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Sofa Girl #2 whining

Posted by Carole C in NOLA on 1/12/05 at 17:39 (166982)

I went to the doctor today, and he says I have flu and laryngitis. That's pretty much what I thought I had. He said to drink a lot of water or I might get pneumonia; I was wondering if/when that was coming on too.

He gave me four prescriptions, which cost $31 in co-pays, even using my drug card. Eek. I remember when the whole price for prescriptions was about that. I must be getting old! :)

The doctor's office is no place for a sick person. I told the receptionist that I had flu and that I'm contagious, and she directed me to sit in the same unventilated 10'x12' waiting room with the other dozen patients for an hour or more. This included two patients in their 90's, an infant and a toddler. I'd LIKE to think that the old and young had their flu shots, but the doctor had a sign up saying that he hadn't received any to give out.

I hate to think what I was exposed to from the other patients, too!

All this for a stupid doctor's excuse to go back to work, since I was out for over 3 days. Oh well. At least I have the medicines now, so maybe they will help me to recover.

On the bright side, I do feel somewhat better today so maybe I'm on the mend.

How are Sofa Girl #1 (Judy), Sofa Girl #3 (Wendy), Sofa Girl #0 (Julie), and any other sick/sofa people on the board? This has been quite a year for getting sick.

Carole C

Re: Sofa Girl #2 whining

Shell D. on 1/12/05 at 17:56 (166984)

Glad to hear you're starting to feel better.

Interesting article in the paper today. In our state (Iowa) there is now enough flu vaccine to take the restrictions off, and they're even talking there could be flu vaccine that could go un-used! Can you believe that?

Re: Sofa Girl #2 whining

Carole C in NOLA on 1/12/05 at 18:03 (166985)

It is starting to show up in some locations here, too. My doctor just hasn't got any yet.

Being a 56 year old federal employee, I could have got vaccinated at work FINALLY on January 6th. That was the day before I started having flu symptoms and I felt kind of run down, so I didn't get it. Probably won't do me much good now.

Carole C

Re: like shutting the barn door after the horse ran away! (nm)

Carole C in NOLA on 1/12/05 at 18:04 (166986)


Re: Sofa Girl #3 whining

wendyn on 1/12/05 at 18:30 (166988)

Carole, I still have my cold, but I think I'm on the mend. I really need to sleep though.

I do have a doctor's appt on Friday, but it's for my piriformus/hamstring problem - not my bug.

I am going to take Friday off work. Maybe a day off will help!?

What type of meds did your doctor give you? I did not think there was anything you could really take to get rid of the flu.

Re: Sofa Girl #2 whining

JudyS on 1/12/05 at 19:16 (166992)

Sofa Girl #1 has officially retired her name! Just a little fatigue left over, like Sofa Girl #3. ....or could just be avoiding work!

Carole it sounds as though you were hit much harder than I was - but then mine wasn't a flu bug. Tomorrow was supposed to be your presentation, wasn't it? You must be feeling quite poorly and you haven't whined at all! I think you need whining lessons from Sofa Girl #1!

Re: Sofa Girl #3 whining

Carole C in NOLA on 1/12/05 at 20:20 (167000)

Wendy, I hope you start feeling better! I've been off work since Friday, and I've spent most of that time sleeping. Sleep is the best medicine, you're right. As for the other medicines, three are symptomatic and one is a preventative. I'll list them below along with prices so that the Canadians on the board can feel especially fortunate:

1) Antibiotic - 'Zithromax Z-Pak 250mg 3X6'. Doesn't work for colds or flu, but I'm pretty weak right now so it might ward off a secondary bacterial infection. Knowing me, this is a good idea since I am pretty sure I'm already getting, or about to get, a secondary infection. Cost: $63, my share $11.66 .

2) Expectorant/Decongestant - 'Liquibid-D 1,200 Tablet'. How dare they call it a tablet; it's a humungously large pill big enough for a horse. From my point of view it is sort of like pseudoephedrine to the max, kind of like speed and dries me up. I am supposed to drink LOTS of water with it. Cost: $26, my share $4.34 .

3) Decongestant Cough Syrup - 'Histinex PV Syrup'. This is the good stuff. Seems to work well and tastes good. Cost $16, my share $2.62 .

4) Nasal Steroid Spray - 'Nasacort AQ'. Supposed to reduce swelling. What a waste of money. Cost $106, my share $17.49. This is the only one I haven't used yet. The idea of a nasal spray is somewhat revolting. But now that I see the price, I'll have to try it to see if it's any good. It's mislabeled; the box and packet insert give a maximum dose that is half what I was prescribed. Guess I will call the pharmacy in the morning.

