“Posterior annular tear of the L4-L5 intervertebral disc associated with diffuse 2 mm dorsal disc bulge which contacts the ventral aspect of the left L5 nerve root.”
What, that doesn’t make sense to you either?
In layman’s terms, I have a small disc tear and a disc coming into contact with a nerve. All culprits are in my lower back (if you follow the top of your hip bones to your back, that’s where L4 is; L5 is right below it around your tailbone).
The good news is that minor disc tears heal on their own. The bad news is they take a LONG time to heal and there’s no “magic” time frame. It’s individual and will just take constant evaluation. For now, it means almost no activity for the next 2 weeks. My doc wants to see me go at least 2 weeks with minimal pain and no flare ups (I’ve had 3 flare ups in a month so far). This is the truly frustrating part – I’ve already been without running for a month and on minimal activity (max 1000m swim and spin with no tension) since February 5th. For someone who lives for the endorphins created by intense activity, I’m going a little crazy with all this “stillness.” I may or may not have thrown things in the kitchen on Sunday.
My first reaction to the diagnosis was tears and complete despair. I’d worked REALLY hard to reach my goal of Boston and now it appears that’s off the table until likely next year (there was mention of 6-8 months to rebuild). During and right after the news, Batch (the hubs) let me cry, vent, + tried to make me see the upside, but I wasn’t ready to hear it. Until just a few minutes ago. He said “You’ve already accomplished things you didn’t think possible. Don’t lose sight of that just because you didn’t get 1 of your goals.” Oh, right, thanks “Dr. Batch”.
I’m still not feeling like Susie Sunshine yet, but I know it could be worse. I’m pretty sure this is a test and so far, I’m failing miserably. A sweet co-worker said maybe this was a good time to focus on prayer. Maybe that’s the lesson I’m supposed to learn? Life lessons are for another day. Today, I just know that Being. Injured. SUCKS.
There will be a comeback. I don’t know what it will look like, but I do know I’ve learned some valuable (albeit painful) lessons. Stick around and let’s see how the next chapter unfolds…