My crippling back pain of last week has gotten better in that I can move, and worse in that at times I can't feel my feet.
The second trip to the ER in ten days confirms my worst fear: a ruptured disk is extremely likely. I now have random patches of numbness up and down my legs and in the small of my back. The base of my spine has gotten so sensitive that my clothes rubbing on it feel like being stabbed with needles.
I find it hard to get upset about this because it's not a dead baby, but I'm afraid that might be denial. I am not looking to the future of surgery, weeks out of work (and thus no pay), and the indefinite postponement of trying to conceive. I feel like I can just take this as it comes and accept what happens.
However, I'm sure when I ovulate this cycle that numbness will change. I had planned to start trying this month. I can't risk a pregnancy right now, it could make things much worse. I am barely able to function even with all the pain meds, without them would be impossible. I sometimes catch myself thinking, "thank god I'm not pregnant."
For a bit of dark humor I will share my attempt at getting an appointment with a physician outside of the ER:
ER (last week): You need to get a family doctor
Every family doctor I called: we don't see patients with back pain, they would be referred to pain management, but only if already a patient
Pain management: We don't see patients without a referral from a family physician
Orthopedic surgeon (the same one that saw me for this EXACT problem after my car accident in 2001): Our physicians don't treat spinal injuries
The ER (today): You need to see pain management and get an MRI
At least after telling this farce to the second ER doc in an increasingly hysterical tone of voice I was referred to a patient advocate and a doctor that would supposedly take a referral from the ER. We'll see.
Sure - we didn't need that pesky health reform.
The irony is that if I quit my job I would qualify for medicaid and would have been taken care of already. I pay for my insurance and I can't get treated.