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The Other Side forums - suitable for mature readers! > The Other Side forums > Personal concerns
I mentioned this in the Petty Complaints thread last night, but I'll go into it more deeply. I was at work yesterday (I lay pipe for a gas company) and was using a pickaxe to get through some hard ground. At one point, I lifted the pickaxe and felt my back go out. It hurt bad. The only reason I stayed on the job was because we had two new guys and needed supervision. I came home, took some ibuprophen and took it easy thinking I'd be all right today (I've been hurt before and figured it would follow suit). I woke up in more pain than I was the night before.

I'm going to the doctor tomorrow, but I already know what he's going to tell me: I can't work construction anymore. THis is the worst time I hurt my back by far. I know that if I keep going, I'll just hurt my back again and again and again and again. Now, this may not seem like much to y'all, but I've been working construction since I was thirteen. It's pretty much all I know. I'm a skilled laborer who can stand working outside or inside in the heat and the cold and I'm good at what I do. Not only this, but I had my job through my family's business, which means a lot to our household (especially since it's the only time I get to spend with my father).

Another thing that's been getting me is my family's whole "stiff upper lip" mentality. My old man tells me to "tough it out," my brother ridicules me for wanting crutches, and apparently my mother thinks ibuprophen cures everything and it's okay for me to skip school so I can lounge about and wait until tomorrow (something I wouldn't expect from her). I figure that if I'm in severe pain my most loved ones might have some sympathy. I guess I was wrong.

I know I need something new until I finish university and start a "real" career. That's not my primary concern, though; my health is. Please pray for my mobility, the pain I'm in and the hope that I won't need surgery. I hope all things work out for the best.

Thanks, you guys.
I'm about to go offline, but I wanted to say that I wish you well. Check out options for physiotherapy. They can do amazing things with backs!
I agree with Mata, physiotherapy is extremely good. I've been having it on and off since I was about three, I'm 17 now and it's made so much difference to me, so it is worth it.

You probably wouldn't have to have it for as long as I do, cause my back isn't going to correct itself, but seriously it's worth a try smile.gif

I hope it goes okay at the doctors *hugs*
Yeah, after a day of crutching and moving around, the pain has evolved.It hurts at the very base of my back, but moreso on my right side (at one point, down to my right knee). It hurts less if I step on my left foot (when I can't crutch, I hobble around) and I have to lean to the left if I have to sit down. This is interesting considering my right foot is longer than the other. I can stand unaided, but usually need crutches or something to lean on when I walk (which I cannot do walking completely upright). Going from a supine position to a standing position is damn near impossible and I can't lay on my side, which is interesting because that's how I normally sleep.


Doctor's appointment in thirteen hours. We're thinking it's muscular and not skeletal and we hope we're right.
It sounds like an issue with the disks, from your description. That's not really muscular or skeletal, but there are exercises that can improve the situation and strengthen the supporting muscles to help prevent future injury, but you will almost certainly need a fair amount of rest before it's recovered. If nothing else helps then there are surgical options.

I'll be thinking of you today and hoping you get good news from the doctor!
If it was muscular then you should have seen some improvement from the Ibprofuen (as it should have lessened the tension). Depending on how much you took ofcourse The joys of taking chem. pharmacology is that you learn to drug yourself up well enough to solve almost any cold or strain within one nights crazy sleep.
Possibly you should consider a deep tissue massage anyway. It couldn't hurt to take as much strain off your back as possible. Plus you'll get a nice few hours of knocked out dead sleep. Also good times for any injury. Unless it's a ripped muscle, then I "encourage" you to get the surgery or what ever they call it.
I hope you hear good news!
Adds in good wishes for recovery and a hug. I really hope the doctor has some good news for you.
Sir Psycho Sexy
QUOTE (Mata @ Nov 2 2006, 09:33 AM) *
If nothing else helps then there are surgical options.

*cue's 6 Million Dollar Man theme*
The examination was interesting. I had to explain what hurt, ehere it hurt, what I could do physically, what hurt when I did it (almost everything) and what was "ain't happening" (too painful to do). I had to walk on my toes (which hurt), walk on my heels (which hurt less) and take a reflex test on my knees (the left was normal, the right was intense). Apparently, swelling is putting pressure on my nerves, which is causing the pain. I have to take anti-inflammatory pills and muscle relaxers, rest and use heating or ice for two weeks until my next visit.

One theory put foreward is that it is an issue with the disk, but if the swelling is reduced, the body may repair itself. Otherwise I may need surgery.

I think I should have gotten a note from the doctor that says "James is not being a wuss" so I can get my brother to leave me alone.

And actually, SPS, I'm thinking of getting metal legs. It's a risky procedure, but it'll be worth it. (movie reference)
That sounds like it's pretty positive. They wouldn't be giving you that advice if it wasn't a condition that they thought woudl improve over two weeks. Take it very easy and you'll give yourself the best chance of recovery.

It sounds like you've got a more severe version of something I've had a couple of times. A disk in my spine had been squashed, forcing out of the normal shape and putting pressure on the spinal nerve. It hurt like hell a lot of the time and I eventually convinced the doctor to stop giving me painkillers and to send me to a physio. They gave me a series of exercises designed to push the disk back into position and it was all better in about a month! It was incredible really; those people really know what they're doing!

