Well THAT was a surprise…

My back had finally had enough last night and decided to spasm on me…

It was bad enough that even after taking the cheep stuff I had at home, I decided to go to the ER, because I was hurting that badly.

Drug my ass out to the truck, and away I went.  Got there, stood (well, stooped) patiently in line, finally got up to the admissions window and the lady behind the window asked what was wrong.

I told her back pain, and handed her my ID and insurance card (company one, not O-care). About that time a nurse came walking by, looked at me and asked what was wrong. I told her BACK pain, she asked if there was an radiating pain, and I made the mistake of saying yes…

Two minutes later, I’m in a cube with a gown on the wrong way, ass hanging out and getting hooked up to a 12 lead and being told to ‘relax’…

Yeah, right… Back is killing me, I’m trying to twist and get some relief, and the cute little nurse is asking me something…

High pitched voice, which I can’t hear real well, and apparently every time I twist, I’m partially pulling the connection to the leads loose which is making the monitor go bat nuts…

Another administrator comes in and wants to verify all my info, so everything stopped until I’d made him happy. And he was happy I had ‘real’ insurance…

The cute nurse leaves and a couple of minutes later this older male nurse comes in, does a blood draw, sets up an IV and comments, “Retired Navy huh?”

I tell him yeah, tell him my back is the problem, not anything else, and he just looks at me.  I twist again and popped the whole connection loose, and he fixes it, suddenly is nice and quiet in the cube, and he just looks at me…

Doc comes in about ten minutes later, asks what’s going on; I tell him my BACK is killing me, I’ve got herniated discs and am in therapy, which I haven’t had in two weeks; and yes I do get radiating pain from the herniated disc in the neck.  He nods and asks if I’ve been flying anywhere lately…

After I get through laughing, he looks at me and I say well, THIS week or the last two weeks.  He says humor him, last two weeks.  I tell him and he just shakes his head…

Next thing I know, I’m in Xray, and DAMN that plate was COLD!!!

The male nurse comes back in, says he’s a retired Corpsman, working on his PA and doing this for extra money on the weekend.  Says he’s going to give me some morphine for my back to see if it will knock the pain down.  Morphine?  WTF???

He says it normally works, and I don’t look like a druggie…

Doc comes back in about fifteen minutes later, says no blood clots (reason I went to Xray apparently), and yep, back is screwed up.  And blood work looks good, and do you normally throw PVCs?  I told him I did occasionally, and he said that and the partial connection on the 12 lead had the first nurse scared…

BUT, that at ‘my’ age, they weren’t going to take a chance, hence the full monte and all the checks.

He gives me some Motrin, and says I can go, and somebody can pick me up outside the entrance…

I didn’t tell him I drove myself…  So I go sit in the truck for a bit, and eased on home.

Of course tried to go to bed, and that wasn’t working, so I end up flat on my back in the living room with my feet up on the couch.  Woke up this morning in the same position, stiff as a board, but at least the back feels better…

And I think an elephant took a dump in my mouth… Turns out it’s a side effect of the Morphine…

So apparently if you’re an old fart, regardless of what you go in for, if it’s ANYTHING in the thoracic region and you indicate pain, stand by…


Well THAT was a surprise… — 33 Comments

  1. Been there, done that. Lower back on me along with two compressed disk. The doctor told me it was from being tall and skinny. I told him I haven’t been skinny since 1969, but the said it comes belted from my youth. What ever the reason, I have a hard time bending over or standing for a long time. In my next life I am going to be born strong and healthy instead of so damn good looking.

  2. I feel yore pain, quite literally. I did one too many 500+ mile days when I drove out to the East coast and back this past summer and have been suffering from lower back pain ever since.

    I’ve seen this movie before, as I had back surgery 16 years ago for herniated discs. We’re just sitting here waiting for the other shoe to drop at the moment. The back isn’t getting any better, but at least it’s not getting any worse.

    Gettin’ old ain’t for sissies, is it?

  3. I hear you. And after my little adventure with the blocked artery last year, they don’t listen to me at all anymore. Straight to the EKG now. Doesn’t matter how many times I tell ’em it’s the old Navy service-connected back injury. Dang it.

    Glad you’re feeling better!

  4. Dr. Motrin is our friend!

    My neck is held together with baling wire and duct tape. When I was traveling, I think the lack of a good pillow made things worse.

  5. Apparently they didn’t probe you for a lower GI problem. (lower back pain) Maybe you need to take something while you’re flying to keep it from doing that? Easily said and diagnosed by me (a fool), so the diagnosis is about what you paid for it. However, you didn’t ride the silver stallion and that’s a good thing.

  6. If it’s any consolation, I’d have done a 12-lead on you, too, in addition to poking around your danglies to make sure you had equal bilateral femoral pulses, and probably ordered CT scans to rule out PE and kidney stones.

    Of course, I’d have also medicated you to the eyeballs, too. Back pain us rough, but it ain’t what kills ya.

