Been dealing with a pesky L5-S1 herniated disc for the past few weeks. I’ve had issues in the past with this area of my back from old sports injuries, wasn’t too alarmed – figured it would be a week or two of discomfort. It started as soreness and trouble with mobility. It quickly turned into me walking around the house like a penguin doing a Quasimoto impression.

The last few days have been an adventure trying to find a solution. See below my running list of visits with medical professionals:

Visit 1: Primary care
Analysis: Great to see you, you need to lose weight, go see an orthopedist for your back.

Visit 2: Orthopedist
Analysis: Yep, your L5-S1 sure looks irritated. Going to give you some muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatories. Oh, and go see a pool-based physical therapist. Also, we have someone upstairs who can do ‘manual adjustments’. (Got it, chiropractor).

Visit 3: Chiropractor
Analysis: Yep, you have a bad back, alright. Lay down, I’ll crack it a few times. Also, nutrition is important in these situations. Make sure you’re getting lots of protein. (what?!)

Visit 4: Orthopedist
Analysis: Hmm, still in pain? Ok, let’s try codeine. (No, let’s not). Ok, let’s discuss a cortisone shot, and in the meantime take more Advil.

Visit 5: Anesthesiologist
Analysis: No, this is a consult only. We aren’t giving you the shot right now. Insurance providers won’t allow us to perform a shot without pre-authorization. We need to schedule it for another time, how’s your schedule in two weeks?

Visit 6: Anesthesiologist
Analysis: Your pre-authorization claim was denied, they said to do PT instead.

Visit 7: Physical Therapist
Analysis: Let’s do a few stretches.

This whole process is/was eye-opening for me. Everything moves very slow and it leaves you feeling a bit helpless. I have no idea how folks who are older or have even worse pain than I had, navigate a system that isn’t built for speed. Guess that’s why so many people make bad decisions and choose destructive means to deal with the pain.

Anyway, /endRant, back to the ice-packs and heating pads.