I saw the doctor yesterday after a physiotherapy appointment. Despite a diagnosis of a herniated disc, I seemed surprised that the MRI revealed a large disc extrusion. For some reason, numerical dimensions seemed to make it that much more real. Two point three centimeters seems so much like an inch, and inch, well an inch is huge, isn’t it? I don’t know if an inch is big or small. Intuitively it seems like a major projection. The report used the word large though.
Possibly, the change in message from the doctor underwrites my melancholy. “Two months to complete recovery” is what I heard on our initial meeting. Hearing “these things can sometimes take six months or even a year… or two” was a harsh contrast to the original optimistic prognosis. I suppose that the original message was optimistic, intentionally so, to keep a patients spirits from plummeting. Despite being restricted from heavy lifting and repetitive bending pivoting motions, He did say I would be able to go back to instructing welding; this was incredibly welcome and comforting news.
In physiotherapy, I did gluteal engagement exercises again. This time it really felt intense and worked my butt and core. I had particular trouble engaging the left glute. Instead of engaging it, I shifted weight everywhere, with an awkward, unbalanced posture. Using the lower back muscles made everything uncomfortable. Carmen was exceptional in spotting the misalignment, and providing instant feedback to direct and correct my movements by telling me to realign by moving my hip to her fingertip. When I finally released my lower back from flexion, and activated my butt, the motion felt so much more comfortable. I only had the stamina to do a couple of repetitions without feeling the burn of fatigue on the underdeveloped left side.
So, in short: I don’t see an end to the physiotherapy and exercises any time soon. The MRI confirmed a large extrusion. I’m healing slowly, but jogging is presently out of the question.