Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Anyone else out there suffer from chronic pain? Or experience pain on a fairly regular basis?

For well over three months now, I have been been living with pain in my hip and lower back. At first, it was just a mild pain. I was aware of it, but it didn't really bother me much. Kinda like a loud neighbor watching WWE at 1am on a weeknight. He's obnoxious, but not so annoying to make you go next door to ask him to keep it down. Lately, however, the pain has become more of a moderate pain with episodes of severe pain.

Shortly after one of my most recent exams, I made an appointment at the student clinic to see if they could tell me what was wrong. Of course, I'm thinking I have chondrosarcoma or some other ridiculous differential. After taking the history and performing the physical examination, the physician believes otherwise (shocking, I know) and sends me home with prescriptions for an anti-inflammatory and a muscle relaxant.

While I did experience some pain relief after taking the drugs, I had to stop taking them after the third day. Why? Because I kept waking up in a poodle* of drool, face down in my book, page stuck to my cheek. These drugs made me so drowsy, I couldn't get any studying done. So, they had to go. I can deal with the pain.

I blame the pain on medical school. Going through first year, you think you have it rough, but then you get to second year and realize first year was like water-skiing on glass. There seems to be no time to do anything else but study this year. I tried to stick to a healthy diet and exercise plan, but that didn't last long. I wake up, go to school and sit through lectures. Lectures end, I go home or to the library and sit and study. I go to bed, sleep in the fetal position (or at least I fall asleep that way) and my body has been in the same basic position all day. I need to recommit to exercising and eating well because I can't let my health deteriorate.

Also, I think I finally understand the wheeled backpacks. I know, scary! But, I'm just one muscle spasm away from buying one. I'll make it look good, though. I know I will.

* Just noticed that I wrote "poodle" instead of "puddle." LOL


Dutch_Kids said...

Sorry to hear about your back and the pain you are experiencing...

Just an FYI, my 11 yr old daughter was diagnosed last year with Chondrosarcoma, and she experienced no pain prior to her diagnosis.

I really hope your pain dissapates soon, and get a wheelie, it will save your back!

DC Med Student said...

Thank you, dutch_kids.

All the best to you and your 11-year-old daughter.

The Lone Coyote said...

Back exercises can really help, if you can find time to do them. Once you get the pain calmed down a bit, if you can strengthen your back and core, you may see some good results. This helped me a lot when I had an episode of low back pain a few years ago. Of course, now I have no time to do it any more, so I'm just hoping the pain doesn't come back one of these days.

DC Med Student said...

Lone Coyote,

Thanks for the advice. Will start the exercise program tomorrow after my exams.