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Last Friday the pain in my lower back became unbearable. I cannot sit in one position for more than five minutes because of the pain. After getting a recommendation for a hospital confinement from the company doctor, I sulked for the rest of that day.

Maybe I’m too negative. However, like a tattoo, it won’t just go away. There’s this fear in me about getting laid on a hospital bed thinking: who’s going to take care of the kids, the room would be a mess while I’m gone and the laundry is so way in the loop of the ‘what ifs’. My husband can’t do these chores. Plus there’s this society norm that someone should be accompanying you in the hospital. My husband just won’t do that either. So, my mom comes in and all the questions I do not want to be asked came popping. What’s wrong with your husband? Why is he not here? Who’s going to process the papers? Ouch. No comment.

What’s wrong with me then? Now that is a better question. Better because I would know how to deal with it so I won’t have to annoy people. This illness slash pain started last quarter of last year. I was supposed to be in therapy but the outpatient insurance exceeded so I planned to have it this year. However, the pain did not go away for two weeks, hence here I am sitting in the hospital bed, alone.

I am no medical person but from what I understand, the disc between my lowest lumbar called L5 and my first sacral which is S1 bulged. The disc is like a hard (not stone-hard) jelly between the bones of the spinal column. The lumbar and the sacral are pushed down because of gravity, weight and lifting of heavy things causing the disc between them to bulge. What happens when a disc bulged? The nerves are like a bunch of wires crawling all throughout the spine have their own territory or path. Once the disc bulges, their path is partly blocked with the disc touching them and since nerves are ultra sensitive, pow… pain! In my part, the pain feels like needles stinging, my hips and my lower abdomen are always heavy and aching like I’m about to have my period. Also, I feel numbness in the thighs and legs. Whenever I ride an almost full PUJ (public utility jeep) where only half of my bottom sits means terrible pain. The pain is also triggered when I’m doing the laundry—sitting and bending my back, standing or sitting still for a long time, carrying the kids and lifting heavy things. Yep, poor posture is in the list too.

Lumbar radiculopathy secondary to disc bulge L5S1—rather a mouthful but that’s how they call to what is wrong with my spine. How to cure this then? The doctor said I have to lose weight, who doesn’t want to? Seriously, I have to and I really want to. By losing weight, the pressure on the spine decreases, the disc will return to its normal form which means no more pain because the nerves will have their territory back.

As of the moment, I am waiting for the nurse to say I can go to the billing section and pay the damage. Hope it’s not big.

I want to share this because I feel I need to. There might be someone out there who suffers something like mine and she might find this helpful. A lot of thanks to Dr. Jorgen Lim of Chong Hua Hospital. More to come later. 😉

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