Now...with that out of the way...time for a long update on my herniated disc situation. And YES this includes some good and bad news.
Where to start...
Ok...so yesterday I had my first appointment with the spine specialist. It was recommended to me by my orthopedic specialist to go see a doctor who specilized specifically on my spine. Basically going to the orthopedic specialist was a waste of time and money because all he would say is "you have a herniated disc" and the office visits lasted about 5 minutes. I'm not joking. He did not show me my MRIs or explain anything to me. So I just figured...herniated disc...no problem! Everyone gets those right?
Anddddddd then I went to the spine specialist. He sat with me for an hour showing me all of my MRIs, explaining everything to me. I mean everything. He showed me how some of the discs in my back are in bad shape because of genetics (thanks mom and dad) and that is why I have back pain sometimes (unrelated to the herniated disc situation). Here is a good thing! He told me my back muscles were really strong lol. Yay!! Those weight machines must have paid off lol. Then he got to the real bad part. He said that my herniated disc was extreme and that is why my pain level has been a 9 or 10. Extreme. EXTREME. I was so mad that the orthopedic specialist did nothing about this. He didn't even tell me it was bad. He told me nothing. So when he said it was extreme and that it was a pretty bad situation and he couldn't believe I was dealing with this for 4 months...I wanted to punch something (not the dr. bc he was actually really cute). So I have been living the past 4 months with an extreme herniated disc and all the dr's before this one told me it was a torn hamstring, hamstring pull, hamstring tendinitis and/or herniated disc. What a bunch of bulllllshiiiiiit.
Ok rant over.
This spine specialist was awesome. He told me everything I needed to know. He said that physical therapy was out of the question for right now (orthopedic specialist suggested it...asshole) and that I should get a shot before I consider the surgery. Great advice. The shot is an epidural type shot where they drug you up in the hospital and then stick a needle into your disc. It should take away 80-100% of your pain. It does not cure the situation but it helps with the pain and can sometimes help the disc to shrink and go back in place. Maybe. I think. (Reason #834739 why I need a grown up with me at all times. I kinda forget a lot of the stuff he told me). Anyways...my shot is scheduled for this Friday. YESSSSS so excited. My mom is going to come up to NJ to take me to and from the hospital and after I get the shot I should find some relief.
So me being the stubborn asshole I am...I asked the dr about exercise...
Me: When can I run again?
Dr: My suggestion to you would be to never run again. Your back is pretty bad and running will only make it worse. It is the worst thing you can do. I wouldn't even try it. Once you're pain free there are many other alternatives like the eliptical or swimming.
Me: :::cry cry cry cry:::: So you are telling me I can never run again? (Heart breaks and I even did the finger sign of my heart breaking.)
Now to explain the reason why I was devastated at this news...
I love running.
A lot. Like sooo much. It is one of the best things ever. I love the feeling of pushing myself past my limits and accomplishing farther distances, longer times and faster paces. It is something that made me feel unstoppable and accomplished. The high I got from pushing myself and achieving my mini goals was untouchable. It was my outlet for stress and an instant mood changer. It was my obsession.
And yes...I was only running for about a month before I hurt myself but the progress I made in that month was amazing. I went from only being able to run for like 1 minute to running 17 mins without stopping. I was running from one stop sign to a tree at the beginning and then ended with running 1.25 miles. That progress made me SMILE and I was so proud. I felt strong and I wanted more. I wanted to train for a 5k and then keep going.
Then I was stopped in my tracks with this injury. The past 4 months all I have been able to think about is when I can run again. When I can put on my cute black and pink nikes and head out my front door and just go. Run run run. So when the doctor told me that may never happen again...I was crushed. Completely devastated. My heart broke.
I have talked to many people about this and some say that they were told the same thing. Some don't run anymore, but there are a few who still do. I hope that I can be one of them someday. After all this bs is over...I hope that I can start running again.
The reason why I am making a huge deal about this is because walking is not enough. I want to be an athlete. A real runner. Not a fat girl who pretends...but a runner who has changed her life and runs 5ks with no problem. That is what I want so much!
But remember...I am an optimist. So all in all this spine specialist was a positive experience. I learned how bad my back is, what will fix it and where to go from here. I finally got the answers I needed. Once I get this shot, I am going to start back with my exercising. I have been walking alot the past 4 months but everytime I do I am in crazy pain the next few days. So the exercising has been there...but not alot. I am ready to get back to it!! I miss the gym SO much. I can't wait!!! I have gained some weight and I can def tell in my face. It is fat again and I want it to go away.
So this post is super long but it is just an update on what is going on. I just want this to all go away and I hope this shot is the answer. I am so ready to have my life back, but until then, I promise to smile everyday.