It is still raining. We’re talking pouring rain that hasn’t stopped at all. I don’t think we got down to freezing last night though.

I just checked the weather online and right now we are one digit above freezing. Hope it doesn’t turn to ice or snow.

Oh well, doubt I could drive anyway.

I’ve had a miserable 3-4 days. My back hasn’t been this bad in years.

I switch from heating pad to big ice pack that covers nearly my whole back. Ordered it off Amazon. Right now I’m using the ice pack.

I don’t take pain pills. Sometimes I try Tylenol Arthritis. I just roll that Biofreeze on my back.

What Likely Did It:

I think it was all the climbing up and down the step ladder to do the boho wall. And my hands are terrible too. Probably the pushing in of the tacks to hang the quilt on the wall.

My word, but the pain is bad. I’m barely shuffling along. Last night I started out trying to sleep in my bed. So much pain, so I switched to the recliner. I’d never tried that before.

Then I went from there to the couch. Like Goldilocks, except neither of the three were just right.

Charlie was upset much of the night because I wasn’t where I was supposed to be. And changes like that upset him. A few times he barked at me while I was trying to sleep on the couch.

I got up and brought him up there with me. He could have climbed the doggy steps. But he’s having a lot of trouble climbing up the easiest doggy steps, much less the ones in the bedroom. Pour baby is getting pretty feeble.

Rain, Rain, Go Away For Awhile:

The rain, the rain. Charlie can’t go out because it’s a persistent downpour. He never learned to do his business on a puppy pad. No matter what I did or tried, he just never seemed to get it.

And this kind of weather makes his coughing worse.

Then there was Ivy, who walked across me while I was trying to sleep in the chair. That’s 15 pounds poking me as she tried to figure out if she wanted to lie down. Or maybe just knead me through the blanket with those big paws of hers.

I hope this bad spell is over with soon, because I know I wouldn’t be able to drive my car. But for now we have food to eat and so we can stay snug inside.

Do you have any tricks for back pain? I thought I’d tried them all over these decades, but maybe there’s a trick or two I managed to miss.

We’re talking pain down low where I had back surgery at 30 years old. I think L5S1. But if they took out the crumbled disks then, what is hurting so bad? Then the nerve pain radiates down my leg and up my back.

Lawsy, please let this go away soon. This is my worst bout in quite a few years. I do back stretching exercises twice per day and have since 1997.

I need to throw that darned step ladder away and buy a new one. But who would change light bulbs for me? Clean the ceiling fans, and all the other chores someone who lives alone has to do?

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36 Comments

  1. Hi Brenda. I am sorry about your pain. You mention that you learned your exercises in 1997. It could be that there have been changes since then in what is recommended for exercises for your condition. I say this because my husband learned a set of exercises for his slipped disc condition back in the late 1990s, but then around 2008 when he had a severe bout of pain, he went to physical therapy and learned a new set of exercises that are much more helpful for him. The original exercises all had him bending forward, but the newer exercises all have him arching backward. The physical therapist said that for my husband, bending forward is what causes his disc to be more likely to move out of place, while arching backward helps it to stay in place. He tries to avoid bending forward if at all possible, which of course can be hard to avoid at times. If he does have to bend forward during the day, he does this move he calls the golfer’s bend or golfer’s lift. It is what golfers do when picking up their golf ball. As you bend to pick up the ball, you lift and extend out the leg opposite of the arm that you are using to pick up the ball. (You can go on youtube and search for a video on the golfer’s lift to see what I mean.) He also always squats to pick up things rather than bending at the waist. I realize you probably have a different injury than my husband and maybe you need different exercises, but it might still be good to try to find out if your exercises still are considered the best type for your situation. As you know from your medications, medical advice always is changing. I hope you can get relief soon. I know it is frustrating for you, because I know how frustrating it is for my husband when he has flare ups of back pain, which rarely happen, but do still happen every couple of years.

