Back Fun (Or Not)

June 20, 2013

Apparently I am at the age where I can wreck my back doing nothing. Woot woot. I guess this just reinforces that starting to workout so I could still be mobile at age 40 was a good decision. It now seems I need to add some back strengthening to my elliptical repertoire.

On Saturday night, I literally lifted myself out of bed, felt a little twinge, continued on as normal because I felt no pain. That is, until Sunday at mid-day, when I had to retreat back to bed. I have been laid out since then. Today is the first day where I feel almost normal since then. Classic. I was in so much pain on Monday that I called out of work AND went to the doctor. This is the first time I can remember that I called out sick and actually didn’t work. When I don’t make it to my desk to sneak in some work, you know it’s bad. (Fine. I did go to my computer one time for five minutes. Sure, sure, I also monitored my BlackBerry, but that’s different. Totally doable from the supine position :).)

Other than the obvious things like not really being able to sit or walk pain-free, here’s how this little incident has added some delight to our week:

Happy Father’s Day, Kenny!

To celebrate what a great dad you are, I decided to instead give myself Mother’s Day round 2. So thoughtful, aren’t I? Poor guy was on full childcare duty+Bridget duty. It was actually worse than a regular old Sunday because he had to take care of me as I sat on the couch. He made us lunch and ran some errands. He brought me drinks and heating pads and pillows and blankets. And he only sighed / rolled his eyes once. Hahaha. We had dinner plans, but when I tried to put on pants and that made me cry, I sent him and the kids off without me. I guess, in a way, it turned out nice since he got some alone time with the kids?! (Right. I am not really buying that either, especially since I travel for work and Dad+kids dinner dates are pretty much the norm when that happens. And, since I was just away the week before last…yea. I think they were good on the alone time stuff.)

Kenny Really Does Love Me

See mention above about me putting on pants and crying. I was successful in getting myself ready for dinner, and was going to go. Kenny looked at my wincing face from merely standing in the bedroom and he said I wasn’t going. He was right. I couldn’t. Well, not without making a scene, anyway. I sat back on the bed to change back into comfy pants – AND couldn’t get my pants off because reaching to my ankles was impossible without faint-inducing pain. I started to cry. And laugh. At the same time. Which turned into this ridiculously hot mess of emotions that combined crying and laughing, but mostly crying. I just couldn’t believe how hurt I was from doing nothing. Grace came into the room and was VERY concerned by my crying: “Wait. Are you crying?” and then she started to fill up with tears, too. Ah, this child is going to be a special one, friends.

Needless to say, Kenny took my pants off for me. And, if you read  from the top, it’s pretty clear that happened without the promise of any return. 😉 He must really love me, since I can only imagine this caused flash-forwards to our golden years. Hot. That’s all I can say about that. I am still mortified by the whole scene, but appreciate the humor in it, so figured I’d share. LOL.

First Ever Visit with a Chiropractor

Despite the pain and immobility, I was very reluctant to make a doctor’s appointment. My back felt like it needed to crack very badly. On top of that, I had severe muscle pain from the midpoint down. Ugh.

After weighing the pros and cons of going to say, urgent care, vs. those of going to a chiropractor, I decided that I would suck it up and make my first ever chiropractic appointment. Like many of you probably are, I was really scared by this. But I figured a regular medical visit would probably result in XRays and pain pills and potentially days of not knowing what was wrong. It seemed to me that a chiropractor would potentially be able to crack my back (which was my self-diagnosis / identified treatment) and fix the issue? Who knows. That was the rationale I ended up with to make my decision.

So I went on Monday. I drove myself which was a mistake. I felt EVERY pebble in the road. This confirmed for me that back injuries are my least favorite ailment – even above simultaneous double ankle / foot injuries and migraines. When your back hurts, every single thing you do seems to spike the pain, making you realize just how much / how hard this body part works. Had I planned better (i.e. called when I first woke up), Kenny could have taken me. But I slacked and suffered as a result.

