Thursday, February 11, 2010

backache blues

Back pain is nothing to scoff at. For the past couple months I’ve been dealing with a badly strained left side Latissimus Dorsi muscle, or more familiarly, Lat muscle, which spasmed and locked up very painfully. I’ve been undergoing twice weekly treatments with a physical therapist that include electrical stimulation and ultrasound and massage of the offending muscle. The pt also showed me how to properly stretch to keep the muscle less rigid and prone to soreness. And while the pain hasn’t gone away completely, it has been greatly reduced with those treatments and become more manageable.

The real test of my progress in controlling the aching and soreness came yesterday when I had to deal with the 14” of snow that fell overnight. Knowing what the consequences would be if I moved wrong or tried to bend and lift shovels full of snow, I moved cautiously and slowly and restricted my cleanup efforts to guiding the snowblower. After a couple hours of effort I succeeded in clearing the driveway and sidewalk without hurting myself. I was justifiably proud of my accomplishment, not so much the snow removal as doing it without aggravating my sore back. I figured I was over the healing hump and on my way to being able to swing a golf club once again.

But not so fast backache boy. This morning I woke up feeling as spry as any PD afflicted 62 year old could hope to be considering the level of activity I went through the day before. Feeling nearly normal lulled me into thinking that I was safe from the attack of the muscle devils that lurk behind any wrong move the unsuspecting can make. My wrong move this morning was reaching up into the cupboard to fetch a cup for my coffee. Yow!!! A fullblown muscle spasm seized my back and left me screaming and grabbing the counter to keep from collapsing in an excruciating heap on the floor, whimpering and gasping for breath. All I wanted was a cup of coffee. All I got was a trip back to square one,

Luckily, I still have some muscle relaxant pills to stem the pain coursing through every little nerve ending in my body when I move the wrong way, which is to say moving at all. I just hate to have to use those pills, being reluctant to have to rely on them for any length of time. But use them I will until I can get back to physical therapist and her healing hands. But just my luck, she is on vacation all through next week. I am on my own.

I hate to whine, but this is getting old and so am I. I don’t heal as fast as I once did and Parkinsons Disease makes recovery all the more problematic. When do I get to feel normal again?

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