on hold

It pretty much feels like all of my aspirations about getting my fitness back are completely on hold.  And the saga of pain continues…

As an update, I have switched physical therapists to one that specializes in women’s care and postpartum recovery.  The first time I went to go see her it was amazing.  She immediately diagnosed the dual problems that I’m having: misalignment and inflammation.  I was really impressed because she was able to manipulate me and reduce the presence of pain immediately!  That had never happened before.  The other 6 times that I had been to PT about these same issues there was nothing they did that had any impact on the pain.

After that initial appointment my pain intensified dramatically.  Which brings me to now.  I’m taking a round of oral steroids in hopes that it will reduce the inflammation, allow me to stay in alignment, and ultimately fix all my problems.  It’s day two of the six day treatment, and I will admit that I feel different.  The pain is probably just as intense, but it feels very different.  Before it was just dull aching, sometimes burning pain starting at my tailbone and traveling all the way down to my achilles.  Now, it’s more centralized in my back and I can almost feel the bones shifting out of alignment.  It’s pretty gnarly.

So…I go back again on Monday.  Until then I’m supposed to keep avoiding the things that aggravate the nerve.  Which is mainly sitting.  Do you know how hard it is to have an 11-week-old and try to avoid sitting down?  Nursing standing up is my favorite.  I’m hoping that this will produce majorly ripped arms :)  Good thing this little guy is totally worth it!!!

4 thoughts on “on hold

  1. I’m sorry you’re going through all this. It totally sucks. I actually was just going through one of your blog archives about your past running buddies, and I realized, “I’m the current running buddy!” I’m pretty excited about this :) Training for long miles has been very lonely.

    Just wondering, do you think going to a chiropractor might help?

  2. Dang, I’m really bummed to hear this pain issue is still plaguing you. Ugh. I really really hope the pain goes away ASAP for you. You’re such a tough cookie. Knowing what you know now, would you have done anything the same or differently (workout wise?) while pregnant to prevent this issue?

  3. Dear Dawn, I just noticed your review of the Garmin, and found your blog, and wanted to encourage you that I’ve been through the exact same, totally same back problem from your latest post, and have pretty much fully recovered. I know when I went through that I was secretly pretty scared that it was going to be the rest of my life, and some days I’m just glad to be alive knowing I got better, and there’s a proven, scientific, medical fact that you can reverse this, that literally dozens of us are victims of bad office furniture and a nasty mix of sciatica and nerve sheath callouses, and pretty poor education in the modern world about all the stretching and treatments that have been around for so long, there are literally Grecian Urns that copy the PT regime I now follow. My point being, it’s not a freak thing, if you do your PT carefully and steadily, you will absolutely not only get better, but you’ll learn exactly how to control your spine, your running, and your stretching forever more to actually be in better shape than you were before. I actually let mine get so bad, not realizing what was happening, that I have some permanent nerve damage in my leg, and yet I’m still able to run, having learned in my PT recovery how to tell where my body is at. First off, you’re going to feel pain because you’ve got callouses built up in your nerve sheaths, that encircle your nerves. half jernigan stretch is part of my twice a day routine due to a pretty substantial percentage of the population who have their nerve trace too closely through their muscle. You are probably still at baby cobra stage of pt, but they’ll have you doing knee outs soon, and those, not to mince words, will be the ninth gate but you will be using your own nerve to saw through that callous. Second off, most of us have a slight curvature of the spine, and after a lot of running, followed by a lot of sitting, our stomach muscles get weaker, which slowly puts more work on our back muscles, which slowly get little micro tears, and slowly we don’t stretch and so those tears heal back slowly tighter and tighter until we are primed to have a slipped disc. Me, I had two, and one extruded, which pulled the nerve even more taught, which caused the sheath to quickly produce a callous to protect it from being sawed in half, and the end result was I stood up one day and realized I couldn’t walk. I personally did not opt for surgery. I opted to trust my PT and at times he set the electrodes to 30 minutes to an hour, because research has shown that’s actually the most effective for serious nerve damage like mine (if you can walk, you’re not there yet, so keep shuffling and now hopefully you won’t have to… because I’m downloading my brain here and I hope you get it and it saves you recovery time.) So you can buy these units, but it’s best to get a pro PT to zap you with the big machines, and wink wink ask if they could just forget and leave it on a little longer. Most of the time, if you’re in tears, they’ll triage you. Next, sit straight up on a completely flat hard surface, a filing cabinet or folding table works best, and extend your trouble leg out from 90 degrees to straight out 180. Now slowly flex your foot. It will feel like something is tearing, and that is your nerve getting unstuck from the callous, and dislodging the callous material like a drain snake. And you will want to toss, and it’ll feel like you were just in a car accident, and you might even go into a little tiny bit of shock after because your body realizes your nervous system has just been shocked on the inside, and then you’ll get irritated emotionally as fight or flight chemicals swirl around your brain, and you’ll feel emotional and if you’re post partum everyone will blame that, and then slowly you’ll just want a hot pad and a bed, and you’ll do it again two hours later. 50 reps, holding the leg out flex position for 20 seconds each.

    Then you’ll end up doing them about five times a day, then three times a day, then pretty much all the time and whenever because you’ll have retrained yourself to stretch when you feel that sensation your brain now knows is a panicked nerve, and you’ll know what to do about it.

    Do slow downward dog and baby cobra, and then knees to chest when your PT says you’re up for it, and DO NOT take the off-label nerve and neurological meds they will offer you because the issue is a nerve that’s taught and over-sensitive, not that your nerve signal is being blocked. I have met many others who went through this, and for some absurd, and probably pharmaceutically profitable reason, doctors think it’s a great idea to try these meds on young women who in their minds, should not be suffering from a condition once relegated to seniors back before all our chair manufacturing went to China, and those manufacturers have saved more and more money making chair backs smaller and chair slightly shorter, and desks slightly shallower than any human being can comfortable sit at. Oh that’s right, get an Ikea drafting table for your desk, and a hard-back chair, and first roll a towel tightly to sit on your back and help your disc stay in place while it heals, and then eventually use a yoga block once you figure out the best place to position it. I only sit in hard back chairs with a yoga block behind my lose discs now, and have had no problems sense, except when I switched desks at work, and had to add two wood blocks under either side to raise it up enough so my legs could move. I get up and walk around now, I stretch all the time, and I’m healthy and happy and running along. I’m not a particularly good runner, but I’m dedicated and consistent, and I enjoy it, and I think some longer races make a good carrot to keep me going, which is something I was convinced would never happen for me again once I went paralyzed. Well guess what, you will run again, pain free, and eventually running will be what you do when you start to feel the early warning signs, because running is an excellent way to losten that nerve from the nerve sheathe that’s starting to callous up again, because running is what your body expects you to do, and when you stop, it’s like all the chemicals in your body that keep you well oiled and spry just start to gel up. Now I’ve run enough, I’ve actually irritated my plantar. Of course, many people complain about that pain, but now I’m pretty much imune to it. I feel that pain, I know it’s there, and I’m learning to improve my gait so I’m finally running on my toes like you’re supposed to. The truth was, I was never strong enough to do that before I collapsed and went through PT recovery. Now I’m actually a better athlete because of it. You are actually an athlete. Imagine how much better you’ll be once you have that sixth sense on all the inner working of your body? It’ll come, hang in there.

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