Saturday, September 23, 2006

9/14

I saw Dr. Schuster on the 14th for my last follow-up before I left for Chicago. Our discussion centered on the continued lower back pain that I had been experiencing. He, like Joanne, surmised that the problem was musco-skeletal in nature. But to be sure, he ordered an X-ray for me that afternoon following the appointment. It turned out to be negative. There was nothing. Joanne explained to me on Friday that the X-ray itself doesn't detail any muscular strain or pull. The X-ray was used to rule out any other problem non-musco-skeletal in nature. Therefore, since the scan was clean, my pain was most likely due to some sort of muscular strain or pull. She recommended that I continue to take Tylenol for pain relief and to just give it time. In 3-4 weeks, it should heal. If, however, after that time the pain is still there than I'm supposed to call her for scheduling an MRI. Dr. Schuster's office is also supposed to give me the name(s) of a specialist(s) at the University of Chicago hospital or Northwestern in the event that I need to see someone here.

During my last week home, I didn't go to gym because I was running all around town with so many different errands. It made a nice excuse for skipping out. But I started to work out again at the university gym here. Nothing fancy. Just cardio on the elliptical machine. I have continued to do the hamstring exercises that Andrew, the physical trainer, showed me before and after working out. Last night I decided not to take Tylenol preventively as I had been doing, because I wanted to see if the pain was still there. Well, at about 4am the pain woke me up but this time its intensity was much reduced. Whereas in the past, I wouldn't be able to return to sleep without popping a pill, this time I fell back asleep after a little tossing and turning. So, its very possible that although the pain isn't completely gone, progress has been made. Tonight I will not take the Tylenol again and see what happens. I'm going to keep track of my lower back pain during this week for any signs of improvement.

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