Sciatica

sciatica

 

I’ve veered off-topic yet again with a bit about sciatica.  I’ve dealt with this for years and years and had a bunch of opinions from a lot of people on what to do, what to take.  For me, nothing seems to help except waiting it out for about a week, then it settles down.  I’ve tried heat, cold, Tylenol, prescriptions, exercises, sitting, standing, lying down…

Just wait a week.  Right now, I’m on day 6, so I have high hopes for tomorrow.

I do notice that sitting is marginally worse than lying or standing.  I guess that maybe compresses the nerve more?  I do have a bit of Oxycodone left over from my knee pain (which I still have – luckily, on the same leg – just not as badly), so I take 1/2 of one to help me sleep at night.

kidding1
Whenever I think of Oxycodone, I’m reminded of the night that I was diagnosed with kidney cancer.  I’d just been admitted to a room and someone came to visit me.  She offered to buy my Oxy from me.  I was stunned.  Then, she said she was just kidding.

Um, no.  I can’t think of anyone who would even think of buying Oxy who didn’t have some kind of issue – even as a “joke”.

 

 

Some info from the Mayo Clinic

Sciatica refers to pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, which branches from your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down each leg. Typically, sciatica affects only one side of your body.

Sciatica most commonly occurs when a herniated disk, bone spur on the spine or narrowing of the spine (spinal stenosis) compresses part of the nerve. This causes inflammation, pain and often some numbness in the affected leg.

Although the pain associated with sciatica can be severe, most cases resolve with non-operative treatments in a few weeks. People who have severe sciatica that’s associated with significant leg weakness or bowel or bladder changes might be candidates for surgery.

Pain that radiates from your lower (lumbar) spine to your buttock and down the back of your leg is the hallmark of sciatica. You might feel the discomfort almost anywhere along the nerve pathway, but it’s especially likely to follow a path from your low back to your buttock and the back of your thigh and calf.

The pain can vary widely, from a mild ache to a sharp, burning sensation or excruciating pain. Sometimes it can feel like a jolt or electric shock. It can be worse when you cough or sneeze, and prolonged sitting can aggravate symptoms. Usually only one side of your body is affected.

Some people also have numbness, tingling or muscle weakness in the affected leg or foot. You might have pain in one part of your leg and numbness in another part.

Read more at http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sciatica/basics/definition/con-20026478

Monday – 3 Weeks Post-op

I’ve decided to do a sort of timeline in case anyone is interested.  This is all from memory so future posts should be more accurate.

Week Zero, January 28, 2013 was the actual CABG surgery.  The hospital experience  can be found here.

DH came home on Thursday of that week and the first visiting nurse arrived on Saturday. Luckily, DS was able to stay until Sunday and he was a big help.

DH wasn’t allowed to lift any more than 5 pounds, so couldn’t raise himself out of bed.  He slept on a recliner in the living room and either DS or I slept on the sofa in case he needed any meds or help during the night.

Week One, February 4, 2013, one week from surgery.

The visiting nurse came twice and is pleased with wound healing.  Blood pressure is sometimes low.  The nurse thought he should have more fluids.  One lobe of the lung isn’t working to capacity and she wants more use of the incentive spirometers.  DH has two types from the hospital – the traditional one and one that our dog thinks looks like a dog toy that she should have.

incentive spirometer

Week Two, February 11, 2013 two weeks from surgery.  DH continues to lose weight.  He’s still sleeping in the recliner and I’m still on the sofa but there is much less getting up at night.

The Oxycodone is down to half pills much less often than prescribed.

The first (and only) visit to the surgeon’s office this week.  We saw her nurse practitioner who was very impressed with how DH is doing as was his PCP.  The nurse practitioner was so pleased, she said we don’t have to go back unless there are any problems.

The PCP ran blood tests, glucose, liver enzymes, cholesterol and others.

We saw the visiting nurse twice.  She thought DH was doing so well that she discharged him on Thursday.

DH made a few phone calls this week, worked a little, had a visitor on Sunday.

Week Three, February 18, 2013, three weeks from surgery

DH slept in the bed for half the night last night and seems to be doing ok.  He still took a half Oxycodone this morning.

We see the cardiologist this afternoon.  That report will be in the Week Four post. I imagine that we’ll be talking about rehab at this appointment.

Weeks Four and Beyond will have their own posts.