This morning I woke up and the pain I wrote about yesterday was worse. Still I tried to get up. Mr H helped me get dressed. It took me 45 minutes to accept I was not going to work. Instead Mr H drove me to the hospital.
I have written about the issues at work before. Last March when I was in hospital for 2 days and off work a total of 6 days, I received a number of unsupportive messages, mainly how it was just “not good enough” and “inconvenient” to the business. So the idea of telling them I wasn’t going to be in filled me with dread. I emailed them to say I was in Hospital and wouldn’t be in.
Mr H took me to the Hospital that I see the pain specialist at, the same Hospital I had my hysterectomy done, because I thought it would be beneficial to be seen at the same place. It turns out this was a brilliant decision. The Accident and Emergency department is amazing there. I was triaged within 10 minutes and given some pain relief (09:15). Triage completed I went back to the waiting room. Another 15 minutes I was taken to a consultation room and seen by a doctor (09:30), who did the usual tests (lower limb strength and sensation tests, as well as the rectal response tests). Now I know I am intrigued by role playing with Mr H as the Dr, but in this situation there is nothing sexy about a Dr putting a finger up your bum and saying squeeze and bear down… at least I don’t think Mr H finds the girl on girl (the Dr was a woman) angle sexy.
At (10:15) I was off to have an MRI. A little wait there then the scan was done, and I was back in the waiting room, by now its 11:30. The Dr came with the results. The disc has bulged at L5/S1 and is compressing the existing nerves. This is causing the pain.
They are arranging a referral to the Spinal Team for follow up and monitoring, and asked if I would like to speak to the physiotherapist. I agreed.
To give you some idea about what I have been talking about… the image below is a healthy spine and disc as well as what happens with degeneration and herniation (bulge).
As you can see the bulge causes a narrowing in the canal where the spinal cord runs, and in my case it is touching the nerves that exit the spine. This is causing the pain and numbness.
A nurse came to take me to a different room, and as it was just after 12:30 she offered me a sandwich for lunch (unheard of at my local hospital), made me a cup of tea and I was given more pain relief. She told me that the physiotherapist would see me in about half an hour I saw the physiotherapist who gave me a few small exercises to do, a prescription for some more pain relief and showed me the MRI.
It was good to be able to see the cause of the pain and know it isn’t in my head. Sometimes you can be treated as if you are making it up and people think the pain can’t really be that bad.
At this point it was half past 1 and I was going home.
I contacted work, by email, to tell them I could return to work tomorrow but I would be taking a strong painkiller/muscle relaxant and they needed to be aware I would be a little out of it.
One of them responded that perhaps I should take another day and rest. I replied that perhaps we could compromise and if I felt rested and OKish I would come in and do payroll. He said ok.
Then the other one sent a reply, that he didn’t want me in work on these meds, said some utter crap about insurance, and told me to get a Doctors note Sunday I am well enough to work.
Given that l have 5 days supply of the meds I have replied, fine, consider me off for 5 days. I didn’t add good luck with payroll – but they don’t have any capable of processing it! In the meantime, I guess I have 5 days off work.