Anyway, all the best for recovering over the next couple of weeks. Take it easy, and try not to let your brothers bug you too much! *hugs*
Good luck on the whole deal. I've had some back issues - empathy and whatnot, bro. Feel better.
QUOTE (Sir_Psycho_Sexy @ Nov 2 2006, 11:28 PM) *
QUOTE (Mata @ Nov 2 2006, 09:33 AM) *

If nothing else helps then there are surgical options.

*cue's 6 Million Dollar Man theme*

Arf! I found that way too funny for my own good.
Can I be snoopy and ask what drugs the doc gave you? I'm keen to look them up in the CPS guide. The Canadian guide to drugs that the pharmacists use. I've access to one at work that's current and one at home that's a few years old. PM if you'd prefer.

*Hugs again*

Hang in there. It's no fun to totter around like you're in your 90's. Heal quickly and well.
QUOTE (Ashbless @ Nov 10 2006, 02:14 AM) *
Can I be snoopy and ask what drugs the doc gave you?

The steroid-based, anti-inflammatory pills are called Prednasone. They make me jittery and irritable. The muscle relaxors are called cyclobenzaprine. They make me drowsy as all Hell and give me a headache.

I'm contemplating smoking pot for medicinal purposes. I haven't smoked pot in about a month and rarely buy it anymore. I figure it couldn't hurt and might help relieve some pain naturally (I have a vendetta against painkillers; long story).
Umm...wouldn't using marijuana not be a 'natural' thing? Wouldn't it just be a different, not drug-company-manufactured painkiller? Not that I think you shouldn't - it's probably safer than most painkillers out there. Sorry about the back, hope you're able to recover from it quickly and fully.
That's cool and all, Dave, but I'm broke and no one delivers. I got to the first day (I broke my rule about not getting stoned on the job, but read my first post and you'll understand why it's okay) but since I've not touched the stuff, recreational or otherwise.

My back's feeling a lot better. I've been meditating, stretching, exercising and trying to get my energy going better and I think it's working. I'm trying not to get ahead of myself, but I'm really, really, really hoping that if I get a good X-ray with a good prognosis and treatment while still meditating, stretching and exercising, I might be able to work construction again. I might be able to work machines (primarily a backhoe or a front loader) and even if I do that part of the time that's still considerably less strain on my back.

That would so rule.
I'm glad to hear that it's improving. When will they be doing the x-ray?

I went to the doctor a few days ago. She examined me and listened to everything I said. She said that, based on what I told her, it's either a disk problem much like what Mata had or I have bone spurs in my back, either of which are causing muscle tissue to swell and put pressure on the nerves on my right side (she said this is not all uncommon). She said it's most likely a problem with the disk (so the X-ray is posponed), so she gave me some (much less potent) anti-inflammatories and a list of stretches and exercises to do as well as a recommendation not to slouch the way I do.

And most importantly (to me at least)...I GOT CLEARED TO WORK! I still have to take it easy (meaning no shovel or pickaxe), but in time I'll be on my way to working my dream job again. biggrin.gif

The only bad news is that it'll probably reoccur sometime in my life, but not for a long time, especially if I keep myself healthy. She also suggested I wear a back brace type-deal when I'm doing strenuous work. In any case, my prayers are being answered.
Excellent news! If it is like the injury I had then it most likely will return, but with the exercises it's far easier to control and you can keep the interference down to a minimum.
I start work tomorrow! I start work tomorrow! happy.gif
Sir Psycho Sexy
So looking back at it, your thread title may have been a little premature. Boy do you look silly. wink.gif

Congratulations on the work thing, poor you though, not being able to do hard labour.
THis is one of the times when I'm glad to be wrong.

It is a bummer that I have to take it easy. I love the feeling of coming home after a long day of good, hard work. Work was pretty easy today and Rick did most of the hard stuff. Thursday we install water heaters. I'm hoping it's not too bad. >_<

You may think it's silly for me to be upset at the idea of not being able to do hard work, but it's something I really enjoy and I make some good money. THe best part, though, is coming home with the feeling that I've actually done something with my day. It's not just clock in/clock out and I take pride in my job (even if I have to half-ass it these days).
I'm really chuffed for you, but don't forget to take it easy - there's no point in pushing it and making things worse!
Don't worry, Mata. I couldn't work outside today, so I had the uber lame job of sanding ceilings and scraping dried drywall compound off of tile.

It's become apparent that I won't be able to make as much as I once did, but our present job is easy money, so I'm milking it for all I can. Come morning, we're probably going to be moving and installing water heaters. We didn't get a chance to today like we wanted, so I've yet to see how I can fair physically. For the water heaters, we get paid 25$ for each we install, which can add up to a pretty good chunk of change, especially if we lay pipe at $2.15 per foot that same day.
How is your back lately? Is it still slowly improving?

Have you found anyone to give back massages (as they might help)?
I'm glad everything worked out for you. I really hope you don't work yourself too hard. Too much of a good thing, and all... happy.gif
It was hurting during work today, so I had to take it easy for a while. I'm doing stuff to prevent strain on my back, but sometimes it acts up. I'm exercising and stretching, so all-in-all, it's getting better.
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