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Feeling Sick - Slipped Disc Symptom
Within the realms of slipped disc symptoms, there are both 'nasty symptoms' and 'really nasty symptoms'. I am afraid that 'feeling sick - wanting to throw up everywhere' is only ever found within the latter! Whilst I'd suffered with this symptom, during my two previous bouts of slipped discs, I'd also managed to 'forget all about it' (within four years of good health). Unfortunately, this symptom 'came back with a vengeance' within my third bout (two herniated discs lower back and one herniated disc upper neck). I can't remember a week within those first six months, when I didn't feel sick 'for most of it'. And when I say 'feel sick', I mean with 'vomit bug FEEL SICK' sensations that 'lasted for hours/days'.
For whilst your recovering from slipped discs, you're going to be joining the ranks of the 'truly unwell humans'. This particular category includes other individuals 'that can usually feel sick all/much of the time' - I refer to humans that are undergoing treatment for cancer. Whereas much of their 'feeling sick' is going to be due to the side effects of radiotherapy - you're 'feeling sick' is going to be due to the 'damage you've done to your spine' (specifically 'the pressure' from your slipped discs pushing onto your spinal cord, near 'those nerves' that lead to/from your stomach). Amongst my 'many memories' of feeling vomit bug sick - there is one particular day that shall always 'stand out' for me:
I'd been sitting at my desk 'in the morning' for half an hour (or so) getting on with some work, when suddenly 'completely out of the blue' my desire to vomit 'uncontrollably everywhere' built and built! I had to stop work 'for the day' - and proceeded to try 'walking it off'. But to no avail. I tried 'standing up' (thinking happy thoughts). But to no avail. I tried 'lying down' (to try 'sleeping it off'). But to no avail. After an hour or two, I decided 'enough was enough' and I managed to 'get booked into my doctors' (on an emergency). I asked my Dad 'to drive me down'. I wanted to 'throw up' in my Dad's car. I wanted to 'throw up' in my Doctor's waiting room. I wanted to 'throw up' whilst talking to my doctor. I wanted to 'throw up' after he'd examined me. I wanted to 'throw up' on the journey home. I wanted to 'throw up' for the remainder of that day. I wanted to 'throw up' all night - and 'all the next day' as well!
It's hard - and it gets even harder 'when you disagree with your doctor'. As he didn't seem to think that my 'feeling sick' had anything to do with my slipped discs (although he did request an MRI scan for me). All I know is this: when the pressure from my slipped discs 'started relenting' then I didn't feel 'vomit bug sick' anymore. Unfortunately, it took around six months for those 'vomit bug sick' sensations to 'fully go away'. It was 'hard to cope' - but it toughens you up!
But even 'within the realms of toughening you up' is there 'one scenario' that you - DON'T WANT TO ENCOUNTER:
You could be the 'poor smuck' who actually catches the 'seasonal vomit bug' whilst recovering from slipped discs!
Whilst I have encountered this myself - it wasn't until month nineteen (of my recovery). I certainly wouldn't have wanted 'the seasonal vomit bug' - before nineteen months of recovery! As I feel that 'anytime sooner' would be a 'step too far' within the realms of the 'dead and the dying'. It's 'bad enough' feeling sick - let alone 'actually being sick'! Just ask 'Chunk' from the fantasy film 'The Goonies' - who has a 'rather comical' (dark humour here!) line that he mutters:
But the worst thing I ever done: was when I 'threw puke' over people in the cinema - who then 'threw up themselves'.
In any case, I was 'just glad' that I could eat my Christmas Dinner (December 2017) without feeling sick! Some luck!
If you'd have seen me forty-three months ago, then you may have asked: is that guy a robot? He doesn't seem to be moving 'quite right' - his entire upper and lower body reminds me of 'SpongeBob Square Pants'! To which I would say: welcome to one of the symptoms of herniated discs - that of 'tight muscles'. Only in my case, was my entire spine (including my neck and shoulders) very inflexible! It really was hard 'to move at all'. And even then, it felt like I was moving millimetres 'in slow motion' for pain that was 'even further off the scale'. For my entire back, was behaving like 'a block of concrete' - almost as if I was cocooned within a Sarcophagus, with two 'eye openings' (to look out through):
Whilst I can laugh about this symptom now, at the time 'my mind' had to divert 'so much energy' to just trying to do 'basic tasks' (especially those that we all 'take for granted'). The main reason for this difficulty - was my inflexibility:
Knowing that every muscle in my back 'was encased in concrete'. The concrete extended upwards from my waist (covering my entire torso) and was the kind of concrete that 'sets slowly BUT lasts forever and ever'.