I probably don't need any of this, but I must admit that after taking a dose of the first three, I feel a whole lot more comfortable.

The prices are ridiculous. If I did not have health insurance, it would cost me $211 for these medicines, plus the doctor bill. Of course, if I did not have health insurance it would be because I didn't work, so I would not have needed the doctor's excuse for work. Really, the employers of America are paying huge amounts to the insurance companies to indirectly pay for the stupid excuses, rather than to simply trust their employees to tell the truth. If the excuses weren't required, I wouldn't have gone.

Carole C

Re: Sofa Girl #2 whining

Carole C in NOLA on 1/12/05 at 20:35 (167001)

I thought I was whining quite a bit! LOL (whine, whine, whine!) Poor me, poor me, I have the flu and HAD to go to the doctor even though I didn't want to get out of bed. I also HAD to go pick up Frank's mail and paper since he's in Alabama, and was too sick to do it last night so I had to do it this morning AND this afternoon. (All together now: 'Poor Carole, Poor Carole...') (grin)

You're right; tomorrow is the conference. I e-mailed my supervisor, my technical lead, and my timekeeper on Monday and told them what was up. I told them I probably couldn't make it to the conference. My technical lead said to rest up, that they would take care of everything, and my timekeeper sent her sympathies. Going straight for the source of my stress really helped to de-stress me. Score one for me.

Also the bright side, I thought previously that this bug was 'settling in my knee', so to speak, but I was wrong. My right knee had become nearly frozen and unbendable, and my whole right lower leg was surprisingly painful and tight. All I could do was lurch about, and couldn't really bear my weight on that leg without it folding up. You can imagine the effect on my other leg. But today, my right leg started to loosen up and get normal. It still hurts a bit, but I can move it and walk relatively normally with it now (especially on grass). I have been staying off it as much as I can. Maybe I pulled a muscle in it and didn't realize it.

Carole C

Re: Sofa Girl #3 whining

wendyn on 1/12/05 at 21:07 (167005)

Wow Carole! I am familiar with most of those drugs. Certainly should clear whatever is brewing...

I suspect that if I took that drug cocktail, I'd be flat on my a*! for the better part of a week! (I feel one tylenol kick in and I have a tendency to react very strangely to drugs. As a result, I generally avoid drugs. I also have drug allergies and a resulting basic distrust of medicine). I've only taken antibiotics once in the last 10 years - that was for blood poisoning this summer when my options were:

'Take it or die'.

One of my kids was on the nasal steriod spray for allergies a few years ago. You need to take it for at least a few days before it works (doesn't have any type of instant effect). You have to take it properly or you might give yourself nosebleeds.

That's funny though - one of the guys I work with was talking to a doctor friend of his. The doctor was at a conference recently and they were apparently discussing the respiratory ailment that is going around. They've found the most effective way to clear it up is a combination nasal steriod and a decongestant. Perhaps your doctor was at the same conference?!

Re: p.s.

wendyn on 1/12/05 at 21:11 (167006)

I know what you mean about the wasted funds for doctor's visits. My son worked at a restaurant where they required a doctor's note for ANY abscence due to illness. Even one shift!

Re: Sofa Girl #3 whining

Carole C in NOLA on 1/12/05 at 21:23 (167008)

'Take it or die' is a pretty good indication that you did the right thing, by taking it! GEE Wendy!!! Blood poisoning is nothing to mess with.

I'm not familiar with any of these drugs, so I'm glad you have at least heard of them. I've been reading the pages and pages of documentation and explanations that the pharmacy includes with them (routinely).

Gee! Maybe my doctor WAS at that conference. I kind of doubt it, though, since his main interest is in endocrinology (he's also qualified in internal medicine and I knew him, so I figured 'why not').

Perhaps it is more likely that maybe nasal steroids and decongestants are used a lot for relief of symptoms from various bugs, these days. I have no idea (and I have no idea what the pharmaceutical companies are pushing lately). I have to admit that I feel a lot better already. I haven't used the nasal spray yet (ewww). Gotta do it.

As far as being flat on my a** after this drug cocktail, I probably won't notice the difference. I've been sleeping restlessly almost all the time when I'm not on this message board.

Carole C

Re: p.s.

Carole C in NOLA on 1/12/05 at 21:26 (167009)

That is so asinine! Or is that assinine... not sure of the spelling. Anyway, all that money spent for one shift missed is just so stupid (in my not-so-humble opinion).

Carole C

Re: Sofa Girl 0 reporting

Julie on 1/13/05 at 02:34 (167022)

Agreed, Carole: VERY stupid. Maybe you should come and live in England where employers are more trusting!

