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, 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 frustrating trying to find a solution, hence me venting/throwing content out into the digital void. 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). Ok, let’s discuss a cortisol shot, and in the mean time 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. (don’t you guys share notes and MRI images?). We need to schedule it for another time, how’s your schedule in two weeks?

Visit 6: Anesthesiologist

Visit 7: Physical Therapist

Total elapsed time so far: 13 days since primary care visit.

Disclaimer: I prefer to use over-the-counter pain medication only – no opioids, etc. This whole process is eye-opening for me. Everything moves too slow and makes people feel helpless. It’s pretty clear why people give up and self-medicate or abuse things they shouldn’t. The path to relief and getting on a doctors’ schedule in a timely manner, proves to be progressively difficult the closer you get to relief.

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