BACK Story:

When we left off in Part 1 (BACKground) of the story of my back troubles, Dr. Mobasser had just saved the day by removing two disc fragments from my spine and bringing me more relief than I could possibly have expected. This period of painlessness lasted for about six months before a second bulging disc in my back started rubbing up against a different, but similar sciatic nerve.

Two Dissident Lessons Learned:

Lesson #1: Fortunately, over the course of my surgical experience, I learned that my pain tolerance is too high. Not “tough guy” high, but rather “action movie” high or more appropriately, “you might seriously injure yourself and not know it” high. Knowing this, I had a much better understanding of the need to monitor my body and take time to heal whenever my back pain grew too much.

Lesson #2: Unfortunately, over the course of my surgical experience, I spent about two months with the largest nerve in my body abrased, pinched, stretched, and twisted; constant (literally, there was not a second of my day–even when fully medicated–in which my pain level wasn’t at least a 3), throbbing pain throughout my back, hamstring, and calf; and frequent bouts of spastic pain reducing me to a screaming, convulsing heap on the floor. After that, it’s really hard for me to consider just about anything to be truly “painful,” no matter how bad it hurts.

An image of Bastion Crider taken and edited by Bastion Crider in December, 2011.  Photo and art copyright 2011 Bastion Crider, Greg Crider LLC, and Grace at Arms.

By combining these lessons, I was able to both pose for this photograph AND acknowledge that it was a bad idea.

Familiar Feelings:

As the pain from the new bulging disc continued to grow, I tried to take appropriate measures to care for my back rather than muscling through it (yay for Lesson #1). Of course, I didn’t do a good enough job (dammit, Lesson #2) and, after a little over a year of this pain (December 2011), the bulging disc began to break and release new fragments to go molest my sciatic nerve.

Back to the spastic, crippling pain (though still not nearly as bad as it was two years ago), I returned to Dr. Mobasser, who indicated that he was going to need to go in and cut out any floating disc fragments, bone spurs, Junior Mints, or scar tissue that was bothering my nerve. First, though, we’d need to make sure we were targeting the right nerve. This is done by sticking a needle all the way into my spine and literally injecting the nerve with a numbing substance and a steroid.

Dr. Jean-Pierre Mobasser, MD, pointing to the S-1 Nerve Root, to show where he would like to perform a selective nerve root block on Bastion Crider in preparation for back surgery to remove disc fragments released after Bastion's S-1 disc herniated one or several times.  Photograph by Bastion Crider, 2012.

"...and then we're going to stick the needle right here."

Shot in the back:

Dr. Mobasser sent me back to my orthopedist, Dr. Scott Taylor, in whom I also have great faith and trust, to get my “selective nerve root block” shot. To make a long story very short, they wheeled me into the hospital and plunged about two inches of a syringe that looked like a Klingon ceremonial spear into my back.

Bastion Crider in a hospital gown at Henry County Memorial Hospital in New Castle, Indiana, waiting to receive a "selective nerve root block" injection into his S-1 nerve root.  Photograph taken by Greg Crider, 2012.

Before the nerve block: it hurts too much to sit up, so here I am lounging in my hospital gown waiting for the injection.

Screen capture from the movie, 300, by Lionsgate films.  Cropped by Bastion Crider, 2012.

Dr. Taylor aims the syringe before plunging it into Bastion's spinal column.

Aftermath:

The injection was a success! My nerve went numb for a few hours and left me painless, which means that we’ve isolated the correct nerve! I’m waiting for a call from Dr. Mobasser now to let me know when I’ll be going in for surgery. In the mean time, I’m hoping the steroid in my nerve will keep things stable! Until next time, keep rocking!

…aaaaand just in case surgery goes poorly and this is the last you’ll ever hear from me, here’s a Love Poem For Ghosts (read the story behind this poem and why this might be actually be a poem about you in my blog entry: “A Love Poem For Ghosts“):

 

If you enjoy my blog, feel free to subscribe to my RSS feed, Like my Facebook page, or Follow my Twitter account for news, updates, and inspirational thoughts. – Bastion

If you are unfamiliar with GRACE@ARMS, feel free to explore the headings at the top of this page, find our music on iTunes, enjoy our YouTube page, or Like our Facebook page to keep up to date.

Bastion Crider of Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) on the stage at Birdy's Bar and Grill in Indianapolis, Indiana, during a Grace at Arms concert on January 27, 2012.  Image is a screen capture cropped by Bastion Crider from video footage recorded by John Sweigart III of Swagtree Productions.  All logos, art, and "I CAME HERE TO ROCK" are copyright 2012 by Bastion Crider, Greg Crider LLC, and Grace at Arms.

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Comments
  1. […] you missed Part 1 and Part 2, I’ve got an exploding disc in my spine that’s causing me all sorts of trouble.  When […]

  2. […] you missed Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3, I’ve been battling the shards of an exploding disc in my spine.  When we left […]

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