Sofa Girl 0 (thanks for my elevation to the top of the heap-on-the-sofa) is ok, thanks. My surgery has been confirmed for Thursday the 20th; I'm to go in on Wednesday for all the preliminaries. My pain has been more or less completely under control for the last week or so, since my meds were upped. Luckily I'm not allergic or sensitive to drugs, so these (top-strength dihydrocodeine) don't knock me out during the day, only at night, which is nice. They do affect my balance a bit - I need to watch myself when I'm changing direction. (And as I am over 60, they are free, or rather paid for by the NHS, into which I paid contributions all my working life). My cold and residual cough are gone so I'm actually feeling more or less normal.

Whatever that is.

I hope you get better soon, Carole - you've been really hard hit by this bug. Can you now stay at home for as long as you need to, or do you have to keep making return doctor visits every few days?

Re: Sofa Girl 0 reporting

Carole C in NOLA on 1/13/05 at 06:58 (167023)

Julie, I'm glad to hear that they've found a level of meds that can control your pain. I'll be thinking of you and hoping for the best on Thursday the 20th.

Glad to hear that your cold is gone, so that it isn't delayig your surgery.

There isn't any rule about how long I can stay home before seeing the doctor again, once I have the initial doctor's excuse after three days. I have enough sick leave accumulated to last until the end of next week. After that, I would have to start using my vacation time and I can guarantee you, I am not going to let that happen! So, I have a lot of motivation to take care of myself and to get better by sometime next week.

If a person is so sick that they use up all their sick leave and vacation leave, then e-mails are sent out to everyone asking for leave donations (which is pretty humiliating). That way, they can continue to be paid while out. Or, probably they can take an unpaid leave of absence.

I work for the government, though, and I believe that people working in industry have much more harsh leave policies.

Carole C

Re: Sofa Girl 0 reporting

Kathy G on 1/13/05 at 09:45 (167035)

Nasacort is an excellent nosespray for people who suffer from allergies. My son, daughter and I all use a nosespray. My son was put on two when he was eight. He had to use one of them four times a day and the other twice a day. He was no dummy. He realized how much better they made him feel so he carried the spray with him. Now, they've come a long way and he just uses one spray twice a day as do my daughter and I. Some people do develop nosebleeds from it and can't use it but we've been fortunate.

For me, it totally eliminated my 'nocturnal asthma' as they termed it. At night, especially when it was damp out or we were going to have snow, I would get this annoying cough that kept me up all night. I'd also get a rash. I use Beconase AQ and it's amazing. It's also cut down on the number of sinus/allergy headaches I get.

I was first prescirbed Flonase but I complained to the doctor that there was still medicine in the bottle when you could no longer get it to spray and I was throwing away good medicine each month because I couldn't get the top off the bottle. He switched me to Beconase because the same thing happens but it has a screw off top so I can start a new one and pour what's left of the old one into the new bottle. Talk about a thrifty New Englander, huh?

My friend who has pneumonia says that they told her to drink tons of fluid to help keep the secretions thin. My mother, who had pneumonia at least ten times I can remember, used to be told the same thing.

Hope you feel better soon, Sofa Girl, and drink all day!

Re: I hope you feel better, Carole...

Suzanne D. on 1/13/05 at 15:49 (167061)

I hope you're feeling better today, Carole, and that the medicines are helping you. My husband and older daughter have taken the Z-Pak medication several times. They both have asthma and related problems, and the doctor thinks the Z-Pak is particularly effective with respiratory infections.

They've also used the Nasalcort spray as well as the Beconase which Kathy G. mentioned in a post to you. They have found that the nosesprays really do help as Kathy also mentioned.

A couple of years ago I had a sinus infection and found that my blood pressure went up; the doctor determined it was because of the decongestant I was taking. That's just something to keep in mind and perhaps check.

Yes, rest/sleep are as important as medicine, I believe. I hope you're more comfortable today!

Suzanne :)

Re: Wishing you the best, Julie...

Suzanne D. on 1/13/05 at 15:51 (167062)

I'm so glad your pain is under control, Julie, and that surgery is soon. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers and wish for you a full recovery!

Suzanne :)

Re: I hope you feel better, Carole...

Carole C in NOLA on 1/13/05 at 17:50 (167072)

Thanks, Suzanne! I think the medicines really ARE doing some good! I am most definitely more comfortable today, thank you. Maybe there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Finally my nasal passages are not blocked and the pressure in my sinuses is relieved. I didn't use the nasal spray but the other medicines seem to be helping. The idea of nasal sprays grosses me out and when it came right down to it, I was too squeamish to squirt stuff up my nose.

