I’ve mentioned a few times that I’ve been having bad back and rib pain. Well, it got a lot worse in November and December, and by the end of the year, it had expanded to severe abdominal pain as well. For a while it looked like my gall bladder was going to have to come out, but so far all the various scans have been negative.
I’ve already had a couple of cortisone injections in my back for the pinched nerves there, but it wasn’t feeling much better. Of course, tracking this stuff down by where it hurts can be hard since the place you feel the pain for a pinched nerve (around T7 if you’re curious) overlaps heavily with the areas you feel the pain from ulcers and gall bladder problems and other issues around the stomach/duodenum/small-intestine.
But given how much pain killer I was taking for the pain — and how long I’d been taking it — there was some suspicion that all of that ibuprofen might have been causing damage similar to an ulcer. So, the GI guy asked me to go a week or so without the ibuprofen and rely exclusively on the Vicodin.
I was expecting a week of blissful drooling under the heavy opiate haze, but instead, I found that by the second day, I was hurting a lot less, and wehn I say a lot, I mean a LOT! Pain dropped from the 8 to 10 range down to the 3 to 6 range. It still gets worse as the day progresses, but I’m typically not needing any of the vicodin until the end of the day.
So, my productivity has gone up a lot in the last week or so. Mostly, I’ve been pouring that extra energy into my day job and my family. I say this with apologies to my increasingly-less-patient readers, but I’m woefully behind at work, and my wife had been trudging along in “least sick adult” mode for weeks, verging on months. But I’m making good progress on both of those fronts, so I hope to add my writing back into the mix soon, possibly this week.
I’m loathe to post specific goals or schedules just yet because I want to see how well my health holds in the coming weeks. I still have some more tests coming in early February to see what kind of damage my GI tract might have sustained, and those might signal more procedures or therapies that will interrupt any workflow I set up.
But for now, I’m feeling much better, doing physical therapy twice a week for my back, and getting stuff done. For that, I am thankful.