Tuesday, July 11, 2006

And the test results are -- inconclusive

I got my MRI results back, and my Doctor says they are good. What he means is that the results show no problems. Of course, my leg is still in constant pain, but at least (he says) we know that there isn't any real damage that would require an operation.

In fact, what little problems there are in my spine (and there are problems, a few compacted disks and a small cyst) are on the RIGHT side, not the left where my pain lies.

It does bother me that we can't find a rational explanation for my current crop of symptoms. The doctor is certain it is a nerve problem, but when I ask what could have caused the problem initially, or the severe pain of Father's day, we just don't have an answer.

The next step is Physical Therapy, maybe 2-3 times a week for at least 4 weeks. My first appointment is Wednesday morning, and I've was told that this particular PT group doesn't believe in pain (several "friends" have compared their PT experiences to torture, which didn't exactly make me happy to sign up).

I'm walking without my crutches now (I take them with me for when I get tired). Today I signed up at the Freedom Fitness center so I could do water aerobics and yoga as recommended by the doctor. I even swam a few dozen laps, later in the day walked a half mile on my treadmill (at about 1 mph or so -- not exactly burning up the track).

I have now decided that this is exactly what I needed to get my life together. In fact, earlier this year I had discussed taking the summer off from work to get myself in shape and lose all the extra weight I've accumulated -- because I'm at risk for heart disease, and I'm getting to the age where it will be near-impossible to recover.

So this injury may have given me the opportunity to do exactly what I thought I should do. I've lost 40 pounds since this started, and now I will have to submit to several hours a week of hands-on therapy, and doctor-ordered exercise classes.

I'm doing it for my family, and for myself. I'm sorry my children have had to put up with a fat parent, and that my lack of exercise has left me unable to participate fully with them. I remember my father playing football with us (of course he had children a lot earlier in life -- when my father was MY age, I was already in college, while my kids are still young). My son is getting excited about getting in shape, and reminds me that I had promised to work out with him this summer anyway, so this may bring us together as well.

I didn't set up this blog to be a personal diary of my life. I hope that my occasional over-sharing of information isn't too distracting.

I've enjoyed my little break from blogging, and expect to get back into the swing of things in the next couple of days. I've got to finish my column for the week still, but then I've got a couple of stories I want to delve into in more detail.

Thanks for all the prayers and words of encouragement. They are much appreciated.


Joe Budzinski said...

Someone close to me just completed a session with some big Spine Institute place in Reston and is now in PT (also about to get the MRI). Now that you are in the process there is nowehere to go but up, is my estimation of how this all works.

I had to undergo a pretty severe lifestyle change about 10 years ago, with similar heart concerns at the core of it. (My dad died of a heart attack at 57 and had a few earlier ones). A book called 'Protein Power' and its follow up, 'The Protein Power Lifestyle,' were two of the blueprints I depended on, and in terms of cholesterol count and such it worked.

I'm glad to see you have a positive approach following the difficulties - that is the first major hurdle and you have already overcome it.

James Young said...

Get well soon, Charles.

And remember, physical therapy really exists as a jobs program for sado-masochists. They need work, too!

Shaun Kenney said...

Get better, Charles!

NOVA Scout said...

Modern medicine has a long way to go in being able to explain everything to us or to identify clearly every ailment or discomfort. What modern medicine does do rather well is to rule out the really scary stuff. Sounds to me that you got the good news that they didn't find any really scary stuff. Congratulations.