In short, my last blog was regarding the foot, butt, and back pain I had been having. After an initial diagnosis of piriformis syndrome (something I still very well may have), we did a lumbar MRI and learned that my L3/L4 and L4/L5 discs are herniated. I had suspected this for many months, but the doctors never seemed concerned about it, and I finally had to really push it and ask for the MRI. Thank goodness. I would have just kept stretching and stretching and trying to run with terrible results. The pain has been crippling at times.
Fortunately we figured that out, and I've been using physical therapy to try to strengthen the surrounding back and core muscles to take the stress off those discs and allow them to heal naturally. The best that I can, that is. The neurosurgeon that I saw a couple of weeks ago said that he doesn't think surgery would be a good option. Thank goodness, 'cause I really don't want to go that route.
And that brings me to this week. My abdomen has been bothering for 4 years now. Ever since I was pregnant with my first son. Once again, this is something that I mentioned to several different doctors, and they all wrote it off as nothing. So this week I asked if we could do a CT scan of my abdomen, and it revealed what they call a para-umbilical hernia. Basically, it's an area of herniation near my belly button where intestines and fat are poking through. Ouch. So...surgery is in my very near future, but not back surgery. It should be something fairly routine, either using mesh, stitches, or a combination of the two to stitch my abdominal wall back together. Core exercise, unfortunately, will only serve to make the hernia worse, so I need to hold off on physical therapy until I am cleared after the surgery.
Otherwise, things are going okay. This year has really really sucked, but I'm pulling through, and the pain has been much better the past few days. I'm using the recumbent bike when I can, and I'm hoping to begin walking, upping it from 10 minutes a day to an hour a day, and then determining at that point if my body might be ready to try more strenuous activity again. Really tiny baby steps, but I have to be okay with it. I'm committed to striving to reach the level of fitness I was at before all this mess began, but it may take years to do that. And if it does, it does.
At least I'm not still here, right?
I find it good for morale to look at before pictures whenever I get a little sad. Especially classics like that one.
Picking apples last weekend. HUMONGOUS!
Driving the boys around on the tractor. The path you can see mowed in the field behind us is a .65 mile track we've been keeping up for when I can get back to walking and jogging. Grass is good for the feet and bod!
I hope you all are doing well and moving forward.