Tuesday, July 08, 2014

An update on the bursitis/sciatica thing

Five days ago, I was at the Urgent Care because of severe pain in my hip and leg. I couldn’t bend over to tie my shoes. It hurt like hell to walk – so much so that I was barely stepping across the room as though my feet were chained together by Thursday because it hurt too much to take a normal step. And sitting down then getting up was also painful. By Thursday, I was unable to lift my left leg.

The doctor told me I had bursitis in my hip. It had gotten so bad that I had swelling over my hip. It looked like the top of a basketball was growing over my hip! It was pretty alarming. I also had sciatica as a result of the bursitis. This explained the pain in my leg. The doctor said that once that part of my hip had become inflamed, it affected the sciatic nerve.

The doctor’s instructions were to use an ice pack on my lower back and hip for 20 minutes 4 times a day, as well as an increased dose of Ibuprofen 4 times a day. So I started that on Thursday evening. By Friday, I could bend over to tie my shoes and lift my left leg again. By Saturday, I was well enough to go somewhere (to the store), but because I still had pain, I could not stay out and on my feet for too long. By Sunday, I woke up without any hip pain and, even better, could easily get out of bed without the hip pain. Also on Sunday, the swelling on my hip was starting to go down. And by yesterday, I was pain-free.

That Ibuprofen and ice pack are good stuff. If not for the doctor, I would not have thought to use the ice pack on my lower back, where the sciatic nerve begins. I have found it also helped to ice the area of my leg directly over the nerve, where it hurt the most. I also made sure I walked around the house as much as possible. There were times I even stood at the counter to eat my meals because I did not want to sit down so much.

In order to keep up with both taking Ibuprofen and using the ice pack, I did both things at the same time. Soon it was a system for me. Of course, I got very bored sitting for so long and so often throughout the day for the ice pack sessions, but I knew I just had to hang in there and keep at it to get better. I hated it that I could not be very active, could not exercise yet or go running around, but I knew if I did that, I’d be right back at Urgent Care in the same condition as before. I also hated wearing a skirt. Because of the swelling on my hip, I could not wear my jeans and it was too hot to wear my sweat pants. Yeah, it really sucked. But I just reminded myself that this, too, shall pass. I took advantage of being laid up with the ice pack by watching TV (something I barely get to do!) or reading or checking out Pinterest on my phone.

And as of today, five days later, I am feeling so much better. Thankfully, the doctor’s care instructions helped me a lot. I can now lift my left leg just fine – though the nerve in my leg is still a little sensitive. But I am back to walking normally. My hip is still also sensitive but, thank God, I am no longer in so much pain.

I do believe I am on the mend. I was thinking of stopping the treatment today but was advised to keep taking the Ibuprofen and using the ice pack for the rest of the week. Just to be on the safe side.

After all this, I definitely have more appreciation for the sciatic nerve! I did some research and learned there are actually exercises a person can do that help the sciatic nerve. I will definitely be looking more into that and maybe start using them when I can start exercising again.

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