Knowing that every muscle in my neck 'was encased in concrete'. It was like I was wearing a 'neck brace' (just like 'what is worn' by sufferers of 'whiplash'). Only my neck brace was made entirely of 'my neck muscles'!
Knowing that every muscle in my shoulders 'was encased in concrete'. I'd spent my 'years of good health' doing shoulder hunches (with dumbbells). But with those slipped discs, my shoulder muscles were like 'pieces of iron'.
Knowing that every muscle in my legs 'was encased in concrete'. I'd spent my 'years of good health' running (two to three times a week) and 'doing squats'. BUT with my slipped discs, my legs were like 'metal girders'.
I felt dead. I couldn't tell 'one muscular pain from another' - only that it was 'somewhere in my body'. You may as well have 'glued me to the side of a wall' for all the flexibility I had (just like in that 'No More Nails' advert!). For that zip wire had really 'done its work' on me ... Whilst I may have been something of a 'special case' (with two slipped discs in my lower back, and one slipped disc in my upper neck) we all know 'what happens' when you've sprained your ankle - only I had that 'tightening up' over my entire body! One month went by, with no change. Then another month went by, with no change ... It was only around month fourteen that my muscles 'started relenting' (giving way to other 'more fun' symptoms). In any case, I found myself doing impressions of a 'waddling duck' around my parent's house - and it was 'even worse' when I could 'get out and about'. Strangers gave me 'funny looks' BUT you can't 'do anything about it' - as you're a block of concrete! So you have to 'mix in' some humour: Did you order concrete? No, I've got slipped discs!
For I am afraid that 'tight muscles' are going to be a symptom that you can suffer with, even in the 'later stages of healing' - because when you can't exercise as normal, then your muscles are going to 'become weaker'. And when you 'have done something', then you shall know that your muscles are weak (because they 'tighten up again' through the exertions that you've done). Perhaps the 'greatest realisation' of just 'how weak' your muscles have/shall become - is 'driving your car'. For me, whilst the 'pushing of pedals' was fine, I'd always feel it 'later that evening' - and even the next day, as my leg muscles would 'tighten up again, turning to concrete' as though I'd run fifteen miles (only I hadn't!).
'Out of all' the slipped disc symptoms that you can suffer with, there is 'none more frustrating' than that of pinched nerves! As in my third bout of slipped discs (two herniated discs lower back, one herniated disc upper neck) I have suffered with 'more pinched nerves' than I can remember having - in either of my two previous slipped disc bouts ... Whilst you can experience pinched nerves within 'any stage of recovery' - you may not realise 'that that's what your feeling'. Because I have found, in the earlier stages of recovery, that pinched nerves are usually masquerading 'behind a wall of pain' - and you won't notice them as much. But in the later stages of recovery, all you can feel 'are those nerves':
What is a pinched nerve? Your spine has countless nerves both in and around it - such as your spinal cord and 'nerve connections' to various organs, arms, legs, etc. When your spine's discs are 'functioning normally' then those nerves 'have plenty of room' to route 'both in and around' your spine's vertebra (i.e. your spine's bones). But when you have a slipped disc, then those nerves can be 'pressed upon' by either the disc (if it's 'moved out of place') or the disc's fluid (if the disc's 'surrounding membrane' has actually ruptured). Added to this, is the fact that the muscles surrounding your spine could also be 'as tight as concrete' (just like mine were!). All of this means, that the nerves both in and around your spine 'no longer have plenty of room' to route to their various connections - and you quite simply 'feel the nerve'.