Also, my knee is feeling better, which might or might not have had anything to do with Virus 2005. I thought for a while it had settled in my knee and was the cause of my knee freezing and lower leg pain. Whatever the cause, the discomfort is nearly gone after a week of rest.

A friend at work called to see how I am doing, while I was napping, and I was actually able to croak out a few words to her on the phone... the first speech above a whisper that has come out of my mouth in a week. I was surprised!

I am still coughing but not as much, and the cough medicine helps when it gets out of control.

And last, but certainly not least, the feelings of exhaustion, weakness, and so on that go with the flu have at least diminished. I feel like I'm regaining my optimism and joie de vivre (though I'm still sleeping a lot).

Tomorrow morning I have an electrician coming to replace my fuse box with a circuit breaker box. I had this scheduled weeks ago, and had scheduled tomorrow off. I am glad that I am feeling better so that I can deal with him! Tonight I will straighten up the house and perhaps air it out a little so that it is presentable.

Thank you for the caution about decongestants. I will keep the possible effect on blood pressure in mind. I was so pleased to find out (before taking these medicines) that my BP was 130/72. Could be worse, and I hope to keep it that low.

Carole C

Re: also

Carole C in NOLA on 1/13/05 at 17:56 (167073)

Also my lungs are almost all cleared out. I can take a DEEP breath without having to cough (though they tickle and I might want to cough, but it's controllable).

Maybe tomorrow after the electrician is leaves, I might be able to make a brief trip to the grocery store on the corner. I've finally got a little appetite back, and groceries are running low (although I have plenty of canned foods left over from hurricane season).

Carole C

Re: also

Suzanne D. on 1/13/05 at 18:21 (167074)

That's great news, Carole! I am so glad you are decidedly better.

I just got off the phone with my daughter. She and her husband were waiting for her prescription of Z-Pak to be filled. She has been 'dragging', as we say, at school this week and today had such a sore throat and ached. I advised her to get to the dr. after school. She was tired and wanted to just go home and wait until tomorrow, but I know her and how her body handles illness, and I asked her to please go this afternoon and get medicine rather than waiting until tomorrow. She had a negative strep reading, but the dr. said that she felt it was a strong posibility that it was a false negative which can happen with the quick tests. So she prescribed the Z-Pak and told her to go to bed. She asked her if she was the type to curl up on the sofa and rest when sick, and she had to admit that she is not. She always keeps pushing and makes herself more sick. The dr. then said, 'Well, I order you then to do nothing but lay on the couch, watch movies, and drink plenty of liquids.' She told her to miss Monday as well, but we are out of school anyway due to Martin Luther King Day. I am going to try to take care of Children's Church Sunday which she always does and encourage her to keep resting until Tuesday. I am wondering if this could be the flu. If so, I have a good chance of coming down with it and becoming the next 'Sofa Girl' here at Heelspurs.com. I took some Vitamin C awhile ago and think I'll get in bed a little earlier tonight just in case.

Keep feeling better!
Suzanne :)

Re: Private industry leave policies

Pamela R. M. S. on 1/13/05 at 18:21 (167075)

We don't get sick leave at all. What we get is 'paid time off' (also known as PTO). In other words, if you stay home sick, all you can use is your PTO (also known as vacation).

This has lead to everybody simply coming to work sick. We get waves of illness at work like kindergartens. Apparently this behavior has been nick-named 'presenteeism' (the opposite of absenteeism).

Apparently the lack of flu vaccine has lead several employers to encourage their employees to take PTO and stay home if they are sick. Who knows, it might reverse this trend!

Re: Private industry leave policies

Carole C in NOLA on 1/13/05 at 19:58 (167077)

That would sure be great!

Most Federal employees are with the new retirement system, begun in the 1980's. In this system, sick leave cannot be sold back upon retirement. But in the old system, it could be sold back upon retirement.

As you might imagine, some employees on the old system proudly retain huge amounts of sick leave as a nest egg, of sorts. There is a temptation to come to work even if half dead, infecting everyone else, if it means that one doesn't have to dip into that nest egg.

Many employees on the new system, on the other hand, tend to keep comparatively low balances of sick leave. It's not that we 'play sick', but when we really ARE sick, we can stay home. We only get 13 days a year sick leave, and I think most people get sick once in a while.

I really like the new system better, even though it means that I won't get a cent for unused sick leave. When I retire, it vanishes.

