Well, this isn’t a post I wanted to make. I haven’t written about the flight back from Halifax yet, but I need to talk about it briefly, here. Most of the flight was in the last row of seats, which, believe it or not, are more uncomfortable than the rest of the seats. Anyway, the relevance to this post is that by the time I got off the last leg in Vancouver, my hips and back were in quite a bit of pain. I didn’t think too much about it, but I probably should have taken extreme care moving our luggage around. But, it was the equivalent of 3:30 in the morning and thinking wasn’t the clearest.

Anyhow, the back pain was quite a bit better on Saturday, but things slowly went downhill. By Monday, I was pretty sore again, but I biked into work. For those about to say “That was stupid”, cycling is actually pretty easy on the back and joints in general.

Tuesday morning was Not Good. I got up, got myself upstairs, and promptly laid down on the couch. Over the next two hours, I got the cats fed and my email checked, but not much else. After considering my options, I couldn’t see how I could get myself to work. Sitting down was quite painful. Walking was difficult, and after walking from the kitchen to the living room, I needed to lay down again in order to relieve the pain.

Accepting the situation, I asked Gwen to make an appointment with the doctor, which was scheduled for the afternoon. I recognized the symptoms as quite similar to the sciatica I had in February of 2000 (and a small flair-up a year later). By the middle of the afternoon, however, I couldn’t stand without quite severe pain. Getting to the doctor’s (only a block away) was going to be a problem. Given the situation, I decided the ER was probably more appropriate — at least they’d be able to give me something for the pain.

So, Gwen loaded me into the truck (T’s mother, who works at the hospital came over to mind T and Aidan) and we drove the two blocks to the ER. I registered with Triage, and Gwen returned home to deal with T and Aidan. There were no strechers available, so I had to prop myself up against the security counter while waiting. After 10 or 15 minutes, Admitting called me over and I registered, more or less. After taking some details, my bloodpressure (160/100!), heart rate (99 bpm!) and temperature (37.9 C) the nurse took me (well, she lead, I shuffled. slowly.) down to Treatment, where they were able to let me lie on a gurney. Over the next 3 hours, a med student took my history and poked and prodded me. A brief visit from the “real” doctor resulted in what I already knew. Sciatica was back. He prescribed me some anti-inflammitories, pain killers, and another sort of drug that supposedly deals with inflammation of the nerve directly.

Note, that I was never actually given anything for the pain at the hospital.

Released, I shuffled back outside and Gwen came and picked me up (T had been picked up already).

So now I lie on my back, with a numb foot and no strength in my ankle in the left leg. Also, no ankle reflex. Pain down my left leg, and seemingly random muscle spasms in the leg. The back is mostly pain free, unless I do some bending. Walking is possible, but I’m not doing any hikes anytime soon. Sitting is still quite uncomfortable.

Past experience tells me that the meds will make things more comfortable over the next few days. The numbness and leg pains will resolve slowly over the next few weeks. The first time it took something like 5 or 6 weeks before I went back to “work” (grad school). I hope that things will be quicker this time. In the meantime, I’m setting myself up to be a telecommuter — work has backed up over the 2 week vacation, and there’s tonnes of things that need to be done. Fortunately, most things can be done either remotely or on the computer here.

Helping deal with Aidan, however, is going to be a challenge. Given I can’t pick him up, my usefulness is pretty low.

More updates to come.