Progress! I was seen by a different doctor from the surgical team. She ordered an MRI to see what was going on with my back and also some blood tests. The MRI showed that although there was some shrinkage in my ruptured disc it was still pressing on my nerves which is continuing to cause sciatica. This should have no effect on my ability to walk. The blood test showed that I had a huge vitamin D deficiency. The optimal amount of vitamin D A person supposed to have is 70–80nmol/L . My test return of vitamin D level of 23nmol/L. I had a Vitamin D deficiency some years ago and thought that it was all sorted, seems I was wrong.
One of the effects of Vitamin D deficiency is that you feel pain more than normal. As well as constant tiredness this there is pain in the muscles and in the bones. This seems to be the reason why I thought such a terrible pain after my initial epidural. Again it’s only in retrospect that I realised that I had Vitamin D deficiency symptoms that I had being attributing to my back pain. After a day of work and constantly travelling not only was my pain very high in the evening but I was so tired that I couldn’t even cook decent meals for myself. I was constantly buying takeaways just so I could eat and sleep. Some of the time I was even just eating cereals in the evening for my meal so that I wouldn’t have to stand and cook. I had my own work arounds, I would take Mondays off work and cook a big batch of something like lasagne or some chicken and rice, things that I could put in the fridge or in the freezer so in the evenings I could warm up.
Now that the cause had been identified it was time to work on getting me out of there. I was given a second steroid epidural in my right hip to increase my mobility and referred to a pain specialist. My meds were increased a few times until I was almost pain free when still, I was so grateful!
That Friday I saw someone from Adult Social Services and care plans were put into place. I had already secured a wheelchair on loan from the Red Cross for 12 weeks so I wouldn’t be too stuck but I was worried about caring for myself in the house. A carer was lined up twice a day to help me dress and cook and they have even arranged a domestic to assist with cleaning. Occupational Health went to my house and installed all the bits I need and transport is booked for Monday afternoon.
It may not be the ending to the Diary of a sick black woman that you expected. I am not miraculously cured but the right things are all being put into place and I am not going to bore you with my long slow journey to health again.
I will say that while in hospital I lost 6.5lbs!! I don’t even know how!!! I was definitely not exercising. So I am intending to recreate my hospital diet at home, right down to the meal times and the sugar free jelly pots. We will see if i am still able to drop some of this weight at home although really that should be the last of my problems. It serves as a welcome distraction to my focus.
Thanks for following my hospital journey and if you are still interested in my weight loss journey, keep reading my health blogs to see how its going.