Carole C

Re: also

Carole C in NOLA on 1/13/05 at 20:14 (167079)

Suzanne, be careful! I'm glad you are taking extra Vitamin C. It's worth it to protect yourself against this bug any way you can. You are smart to get some extra sleep, too. It really knocked me flat, anyhow. I have not even been able to grocery shop, or do anything much except sleep until today.

I am hoping that your daughter's Z-Pak helps her throat! She will need your help with Childrens' Church, most definitely.

If we are not done with the sofa girls for this year, and you get this awful bug, come back to the board and let us know how you are doing.

Carole C

Re: I hope you feel better, Carole...

wendyn on 1/13/05 at 21:04 (167083)

I am glad to hear that you are feeling much better Carole!

Re: I hope you feel better, Carole...

Julie on 1/13/05 at 22:30 (167089)

I'm so glad you're feeling better, Carole, and not croaking any more.

130/72 is a great BP reading!

Re: Wishing you the best, Julie...

Julie on 1/13/05 at 22:31 (167090)

Thank you Suzanne.

Re: Sofa Girl 0 reporting

Dorothy on 1/13/05 at 23:36 (167094)

There is an over the counter product that is very effective for 'thinning secretions' (good grief! what am I saying!)..... it's called Mucinex and is just simply guafenisin (sp?) which is the expectorant that was always in various cough syryps. Taking it by itself helps if one is prone to sinus problems, respiratory problems and the like.

Re: Sofa Girl 0 reporting

Dorothy on 1/14/05 at 00:12 (167103)

Julie -

I will just second what have said for now. It is very good to know that you have some control of the pain while you wait for the surgery that we all hope will result in its complete elimination and your return to comfort and health! We're all 'with you'...

Re: also

Dorothy on 1/14/05 at 00:15 (167104)

Carole C ~

I am also so glad to hear that you are feeling better. That breathing thing is IMPORTANT!! It sounds as if you have turned the corner and we are all very glad for that. Keep mending ~

Re: I hope you feel better, Carole...

Dorothy on 1/14/05 at 00:25 (167106)

Wendy -

How are YOU feeling?? I happened upon CBC/Calgary radio today and heard that it was -20 - is that right?? When it's that cold, your nostrils freeze together, which, if you think about it, could be a pretty effective cold/flu preventative, albeit a drastic one.

I must say that, if CBC is any indication, I love Canada. I have said for about 35 years that I think it is the last civilized country on the planet. (Please - no offense to anyone else here, none at all, about anything....). Maybe I should say instead that I love CBC.

I hope you're feeling better or well....

Re: Sofa Girl 0 reporting

Dorothy on 1/14/05 at 00:34 (167107)

Addendum correctum erratum: I will just second what OTHERS have said for now....

Re: also

Carole C in NOLA on 1/14/05 at 06:45 (167111)

Thank you, Dorothy! You're right - - it is SO GOOD to be able to breathe easily again.

Carole C

Re: I hope you feel better, Carole...

Carole C in NOLA on 1/14/05 at 06:46 (167112)

Thank you, Wendy! I hope you are feeling better soon, too. I'm not 100%, but the differences are encouraging and it shouldn't be long. :)

Carole C

Re: I hope you feel better, Carole...

Carole C in NOLA on 1/14/05 at 06:53 (167113)

Thank you, Julie!

I am very happy about the 130/72, also, considering my age and weight (which I'm still working on). I love to surprise the doctors when they see that on my chart.

Carole C

Re: I hope you feel better, Carole...

wendyn on 1/14/05 at 08:01 (167118)

Dorothy, minus 20C or minus 20 F? Either way, not so bad.

-40C or -40F (both of which we've had this week). Now that's freekin cold.

-40 hurts, and your nostrils WILL stick together. Your eyelashes and your eyebrows freeze in a minute or so (must be that teeny bit of moisture on them that you're not aware of).

After this little cold snap, -20 will feel balmy. Actually, the kids had outdoor gym class last week when it warmed up to -12C. For January, that's not too bad!

CBC is a pretty laid back radio station. If you want to find out how uncivilized some Calgarians are, find CJAY92 on the internet!


p.s. No, unfortunately I'm not really feeling better. I honestly think I'm falling apart.

Re: I hope you feel better, Carole...

John H on 1/14/05 at 09:00 (167123)

Since Canada is so large and diverse it is hard to label them with one size fits all. French Canada is very different from other parts. People in the far northwest territory are much like our pioneers. People in the big cities are not to different than people from our big cities. As in the U.S. folks from Natchez, MS are nothing like people from NYC.

Re: I hope you feel better, Carole...

