Duncan and I have had a very busy week that has included hiking, camping, MRIs, sticking needles into my legs, cycling, running, seeing doctors and generally having a good old time.
The main purpose of the visit was to see a wonderful sports doctor up north in the city of Ioanning, who could help me with my back and other pain issues. However, as the area is one of the most beautiful in Greece, with forests and rivers, lakes and mountains it was only fair that we included some exploration and activities in nature. It was also a good idea as between tests and doctors' visits there was a lot of time to kill.
Now for the science part: The good news is that my two herniated discs seem to have gone into the subacute phase. That is wonerful and I was very relieved to discover that. The problem is that despite that I still have crippling sciatica. However, my nerves don't seem to have any permanent damage, despite the pain and weakness of reflexes. So... it seems that now the problem lies deep within my glutes, in a small muscle called piriformis. Those of you familiar with triathlon, running or cycling know exactly what I mean... I have chronic piriformis syndrome, whereby my muscle is choking the sciatic nerve (which at that point is as thick at an index finger would you believe it). Treatment is going to be multifactorial but I am hopeful and ready to start!
Aside from that the week was wonderful - we went climbing up mountains, camped by rivers, walked across mountain plateaus (chased by what seemed to be a million flies), saw bear tracks, met some wonderful people, slept in mountain refuges and generally had a wonderful time. Duncan and I have not had a honeymoon yet but this holiday felt like one (though probably not most people's idea of one).
Back in Athens things are a bit tougher with my dad's health taking a turn for the worse. Don't want to write much now until we know more, but worry is eating me up inside. Knowledge is power, I feel, and at the moment we are in the dark.
If anyone reading this has any suggestions for treating chronic piriformis syndrome please let me know.
Thanks for reading!