Day 37 – Dear Diary

Dear diary,

Weather changing is never a good thing for those of us with a metal spine.  I can tell that the weather is going to be different usually the day before and for sure that morning.  I am a walking barometric meter. I always thought that was some old wives’ tale until I had it happen to me for the first time.

I had my first fusion October 22, 2009 so it was still fall like weather in beautiful Colorado.  It wasn’t until the first snow storm that I realized that this whole wives’ tale was true.  The night before the snowstorm I was feeling some sharp pains in my lower right side of my back.  I thought it was just me doing something wrong or just good ol’ pain.  It wasn’t until the next change of weather that I was realizing what was going on.

If you have ever been in Colorado, you know the weather can be tough for one day and amazing the next.  The next weather change was a rain/sleet storm that iced up everything for almost 5 day. My back was killing me all those days and once the weather warmed up, it was when the tension was released in my back.  Could this all been in my head?  Good possibility, due to me not a huge fan of snow ( yeah, yeah, I know…. I live where?) so was I tensing during the storm or was it really the change in the weather?

I have titanium in my spine from the fusions, giving me the ability to walk through a metal detector and not set it off.  When that first winter came after the October surgery, I felt a sensation that I never in my life have felt and never wanted to feel again.When the weather was at 32 degrees or lower, I can actually feel my lower back, in the area of the metal, becoming cold.  And not just cold like a cold shiver, it is cold like lasting for hours and days, depending on the weather.  Immediately I thought there was something wrong with the titanium and instead of being a good patient and going to the doctor, I went to the next  best thing…….GOOGLE!  And boy was I surprised by the amount of the knowledge, questions, and insight did I find out there.  Come to find out I’m not the only patient what has this phenomenon. There is an article at the bottom of the post that gives some info.  And believe there is plenty more of these articles out there.

After having this fun little phenomenon in my life for the last 8 years, I have learned way to deal with this sensation, that isn’t a normal feeling for most people to have.  First and foremost, I live with a heating pad.  I don’t mean, I have one at home and occasionally use it.  I use it daily between 8-10 times a day.  I have been known to actually carry it with me to other people’s houses. If I’m cold, the world is not a happy place.

Other ways to keep yourself warm in the area of the metal, can be done by using those pocket warmers for hands and feet. Always using long, thermal clothing under your clothes, and talk to your doctor.  Make sure you are using the right implant for you.  I didn’t have much of a choice for the spine, but it’s always worth a conversation with your doctor. And whatever you do, try not to use Google as a way of figuring this all out!

Until tomorrow…………….

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