  2. Brenda,
    something resonated in me reading Kelly Jensen’s comments. I think you are in an exhaustive state. I can tell you are a smart, gritty woman who has diligently worked through many issues your whole life. But, maybe a recalibrating of your health issues would be helpful. You reference back pain and other problems. I don’t mean to be intrusive. I apologize in advance if I am. Maybe a new set of X-Rays for your spine. Perhaps a Doctor that specializes in pain management. Sometimes a fresh perspective can make all the difference. I am praying that it will. Chronic pain is so debilitating. Please don’t let it consume any more of your life.

  3. Ouch. I feel your pain. I had sciatica pain from late March until I finally saw the doctor in July. I was afraid to go see him because of covid and I did not have a clue what was wrong…I was a sciatica pain virgin if you will. My poor hubby had to help me sit up in bed for weeks and I cried every day until the Tylenol kicked in.
    He get me a script for Meloxicam 1 or 2 a day along with Tylenol and stretch upon waking. It worked and so far so good.
    I hope you find some relief and fast. Standing in the shower with hot water on my back end helped too…I could almost forget the pain for a few minutes.

  4. I swear by my Teeter Hang Up. It’s an inversion table approved by the FDA. It’s pricey, $300 and up, but being free from both pain and prescription pain relievers has been completely worth it.

  5. I hope that you’re feeling much better this evening. I don’t have any suggestions but I wanted you to know I was thinking about you. Be gentle with yourself and take time to practice lots of self care.

  6. I was told to sit on a chair with my feet flat on the floor and bend over letting my arms and head dangle . This position can be done whenever you have back pain and can be held as long as you feel comfortable. The PT said it opens the spine. I do it whenever I feel a twinge. Sometimes I go into that position whole sitting on the toilet since that height is just about right. See if it does anything for you.

  7. Brenda, I am sorry for your pain. I have no advice for pain, except to take it easy on yourself.

    Take care of yourself my friend, relax and savor your time with your pets.

  8. I will not try to add any more advice for pain management, I think you have plenty of that. I am
    sorry for your pain and I can sympathize as the others have done as I also have had my share of pain. I do want to suggest that you buy the new light bulbs that are out. If you replace all your bulbs with the new ones, you should not need to replace them for quite a long time. I have had some for 7 years. Also, I use a long handled duster for my overhead fans, I got mine as a set on QVC but they have them elsewhere. I have very tall ceilings in my home and I have had no problem cleaning the fans. Hope you get relief soon.

    1. Hi Brenda my husband has Scoliosis and the dr has him on gabapentin 600mg twice a day and it has helped his back a lot.

  9. Sorry you are hurting, Brenda. I am glad you have food and are nice and cozy at home. I was a homebody before and when I have to go out I can’t wait to get home and enjoy the company of our dog. . I think Covid has made it worse. Hope you get relief soon, maybe the meds others have suggested will work. Stay safe.

  10. I have had back surgery recently. It really helped but I’m still in pain. I did go to physical therapy and discovered there that the wedge pillow really helped alleviate pain. I ordered mine from Amazon. It is very firm and really does help. You might want to try one. Hope you get some relief soon.

  11. Hi Brenda,
    Sorry to hear about your back issues. My doctor once recommended an over the counter pain killer called Percogesic, have you ever heard of it? I haven’t purchased it in some time so I don’t know if it is still on the market but if it is it’s worth a try. Be warned, it causes drowsiness, but that was something I enjoyed, just saying! Good luck and feel better soon.

  12. Brenda as the old saying goes, “misery loves company”. Aches and pains seem to be the most frequent topic of discussion among friends in my age group. We all have them, some more than others, some in different body parts, some more painful than others. Like you, I have back issues that often make it almost impossible to get a good night’s sleep. More nights than not after 3-4 hrs I drag my stiff old body from the bed to my recliner where stretching out like a body in a coffin allows me to get a few more hrs of sleep. Thankfully Capo has adjusted to this routine and is content to move from bed to recliner with me. I’m still really stiff when I wake up but after taking Tylenol Arthritis and using the heating pad for a while most days the back loosens up and I can get on with my day. After having back surgery in my mid 20’s, both hip replacements in my early 50’s, and more recently minor knee surgery at nearly 70 I’ll do everything I can to avoid additional surgery. I no longer tackle major home and or yard tasks, limit the frequency and amount of time spent taking Capo for walks, making light exercise a daily priority, and basically just using common sense before doing something that I know I will have to pay the price for doing. All of this along with daily vitamins, Tylenol and turmeric and magnesium supplements for inflammation is keeping me upright and moving and most importantly, being there for my fur baby.