Carole C in NOLA on 1/14/05 at 11:42 (167135)

Wendy, I'm sorry to hear that you aren't feeling better yet. Try to keep warm and get some extra sleep if you can, and take care of yourself.

How did your appointment go, concerning your hamstrings etc? And no, you aren't falling apart but it must be depressing to have so much going on at once.

Carole C

Re: I hope you feel better, Carole...

wendyn on 1/14/05 at 14:51 (167144)

Carole, I saw the doctor about my back/hamstring whatever this morning. Whatever the problem is, it started after a couple of long (over 80km) bike rides last summer. In addition to the long rides, I also stepped backwards accidently off a curb and really jarred my lower back. One of those factors, or maybe both of them? seems to have caused a problem. When I sit for any length of time, I get intense pain in my butt, back of my leg, shin, and front of my left foot. It's like a REALLY bad charley horse. Needless to say, if I'm in a meeting, I get up and stand. Then eventually, my feet hurt. Soon I will need to stand on my head.

I end up wandering around the office rubbing my rear end - eventually people are going to start to talk... ;)

He suggested physio, then perhaps an xray, then perhaps an MRI. Biking is about the only thing that keeps me sane, amd I am starting to worry that this just isn't getting better.

He told me to watch out for any weakness and/or bowel/bladder problems. That was reassuring.

I have to go for MRI's on my feet next month. I don't like doctors, and I don't like xrays and mri's or physio. I would just like to not have pain.

Forgive me as I indulge in a moment of self pity. (poor me)

There. I think I am done.

My cold seems a bit better today - just that nasty cough hanging on...

Re: I hope you feel better, Carole...

Dorothy on 1/14/05 at 17:09 (167165)

Then let us try to pull you together and hold you together while you work on feeling better!! Even though your other post was describing what is actually a painful condition, your commentary made me laugh. However, I do hope you don't have to deal with the pain much longer and that you can find a cause and cure. It sounds like sciatica, but I assume that is being/has been considered. Sciatica is a true pain in the .... and really can be very painfully annoying. There are some pretty decent exercises for it, if that turns out to be your diagnosis. I hope you feel better....

Yes, you're right - that IS 'freakin' cold!' whether it's C of F - and I don't know which they were reporting; it was Canadian radio so I assume...

Re: I hope you feel better, Carole...

Carole C in NOLA on 1/14/05 at 17:36 (167175)

How awful! I think you are very stoic and uncomplaining, under the circumstances. It sounds like the muscles could be cramping around an injury (in your back, maybe). An MRI might help to find out what that injury is, and meanwhile physio does sound like a good idea.

To add to the physio, I think your husband should buy you a top of the line Jacuzzi so that after work you could just go home and turn that warm water on, and let it work out the painful cramping.

(He could also bring you a glass or two of your favorite Merlot while he's being helpful!) :)

I'm only HALF joking. A Jacuzzi and wine might help relax badly cramped muscles.

Carole C

Re: Exercises for sciatica

Carole C in NOLA on 1/14/05 at 17:40 (167177)

I have had the world's worst case of sciatica since last October, Julie.It is so annoying and makes it difficult to impossible to sleep. It seems to be originating in my lower back on the left side. Probably I pinched a nerve, so when/if I get fed up I might go to a chiropractor.

There are exercises for it? WOW! I never thought to look for any. That sounds encouraging.

Carole C

Re: Private industry leave policies

Dorothy on 1/14/05 at 19:44 (167193)

'Presenteesm'.... that's funny. The practice that indirectly encourages sick people to go in to work though is shortsighted, isn't it.

Re: Exercises for sciatica

Dorothy on 1/14/05 at 19:50 (167194)

Carole C -

If you actually meant to address your comment to Julie, then ignore this, but if you were responding to my comments about exercises for sciatica, then I will be happy to respond....There are some and they can help (I have sciatica and it 'flares' up from time to time) and they are worth a try. I'll pull some together and post 'em. It's a nasty problem and I feel for you having had it since October. That's long enough! Sciatica, time to leave!! I wonder if you've felt any reduction in it since you've been ill and, presumably, off your exercycle?? That equipment can aggravate sciatica.

Re: I hope you feel better, Carole...

wendyn on 1/14/05 at 20:18 (167203)

That sounds lovely Carole. I don't have a jacquzzi (except at the gym) but I do have a big soaker tub. I'm more fond of Shiraz than Merlot, but really - either will do.

I hope it just a weird muscle thing - I do not want back problems!!!

I have not said much on the board about my butt, but everyone I work with knows about it. I keep getting up during meetings and wandering around the room rubbing my rear-end. People ask what's wrong and I just tell them 'I don't know - my ass hurts.'

