My leg’s still killing me. This morning I went to see Dr. Steve.
“Take off your pants, the doctor will be here in a minute,” his nurse said as I settled into an examining room. This is not how you start a conversation on even footing!
Steve asked a few questions while I sat, then asked a few more as he had me twist and contort.
It’s interesting how this works. The moves you expect to be painful aren’t always. Unfortunately, the ones that are painful are very painful!
“L4,” he said.
This is the doctor’s equivalent of “vorticity,” a word I can throw in conversation to make sure you know I became a meteorologist by going to school for it.
Now it was explanation time. I have sciatica, a pinched nerve, probably the lumbar spinal nerve 4 (L4). It goes everywhere!
From Livestrong.com: The L4 nerve supplies many muscles in the lower back region, either directly or through an extension of nerves originating from L4.
So far only bad news, but there is good news. It can be treated! He showed me an exercise I can do while sitting then digitally pushed a prescription to my local pharmacy. I’m on prednisone, a steroid.
Being thorough Steve began to tell me the side effects prednisone could bring. “You might get irritable.” How would anyone notice?
He continued. Sometimes prednisone brings increased appetite, insomnia and a few others unrelated treats. I listened closely for oily discharge or an erection lasting more than four hours. Since prednisone is a steroid I’d already thought about its other well known side effects. I’m not interested in a bloated face or shrunken parts!
Damn! I won’t be able to pass the drug test to participate in the Olympics.
“Maybe I’d be better with the pain,” I said.
Dr. Steve didn’t think so and asked if I wanted anything for that part of the equation.
It’s funny. I lived through the sixties. I inhaled. Yet the thought of taking an opioid scares me. Barring exceptional circumstances I follow Nancy Reagan and just say no! This is some infantile macho gesture from me, right?
If you’ve never taken prednisone it’s more a project than prescription. The dosage is complex and varies by the day. I’m supposed to take one of the pills on one of the days before 9:00 AM. I’m guessing they don’t know when I go to sleep!
Steve is hopeful I’ll be fine sooner rather than later. Some people respond to the treatment within the first 48 hours. Others wait longer before feeling better. I’ll let you know.
Meanwhile expect a little visible irritability and an occasional painful wail.