In addition to copious amounts of rest, there are some additional tricks I've learned along the way that have been super helpful.
1. Epsom salt
O-M-G! Can you say amazing? I was told about Epsom salt by a friend who is, of all things, a psychiatrist by trade. She explained that the magnesium in Epsom salt soaks into the body through the skin, and helps relax muscles and calm nerves. I was skeptical at first, but quickly learned that this stuff really does work! My first Epsom-salt bath was earlier this week and after climbing out, I was pain free for ten whole minutes! I'm now averaging two Epsom-salt baths a day.
2. The Floor
I used to be a couch dweller. Not any more. Our sofa is too soft to support my back--so much so that we've considered getting a newer, firmer sofa with better support. So, I've taken to laying on the floor. It feels great!
Mind you, I'm not a huge fan of lying around, but part of my nightly after-work ritual with Cliff involves unwinding with a little TV. For the record, we're watching the entire series of Rosanne. Again. For like, the fourth time. (It's only our favorite TV show ever, okay! Get off my back! :) )
3. A hard sleeping surface
Since the injury, my back has craved hard surfaces (thus the interest in the floor, as mentioned above). We have a memory-foam mattress which I love, but it's just a little too soft for my back right now, so we've modified it with a cutting board. Cliff washed and wrapped it in a towel for me, and I've been sleeping on it for a few hours every night for the last two weeks.
There are two fabulous men in my life and they've both done a wonderful job taking care of me. This injury makes my mobility extremely limited. Simple things like getting dressed can be a chore, and I can't thank Cliff enough for all the times he's helped me put on socks, poured glasses of milk, fetched needed items, cleaned, and cooked. He's even helped me blow dry my hair. (I know what you're thinking ladies. Awwww is right. I'm an incredibly lucky woman).
Louie... well, he's just soft and cuddly and snugly and I love him!
Check it out! In Season 4, Episode 15, Roseanne hurts her back just like I hurt mine! Isn't she great?
Coincidentally, we watched this episode only a few nights ago, and it was a legit reminder that a lot of people have back problems. A lot of people have back problems that are much more serious and extremely more painful than mine.
This spondylolisthesis business will be over soon enough. My doctor has assured me that there will be no need for a brace and I am not a candidate for surgery. As inconvenient as it is, I feel blessed that it is happening now. While I'm young. When I can still learn tips and tricks for preventing it in the future. I can't imagine having to live with persistent back pain at 40, 50, 60 and beyond. My heart aches for those who live with this kind of pain every day and cannot find relief.