Evidently, I have become too comfortable with my coworkers. I thought it may be a good time to see the doctor about it!

Re: Exercises for sciatica

Carole C in NOLA on 1/14/05 at 20:52 (167206)

Great! I'd be happy for any sciatica exercise suggestions you might have. Julie has a lot on her plate right now, so I don't want her to feel she needs to sit and type out exercises (especially if she's in pain).

My sciatica has been better, but it hasn't disappeared. I've had it constantly since October, and I haven't ridden my exercycle constantly during that time. But, I really overdid it a couple of times when the sciatica started so I probably messed something up then.

Thanks for any ideas you might have! I tried making up some stretches like the stretches for foot pain, only gently stretching the sciatic and tissues around it which seem so tight, contracted, and inflamed. That seemed to help but I didn't continue with it because I really don't know what I'm doing. :)

Carole C

Re: Exercises for sciatica

Carole C in NOLA on 1/14/05 at 20:52 (167207)

Sorry! I had meant to say Dorothy, not Julie. Ooooops...

Carole C

Re: I hope you feel better, Carole...

Dorothy on 1/14/05 at 21:24 (167208)

Oh my gosh, I'm laughing so hard!! I'm sorry --- I KNOW this problem hurts --- but you are so funny!!

Ok - I'll stop laughing and answer your questions - but a little later. (sciatica description, exercises...)

Take care, Wendy. I know you've got some pains going on, but do take good care of that funny bone! It's a terrific one.

Re: Exercises for sciatica

Dorothy on 1/14/05 at 21:25 (167209)

You said '....because I really don't know what I'm doing..'

I don't either, but I don't let it stop me!

Please see note to Wendy. I'll post what I try a little later..

Re: I hope you feel better, Carole...

JudyS on 1/14/05 at 23:49 (167219)

O my gosh Wendy - you call THAT self pity? No way girl! You need some lessons on how to do self pity. Lessons from a champ. Like me!
Now, if you're going to do self-pity then, rule number one, take FULL advantage of your situation. Got a sore back? Well then do a whole bunch of serious moaning (low key of course...) around the house. Go ahead and bend over to do whatever things you have to do, but throw in a few groans while you do it....low-key of course. When your menfolk ask you if you're OK......do like this; back of one hand to the forehead, other hand to the small of the back as you don't quite stand up straight. And with a weak little smile (Mona Lisa-like) just say you'll be fine.........
then hobble over to your easy chair and ask someone to get you a cup of tea. Ask hubby if he could just rub that one sore spot for only a little while......get a son to bring you your warmest socks and the remote control. Send the third son out in twenty below........well forget that. Tomorrow stock up on chocolate!
Last, just weakly mention that you'll jump up and make dinner just as soon as the pain subsides.......
And all of that is just lesson number one in self-pity......perhaps the others could add some more!

Re: Exercises for sciatica

john h on 1/15/05 at 10:02 (167248)

A great sciatica exrcise: Take a bottle of Beefeater Gin and pour 2 oz in a shaker. Drop in some ice. Shake that booty. Never stir. Sip slowly until it is all gone.

Re: Exercises for sciatica

Kathy G on 1/15/05 at 10:13 (167250)

One of the best exercises, for me, anyway, is the one way you lie on the floor and cross your left knee over to the floor on the right side of you. Your goal is to touch the floor with your knee. You do this as often as is comfortable on both sides. I do it a set of ten or fifteen each morning and more if my back is really bad. I sometimes hold the knee over there for a few seconds because it really seems to stretch the area that needs to be stretched.

Now, I can just see Julie shaking her head! :) You can see why I have never posted any exercises before, let alone written a book! I even had to get down on the floor and do the exercise a few times so that I could describe it.

That's one of a few I do but that helps my sciatica the most. Hope you can figure out what I mean.

Re: Shaking my head

Julie on 1/15/05 at 11:51 (167257)

Kathy, try again. :)

Get down on the floor. That's nothing to be ashamed of. It's the only way to write an exercise: do it over and over again until you've observed yourself closely and have thought of absolutely everything your reader needs to know, and wouldn't think of unless you spell it out.

I think you're speaking of a spinal twist, aren't you, that stretches and lengthens the spinal muscles on either side?

Are the legs straight or bent? Do you start with both knees bent, or with one leg straight and the other knee bent?

Does your bottom lift off the floor?

Where are your arms?

What are your shoulders doing? (They both need to stay on the floor: if you're twisting to the left and the right shoulder comes up off the floor, you lose the stretch).

What is your head doing? Are you keeping it straight, or turning it in the opposite direction from your knee?

And so on.

