I’ve talked a little bit about having spinal stenosis with you guys before.
Having spinal stenosis means that the opening in my spine is getting narrower.
Therefore, I have more pressure on my spinal cord and the nerves that run through it.
This condition can cause leg pain and I believed it was what was causing the leg pain that I’ve been experiencing for years.
I’ve always been able to deal with the pain without intervention until recently, however.
Last February, I came down with a horrible cold and cough, so I took a lot of OTC cold medications.
It was during my long battle with that nasty cold that one day, the pain in my legs became unbearable.
It was 100 times worse than any leg pain I’d ever experienced before.
No position relieved my pain.
I literally could barely walk, so I asked my husband to take me to the emergency room, fully believing that my spinal stenosis was getting worse and causing the unbearable pain.
However, the doctor in the ER noticed something else.
He noticed that the skin on my legs was shiny and my ankles and feet were white, but my calves were red.
He told me that these symptoms along with leg pain indicated that something vascular was going on and told me to see my doctor about it.
To make a long story just a little bit shorter, I have discovered that I have Peripheral Artery Disease.
This means that the peripheral arteries leading to my legs are getting narrower.
The arteries leading to my stomach, arms, and head may be narrowing as well.
If left untreated, I could have a stroke or heart attack.
I guess it’s a good thing I took all that cold medication and felt that horrible pain.
You see, all the cold medication I was taking had been constricting my arteries, causing the severe pain I was feeling
If I hadn’t gotten sick and taken all that cold medicine, I might have gone on indefinitely thinking that the pain in my legs was being caused by spinal stenosis.
While I’m certainly not glad I have this new condition, I am glad that getting a cold alerted me to the fact that something else more dangerous was going on.
I’m glad I know now, so I can get the proper treatments.
But so far, I have been super disappointed that the high blood pressure medication I was prescribed gave me the chills and a fever and the pain medication I was given does help with my leg pain, but it also makes me have a backache and headache.
I really thought that I would start feeling better, not worse.
I go see a vascular surgeon next week and I’m really hoping we can find a treatment that will help.
But I have to admit, I’m not really hopeful and I’m scared and super depressed.
I need to stay alive and functioning for as long as I can for Bethany.
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