Finally made it to the doctor’s office. He was very, very kind. I told him I was nervous. He said that was normal. I asked a zillion questions. He was patient, honest and thoughtful in his replies. He checked out my back and said, “Wow. You really did a doozy.” Yay. Go big or go home. Go big or go home. That’s my style. (It’s not really.) He told me what he wanted to try to help ease my pain. I said ok, and he attached some pads to my back for “muscle stim” which apparently helps tense muscles relax. This was combined with heat therapy.

After that, he tried to adjust my back – starting at the top between my shoulder blades. I screamed. Screamed. In his office, which is small so anyone in the waiting room or other treatment rooms definitely heard me. He laughed and said, “Ok, let’s try something different. Why don’t you turn to your side?” I sat up and tried to lay on my side. I couldn’t. Tears sprung up. Oh goody. This is not at all embarrassing. I sat there and looked at him. He was reassuring and told me not to rush it, etc. I tried again and yelped. And that was the end of that. Almost. He had me sit in a chair and adjusted my neck. Definitely strange, but didn’t hurt at all. He checked my lower back and declared I was having a muscle spasm and we should try again on Wednesday. Weeeee. He gave me some instructions and I ran out of there. (Totes joking. I could barely walk.)

The instructions included ice (not heat) and laying or sitting on a recline only. Well…that’s not practical for a working mom of two, is it? Haha. I thought about how I could heal and do some normal stuff as I shuffled (I mean I really shuffled!) to my car. I finally made it after what felt the longest journey of my life because of how slowly I had to go. I tried to gently lift myself into the seat following his instructions. Butt first, both legs at the same time. Yea, right, buddy. I am sure there is a video on YouTube somewhere out there documenting my 10 attempts to get into my car. It was pretty rich.

By the time I made it into the seat, I was sweating and exhausted. Hey – this counts as a workout since I can’t get to the gym, right? Haha. I cranked the air, laid back my seat and stayed there for 20 minutes. This is likely one of the most ridiculous things I have ever done in my life, but I was so sore I couldn’t drive. I need to get myself together. So, I texted and did smart phone stuff and cursed myself for not having Kenny take me. Although, in all honesty, I probably wouldn’t have been able to get myself into the car anyway. I think I just wanted his company – hahaha. In hindsight, it’s probably better that he didn’t see this scene after the great pants incident of Sunday afternoon.

I finally made it home, took some Tylenol and laid down for a three hour nap. I felt great (relatively speaking) when I woke up. The pain was no longer screaming. Still there, still not totally mobile, but definitely better. Woo hoo.

On Tuesday morning, I felt even better. Wednesday brought another chiropractor appointment. When I walked into the office, the receptionist said, “Oh good! You made it! I wasn’t sure if you were too terrorized to come back.” Hahaha. See? Told you everyone heard me screaming on Monday.  It wasn’t anything the doctor did – it was simply because of how much pain I was in. Same drill as last time. Except this time I was in good enough shape for the full adjustment. Neck – check. Shoulder blades (?) – check. Upper back – check. Lower back – check. But I apparently have a tic that makes me scream during doctor treatments. This time, while he was in the process of doing the lower back treatment – I yelled: “I DON’T WANT TO DO THIS! I’M SCARED!” He did it anyway. Twice. Hahaha.

Am I freak show? Probably. But to be fair – judging solely by the position I was in – I was QUITE certain the chiropractic visit had ended and I was now auditioning for Cirque du Soleil. I didn’t get the part, but I did get invited back for another audition on Friday. 😉

Today (Thursday) – I feel about 85% – 90% normal. I was great all morning – my back actually felt better than it usually does. However, as the day wears on and I sit at my desk, I feel it getting tired. It aches a little. But nothing like the days before. I think I’m on the mend. Tomorrow, I am going to ask when I can go back to the gym. Haha. He said he’ll give me back exercises to do. (Hopefully they work at home, because I do not want to prance around the gym any longer than I have to.)

Would I recommend a chiropractor? Yes, but I would say read up on it beforehand and decide if you can handle it. I am still kind of freaked out by it. But I definitely feel much much much better since going. Sure, some of it is probably rest, but I am quite sure most of it is because of the adjustment.


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