Thursday, May 27, 2010

Back on the bandwagon

I have held back posting lately because I really did not want to write yet another desperate blog post about pain. Although I've been letting my frustrations out a tad on Facebook, it's quite something else to indulge my inner pessimist in a verbal vomit of misery and dejection.

Part of me didn't want to blog about the past week or so because I also didn't want to admit things were going good (which would be an understatement.) Once things are in this blog they get a sort of permanence, at least for me. And then I also worry that the way I tend to write creates a sense of draaaaama that places a big, dark cloud over the very thought of me for friends and worries my family somewhat needlessly. Given that I've been doing a lot of raining on parades via FB lately, I'm not sure I should be worried that much - I'm sure you're all already tired of hearing about my problems and putting a big X across my name in your social calendar. Who wants to hang out with the broken, miserable, whiney Brit chick? I know I wouldn't.

So, I've been waiting... in short, for P.R. purposes.

Which is why today's blog post is about a new plan. Yes, another new plan. I've lost count of how many plans came before it but at the very least it has to be plan #10. I can list at least 10 previous treatment strategies for my various problems in the last five years, just off the top of my head, so I'm sure I'm missing a few. I'll spare you the details. If you've stuck with me through the years on this blog, you already know the sorry story anyway.

As usual, I had to hit rock bottom again before I could start to claw my way back up out of the pit of pain and despair. (See? I'm dramatic. Don't take me too seriously. I didn't almost die or anything.)

If you read my post before last (Where is TravelVixen?) you'll know that I had cold-turkeyed all $1,000 and 15 hours a month of my various therapy appointments. I had improved my pain about 30%, I estimate, was doing all my exercises diligently and was tired of focusing on the pain 24/7. I was done with "can't" and wanted to chart my own path to prove everyone wrong - I could be not only healed but active and fit again.

Well, it didn't work. 8 weeks after my cold turkey and I am as broken as I've ever been. My SI joint pain returned with a vengeance over Mothers Day weekend and this past weekend I put my back out doing something inane.

As I've tried to ever-so-carefully step-up my exercise regimen (and I do mean carefully and slowly), pain returned, even though I was continuing to follow some basic rules and principles of the Physical Therapists and Alexander Technique experts that I had previoulsy visited. Which says to me (at least in my head) that I have no hope of being anything other than a couch potato. Any attempt to do much more results in pain. Making the bed sparked Sunday's episode, which had nothing to do with my hip - this time it was my middle back and shoulders. Seriously!? Making the bed!? Most people run a mile from doing housework but I would seriously LOVE to be able to clean my house top-to-bottom without needing to stop after 20 minutes because of pain or fatigue, or suffering in a major way the next day (or in this case, days.) Four days later and I'm still in pretty decent discomfort (probably a 4/10 in pain with meds) and every time I take a deep breath, something cracks in my back.

I'll spare you the blow-by-blow but, after four days of this I succumbed and did two things:

I booked an appointment with an acupuncturist. Yes me, the woman who is pathologically afraid of needles and can't even WATCH a needle being inserted into flesh on the TV. The woman who had to bring her husband along for every blood draw during her pregnancy and made the nurses find a room where I could lay down just so I wouldn't faint.

That chick is so desperate she is going to have hundreds of needles inserted into her flesh on the off-chance that all this Eastern Mumbo Jumbo is more than just that. My massage therapist has an acupuncturist she personally uses and is in the same office suite as her and so I'm going to go there. The lady is also a prior RN, so she's not just a Eastern Mumbo-Jumbo'ist. That makes me feel a bit better. I think you should understand Western Medicine before delving into all this other ancient stuff, and visa versa quite honestly. You can't just ignore all the knowledge modern medicine has brought us over the years. Anyone who does just scares the heck out of me. The last thing I need is a Quack.

My appointment is next Tuesday. And yes, of course, I will blog about it.

I happened to see a live promo on a local TV station for a physical therapy facility here in Sacramento, where the focus is on active, sports therapy. The owner is the PT to the local AAA baseball team and the facility is accredited by Major League Baseball, as well as being the training/physical therapy center for a number of well known athletes, including an Olympian and a cage fighter. Quite the resume!

I sent a desperately long mail to the owner, telling him all my woes and he called me back personally that evening. Today we talked and I have a personal appointment with him for an evaluation next Friday.

What do I hope to get out of this PT that I haven't out of the myriad of others? A more goal-oriented approach to my recovery. Yes, I want to be able to get rid of the pain. Yes, I would like to be able to make my bed or vacuum my floors without injuring myself. But I would also like to return to some light yoga workouts and some weight training. I'm not expecting to just jump back in to being who I was at age 29 because, let's be honest, I'm not 29 any more. However, I do want to be able to ski and hike and bike and yoga for fun again. I want to be fit and healthy and as free of pain as I can possibly be. I want my life back, in short.

Will this guy deliver? Who knows? But it's worth a try. In this, I am driven by this quote from Thomas Edison: "Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time."

I'm hoping one more is all I need because, mentally, this last set-back really got me.

1 comment:

e said...

You are awesome. You WILL resolve this. Can't wait to hear how these appointments go. I'm curious as to why when you breathe something cracks in your back.

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