Friday, December 04, 2009

Friday Motivation - Week 11: Progress!


Above pic is me and Hubby in July of '07. (Man, I need a tan again!)

Well, this week has been interesting.

Let's get the diet stuff out of the way...

LBS TO GOAL: 8.2lbs

I'm definitely noticing a difference in the way my clothes are fitting and am able to get into even more of my pre-pregnancy pants at this point - a huge relief for my pocket-book as well as my ego, lemme tell ya! If I can only get below 150 before my vacation to Jamaica (which is the date of my 3 week goal), I think I would feel a decent level of success, even if I don't make it all the way down to the golden 145.

Finally, after a long and brutal illness, my massage therapist returned to work yesterday and I had my first appointment with her in a long time. It turned out to be a breakthrough appointment.

We discovered that my pubic bone issues were being caused? exacerbated? by a lot of tightness where my adductor muscle connects at the joint. Once we got the adductor to release, the pubic bone pain all-but evaporated! She also managed to get my lower-back pain and tightness to go away - the first time in what seems like FOR-EVER! Of course, I now have upper-back pain (more on that later.) My body is like a toothpaste tube with no opening.

I left her office feeling like a completely new person. All the sense of instability that I had in my hip, pelvis, and pubic area seemed to be gone! Then, I decided to do a short yoga workout (all I had time for) and found that the difference in the quality of my movement was marked. Instead of feeling like my right leg was wading through mud in comparison to the fluidity of my left leg, it felt more like water. I was more balanced, felt stronger, and definitely found that my muscles relaxed and eased into poses faster.

To say that I was elated by this development was a complete and utter understatement. Even though I went to bed with tightness in my upper back, shoulders, and neck, just the fact that it was no longer in my hips and pelvis gave me a huge sense of relief - it was progress!

I woke up this morning feeling lighter and more positive than I have in a long time. This morning I had an osteopath appointment and I drove the 45 minutes there with a renewed sense of optimism that, eventually, if I keep doing what I'm doing, I will be healthy and fit and free of chronic pain once more; that I may be able to ski and hike and chase Daisy around the garden; that I will not be afraid to move in certain ways again; and that I will get to the end of the day without the sense of mental, emotional, and physical fatigue that I currently experience, quietly battling away with the pain and stiffness that currently plagues my life (and trying to pretend that it's really not there.)

I turned the music up in my car, bopped around, and actually started to think about the joys of Christmas for the first time. This sounds sort of cliched and all but I actually realized that the sense of hopelessness I have been feeling about the status of my hip has been impacting my energy level and enthusiasm for the season just about as much as the pain itself.

There's been an element of long-term doom hanging over my head for the last year and a half, a feeling that I was stuck with this pain and resulting limitations for life, and that by the time I'm in my 50s and 60s, I'll be so disabled by the whole thing (plus all the other pains of older age) that I won't be able to enjoy life any more. For me, it's not simply enough to exist in life - I have to live it. I have to go sky-diving and zip lining and ATV'ing and hiking and visit new countries and experience new things; without the feeling that I can go at life with full-on gusto, I'm lost. I realized this morning, in that moment of carefree driving, that I was losing hope that this is how my life would be.

Maybe you think I'm crazy for feeling this way, that I'm over-reacting, but I've been dealing with hip pain for 4 years now and have spent the last 18 months of my life recovering from one surgery or another plus I became a first time mommy - when you put it all together it takes it's toll mentally as well as physically. There are days when I miss who I was before all of this, physically and emotionally, so bad that I want to cry. I look at those pictures of me in 2007 (the ones that keep heading up these Friday blog entries) and I wonder how I was possibly that girl and how quickly (relatively speaking) I got from there to here.

So, yes, it was a big deal when I did that yoga workout yesterday and things felt different.

Now to the upper/middle back, shoulder, and neck pain. Yup, seriously, I know, can I get a break!?

I keep putting out ribs. My osteopath snapped three more back into place today. My neck is also so tight she's amazed that I can move my head from side to side. How do I keep doing this to myself? You think I'd know, but I don't. I do, however, notice when my ribs pop out and it happens quite a lot and without any sort of fanfare. I can be sitting here at my desk, typing away, or I can be sitting with Daisy on the floor playing, and I'll feel a pop around my spine. I used to think it was my spine but it's not, it's ribs moving. But it's always when I'm sitting. The ribs are, of course, causing the shoulder and neck tension and, when unaddressed, result in the tension also going down my back. Clearly, the ribs need to be dealt with.

My osteopath suggested focusing on my lats, traps, and pecs more during my strength training workouts, to give my back and my ribs more muscular support and to help improve my posture. This is not the first time I have heard this in my lifetime and so I'm going take that advice and see what happens. I'm also making a very conscientious effort to sit in a more ergonomically correct position at my desk. I know I have a tendency to slouch and, when you work from home where nobody can see you, there is little motiviation to "sit pretty". Therefore, the only way to remember is to remind myself: I'm putting a little sticky on my computer that says "SIT UP STRAIGHT!"

Hopefully, if we can keep-up the progress with the hips and nip the back/shoulders/neck thing in the bud, I'll be able to sense true pain relief and the first inklings of long term recovery.


e said...

I know what you mean. I had pain for less time than you did, and had fewer issues around it, too, and I too experienced a low grade depression around it. It's just draining in a way that cannot be described. I also have come to believe that because the hip is such a major joint, when it goes to shit, it tends to bring the rest of the body and mind with it. It's no surprise to me, having lived this, that old people often die when they fracture a hip.

e said...

And furthermore: way to go on the weight loss!! With everything else you've taken on, it's extraordinary. I love that you refuse to settle for anything less than what you want for your life. It's a rare trait. And one shared by the folks who are planning the big party in hell. ;o)

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