King of Pain

So, Reason Number 48 for not being a complete slob; if EMTs have to come to take your husband away on a stretcher, they won’t be tripping over books, piles of clothing, and Rubbermaid bins of yarn in your bedroom.

No, it actually didn’t come to that, but at one point I’d dialed the first two digits of 911 while waiting to see if R:tAG was going to start screaming again. That was pretty horrible. It’s his lower back… he merely leaned the wrong way on Saturday afternoon and something went terribly wrong. The pain kept getting worse until he had to remain flat on his back and immobile to get any relief, and then even that started hurting. By 5:00 AM on Sunday he was having full-blown back spasms. Not fun, and there was no way I could get him even to my car, much less into it, to get him to any place where they could help him. So it looked like it would be an $X,000.00 ambulance ride.

However, R:tAG is a trooper and we agreed that since it had been about five hours since he’d had any medicine, he’d take some more and see what happened before we called 911.* Thank goodness, the spasms responded to the drugs, and the pain gradually ebbed and his mobility returned to some extent… enough that he could stand, sit, and walk (with help, and considerable discomfort, but still a vast improvement over the previous blinding agony). We saw the doctor this morning** and got the good painkillers and anti-inflammatories, and we’re waiting for the X-ray results and physiotherapy recommendations.***

So, we had a lousy weekend.**** How was yours?

* Which also gave me the chance to pick up the bedroom a bit. Now we are ready for EMTs!

**I guess we’ve never been in quite this situation before, having a really-urgent-but-not-actually-life-threatening medical situation, so I can’t really compare the Canadian and American responses. It helped that all the doctors in the clinic are part of our HMO deal, so R:tAG could see the first one available, but being able to be seen within two hours of calling was sure nice. We had to wait about an hour for X-rays… comparable to my experience at the Community Clinic.

*** On the various papers documenting the experience, R:tAG’s condition was listed as "Lubar Spam," which would be a great name for a rock band, and also as "Back Spasums." The first might have just been poor handwriting, but the second was typed. I guess they don't teach spelling in med school. Oh well, as long as they give us Vicodin!

**** Never did get to that Bastille Day picnic, but I didn’t get the costumes finished in time anyway. Plus, it was stinkin’ hot.


  1. cenobyte said...

    Bleck, bleck, and double-bleck.

    I hope R:tAG is truly okay. If he's gone and slipped a disc because of the downward-facing dog, well, I don't know what I'll do but commiserate. Either it's "that time of life" or there's something seriously wonky in the megaverse, because R:tAG is the third person I know to be experiencing debilitating back pain in the last few months. And none of the above is over 35.


    Good to hear your HMO experience has been a good one. Keep us posted.  

  2. neuba said...

    Ack! I had a horrible feeling when I began reading the post...good job TUO, you had be freakin'. Although lower back problems are scary, at least it wasn't a heart attack or something (which I was actually thinking).

    I hope things are better. Poor R:tAG.  

  3. Steve said...

    Ugh. I hope everything turns out okay.

    On a completely unrelated note, was I the only thinking of a Monty Python sketch when you described the condition as "Lubar Spam"?

    Spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam.

    Best of luck to you, R:tAG, and his back.  

  4. rilla said...

    Holy crap.

    If I wasn't so terribly genuinely worried about R:tAG I'd be making jokes about whether he had attempted a sport again. However, I really truly am terribly genuinely worried.

    Keep me posted, please. If you need an extra set of hands around the house, I'll take a week off work to help with the paininess. I can be distracting and entertaining. Of course, I'll need to somehow hitchike across the border as I have yet to get my passport, doh.  

  5. Amy said...

    Thanks for all the good wishes, everyone. He's improving slowly but surely, which makes me hope it's a muscle thing instead of a disc thing. (also the pain is very local and not radiating, which according to my hypochondriacal reading is not typical of slipped/herniated discs, but I'm no doctor).

    Rilla, I didn't really want to mention it, but on Thursday night he did go curling for the first time since we moved here. Hmmmmm...  


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