January 17, 2012 3:28 PM Subscribe
Tips for coping with day-to-day life and a herniated disc?
posted by bookgirl18 to health & fitness (14 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
About 3 months ago, I injured myself by lifting improperly and was diagnosed by a GP with a "disc injury". I was sent to a wonderful physical therapist straightaway and began recovering very quickly. I kept up with the stretches, cut down on the heavy things I was carrying, and the sciatic pain, when it would pop back up, was always very manageable.
Unfortunately, last week, I bent over at just the wrong angle (honestly still unsure just what I did) and now my injury is much much worse. I spent most of the weekend lying flat on my back, barely hobbling around. I'm managing now to get around to perform basic things but the pain is pretty severe. The doctor thinks I most likely herniated a lower lumbar disc.
I am scheduled for an MRI, still seeing the physical therapists, and will probably progress to getting injections if the pain really doesn't improve, so my question isn't really about a course of treatment - a glance through other threads confirms that this really does vary per person and per injury.
I'm more interested to hear if any of y'all have any tips for getting through this thing, day by day. I'm trying to keep spirits up but am starting to feel depressed. My loving boyfriend and awesome roommate are the best and help with things, but I'm afraid I'm wearing thin on their patience. Painkillers don't really help - I take muscle relaxers to help me sleep but obviously can't take those during the day. I am about to begin another semester of grad school, which will be enjoyable but challenging, and the pain makes it hard to focus. (Plus all that sitting is like the worst thing for it.)
This has been a challenging year for me regardless, as I'm starting grad school in a new city that is great but still, well, new, so I already feel a little overwhelmed and sometimes isolated. This injury is really making things worse - I feel like crying or just hiding in my room and watching TV instead of seeing any friends or trying to get out, afraid that any little step I take might send me into debilitating pain/turn me into a crippled old lady/etc. I'm already prone to anxiety and depression anyway, and this does not bode well. I've got a heating pad, a rolling backpack, stretches I hope to be able to do again soon - but I'm starting to worry about my schoolwork and how I'm going to be able to manage day-to-day tasks if this doesn't get better, and my mood sours, and it's a vicious cycle.
If anyone has tips for getting through the emotional/mental aspects of this, assuming that I will eventually reach a point where the pain decreases, I would love to hear them.
Thank you, as always.