I woke up this morning, and I couldn’t sit up.
Now, I wish I was kidding about this, but I’m not. I was trying to find the previous entries where I’d talked about my sciatica and the times this had hit me so badly before that I had literally been unable to sit and stand upright.
The first time was a few weeks before I went to college. I woke up in immense pain, couldn’t sit up, and actually ended up crying out for my Mum and Dad to take to hospital because I was in so much pain. Before I got to the hospital, it had eased enough that I could at least stand up to walk downstairs, but they x-rayed me, couldn’t find anything, and sent me home with a €60 emergency bill and a, “rest. We don’t know what’s wrong, so just rest.”
The next time it happened, I was living on my own in Swords, Co. Dublin. I lived in the attic of a three-storey building (ground floor, first floor, attic) and I woke up, and I could barely make it to the bathroom because the bed was situated incorrectly for me to lean on walls. I called work, told my boss I couldn’t come in, which was awkward since I was the only person who worked in my office (wasn’t my fault!) and then I called my Dad and told him what was wrong, and I packed a bag, hobbled down the two flights of stairs to open the door and leave it unlocked, dragged myself back up, and then waited for Dad to come and help me back down with my bags so that I could sleep in my bed at home for a week. (The bed at home was an old, 80s, wire-sprung bed base that had NO support in it. Turned out it was the best thing for my back, the lack of rigidity.)
Then, in January of this year, after a couple of years with barely any pain, it came back again. Not to the extent of the previous turns, but bad enough that I went to the doctor and he said, “Yes, you have sciatica.”
This morning, I woke up, and I couldn’t sit up. I waited fifteen minutes of rolling around and pushing myself through my pain barrier (sixteen or seventeen piercings and four tattoos, and yeah, my pain barrier’s not bad) and I got myself sitting up and got myself standing by pushing myself up using my desk and then leaning against the wall and then against my chest-of-drawers and then against the safety barrier at the top of the stairs and then the walls and then the top of the cistern, got to use the toilet and then hobbled the same way back to my room and picked up clothes as I went.
After another fifteen minutes, I could stand up enough that I could reach my painkillers and take them (along with my usual tablets) and that was enough to get me downstairs.
I sat in the kitchen, because that’s where my family was. Dad was getting ready to go to work, and Mum and Lorna were getting ready to go to Linda’s, and I’d been sitting down for twenty minutes when…
When my entire left leg went numb down its left side.
Now, I’ve had pain down my backside before. I’ve had shooting pain down my leg from my hip. I’ve had excruciating pain across the small of my back from my hip before. I’ve never had an entire side of my leg go numb.
“Ow. Ow ow owowowowowowow,” I said. “I think I need to see the doctor,” I said.
I got an emergency appointment for this afternoon, and I was lucky, because normally, that late in the day, there’s no such thing as an emergency appointment.
But I was lucky. It was the doctor who’d seen me in January, who’d originally diagnosed me with the sciatic problems and given me the muscle relaxants the first time, and when I told him about it this time and how I’ve been fine in the interim, he gave me more muscle relaxants, upped my dosage of the diclofenac (the tablets I’m taking day-to-day for the sciatica) and some co-dydramol for the pain.
The methocarbamol (the muscle relaxants) are like horse pills they’re so big. And they’re like tranquilisers. But I’m not complaining. Within a half hour of taking them, I was about to stand upright.
All I need is for the tablets to get me through this bout, and then I should be fine. It comes and it goes.
I was explaining to Doctor Simpson, however, that it never seems to hit me when I’m at my higher weights – it always seems to hit me when I’ve lost/am losing weight.
When I was going away to college in 2004, I’d lost almost 30lbs, and was at 357.5lbs.
When I was working in Swords, I’d lost 29lbs (from my highest ever weight) and was at 420lbs.
Now, I’ve lost 10lbs and am at 403lbs, and it’s hitting me again. I realise that the sciatica I have is there, in the first place, because of my weight. But it never hits me when I’m gaining weight. It only ever hits me when I’m losing.
It’s an odd thing.
Hopefully it’s something I won’t have to put up with, once I’ve lost weight. Or, if I do still have sciatica when I’m slimmer, I hope it doesn’t lay me out quite like this.
The pain this morning was horrendous. I barely slept last night because I couldn’t turn over in bed without waking up in agony.
Pain, pain go away. Don’t come again another day.