I have Sciatica.
I’m sure of it. A freakish, nagging, nearly unbearable pain running down the back of my thigh.
SCIATICA \si-‘a-ti-ka\, noun
Pain along the course of a sciatic nerve especially in the back of the thigh
At some point in my 39 years, I acquired this knowledge and stored it in the Hypochondriac Vault to join vast amounts of other useful medical nuggets. I opened the vault this morning in the shower. And then, naturally, made sure to do a little hedge trimming in the event I had to be rushed to the ER today with a sciatical emergency. As soon as I got to work, I looked it up.
According to my boyfriend WebMD:
Sciatica is a common type of pain affecting the sciatic nerve, a large nerve extending from the lower back down the back of each leg.
Pain in the rear or leg that is worse when sitting. Maybe?
Burning or tingling down the leg. Check.
Weakness, numbness or difficulty moving the leg or foot. No …
A constant pain on one side of the rear. Yeah. My power bill.
A shooting pain that makes it difficult to stand up. No …
So, DEFINITELY one symptom.
What Causes Sciatica?
Pregnancy. Not applicable, unless God has a second immaculate conception in the works and forgot to tell me.
Irritation of the root(s) of the lower lumbar and lumbosacral spine
Lumbar spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back)
Degenerative disc disease
Spondylolisthesis (a condition in which one vertebra slips forward over another one)
So, we know I have a bad back. And posture rivaling Quasimodo’s. I totally have Sciatica.
Textbook case. Either that or the pain is actually a blood clot that will eventually travel to my lung, resulting in a pulmonary embolism (PE in doctorese) and sudden death.
And my boyfriend’s best advice? Seek immediate medical attention with any symptoms of progressive lower extremity weakness and/or loss of bladder or bowel control. I may just have to dump him. Because everyone knows AG’s my main man anyway.
Damn. All this time, I’m working my ass off here in the snow entrenched mountains, I had no idea I should be retired and living it up in Florida, reaping the benefits of my AARP membership. And wearing socks with sandals.