My first ambulance

· by Steve · Read in about 3 min · (539 Words)

My brand new-and-improved back problem took a major turn for the worse last night, resulting in a sensation not unlike someone tearing a chunk out of the space between my shoulder blades whenever the muscles that run down the right hand side of my spine contracted. And you know, these suckers contract doing almost anything - sitting down, standing up, even laying down. I got up in the middle of the night and paced around downstairs to try to alleviate it, but to no avail.

I managed to eventually return to bed and find a position that I could sleep at least a bit in, but come morning it was totally unmanageable. Even slight movement led to screaming pain (and that’s not a metaphor - there was real screaming involved, which says something for me since the most I normally utter is a grunt through clenched teeth) - through sheer force of will I managed to at least get into a sitting position, but by then every nerve seemed to be on fire and it was clear I wasn’t going anywhere. I’d already taken painkillers the night before and they hadn’t helped, so in the end my wife had to call the ambulance, because she couldn’t even get me standing, never mind downstairs into the car.

So, down come the paramedics, sirens going, and they decided pretty quickly to give me a shot of morphine so they could at least move me. That was my first morphine experience, and it wasn’t that pleasant, but at least it took the edge off so they could winch me into the ambulance. I spent the morning being pumped full of a shedload of other drugs from diazepam for the spasms to anti-inflammatories and more painkillers. They worked luckily, but I feel like crap now through a combination of sleep deprivation and a cocktail of drugs.

Given the location of the pain they were concerned it might be something internal rather than just back pain, so I had a bunch of tests, xrays and such, but the results were inconclusive. Their best guess is still that I’ve torn a muscle and / or trapped a nerve, and that I should just keep taking painkillers and take it easy. Which is precisely what I’ve been trying to do for the last few weeks - admittedly yesterday I did give a minor amount of help to my brother-in-law to move a dining room table, but it wasn’t a big deal, or so I thought, and certainly didn’t hurt at the time. I’m faced with now pretty much doing no exertion at all for a few weeks to try to let it heal - this is especially important since I have another work trip at the end of the month.

I’m going to have to make even more of an effort not to sit at the compuer screen for long periods too, something that’s very hard when you have a business and open source project to run. 🙁I wanted to get Ogre 1.6 released this week, but I think I’m going to have trouble just keeping up with my work commitments this week without doing myself an injury, so I may have to delay it again.