Now THIS is what I call exciting pregnancy symptoms! Hot damn!
Ok – a little back story. A couple of months ago, I noticed a tender spot on my right leg. Think, that spot near beneath your kneecap, on the outside of your calf. You know, that place sometimes young men get unfortunate calf tattoos. Not on the backside, on the side-side. Initially accompanied by three tiny dots, we thought maybe I had gotten bitten by a spider sometime in the night. It was tender, sometimes warm, occasionally itchy, and made it practically impossible for me to get on all-fours without sending shooting pain throughout my leg and making it feel like the skin was being pulled so tight in that one spot that my leg might explode. Priceless, feeling, I can assure you. And no, I’m not telling you why I’m on all-fours to begin with. OK – maybe next time.
So at the last check-up, the Dr. checked it out, as they do with any kind of leg pain, apparently. Since, at this point, there was only pain, dots, and some redness to complain about. It wasn’t swelling, said the man, and we left it at that. Diagnosis: probably a spider bite, with a dash of Whiny Baby Syndrome.
Fast forward a week or two. I wake up in the middle of the night, cured up on my side, hugging my body pillow that we’ve named Joe Jonas. What wakes me up is this very odd tingling/burning/itching which has taken over a spot at the very top of my left leg/hip (where your leg meets your ass?). Assuming it’s dry skin? More spiders? Whatever I assumed it was at 3am, I investigated the spot in the bathroom, then slathered it with lotion. I ended up dropping-trou and sleeping pantless (hott!) since the touching of my pajama pants to my skin only made the tingling and skin-crawling/creeping feeling worse. My wife woke up the next morning to find me a pantless, air-assed bed partner. I explained. We were stumped. We tried more lotion, cortizone, changing into different pants (maybe some FREE AND CLEAR laundry detergent was irritating me), and a couple of nights later, it stopped all together.
Back to the calf-pain. The dots went away, and eventually, the only symptom that remained was the fact that I couldn’t kneel on that knee without the shooting pain/skin stretching awfulness.
Fast forward to a couple of days ago, when apparently calf-pain and leg-ass itchiness had some sort of a conference and made a pact to make my lower half unbearably uncomfortable. After some intense internet research, we landed on sciatica (everyone say together now, “Well Duh!”), which is what we’re going with for now, until we see the Dr. in a couple of weeks for a confirmation. The tell-tale sign, apparently, is the flesh-burning sensation, coupled with the spider-crawly feeling, on top of topical skin numbness. Awesome, hm? So last night, I did a variety of stretching exercises and balance ball sitting to hopefully relieve some of what’s going on inside that’s pressing on the nerves. My wife, the wonderful, beautiful woman she is, donated a significant part of her evening rubbing my lower back and legs. We put the rice sock on my calf, and it immediately stopped hurting. I slept pretty well, considering the nighttime is when the sciatica spiders come out of hibernation.
Other preemptive options include walking the 1/2 mile to and from my car (up hill, both ways!) in the morning and afternoon, plus some dog walking in the evening, on top of making sure I’m not sitting for too long at my desk during the day. This also means, closing my door for some stretching and taking laps around the building or the campus (on nice days). Let’s see if that helps. Any other therapeutic recommendations from you folks out there in the internet land?