To say that pinched nerves 'can be off putting' is an understatement! As when they have happened to me (for 'months at a time') I have felt: like not doing much, not wanting to go out, not wanting to spend time with family, not wanting to sit down (even 'when I could' sit down!), whilst becoming frustrated and wondering - am I ever going to heal? That last question was 'particularly prevalent' in my third bout, as those two slipped discs lower back, and one slipped disc upper neck - had pinched 'my entire spinal cord' from the base of my spine, to the top of my neck! Fortunately, after around twenty-one months (or so) the pinched nerves 'that I feel now' are usually located at either end of my spine (i.e. just at the base of my spine, or at the top of my neck - not 'both ends at once', although on 'some days' there are exceptions!).
For I am afraid that pinched nerves are subject to (what I call) the 'yo yo effect'. You might be feeling ok, but the next moment you have 'pinched nerves from hell', then the next day 'pinched nerves from hell', then you start to feel ok again, then you do something (such as 'putting your shoe on'), then 'pinched nerves from hell', then you're feeling ok, then for no apparent reason 'pinched nerves from hell' ... I have found that you can't really predict this sequence, other than (for the most part) if you have 'done something', then expect some variety of 'pinched nerves soon'. There are 'all sorts' of activities and tasks that can give you pinched nerves (again), with some 'prominent ones' for me being:
August 2018. I helped my Dad replace his car battery - as his 'old one' was completely flat. Being sensible, I left Dad to 'lift the battery' and I just 'loosened and tightened' the various nuts. Not 'too much' I thought. I was wrong! That evening I was sitting 'in a restaurant' and all I could feel was my spinal cord (from the base of my spine, to the top of my neck). Whilst I had 'great fun smiling' - my smile was more of a 'death's head grin'.
For most of 2018 and (so far) 2019. I attend my Mother's dance class every weekend. Up to around fourteen months of recovery, I was 'very inflexible' (just keeping to basic dance steps). Around twenty-one months of recovery, my flexibility 'started to return' (so I started to do 'turning steps' again). But in both cases, the dancing would aggravate the nerves in my spine, but 'you have to persist' (as it's the only way 'to get your fitness back'). Although for me, I am still not doing 'jumping steps' (as you have to be 'somewhat sensible' as well!). I tend to feel the nerves 'just at the base of my spine' - because the dance steps 'give my legs - a really good workout'.
March 2019. My computer's Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) needed to be serviced (i.e. hoover all the dust out of it). It's really heavy, so I decided to 'work on it' under my desk - thereby avoiding 'lifting it'. Whilst my back and neck allowed me 'to do the work' - for the next week 'my reward' was: feeling my spinal cord from the base of my spine to the top of my neck! After a while, 'I got used to this one' (as you can 'get used to anything').
For most of 2018. Whilst driving my car 'gradually became less painful' - there were two manoeuvres, which always resulted in pinched nerves (especially 'the next day'). These manoeuvres were: looking 'hard right' (e.g. when at junctions) and looking 'back over my shoulder' (e.g. when filtering in). Again, I would feel these pinched nerves - right at the base of my spine, and at the top of my neck (i.e. no change to usual then!).
If you have pinched nerves 'right now' - then a 'repeating question' that you will 'continually ask yourself' is:
How long will these pinched nerves keep occurring for?
I'm afraid 'I have no specific answer' to this question! Although I will say: I have now returned to being able to sleep normally. And I can't remember the exact date when that happened. From my two previous bouts (of slipped discs) - there shall 'come a time' when you no longer seem to be feeling pinched nerves, and you will forget that date as well!
Although when I felt my pinched nerves 'really badly' - there is 'one thought' that I found would help me:
Picturing myself as the Tyrannosaurus Rex, in the closing scene of Jurassic World - ROAR!!!
There's pain, and there's 'real pain'. Slipped discs are only ever concerned with the realms of 'real pain'. Within the 'dictionary of pain', you will find that pain EQUALS slipped discs, and slipped discs EQUALS pain! You will also find that this definition is printed in BOLD FONT. As you won't be able to hide from the pain! Nor will you be able to ignore the pain! In my third bout (two slipped discs lower back, one slipped disc upper neck) I came to redefine 'the meaning' of the word pain (yet again!), especially as I was 'forced to remember' the hard way, that pain is accumulative:
The more slipped discs you have, the more pain you shall be in. For 'special cases' like me, my spine was 'getting it' from both ends. You should think yourself lucky 'if you only have one slipped disc'. Although 'not so lucky' if that's a slipped disc in your neck! As I can tell you 'right now' that a slipped disc in your neck, is far worse (in terms of 'everything') than slipped discs in either your lower or middle spine (and those are 'bad enough!'). It's simple really: think about 'how much you move your back' - then think about 'how much you move your neck' (it's a lot more than your back!).
