Friday, September 18, 2009


Last Sunday evening, my shoulder became stiff and sore to the point that I really didn't want to do much with my right arm. Tuesday evening, I began to feel very small tremors in my back. I've never had back problems, so I didn't recognize this signal for what it was. By midmorning Wednesday the spasms in my back were so bad that all I could do was lay in my bed. I have a very high threshold for pain, and this was debilitating.

To put things in perspective, I felt like a turtle that had been pushed onto its back. I could only lie in the bed clenching and unclenching my fists with each contraction. Each time I tried to get up, my back would begin to convulse to the point that I didn't want to breathe. I have a prescription for ativan and I thought that if I could take one, I might relax enough to be functional. Unfortunately, the ativan was on the opposite side of the room and I couldn't form a coherent plan to get them. Lucky for me Chris called while all of this was happening. He came home and got me settled.

Thursday I saw my local doctor who drew blood and checked me out. He was surprised that I'd managed to get to my age without having any back problems. Since he's only a handful of years older than me, I was surprised to hear that he had back problems at all. He prescribed an anti-inflammatory and a muscle relaxer. My lab results were a little unusual in that my WBC was 12.6 and my ANC was over 10. Whenever leukemia is present in me, my WBC is always high and my ANC is suspect. The doctor reassured us that it was probably a result of the wreck. Since my back and shoulder were bothering me he speculated that my body was calling in the reinforcements by making more neutrophils and white blood cells. He wanted to see me next week for another draw just to be safe, but I'll be having work done in Houston. He just wants to be sure that I'll have a blood draw. To be safe, he asked for a slide to be made up so he could have a look at my blood under the microscope. I got the call this morning that he didn't see anything unusual in the smear.

Since Wednesday, I've either been high on ativan, or completely tanked up on muscle relaxers. I know I talked to a few people on either day and realize that I may have imagined a few conversations as well. If I said anything off base, or more ridiculous than usual, I have to apologize. Tomorrow I'm going to start making calls to be sure I haven't alienated any friends in my drug induced coma. The muscle relaxer puts me so far out of it that I decided to stop taking it during the day. I'll definitely take it at bedtime, but I'll reserve daytime dosing for really bad days.


Nancy said...

Can you share some of your muscle relaxers with me??? ha ha I hope you feel better soon girl!

Anonymous said...

Me too, Me too!!!!! I would love some for my stress related muscle tension that is horribly painful!

Don't stop taking the muscle relaxers during the day, Ann. You're body has been traumatized and needs the help to rest and heal.

Amanda F,
love and prayers!

Susan C said...

Oh, yes, do whatever you need to do. It's just temporary.

Ann said...

I'm worried that I'll declare myself queen of the broccoli people and ignite a war with the carrots. The muscle relaxers affect me that much.

PJ said...

Ann, I realized you were drugged up, but even so you were pretty coherent. Hope you feel better.

Jim said...


Sounds like you handled another cr*p sandwich well like you always do. I would serve in your Broccoli Regime, if asked.


Ronni Gordon said...

Sounds really painful. Glad you got to the bottom of it, and hope by now you're feeling even better. Here's to one of my best friends, Ativan! Can you keep taking the muscle relaxer but at a smaller dose, or decrease the amount of the Ativan too? I heard this a lot: better to be loopy from drugs than in pain.

Anonymous said...

Ativan is on my DAILY med list to get through the prednisone and everything else. You take whatever you need/whenever you need.
I am sure the WBC and ANC are elevated due to your body sending signals to help fight.

Giving big healing hugs-

LacubriousOne said...

Ativan is da bomb when it comes to back muscle spasms. I had a terrible one last November, tried everything, ice, heat, 90 minute massage, and finally went to an urgicare center where they gave me a scip for ativan, filled it got hom, took one...waited an hour, nothing, took another one....Zzzzzzzzzzzz...and woke up (hours later!) soooo much better. It acts as a minor muscle relaxer itself along with its other properties.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Ann, I'm so sorry to hear! Like everyone else says, just rest up and take care. If your back and shoulder are bothering you, Wednesday's drive may not be easy. I'm with Jim! Let's get those nasty carrots!

Much Love,
Wendy Ü