My Past Four Days : Adventures with Sciatica

This is a record of my past four days, as recorded via Skype messages to Forgottenman.  I have removed most of his messages to me to protect his privacy. If you skim though the gripes, there are some high points of unbelievable occurrences toward the end that will make it worth your while plowing through this, perhaps:

4:40 PM  Thursday
Woke up with such pains in my back.  Got in the boiling hot hot tub and that helped.  Had to go to town to run errands, but now I can finally lie down. Perhaps I should go into the hot tub again, but I’m so tired I have to lie down first. Man, I’m a mess, boy!!!


9:08 PM
Fell asleep and just woke up 1/2 hour ago. Fed the kids who were all having a fit, did dishes and back in bed with a hot pack heated in the microwave.


11:58 PM
Woke up in such pain that I got in hot tub for long time to try to help my back.. then in pool for another long time, cleaning algae and throwing balls for Morrie.. then put icy hot on back and got in bed. Seems to get worse when I lie down.


12:22 AM Friday
Gotta go take an Advil.. I’ve been taking them all day,  Just took a tiny bit of cannabis oil to try to help with this back pain…hot water helped. Icy Hot helped,  but only for 15 minutes or so and then it comes back. Damn.  May have to go to a dr.  So sick of drs.  Feel like a hypochondriac. I’m wondering if a hospital bed would help somehow.

1:54 AM
I’m trying sitting up with four pillows and my bolster under my knees.  Took some more cannabis oil.  I have Oxycontin but don’t want to take it. Took one Advil. Will try another in fifteen minutes if it doesn’t help. Perhaps should try the Icy Hot again.  It helped for a short while.  Wish I could find my damn Tens machine.  It was in my purse but can’t find where I put it.  Complain complain, but this is driving me nuts.

3:50 AM
Only thing that relieves my back pain is standing up and I can’t stand up all night.  The cannabis has had no effect. Nor has the Icy Hot or Advil. Guess I just need to try to go to sleep.

Forgottenman: 3:50 AM
Maybe a shot of rum?

3:52 AM
I think it would need more than a shot. Just gonna try to go to atcha later today.. can’t say tomorrow.

Forgottenman: 3:52 AM
Maybe try sleeping on the couch with your feet pressed up against the foot of the couch? Kinda like standing?


Took his advice and tried sleeping on the couch with a heating pad on my back and feet pushing against the end of the no avail.

Forgottenman: 12:21 PM Saturday
How is your back today?

12:23 PM
Still bad.  I didn’t fall asleep until 5 or 6 this morning.  Better when sitting up but I can’t find the right chair.  I’m using a heating pad and just took a Paracetamol pain pill.  Water too hot to get in the hot tub.  When Yolanda leaves I’ll see if I can get water hot enough for a shower. I slept until 11, which was good.  It hurts the most when lying down.. a problem when you are so sleepy you can barely sit up. I tried to make an appt. with a chiropractor but his office was closed today and of course Sunday and the friend who called for me said he’s out of town and his assistant has no appointments available Monday. Poor poor Pearl.


1:05 PM
I think this pill is helping.

9:12 PM
Did my exercises in the pool.  Water hot but not scalding. Hot tub too hot to soak though, Might be okay by tomorrow. When I put Icy Hot on after being in hot water it does get very very hot.  Must be because my pores are open.  When Pepe uses it for massage, it doesn’t get hot at all.  Early to bed tonight as I didn’t sleep all last night.

9:22 PM
I’m wondering if I should take another pain pill or leave well enough alone.Trying to drink lots of water to get the toxins out of my system stirred up by that deep massage Wed. that I think set off this attack. It felt wonderful right afterwards but by Thurs. my lower back and left leg were excruciating and have been most of the time since. 

11:08 PM
Have a ten o’clock breakfast appt. with a friend tomorrow.  Groan.  Better set my alarm and get to sleep.

11:14 PM
I took a pill a while ago. Doesn’t seem to have kicked in, though.

2:29 PM
Got up at 4 or five and went into hot tub which was scalding but seemed to help my back, which was excruciating.  Put Icy Hot on it which really heated up but 15 minutes later my back was as sore as before.  Took a pain pill and iced down my back IMG_0308which seemed to work much better than the heating pad and hot water had..Was good enough to meet Sandy for breakfast at 10 and by 12 was still pretty good.  Had a birthday party to go to tonight, but I fell asleep twice on the road driving home from my breakfast with Sandy. I guess it was the pain pills.  Both times I woke up as I went off onto the bike trail or shoulder.  Thank goodness no one was on it, but scared me to death.. So I’m cancelling out on Michael’s surprise 75th party and staying home so long as I have to take these pills. 

