Tuesday, September 17, 2013

What a pain!

I know I had lower back aches during my previous two pregnancies.  I remember stretching on the floor of my cubicle, trying to ease the kinks a little.  But I also remember that stretching helped and made life bearable.

Not so this time around.  I woke up Sunday morning and couldn't stand.  I couldn't get up out of bed to stand.  It was excruciating and impossible.  I rested as best I could, stretched when I could bear it to no avail, and even took one or two ibuprofen to try to ease things.  Yesterday, I was able to move around enough to get to work.  But once I was at my desk, that was it.  Sitting hurt.  Standing hurt.  Walking brought me to tears.  So I called my doctor.

At fifteen weeks pregnant, I am allowed to take ibuprofen.  Sweet, blessed ibuprofen!  My doctor told me 800mg three times a day.  I cried happy tears when I heard that.  And even happier tears when she recommended a chiropractor, and gave me a name and number.

I had my first ever chiropractic appointment this morning.  I had no idea the appointment would be so involved!  I had pictured telling the doctor what and where I hurt, a quick adjustment, and that would be that.  Oh no.

First, I wrote out what hurt.  Where it hurt.  How much it hurt.  If it had ever hurt before.  If my family had a history of the same hurt.  If my best friend's cousin had ever practiced voodoo.  The list went on.

Next, the nurse measured and tested my spine with a thing hooked up to a computer, to show which vertebrae were most stressed (note: all of them).  Next, the doctor felt, poked, prodded, pushed, and pulled to see what hurt, what didn't, if I was numb (yes) and where.

After the initial assessment, I was given an adjustment.  Normally, the doctor wouldn't give an adjustment on the first visit.  Normally, the first visit would be for X-rays and stuff.  But since I'm pregnant and x-rays aren't allowed, he was able to give me the adjustment instead.  He used an instrument to move things around in a very precise manner.  It felt like hammers on my back - not the most comfortable experience, but I felt an immediate change.  Next, he twisted and pulled and popped part of my back.  Followed by a large yank of my leg and hip.  A huge pop, and even more change in my back.

Still pain, oh yes.  But less... pinchy.  More dull.  A smidge less hurty.

The adjustment was followed by PT.  Some leg movements with an elastic band (that were way more difficult that I thought they'd be).  Some pelvic movement on an exercise ball (that felt really good).  Some balancing on a balance board (that made me feel like a really dorky looking surfer.

Then therapy.  OMG.  Ten minutes dozing in a dark room on a warm, cozy dry whirlpool bed.  Warm jets gently massaging my sore back with a whooshing noise that was so calming and restful and wonderful.  I was sad when the nurse came to turn it off and help me up.

I'll go back on Thursday to go over my initial test results more thoroughly and to set up a plan of care.  As of now, I made it to the train, rode the train, got to work, assisted a museum visitor, and am back at my desk (with a heating pad in place).  I'm still sore, and I feel really exhausted, but I haven't cried from pain yet today.  I'm walking a little faster than a ninety-year-old with her walker.  I consider that a win.