Herniated Disc: 7.5 Weeks of Progress

The tiny voice inside me would like to whine about how terrible things are. I had an MRI ten days ago. I saw Carmen yesterday, after her two-week hiatus for arthroscopic knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus. When I was done with physiotherapy yesterday, I was left with another uneasy “shit is there ever a ton wrong with me” feeling.

The tiny voice was louder a week ago. A week ago, my problems didn’t seem so trivially first world. A week ago, in addition to wondering if I could get fit enough to climb a bunch of steep hills in the future, I was concerned with the details of if I might be able to feed myself in the not too distant future. Physiotherapy isnt’ a high paying occupation, especially when you’re receiving the service! Dealing with Workers Compensation had been progressing at a pace rivaling a snail in the Sahara. Another complication made me wonder if I would recover  enough or be allowed to work another less demanding seasonal position which I had been previously employed in.

I was incredibly relieved to learn that there would be no problem aside from a matter of physical ability to return to a former job. Just over six weeks after the incident, I was also super relieved when I received a payment from workers compensation. My real problems were fading and becoming first world problems again.

In Canada, an MRI is the holy grail of medical diagnostics and it normally requires a wait time of six to twelve months. Workers compensation agencies arrange for expedited imaging appointments, leveraging their unique pay per visit financial muscle to get choice times ahead of other Canadians. There is no such carrot to sway the physician however. The earliest appointment with the doctor was eighteen days post MRI. I can only assume that no news is good news at this point, optimistically assuming that if anything was super bad I would be notified promptly.

After physiotherapy however, I feel uncertain yet again. I’ve found a new weakness. To be fair, it’s not a new weakness, but more like a newly discovered weakness. Adding new exercises that involve pivoting from the hip and driven by the glute,  I learned how absurdly deficient my left glute is in strength and size. It’s sickly hilarious how unable I am to duplicate a motion that I think is simple on one side, while finding it impossibly straining to perform symmetrically on the opposite leg. There really is no substitute for a trained eye to get biomechanics right and tell me that I’m leaning in some lop sided noodle posture instead of stacking upright.

I slept pretty poorly last night after a pretty limited amount of squatting, pivoting and lunging through the session. In fact, I slept abysmally. The numb foot is back in force too. I know that I’m doing so much better than I was a month ago, because the numbness recedes at times. It just seems like I’m going backwards sometimes. I really have to get that left glute to just grow now, get the back to heal, get the feeling back in my foot on a continuing basis, and . . . I”m not sure what all will make the final list. For now, I am doing exercises and planning like everything will be fine.

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