11:28 PM
Dogs are making a ruckus down below the studio.. don’t know over what. They were banging around running over the ladder and other equipment stored there.  I didn’t hear any cat yowling so hopefully not a cat.

1:30 AM Sunday
Oh man. Just woke up and my back is killing me.

2:00 AM
Can’t remember when I last took a pill, but just took a Paracetamol at 2 am..writing it down so I”ll remember. I think I can take 4 a day. This means i can take another at 10 tomorrow morning. I also have a Tens patch on it. I have Oxycontin but scared to take it. Trying to drink lots of water to wash the toxins out that might have been released by the massage..and using the old tennis ball technique, pressing it into the sore spots.

3:42 AM
DAMN!!!! After using Tens and ice on my back, I got a bad cramp in my leg that I couldn’t get rid of, so went out to soak in hot tub.  Finally it started lightning and it wasn’t helping my leg so I got out of hot tub, collected my towel and nightgown and then in the dark saw what looked like another wet towel on the ground.  I picked it up and it was a soaking wet dead possum!!!  Can it get any worse???? I guess I know now what the fuss was the dogs were raising down below the studio earlier tonight.

Forgottenman: 3:43 AM
Oh, I hope you are going to write about this! Such rich blog posts!!!

3:44 AM
I knew you’d say that.

Forgottenman: 3:44 AM

3:44 AM
No photos. No blog!!!
Now putting ice back on my back and leg again. 



Obviously, I changed my mind about the no photos, no blog decision. This is Diego looking innocent this morning re/ last night’s nefarious activities.


The evidence of his guilt, still lying by the pool waiting for Pasiano to deal with the disposal of remains tomorrow. Definitely not a wet towel. Poor little thing.


3:47 AM
I’m in for another long night.May have to call doctor tomorrow to come give me a shot or something. I can’t stand another two days of this. OK that’s my last message.  Go to bed, sweetie.. I’ll bitch atcha tomorrow..

4:23 AM
Ok.. won’t send this until tomorrow so it won’t wake you up, but….Act three?  I was lying on the ice bag which of course melted, soaking the towel around it, my nightgown and the sheets.  I was so tired, I just pulled the towel, the bag full of water and my nightgown off, wrapped them into a ball and tossed it off the bed.  It hit the bedside table, knocking the glass full of water to the floor where it shattered into a hundred shards..all over floor, under the bed, under the table..over my shoes..and of course I had to clean it up because otherwise I’ll forget and get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom barefoot and shred my feet.  F….!!!!!  So a half hour later, I hope all the glass is up and once again I am in bed, aching back.. but not getting up again for anything!!!!!IMG_0312IMG_0288

11:09 AM Sunday
Oops.. didn’t mean to send that last message last night, lest you hear the ping of the Skype from your bed and come back out to living room to see the message… Sorry, Forgottenman. Automatic response.  Hope you didn’t get up to see this. Still hurting this morning.. Have tried exercises, hot packs, cold packs, sitting up, lying down.  Everything hurts. Tried to eat and burned four batches of toast and gave up. This is the pits.IMG_0302IMG_0303

I think it is sciatica.. have looked up all the internet instructions on it.  It says not to stay in bed longer than 24 hours, but it hurts too much to move or sit up or stand up. I’m a mess.  Considering taking the Oxycontin left over from my foot operation a few years ago.  Aren’t I a downer?


In the meantime, I have watched over 40 episodes of “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” over the past 4 days while trying to distract myself and/or lull myself to sleep!! That is a lot of riding around in cars, so I think it qualifies me for Fandango and Ragtag’s prompts. And Daily Addictions can certainly not blame me for any lack of alertness–especially on my own attempts to venture out on the road.  From now on, I’m staying put!

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About lifelessons

My blog, which started out to be about overcoming grief, quickly grew into a blog about celebrating life. I post daily: poems, photographs, essays or stories. I've lived in countries all around the globe but have finally come to rest in Mexico, where I've lived since 2001. My books may be found on Amazon in Kindle and print format, my art in local Ajijic galleries. Hope to see you at my blog.

21 thoughts on “My Past Four Days : Adventures with Sciatica

  1. Suze

    it sounds more like a compressed disc. if you get any blood in your urine while you back ins in such pain go immediately to the emergency department as it could mean a ruptured disc. Doctors can try steroid shot directly into the spine to alleviate the pain. I have to once or twice every few years when the pain gets too bad. I have two compressed discs and what you went through sounds exactly what I go through. Praying you are better very very soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Relax...

