and acts differently.

Despite my concerns, I did as told yesterday. I took my pain pill every four hours as prescribed. It didn't seem to make a difference. Now it's the weekend, and I hurt. I'm doing what I can to relieve the pain and remain as active as possible, within the limits of my post-operative restrictions, of course. I'm taking my pain med regularly, icing my back, walking half a block, and strengthening my left leg as best I can. I really hope this pain subsides, as my surgical team assures me it will, but I remain dubious. I'm already anticipating I'll be on the phone with them first thing Monday morning. I just hope they listen.


Julie Gathman said...

Crap. What can you do? I'm impressed that your training as a PT helps you locate the pain and recognize its subtleties. I can see it is essential, in communicating and advocating for yourself. But being in constant pain, this is very bad, a very crappy time. Please God let it come to an end. In this pain, can you watch anything, TV, movies, etc.? I'm just asking because if you let us know what you're watching, it might spark a conversation, just a little way to connect and be in touch. I have recently discovered British TV. Faves are Call the Midwife and Father Brown. But we get them on DVD from the library, because we don't have cable TV (never have).

etta said...

@ Julie: Thanks for your support, as usual. "Crap" is the perfect word, I think! The pain is now radiating down my left leg again, which is really "crappy," too! As far as what I'm watching... I don't have the attention span to get through much these days, a few movies here and there, otherwise I watch a lot of sports or Seinfeld, MASH, and Law and Order re-runs. I am looking forward to Le Tour de France, which starts next week. That will keep me occupied for 3 weeks or so. Thanks again for your continued support.