UPDATE: light at the end of the tunnel?

After my horrific ordeal the previous night, I was preparing to have to call a doctor out last night, because something needed to be done. But wait....what's that, a message on the answering machine from a physio? Ooooooo...it most certainly was, and I rang them, and I was offered an appointment LAST NIGHT! Oh i was completely over the moon!

The clinic was quite a swanky private one, not really sure how i've managed to swing that on the NHS??? Who knows, who CARES! The physio was amazing....she is a goddess in my eyes! LOL. She took a very detailed history and expressed her sympathy and horror at the previous nights events, and she has confirmed it would be perfectly acceptable to ring NHS direct or even an ambulance to assist me should that happen again. But then she said those magic words.."I'm sure i can help you prevent it from happening....in fact there is a lot i can do for you whilst we wait for your results and decisions about your treatment to be made".

I felt SO happy just hearing her say that. She showed me some little exercises that i will have no problem doing, which will help open the space which is pinching my spinal chord, and she showed me two different ways to sleep, with advice on how to get up from both.

I came home elated and this is what happened: i went to bed armed with two hot water bottles and a heat pack ( after sitting on an ice pack for a while earlier). I took two really firm fat cushions off one of the settees and i got all my "stuff" (kindle, water bottle, phone, pads, tweezers, galaxy chocolate, little box with my night meds in) and put it in a little hanging bag my hubby made for me to put these "essential*, items within reach. (I mean come on, you cant go to bed without tweezers can you?!! ).

Then my hubby and I built me a lovely little nest in the bed! I don't like sleeping on my back, I have always slept on my side, but the physio showed me how to make this supported nest and asked me to try on my back for that night. I was dubious, but once we had slotted all my various hot things into the important places for relief, i actually felt pretty comfy....and hot! I took my tablets at 11 as i could feel my eyes going, and i slept deeply until quarter to two. Not long, but i did NOT wake in pain, i just woke, and i managed to get up, which although painful, was controlled and slowly and bearable.

She had shown me how to breathe through this procedure, concentrating on slowly returning my body to a position where i could move from. I came down stairs and read for a bit longer. I didn't feel at all bad considering! But i have work late today, and i felt i should try for a bit more sleep; i always feel pain more acutely when i'm tired.

I tried another technique, building a big firm throne on the settee so that my spine was in an upright, relaxed position, in line and supported. THIS position allowed me another hour and a half sleep, until my little girl got up! i could have slept more! I COULD MOVE!!! No acute pain at all. I didn't take any extra meds in the night, and i am having my day ones at 9.30am today so i can spread them out evenly. Right now I am at most a little uncomfortable in the buttock area and of course my lumbar region (which is just always there but never changes). IS THIS THE ANSWER???

I feel refreshed and enthusiastic and positive. i have done one set of my exercises, and i am eating some breakfast, something i rarely do because of feeling sick with pain and tiredness.

She is going to book me some acupuncture, and a TENS machine to try, and I see her again next week for some more exercises. I do not know how this miracle happened, but I blummin needed it to, and i am so glad it has. Just thought I would share this with you all, because you have been so supportive and caring. Thank you...Zoe x

21 Replies

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  • Brilliant! So pleased for you as you say light at the end of the tunnel.x

  • It just took my being a bit more pro-active and I have you and a couple of others to thank for that....:) x

  • Second night of sleeping in a chair: Went to "bed" at 10pm and read for an hour, took pain meds at 11pm (Ibuprofen and Zapain)

    Woke at three, NO PAIN! Didn't take any more meds obviously.

    Went back to sleep, woke at 6am, no pain on getting up. In pain now but that's normal for day time and i will take my meds (ibuprofen and omeprazole) at 9am.

    Feel refreshed and awake, and very happy! :)

    This hopefully will be a temporary solution, but as it seems to be the only thing that is working so far, i am sticking with it! for those of you with Sciatica try it and see. If it works for me it might for you.

    You need lots of firm cushions, two hot water bottles, and a little table to put all your bits within reach. You need to get your bottom quite back on the settee ( i have a lowish settee), and build the cushions behind you to support your spine and neck. I use two large firmish ones, a neck cushion and two small ones at my sides for my arms. I will try to take a photo at some point to show you. Your spine needs to be "inline". Don't be tempted to put your feet up. It feels weird at first but it is very comfortable.