    I imagine a chiropractor could help, but if it is sciatica, there are wonderful exercises right online, which I found out were the same as the printouts that friends got from doctor visits. (Just Google sciatica exercises –they really help!) I no longer suffer sciatica, but a few years ago I literally had to stop moving after a few minutes of walking either outside or in the supermarket — my leg wasn’t there, via pain and or numbness. I think it may’ve come on from my computer chair or perhaps my pillow or shoes (or old age, sure), but a Physician’s Asst. once told me she’s convinced that our bodies change every 7 years. It makes sense. Just keep trying switching out things you use a lot that could affect your spine or neck or hips. (Sorry this comment is so long!)


  3. slmret

    So sorry you’re having such pain — I hope you can resolve it quickly, hopefully with exercise as suggested above. Combinations of drugs and alcohol are not helpful in the long term, but exercises, if they work, can go on working forever! Take care, and feel better soon!


  4. Marilyn Armstrong

    Good luck with that. Do you know what’s wrong? Herniated disc? Sciatica isn’t a disease. It’s a symptom. You might want to at least find out where the problem originated and see if you can fix that or at least do something at its origin. There are cortisone shots that can REALLY help. They don’t cure you, but they can give you substantial, moderately long-term relief.

    Feel better!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. koolkosherkitchen

    I am so sorry you are in such pain, Judy! I would be cautious about exercises, as my neurosurgeon emphatically forbid any moves – even swimming! – at least for a month after a sciatic attack, and start moving only after getting clearance from an osteopath. His system is changing position about every 20 minutes, i.e. from lying down, to standing, to walking. Hope you feel better soon!
    P.S. Your red heating pad on the coach looks just like my red heating pad on my coach – familiar territory.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. rugby843

    I suffered with this for many years and finally succumbed to two back surgeries a month apart. Didn’t work. Lately, well for over six months now, my former numb back is in constant pain. I was addicted to fentanyl that I took for fifteen plus years so now nothing. At night I too am so tired but can’t sleep because of pain. I don’t want to get hooked on any pain killers again, my kidneys can’t take Advil, etc so I’m in the same boat. Hell. I hope you find relief. I had sciatic pain back and leg since 18. Even with everything mostly numb for four years now, it was preferable sitting in a wc to pain. Good luck, Judy.


    1. lifelessons Post author

      So sorry to hear this. My dr. gave me an injection that was a painkiller/anti-inflammatory. She said it was a one-time deal. I’m feeling much better and have two prescriptions , one for 5 days, another for 10, that I hope will do the trick. She says Paracetamol is the best painkiller to have at home but not to take more than the suggested amount..I think it is similar to Tylenol. She also said to use heat and very mild exercise-preferably in water. I really hope yours abates..It is impossible to deal with. Can’t wait to go take a nap. xo J


    1. lifelessons Post author

      Yes.. got an injection from the doctor and just woke up from a nap. Nothing feels better than sleep when you haven’t had any for awhile. Thanks, Dorann.


  7. Catherine

    Oh no! You must feel the world is out to get you after the dead possum and shattered water glass. What a nightmare!

    I’ve been suffering with sciatica for over a year. Have tried every treatment I can find but recovery has been slow. Read everything and can recommend a book called Crooked and also Healing Back Pain.

    Take care of yourself Judy. So many fur balls depending on you!


    1. lifelessons Post author

      Thanks, Catherine. I think it is better when I don’t lie down so much, but hard not to do when you are so sleepy due to lack of sleep. I fell asleep floating in the hot tub tonight! Only woke up because Diego went streaking down to the garden in pursuit of something. Probably another poor little possum to present to me.


  8. Tamara

    Glad you went to a doctor and got an injection. It doesn’t sound like sciatica. Most back pain is actually muscle spasms which are terribly painful, but will subside. Bedrest is actually the worst thing for muscle spasms. Get up and try to move…walk if you can. Sciatica feels like and aching in the back of your leg or a shooting pain down your leg and comes from compression on your tailbone. Sitting upright with good back support and a cutout in the area of your tailbone usually takes the pressure off that area. Sitting in bed or on a couch with your lower back rounded will put more pressure on the tailbone and make it worse. Heat increases inflammation. Cold decreases inflammation. So, it all depends on the symptoms to determine what to do. Back pain is generally not sciatica. I hope you’re feeling a lot better soon. A chiropractor should be able to help you avoid this in the future.



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