My wife has had vague right-sided lower back pain for a week or two. The discomfort has been minor and hasn’t slowed her down.
She worked a 7-hour shift today. Towards the end of this, the lower back pain had progressed to affect the buttock, with the discomfort becoming much sharper and deeper to the point that she found sitting very difficult.
She managed to drive home but by the time we needed to rush out the door to attend my father’s birthday dinner, she had developed shooting pain down the right buttock along the back of the right thigh. Each step was very painful.
She never made dinner. She hasn’t left the living room couch since we eased her onto it. My brother and I attempted to get her to stand and unfortunately, just managed to trigger severe sharp, shooting pain down that leg. Sciatica.
Tears and mascara don’t lead to a good look but I didn’t tell her that (until this blog). And unlike myself, she’s a tough cookie when it comes to pain.
As a rheumatologist, I get to see a lot of patients with sciatica, both acute and chronic. But I’ve never witnessed the evolution of the problem before my eyes.
It’s hard to examine a patient/wife in acute pain but she has some numbness at her right sole and weakness at the ankle when I get her to “step on the pedal”. I think she has a disc bulge affecting the right S1 nerve root.
She’s just fallen asleep on the same couch. She still can’t move without pain, 3 hours after we managed to get her some strong anti-inflammatory medication.
I anticipate that she’ll need rest for the next few days and I’ll use strong anti-inflammatory medication in this acute phase to try and treat some of the acute inflammation around the nerve and the disc protrusion.
In the morning, we’ll try to get her to stand. We, of course, are aiming to keep her out of hospital. Xmas plans are in disarray.
I’ve only just commenced this blog and I obviously didn’t plan for it to be about someone so close to me. It seemed however very relevant to share this with you.