Sunday, 9 January 2011

A pain in the back

I have a poorly back.... Way back in June last year I went to the doctors and told him of the constant pain I have in my lower back.
After having four children I was not entirely surprised that my back would give me a bit of jip now and then.
However, this was getting silly and I was loosing sensation in my legs and feet after too much walking or activity. Then my feet and legs would go to sleep and it felt as though I was wearing lead boots. Bending was becoming impossible and I really needed to get something sorted out with it.

The Doctor sent me for an MRI.

This is not my MRI picture (below) but it is very similar. Looking at my MRI picture in the consultants very warm and stuffy room made me feel very queasy. He kept moving it backwards and forwards through all the images so I could see inside my own back.
So I concentrated on the smiley face sticker in the corner of the screen until he had stopped mucking about...
I genuinely thought he was going to send me home with a sheet of exercises and be told to take some paracetamol. But, he said I had a very interesting problem and quite a serious one....

So, I have a Grade 1 spondylolisthesis. Which means the backbone has slipped forward 25% and is cutting of circulation and damaging the nerve endings. It is a grade 1 of 5, so it could be a whole lot worse. But it could go from a grade 1 to a 5 by stepping of the curb wrong, so I do have to take care. Especially when the pavements are icy.
I have already done a Bambi impression but did not fall right over.. and I wasn't half as graceful..... or cute...

So here is what it looks like inside....

This is the definition found on the Interweb...
What Is Spondylolisthesis?

I. Definition

The word spondylolisthesis derives from two parts - spondylo which means spine, and listhesis which means slippage. So, a spondylolisthesis is a forward slip of one vertebra (i.e., one of the 33 bones of the spinal column) relative to another. Spondylolisthesis usually occurs towards the base of your spine in the lumbar area.
I also have a .... Bilateral pars interartialaris fracture.

Along this line that the arrows point at, there is a fracture, on both sides, left and right of the spine... Just for fun.....
I find doing things that require alot of bending and walking a real pain, I have to plan my days carefully and can't do to much travel and walking in that day. I space my week out so I'm not doing too many things in one day.
Household jobs have to be done at a slower pace and some are delegated to more capable small people. I take a break every now and then to get the sensation back in my legs and to straighten up my stiffening back, then I can carry on.
I can't really have a lie-in as such as I need to get up and take drugs to unstiffen my back. If I do, I really wish that I hadn't. It takes at least an hour to fully be mobile in the morning, so I get up an hour before the children at six am. I have a chance to guzzle coffee, read my e-mails and take drugs before the day begins.
This is by far the best incentive to loosing weight, If I do need an operation, (I'm still on the waiting list) My chances of recovery are greatly improved if I wasn't such a fat hippo-heifer-moose. Loosing the weight would relieve the pressure on my back and there would be less of me for me to carry around....
But it is still a struggle to even muster up the will power to stick to a diet. Over the years I have used food as a comfort to make me feel better, I think I also have used my ever growing size as a way of protecting myself from other people.
The bigger you are, funnily enough, the more invisible you become...Or so my twisted way of thinking tells me. I think I need to start with my way of thinking and then the weight loss will eventually happen....


  1. Ooooh, you have my sympathy for your poorly back! I had a prolapsed disc about three years ago and to be honest, I'm still not back to normal (or whatever it is that passes as 'normal' for me!). I also need to lose weight ~ a LOT of weight *sigh* ~ but it's just so hard to do it, even though you'd think that easing the strain on my back would be an extremely motivating factor. But, I will be 50 in June and I know that if I don't do something pronto, then however many years I have left (I'm not trying to be morbid, just realistic) are not going to be pleasant.

    Oh dear, sorry that my first comment on your blog is such a miserable one ~ I will try harder in future to be more cheerful ;-D

  2. Hi Sharon, Thank you so much for your comment. It is nice to know I am not alone and you are right, you would think that the fact I can't put my socks on without pain or a child to lean on would be enough motivation to to loose the weight, but it is really not that easy. lol