I have not written a blog in 2 months. Unfortunately, I had emergency spinal surgery on August 11, 2022, and again on September 8, 2022. I will try and keep the blogs short, and write more often to share my journey to healing. I have been flat on my back and in bed, on pain medications which keep me from thinking clearly enough to write. Now the fog has cleared and I can share my life once again.
In late May, early June, 2022 I had an ache in my right buttock cheek. I assumed I worked out too hard, or taught too many movement classes. By July 14, the ache was strong. By August 4, after my last personal training client, I knew something was abnormally wrong with my body and drove myself to the ER at South San Francisco Kaiser Hospital. I could barely enter or exit my car. The ache was moving down the right leg and into my foot. It began to feel like a mild electrocution. It was painful in the body to urinate or defecate. I hadn't made a bowel movement in 2 days. The ER staff didn't do much except put Ibuprofen IV in my arm for 4 hours and send me home with spasm medication. I was there from about 6pm until after 10pm. I wasn't having spasms. The pain got worse overnight.
On August 5, I told my husband to drop me off at the ER again because the pain and electrocution feeling was getting stronger, level 9 pain, on a scale from 1-10. I was weeping continuously from the pain. I still couldn't make a bowel movement as the pain of pushing sent electrifying shocks down the buttocks and right leg into the foot. There was numbness and tingling all over the leg as well. I suspected my childhood spondololysthesis condition was the source of the issue. This is where a vertebra is slightly out of place and pushes upon the bones or nerves around it, causing pain or numbness. I had left leg numbness and back pain over the years off and on, but never right side pain, ever.
I was sobbing, begged the ER nurses for hours for stronger pain medication to be put in the IV. They lied and said that the medication I was given was the strongest available to them. After more than 3 hours of begging, I was given Dilaudid. It made me dizzy for 20 minutes, but did nothing for my pain. I also begged for an MRI because that would show the issues with my spondololysthesis condition, and the soft tissues affected.
The ER nurses refused, saying quite plainly that they don't have time to take me for n MRI, when they need to save that test for heart attack patients, for people with severe emergencies. Hmmm, even I know heart attack patients don't receive an MRI. Then they continued to say that they don't give heavy medication to people with back aches. I never once told them I had a back ache. I did not have a back ache. I said this out loud to the staff. I was consistently dismissed and was not taken seriously on the 4th or 5th of August. I was again released after about 4 hours with another prescription for the same anti-spasm medication. My husband brought me home, and I crawled into bed, weeping.
I think Kaiser staff didn't believe me because I am youthful looking, muscular, and vibrant, especially for my age. This is due to my active lifestyle. I was blinded by pain and suffering, yet was not taken as a person telling the truth. As a woman in her mid to late 50s, I know my body very well. I have deep women's intuition and practice yoga and Pilates. I am mindful of what I feel and how I move.
Thank you for reading. Stay tuned for part 2 of my spinal surgery diary. Please share with your loved ones and your social media. We need to be advocates for our own health!