Burn, baby burn. My disc inferno.

So my plan to race a lot and report on each event in 2016 has taken a journey down the triathatoilet.

Unlike last year, laziness and boredom has nothing to do with it. I have a very herniated disc in my lower lumbar spine which has compressed my sciatic nerve root. And it hurts like a bitch on bath salts.

It’s literally been the most painful experience of my 37 years. Imagine having an ice cream headache in your butt, thigh, and calf. Multiply that by 3, and add muscle spasms. That is nerve pain.

The good news is that it is improving somewhat. I may be able to avoid surgery. I can at least walk again, although that still hurts. And I can ride a bike without pain. Go figure.

But running, not so much. And dancing (baltering), not at all.

So now, what is the point of writing about this? Mainly, to explain why I am not fulfilling my race schedule as listed.

But also to share a bit of what I have learned this injury around.

1. I hate getting my picture taken, but I loved showing everyone the very expensive pictures of my innards. When you get an MRI, it’s loud and scary, but paying $450 for two black and white photos (and that is with insurance…. shameless) makes you want to get some milage out of them.


2. You get really sick of trying to explain what’s wrong. I went to acupuncture, chiropractic, physical therapy, a doc in the box, and two orthopaedic docs before figuring out what is wrong. Don’t forget about all the intake people and nurses. I shudder to think of the costs overall, so I am ignoring them. Next time I will type up a report and just make everyone read it.

3. Disc injuries take forever to heal. It’s been 2 months since I have not experienced some sort of pain. After awhile, you start to see how people can get addicted to painkillers. Fortunately, I have a high tolerance for pain and a deep fear of drugs, so for now I’ve dodged that bullet. But it’s a shame that insurance will only cover things that involve cutting you open or drugging you up.

4. I really, really miss running, and therefore triathlon. It’s looking like the whole summer will pass me by without so much as a 5K. Too bad my fledgling social life was pretty much dependent on sports.  Weekends are way more boring and you’ll forgive me if I don’t “like” your post race photos for awhile.

5. If you see someone out for a walk when you are running, don’t get all smug. You’re not more hardcore than them. Walking may be all that person can do right now.

3 thoughts on “Burn, baby burn. My disc inferno.

  1. Kit, Stone cold bummer! When we’re healthy it’s easy to take it for granted. When we’re injured it’s a lot of work to get past it. I had mild sciatica some years ago and the level of pain possible is hard to imagine if you haven’t experienced it. Aim for 2017. Come down for the Turtle Crawl. See if you can pass me. Cheers,

    1. Thanks for your kind words! Yes, it’s frustrating but at least not career ending. Have fun with your remaining races 🙂 I am living vicariously through my friends this year.

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