    I have tried to look on the Internet to see if sleeping like this can harm you in any way, but so far have found nothing except someone had swollen ankles. I will check with my physio next week.

  • It's such a basic thing to make sure the spine is in line, I don't know why gp's, nurses, anyone isn't using this as a mantra. It's on my check list before starting any activities.

    If you get swollen ankles, you can reduce that with a lymph massage. Another person will have to do it for you. All it is is gently massaging up the legs, around the knee cap, up the back of the knee, up the thighs. It's easier to do each section at a time rather than the whole leg. Start daily and as the swelling reduces you can go alternate days, reducing down to once a week. Soon get sone shapely legs

  • Ah thank you zanna, will enlist the hubby for this. I dont actually have swollen ankles yet, but i will enlist him anyway! eheheh ;)

  • ...also, i have always had shapely legs...shaped like a rugby players!! Couldn't stop a pig in a ginnel my mum used to say, the cheek!!!

  • Well they do say, prevention is the best cure - enjoy the pampering - does make you pee alot.

  • Wow that sounds like a great idea, I have tried lots of various supporting cushions and pillows in bed but always lying down, had to resort to knock out pain relief last night but am definitely going to try the sitting up method that you describe. I did some sciatic exercises I found on the internet using tennis balls which did give some temporary relief. Thanks for sharing your experience it helps to know we are not alone fighting sciatic pain.

  • can't hurt to give it a go. it does feel a bit odd at first, but the relief was unbelievable so it is definitely worth it to try, even if you lose a bit of sleep in the attempt. It IS nice to know we aren't alone, really helps to share ideas or a good moan too!

  • This is great news and goes to show the value of a good health care professional. Let us know how you get on with the TENS because if it's good I can recommend one with is mire sturdy with no sticky pads and no hanging wires x

  • isn't it a shame when having a good HC professional isn't the norm? I'm glad i found her, and i will do everything she tells me, because i think she really knows what she is talking about. i will let you know about the TENS as soon as i get a go. thank you for recommending one, i wouldn't know where to start! x

  • Zoe,

    That's great you found someone who not only understands the mechanics of your body, but can do something to help. And the things she suggested don't cost a penny!

    The bonus of a good sleep, and less pain will increase in time. Sleep does not have to be long, it just has to be the right type of sleep.

    You got to do some work too. The exercises will increase as your body relaxes, and there may be other changes to your daily routine that she can suggest, just to make life easier and protect your back.

    Learn as much as you can during your visits about anything and everything. Once you learn new ways to do things to protect your back, the easier it will be for you to work out what to do in new situations.

    woohoo, keep up the good work. I have always championed sports physios, but any non nhs physio is probably better, just find one who specialises in your condition.

  • youre dead right zanna. i didnt actually need much sleep anyway when things were normal, but now that I'm in pain all the time and my sleep is disturbed, everything seems worse. I just don't cope as well. i guess lots of people are like that. But now that i know how to achieve a relatively pain free night, and i am not dreading bedtime, the whole thing becomes less stressful. For a bit of extra effort its been an excellent result, and hasn't cost me more than a couple of hotwater bottles. They were a bargain too...Moshi Monster ones!!! LOL

  • I'm so happy to hear that news Zoe. It also gives a positive message to call of us. Best wishes, Mary.

  • Hi Mary, I truly hope that someone reads what has happened and maybe gets a bit of hope or an idea they haven't tried for themselves yet. If we didnt share what has happened i would never have had the courage to go to my GP and insist on things being followed up. So its one of those ripple effect situations really! Thank you for all your support x

  • What a lovely story Zoe,it's amazing how this woman has given you such a positive way of thinking, brilliant ,you will be bungee jumping in no time at all lass,all the best. :)

  • LOLOLOL!!! Yorkshireste....not even making me BIONIC would entice me into doing a bungee jump! But she HAS given me hope, and thats all i needed. Best wishes to you too x

  • Brilliant, she sounds great!! Very positive

  • She is. Very down to earth and REALLY LISTENED.....sighs, so many of the Drs I have seen could learn a thing or too from her...never mind, I will write a letter to the GP so say thank you for her referral and to her manager to say what a good job she is doing. people who make a difference should be recognised.

  • Wonderful! A great idea.

  • Wonderful. The Physio sounds like an angel. Think we could all do with one of them but I'm so pleased she helped you xx

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