  13. Try Lidocaine patches. You may be able to find a generic brand from your pharmacy, they will be less expensive. My mom suffered from kidney disease for years and was in a lot of pain, especially her last year. The lidocaine patches (you don’t need a prescription for the “dosage” sold in pharmacies) relieved her pain completely. I also recommended them to a friend of mine who has bad arthritis in her hips and they have worked wonders for her, too.

  14. Brenda-My Rheumatologist Recommended
    pillows under the knees-the more pain you’re in, the higher the stack of pillows. I, too, have L5S1 pain from disintegrated disc disease plus a flat tailbone that I broke about seven years ago. I ordered a wedge pillow (Walmart inflatable) that you flip over for different heights. It really helps me. I hope you feel better soon.

  15. I’ve had back issues and pain on and off most of my adult life and have tried just about everything. Acupuncture helps, but is quite expensive (as you know from Charlie).

    I had sciatica last year and it was one of the most painful things I’ve ever been through in my life, so boy, do I feel for you. The night it hit me I couldn’t even get in my bed. And I remember crawling into the bedroom because my leg kept collapsing. And then trying to pull myself up into the bed. Brian was already in bed sleeping and my crying woke him up so he was able to help me into bed. I didn’t sleep the whole night due to the pain, so I get it.

    The pain did ease up over the days and I started PT. This therapist used the McKenzie method for sciatica and it truly helped. Stop doing those yoga back stretches for now – they will only aggravate the sciatica. Starting with press-ups – via the McKenzie method – will relieve the pressure on the nerves and you will feel sooo much better. Here’s a youtube video for how to do it:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clfpWjqVP6U

    Be careful with any pain killers or NSAIDS, especially Meloxicam/Mobic. A few won’t hurt you if you need to start off with them, but you don’t want to take Meloxicam/Mobic on a regular basis. It’s a very high-powered NSAID that has very dangerous side effects. You can google about it.

    Hoping the press-ups work…

    1. Hi Brenda,
      I too had a flare up of back pain last year that was not relieved by my usual yoga exercises or stretching (in fact these were not helping at all). I tried out the above exercise that Melanie mentioned and finally had some relief! I added more back care exercises from this pair of physiotherapists and they worked a charm (just look for “Bob and Brad” on YouTube- they offer many exercises for back care). What I realized is that I had to strengthen my core muscles in order to improve my back (and hip) muscles.

  16. Hi Brenda, sorry to hear that you’re in pain. I threw my back out last week just bending down and changing the sheets on my bed. After
    a major back pain episode twenty years ago I the same routine every time a feel even a tiny twinge:
    Regular generic aspirin
    Sleeping with a knee pillow as I’m a side sleeper. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07RC9JXPS?aaxitk=xdejQVlthNWehIzpHXPVwQ&tag=ms-us-20&ref=dacx_dp_2873971180501_6181491280901
    When I’m just lying down reading or watching TV, a regular extra-firm pillow under my legs. (This helps so much with the pain)
    If it’s bad and I need to be up and around a back belt helps a lot.
    I think I remember you saying you’re not a napper but please lie down a few times during the day and really stretch your back muscles out.

    I had a tiny poodle mix that could never seem to use a potty pad. However, I noticed that if he had an accident in the house it was always on a throw rug. Problem was solved with small rag rugs from Walmart. They were only a few bucks each and easy to wash and dry.

    Hope you get some relief soon!

  17. Brenda, take it easy during the cold weather. It is so wonderful to be able to stay cozy at home. I hope you find a solution for your pain soon.

  18. I have lower back pain. Mine is degenerative bone disease which means the cushioning between the discs is wearing away, like it does in knees. I had to have an MRI to determine this diagnosis. I have had two steroid injections in my lower spine which helped for several months. My doctor said ice is better than heat for back pain. I can only take Tylenol Arthritis Extended Release due to blood pressure issues. Back pain is the worst. Hope you get some answers.