Before my 'three bouts' of slipped disc injuries, the worst pain I'd ever felt, was when I'd twisted one of my ankle's, around a tree root (whilst out playing paint ball). My ankle swelled to twice the size, and I was on crutches for six weeks. I thought that was pain. I was wrong, that was NOT pain. And neither are 'any of these':
Being hit with a paintball - including 'the guy that was hit between his legs'. Yes he screamed, but with slipped discs - you can't really 'scream for months at a time' (as you'd have no voice left, after a few days!).
I was running along (in circa 2016) telling some jokes, when an African Wasp 'flew into my mouth - and stung me on the tongue'. With slipped discs, you may as well have 'fallen into the wasps nest' (with no clothes on!).
Stepping 'bare foot' onto a Bee (with the Bee 'leaving the stinger' in your foot). I've actually done this twice, once before my slipped discs (when I thought it was painful) and once whilst recovering in my third bout of slipped discs! Only here: I didn't feel the pain, my foot was 'twice the size' and I still didn't notice the pain.
For slipped discs have a 'World of Pain' just by themselves. You'll find it out beyond 'anything you've ever felt before'. Both in terms of 'the level of pain', and in terms of 'how long that pain lasts': six weeks here, you'll barely notice a difference! As in my third bout (of slipped discs), I was in pain for over ten months. And when I say pain, I mean the kind of pain where I cried myself to sleep at night (for months at a time). Where was the pain you ask? That's the wrong question to ask me. A better question would be: where didn't it hurt? To which I would say: nowhere really! For I had:
Pain 'all across my back'. It felt like a steam roller had 'parked on top of me'.
Pain 'down both my legs'. It felt like I'd been standing 'for ten thousand years' (whilst holding a cruise ship).
Pain 'down both my arms'. It felt like I'd been punching 'for eternity' with lactic acid building (to infinite levels).
BUT ALL OF THIS 'WAS AS NOTHING' COMPARED TO THE PAIN 'both deep inside and around my spine'.
For your spine is complex (both in terms of its 'bone structure' and 'nerve routing') - and when it's damaged (with slipped discs), you're going to know it! As like it or not, you're going to be hand-in-hand with pain 'morning, day and night'. And by the time that pain's finished with you, you're going to have earned 'something else' as well:
A 'first class honours degree' in the subject of Pain! Thanks 'Mr Slipped Disc' and 'Mrs Herniated Disc'.
Have you slipped a disc in your back? Feeling like your life's 'gone down the pan'? Then this book is for you, not because I'm a doctor, but because I've been through this wound-injury three times, and I've found 'what works'. It may work for you to :) At the very least, by reading it, you'll know one thing: you're not alone. Others have been before you!
In ten years, I've had three bouts of slipped discs (eight slipped discs in total). Being someone, who's used to being out running, swimming and cycling 'all the time', having a slipped disc (or three!), really gets in the way of your life, and inter-fears with your training routine! This book is meant to help you, through the 'darkest days' of injury, and help you 'get your life back'.
When writing 'Slipped Disc Help - Through Hell and Back', I decided to take the stance of: 'declaring war on my slipped discs, and fighting every day to get my health back'. I don't 'pull any punches' - as when you're 'busted back to the rank of baby' being basically 'unable to do anything' - it's hard! Yet even here, are there 'challenges within challenges' ... With one of the hardest being: just trying to sleep. And this is why I dedicated an entire chapter to 'Sleep, or Lack of It'. As to heal, you have to be able to sleep. But when you can't sleep? I show you the sleeping positions that I used - together with 'your second new best friend' of a pillow! So whether it's your first slipped disc injury (or perhaps you're second) - then welcome to the 'long hard road', where nobody wants to know, except for me!
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