Saturday, July 27, 2013

Healing takes time....too much time!

On Wednesday this week I woke up with extreme back and hip pain to the point that I could barely walk. I had enough and called a chiropractor and made an appointment to get seen that afternoon. I hobbled into my appointment and talked with the doctor about what had been going on and what previous conditions I had been diagnosed with over the years. My back has been an issue for me since 2005 (when I had my car accident) and I've never really had it properly treated because I never had the money to do so. I get what I called "spot" treatments, but I've never been able to continue care past a certain point. The doctor didn't seem surprised at all by my conversation with her and she began working on me after our talk.

First she applied electric stimulation to the regions of my back that were giving me issues. My lower back and hips. She also placed the electrodes on my upper back so the stimulus would complete a circuit. While the electrodes were gently working on my muscles, she placed an ice pack on my lower back and hip area on my right side. I had some extreme inflammation there and in order for me to start feeling better that inflammation had to go down. She wasn't able to do an adjustment that day because I had too much swelling. She recommended some good stretches for me to do first thing in the mornings and right before bed at night to avoid stiffness and muscle soreness. After the electrical stimulation and ice was done she applied some biofreeze for my drive home and gave me my instructions for the evening. She wanted to see me the next day to reassess the inflammation and to see if my mobility had gotten any better. I left the office feeling decent, at least I could walk without pain (probably from all the ice and numbness). That night I rotated ice packs on my back for the rest of the night and laid in bed. I woke up Thursday in agony and was glad I had an early appointment to see the doc.

I once again hobbled into her office and I must have had a washed out look on my face because she knew instantly that something was wrong. I explained the pain that I was having and told her I just felt sick mentally and physically. I got onto the table and she once again did the electrical stimulation and ice pack on my right side. She also put some electrodes on my left shin which is the one I injured jogging the week prior. I relaxed into the table and I think I dozed off for a bit. When the stimulation was over she used what is called an activator to do some light adjusting. The activator is an instrument that gently pushes against the vertebrae to start them in a natural movement back into the position they should be in. She does not "pop" your back because that can be dangerous for someone with as much inflammation and back issues as I have. Once she did the adjustment and had me stretch a bit I felt much better. She put some biofreeze on my left knee and shin area to help with the pain there and told me no exercise for the rest of the week and to keep my activity light but that I could do some things around the house. Obviously no heavy lifting or pushing or mowing the lawn (which needs to be desperately if it would ever stop raining). I could do dishes and cook dinner but if I got sore, to take a step back and rest. We agreed on a treatment schedule for me which will consist of 9 weeks twice a week of treatment, then 9 weeks of once a week treatments in order to get my back into position and order again. 18 weeks of treatment? Oh my. Sigh. I guess if that what needs to be done in order for me to function. Numbers and finances started going through my head and I had a small anxiety attack when I realized how much this was going to cost us. Luckily we were able to work out a budget that would allow us to make the payments to the chiropractor and continue to pay for my son's medication. Monday I plan on calling and talking to the doctor's office and asking them if they would be willing to work with me on the payment schedule that my husband provided me so we don't end up once again having to cancel my treatment because we simply can't afford it right now.

Yesterday I felt pretty good. I had some muscle stiffness in my hips and lower back but I figured that was part of the healing process. I did my stretches, drank plenty of water and made sure to eat at my scheduled meal times. We headed in Chattanooga to go to a baseball game with my husband's co-workers last night. We ate at one of our favorite restaurants Genghis Grill. I love that place because I can still eat vegetarian there and there are plenty of non meat protein options (tofu and egg are what I chose). Huge bowl of deliciousness and a gentle walk around the block before heading to the ball field for the game did me some good. We got to the ball field and realized that there were some stairs to climb. I didn't realize that there was an escalator option so I attempted the stairs. It was hard. My hips got tired quickly and my back started to ache (now I know why the doc said no exercise). Once I got inside the stands and stretched a tad it felt better. However sitting in stadium seating for 3 1/2 hours was brutal. My mid back was what was hurting by the time the game and fireworks got over from being pressed into the back of the seat for that long. Hard plastic chair stadium seats suck (but are better than bleachers any day). Luckily the pain was temporary and by the time I got into the car and settled into a cushioned seat my back started feeling better. We made our way home and got back into Georgia way past our bedtime but it was a good night out with friends.

My muscles are stiff again today but not too bad. I'm really regretting not being able to workout. It's driving me nuts to just sit inside and not do anything. I just know that after an extended period of not working out I'm going to start gaining back all my weight and be back at square one. I had to take 5 days off from workouts last week due to shin splints, now I'm taking another bit of time off because of my hips and back. There are times when I think that I'm just not supposed to be thin. It seems like every time I get into a good routine of working out something medical comes up and I have setbacks and restarts. I get sick of it and it causes me to feel very disillusioned and depressed. Hopefully next week when I go back to the doctor she will allow me to start walking again. I won't be able to power walk or jog I'm sure, but I have to do something, I can't just sit here and expect the weight to fall off because I did that for years and it didn't happen. I got on the scale yesterday because I couldn't take it anymore and I knew I had gained back some weight. To my surprise, I hadn't. It still said 178. So even with having to take time off from my workouts I have been able to maintain my current weight. I'm not a panicky today about it but it still bothers me to not have the option to go walking if I want to.

So it's been a week of frustrations and healing processes but I'm sure that eventually I will be where I need to be in order to continue on my healthy living path. I miss my exercise but I know that in order to be able to get back to that level of physical being I have to heal first or I won't be able to challenge myself in the ways that I want to. Patience is still not a virtue that I possess willingly but I'm working on it.

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