  19. I had a neighbor who had sciatica and she had shots to keep it under control. I don’t know what the shots were, maybe cortisone. I do hope you can get some relief soon. Our animals have a routine and when it is not kept they let us know !

  20. Goodness. So sorry for your pain. I had lower issues years ago. I know the therapy session included cold and then heat. It also included exercises and walking was highly recommended..along with those stretch exercise. I was told not to bend over for the dishwasher and washer or whatever but to go straight down(like who can get back up, then right? lol)…. I also was given Naproxen high dosage (and was told to double the over counter Naproxyn to get the pres strength).. The Naproxyn gets rid of some of inflammation I was to told. Wow. I bet the cold and rain is enhancing it, as you may have some arthritis..like most of us our ages. :0( .. So sorry and hope you feel yourself soon. I have a doggie in decline and it is very sad to see that .. :0( ..take care.

  21. Hi Brenda,
    My Mom
    And best friend both had severe back issues after many surgeries.
    They both found relief from taking Gabaphentin. I know you take it for your face pain. It helps a lot with nerve pain without being a narcotic. Both took 600 mg three times a day. Totaling 1800 mg a day . It was the only thing that helped them. That and sleeping in a recliner, not a bed .

    Best of luck,
    Deb

  22. Hi Brenda forgive me if I’m being nosy, I only bring this up because you had made that post about the importance of following doctors orders. Several posts ago you mentioned that the doctor had told you to double your gabapentin and you did and then slept pain-free for the first night in years so you went back to the original dose. I remember thinking at the time why did you go back to the original dose if the increased dose was working but figured maybe the doctor only meant to increase it one time. But since you are having so much pain I’m wondering did the doctor tell you to increase the dose always? Or just that one time? Perhaps you missed some instructions again. I just wanted to point that out in case that is what happened. Like I said, I don’t want to be nosy, just something I had observed. Hope you feel better soon.

    1. Oh yeah! I forgot that! Lord, I can’t remember anything anymore. She said any time I have a bad surge of trigeminal neuralgia. But guess it could be for both.

      1. I am so sorry for what you’re experiencing, and hearing the distress with Charlie is sad too. He’s confused, poor baby. Rain, cold, and a Mom that’s acting strangely😔
        At the risk of overstepping boundaries I would like you to consider you aren’t alone any more. You have your daughters and older grandchildren.
        Could you offer $$ to have one of your grandchildren do the ladder chores for you?
        Yes, I know the frustration of not being able to do it yourself, I’m there. As we age, and have physical issues our lives change so much. It’s hard to admit we need help.
        I’m only butting in because we all care so much.
        Asking for help doesn’t make our lives over, just different. A Very hard lesson for us all.
        I do hope you find relief from medicine, or adjusted life style – we all care so much.
        You add a lot to our lives.

        1. No worries. I won’t let the grandchildren inside because they go to school and play ball and ride on buses. I’m afraid of getting Covid, so I haven’t seen them in quite awhile. I should call my daughters to help, but I so hate to do that because they’re already so busy.

  23. Brenda,
    I’m so sorry that you are suffering this way. If I can make a suggestion that might help…I take an Rx called melaxocan (mobic) that is very helpful and I also take a tumeric tablet every day and they have really helped me. It’s just a suggestion, but perhaps they might help. Of course, Biofreeze is helpful in the short term and a heating pad as well. I hope you can find some relief, as I know full well how painful this is.

  24. If the pain is shooting down your leg, it’s could be sciatica. Yes, alternating hear and ice, taking ibuprofen (if you can) for the inflammation, being careful how you turn. Once it improves, search for stretching exercises online. I had my first-and hopefully only-sciatica attack over 10 years ago. I was at the chiropractor’s office every other day for weeks. It eventually settled down but took a while.

    1. It is sciatica. I do back stretching exercises on a mat on the floor twice per day every day. A sports doctor taught me how to do them back in 1997.

      1. 600 mg of Gabaphentin 3x a day
        Equaling 1800 mg a day. The only relief my Mom and best friend got after many back surgeries. Good luck,
        Deb

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