  7. So apparently if you’re an old fart, regardless of what you go in for, if it’s ANYTHING in the thoracic region and you indicate pain, stand by…

    Oh, yeah. And if you go to your doctor, who happens to know that you’re a lawyer, not only do they wire you up with all of the leads, they’ll send you to the cardio doc for a stress test. If not a nuclear one.

  8. Glad things went well. I’ve gotten the “of a certain age” chat too of late – what the heck is that all about!! 🙂

    Safe travels, take it easy this week!

  9. That sucks. Have back problems as well from a negative air ground interaction in a Blackhawk in the A-Stan. It started bothering me at a fraternity softball game and the VA was more concerned about my drinking and sleep habits instead of the fact my girlfriend had to wheel me in.

  10. When you go in with pain all the way around front to back, and they see the zipper on your chest from a previous trip, it turns in to a rodeo real quick. Good luck with the back.

  11. I know the sleeping-on-floor-legs-on-couch routine, but usually it was psychologically induced (by psychotic madman Bosswipe) – and I never had that much attention at any ER even with StanFu medicine. Maybe when I get older? 😉

  12. They don’t believe Peter anymore, either, not since he joined the zipper club.

    Drink lots of water, and hope you avoid the morphine-side-effect of constipation that leaves you, ah, “grunting and straining until you’re as red as the baboon you sound like.”

  13. Gerry -True!

    Mrs. C- LOL, I’m not sure it would make it any worse!!!

    LL- This was actually upper back, and they Xray’ed the whole thing!

    AD- I’m sure you would have, and been laughing at me the whole time! 🙂

    CM- You’re right, and I had one of those 2 years ago… sigh

    Opus- Thanks!

    WSF- Yep, be VERY glad!!!

    Ed- You and me both, that is the second time in 10 years it’s been that bad…

    Bill- Yep, and planning on it!

    SPEMack- Yeah, I got the 20 questions drill too…

    Keads/BP- Thanks guys!

    Ed- Ouch, I can’t imagine, or I should say I don’t want to!!!

    NC- Oh standby, you will…

    Wing- Understood, and I’ve been drinking water ALL day…

  14. As a fellow old fart I know of what you speak.
    I have Degenerative Disc Disease. I have had multipule surgeries

  15. I had bad back pain once or twice, nothing like yours, but it didn’t go away. Finally saw one of those bone twisters, and he worked on it a bit, told his very cute assistant to give me a heated massage – which was so traumatic I never darkened his office again. I could have gotten to really like that treatment.

    I would tell you a great yoga program, exercise schedule and such would help, but sitting on motorcycles or airplane seats forever just tightens the whole works up – but you know that.

  16. At least you can’t blame it on an endo down the stairs, kinda drunk, and stove in in some ribs, like someone we know.

  17. Rick R- Yep… sigh

    Rick S- I’m not ‘quite’ there yet… But I’m staring that in the face too…

    Earl- I do get regular treatments, and you’re right, bikes/airplanes are NOT good for the back…

    Skip- True! But ‘that’ would be a better story… LOL

  18. ouch ouch ouch – glad you are on the mend

    Can you skip any travel for a week or so?

    (wondering if that distant sound is you laughing like mad at the thought of “no travel”!)

  19. Yeah, that whole getting older after an active life does take its toll. One lumbar disc ruptured twice, a cervical disk that bulges occasionally and makes life unpleasant. Add our friend Arther and you feel like somebody needs to get out the WD40.

  20. I am so sorry for you sir. You saw me in Houston, that’s me AFTER having 2 of my vertebrae and my coccyx fused, then herniating a disc in my neck and 1 just under my shoulder blades.

    You need to get a fluffy hand towel, fold it into thirds then roll it up. you will have to experiment with it to find out how tight you need it rolled, but once you have it rolled place it under the lower arch of your back while you have your legs up on the floor. Until they did the surgery on me, that was the only way I could cope without doping myself to the gills.

    Lay down with the rolled up towel around L4 – L5 and your feet up on the couch, then just relax all your back muscles. For the first 5 or 6 minutes the pain will intensify, then you should actually feel your back adjusting and the pain should start to fade.

    Once you have the towel rolled properly that it is working for you, take some bandage tape and wrap it so it stays that tight/loose/size.

    Laying with that towel under me for about 10-15 minutes would get me functional better than narcotics usually.

  21. Interesting. While viewing the Klyde Morris cartoon on aero-news.net this morning, http://aero-news.net/images/content/politics/2014/020314klyde.jpg, I thought about your travel travails.

    Sorry about your back. Hope your prognosis is excellent. I have suffered afflictions with mine for more years than I care to remember also, but thankfully never yet to that extent. Hopefully, may we all escape a repeat of that experience.

  22. PAx- Actually I’m in for two weeks!!! 🙂

    PH- If I thought it’d work, I’d try it!!!

    Mark- Thanks, I’ll try that!

    xS3- Yep, you DO NOT want this trust me…

  23. Well, that was an adventure. It seems like overkill, but they can’t risk missing something that will kill you. That won’t do at all.

    Another one of the joys of getting older is that back pain sometimes isn’t just back pain, it’s a sign of something far worse.

    Still and all, it’s better than the alternative.