this is what it looks like when the disc is squished (right side):
the plan was soon confirmed by a late-night trip to the emergency room this past friday night when the spasms and pain flared up far beyond the point of being able to treat it with something from the home medicine chest.
after almost 3 hours of waiting (standing), i finally got in to see a Doctor. he quickly tired of all my moaning and writhing about, and ordered a visit from sweet sister morphine and her cousin demerol as well. once i was calmed down enough and could lay still on the exam room table, i was gurneyed to the MRI room for a scan which has confirmed the extent of my injury.
on monday i received the L5 spinal corticoid injection. good stuff, tell ya what.
that will conclude the graphic image and descriptions for a while; no need to see injections or surgery, scars or skinny legs, for that matter.
my last hope for relief is to now have a discectomy performed, probably by a neurosurgeon.
the L5 seems to be a vitally important component in lower-body mobility, muscle function, and the ability to do just about anything else-- i'm not sure that i could ride a bike right now if i wanted to. here's a short list of things that are affected by L5 problems:
L4, L5, S1 Thigh abduction
L5, S1, S2 Extension of leg at the hip (gluteus maximus)
L4, L5, S1, S2 Flexion of leg at the knee (hamstrings)
L4, L5, S1 Dorsiflexion of foot (tibialis anterior)
L4, L5, S1 Extension of toes
L5, S1, S2 Plantar flexion of foot
L5, S1, S2 Flexion of toes
there is a lot of work in front of me to rehab from this predicament. i am going to serve notice at this time of the probability of highly irregular blogularity from me, as (what looks like from here on the sofa) the rest of the summer will likely be more about clawing my way back to the front of the bunch from about as far down as i have ever been... rather than (participating in and reporting on) all of the epic rides and races taking place during the high season of our favorite sport. besides, the intense haze of pain and narcotics i am currently experiencing has rendered me a near-babbling idiot. right now, it's more like looking at pictures and doing some coloring books for me, anyway... best to stay away from the keyboard.
most importantly, i also would like to take a few moments to thank my partner, Jen, who has stood by me at all hours of day and night, through what has been one of the most protracted experiences of intense physical pain that i have ever endured. i don't know how or where i would be right now without her, and the kindness and caring she has shown me on so many occasions, especially in the past few weeks.
she works 12 hour days practising internal medicine at the Veteran's Administration hospital in GJ, taking care of our Nation's sick vets, and then still manages to take care of me as well, after she gets home.
thank you, Jen. i have a profound appreciation for all of the hard work that you do every day, and the way you kick ass at the races is a huge inspiration for me, too. i love you so much.