I've been on a forced hiatus from running since May. I may or may not have a herniated disc in my lower back; the question will be answered by Thursday when the results of my MRI come in. Dr. Amico says he'll be surprised if it's not a herniated disc. I still don't know exactly what it means in terms of recovery. Dr. A says it can take from six weeks to six months to fully recover. I'm hanging on to the six week diagnosis.
So, this pain started about seven weeks ago, and instead of taking care of it right away I continued to run, which made it worse. In my defense the pain in my lower back wasn't all that different from pain I've had in the past. It always went away before; I didn't think this time would be different, like life altering different. And, I'm not being dramatic when I say it's "life altering". The pain travels from my lower back down my left leg to the bottom of my foot, making sitting, standing, walking, and lying down challenging, at best. I brace myself when I sneeze or cough. In addition, I'm in physical therapy twice a week, I sit on an ice pack four times a day, and I'm on my third doctor as of Thursday. (I'm going to see a physical medicine doctor per my primary care physician's suggestion. What the hell is physical medicine?)
I can't run, which is the most life altering part of all. To go from running five or six days a week to not running at all has changed me physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Not being able to run, simply put, totally sucks. Being in constant pain, unless I take a ton of Advil, totally sucks. Sitting down sucks. Standing up sucks. It all sucks. It makes me appreciate my life before that day in April when I went to the gym and did too many squat-lunge-twist-with-ten-pound-weights. I know it's a cliche, the whole "I'll never take my health for granted again", and it's bullshit because, yes, we all take everything for granted until something goes wrong. But, I am going to remember this so that the minute I start taking my health for granted I'll read this blog and tell myself to stop being an idiot.