Also - and this is Rule Number One for exercise - DON'T HAVE A GOAL! A goal encourages you to strain to achieve it, and that results in doing the exercise improperly (i.e. letting the shoulder come off the floor) or in hurting yourself by over-stretching, or both. In this particular exercise, few people's knees would get 'to the floor' without the shoulder lifting, or without over-stretching.

So now that I've delivered this little lesson (and I hope you realise it's meant to be friendly and helpful, not critical) maybe you'd like to try again?

Re: Shaking my head

Kathy G on 1/15/05 at 20:00 (167282)


I certainly know that you are being friendly and helpful and I will try again but not tonight as my hands are hurting quite a lot. Sometimes typing doesn't hurt them but I think I held my great niece too long yesterday and my hands are protesting today!

Tomorrow, I shall try to be more observant of what I do. Actually, it's a wise idea for me to reexamine how I do the exercise. I've done it so long, I may have developed some bad habits!

Re: Exercises for sciatica

Carole C in NOLA on 1/15/05 at 20:26 (167284)

Gosh, John! I'd bet my sciatica wouldn't hurt at ALL after that exercise! (giggle)

Carole C

Re: Exercises for sciatica

Carole C in NOLA on 1/15/05 at 20:27 (167285)

That sounds gentle enough to try! Thanks, Kathy :)

Carole C

Re: Judy

wendyn on 1/15/05 at 21:11 (167293)

Those are excellent pointers Judy!!! Thanks you!

Re: Kathy and all - sciatica exercises

Julie on 1/16/05 at 04:44 (167319)

Kathy, my apologies. I really did mean to be friendly (and funny, too) but re-reading my post I can see that it might not have sounded either friendly or funny. Excuse: it was written in the middle of the night (well, around 5am which feels like the middle of the night). When the pain breaks through I get up for a top-up and then hang around my computer to see what's doing over there before I go back to bed. I should never write then, though! I'm sorry if it was hurtful.

To make amends, here's another exercise for you that's helpful for sciatica or any other nerve compression problem.

Lie on your back, on the floor or on a firm bed, with your knees bent.
Bring your knees up one at a time, and them, one in each hand.
Gently and slowly, draw your knees towards your face, feeling the gentle stretch through your lower back.
Then let the knees move away from your face, as far as the length of your arms allows, gently releasing the lower back muscles.
Do this as many times and as often as you like.
It's helpful to involve the breath: draw the knees towards you on the out breath, let them move away from you on the inbreath.

What we're looking for in nerve-compression situations is exercise that will open up space wherever the compression is taking place. This one is quite effective for that. Here's another:

Start on all fours, your knees under your hips, your hands under your shoulders (Kathy, you could try fisting your hands instead to avoid pressure on your wrist joints.)
Circle your bottom: take it back towards your right heel, then swing it around to your left heel, and then come forward to your starting position, in one smooth, fluid, continuous movement. Do this several times in each direction. You're stretching the spinal muscles, especially the lower back muscles, on each side. It's a nice, rhythmic movement, pleasant and comforting when you're in pain.
Want to move with the breath? (that's always an improvement). Do the backwards movement on the out breath, the forwards movement on the in breath.

These two exercises were the only ones I could do when my back pain was very bad. They were relaxing and comforting, and always made me feel a little better.

Re: Kathy and all - sciatica exercises PS

Julie on 1/16/05 at 04:48 (167320)

Correction: line two of the first exercise should read:

Bring your knees up one at a time, and HOLD them, one in each hand.

Codeine hasn't improved my proofreading.

Re: Kathy and all - sciatica exercises PS

Kathy G on 1/16/05 at 09:38 (167328)


You were not at all offensive! And I don't sound half as coherent as you when I'm totally drug free!

That first exercise is one of the ones I do every single day, after I've taken a shower to limber up my body. I have to watch it if the arthritis is bad in both my hands and elbows but I can modify it so it helps me greatly. It really helps when my back muscles are in spasm and the muscles are always so tight that it always feels good to me. I notice it if I should be in a hurry and skip doing my stretching exercises. I shall try the new one you described today.

Thanks for the help! And really, no offense was meant and none was taken.

Re: Kathy and all - sciatica exercises PS

Julie on 1/16/05 at 15:43 (167356)

Thanks, Kathy! I'm relieved. And I agree with your husband about the new you. :)

Let me know how you get on with the bum-circling exercise. Our osteopath suggested to my husband years ago, for his chronically sore back. We both love it; he does it every morning, I do it a lot too. And I teach it and my students enjoy it too. (It looks lovely when a whole classfull of people are doing it together!)