About 2 months ago (give or take a few weeks) I woke up with this major pain in my back. I figured it was just a pulled muscle or something and it would eventually work itself out.
Well two weeks later it still hadn’t worked itself out and I had days where the pain was almost more than I could bear. I feel like I have a fairly high tolerance for pain and this was getting to that point. There were days I just wanted to bawl because I hurt so bad.
When I had had enough, we opted to wait a day and schedule an appt. with a family doctor. We didn’t do the Instacare because we love the doctors over there sooo much.
We go to my appt. and after talking and then the doctor poking around my back, she says she thinks it’s a muscle spasm and give me a muscle relaxer prescription. I felt a bit frustrated because it didn’t really feel like a pulled muscle and it had lasted for so dang long. She told me that if things didn’t change within a week to come back.
Well I took the muscle relaxers for the next little bit and it only made my pain worse. I stopped taking the pills and tried to live on Ibuprofen. That took the edge off, but it still didn’t alleviate the pain. So a week and a half later we were back at the doctor. She looked at me like I was crazy, had an x-ray taken and when the x-ray came back clean, she really looked at me like I was crazy but then said the next option was Physical Therapy.
WHAT? Physical Therapy – that’s only for people who’ve been in major accidents or had major surgery done, right? I was leery about the Physical Therapy and so didn’t know what to expect.
My first appointment I was taken into a room where I took my top off and put a gown on and then I was hooked up to an electrical stimulation machine (I’m sure there’s a fancier term for it…) for 20 minutes, while laying on a heating pad. I was then given a massage in the area of my back that had the issue. After that the doctor and a guy finishing school took a look at my bare back and had me bend and stretch to see how far my range of motion was.
The doctor then does something that I can only assume is close to what a chiropractor would do and tries to move my ribs around slightly to get the muscle in the right place. After he did that even just the first time, he could tell that there was a stubborn muscle/rib area and I was relieved.
For ONCE, the doctor didn’t look at me like I was nuts. He had a name for it (which of course is some long medical term that I really don’t remember) but in essence it’s something that can happen during sleep and because you sleep every night it can become one long vicious cycle. I left that first appointment with a few stretches to try and feeling slightly better.
So now I go pretty much 2x a week. Jessica is the aide in her early 20’s and gets the electrical stimulation going and does the massage. Jon is the guy finishing school and is literally my age. Derick is the Physical Therapist and my guess is that he’s not more than 10 years older than me. I really want to say he’s somewhere in between 5 and 7 years older. So for a few weeks I felt very awkward around these two men. I have since learned more about them and have become slightly more at ease with them.
Every session is now the same, where I have 20 minutes heat/electric therapy about a 10 minute massage, then I do some exercises for probably another 15-20 minutes and then Derick follows up with moving the ribs/muscles around.
Now to ease
Eric’s everyone’s minds, I’m only undressed during the heat/electric therapy and the massage, which the young girl does. Everything else is done fully clothed! 😉
The way things usually go is that Jessica does her stuff, Jon will walk me through the exercises and Derick then messes with the ribs and muscle and follows up and lets me know what to do for the following week and when to come in next.
Last week at one of my appointments, Jon was busy helping other people so Jessica and Derick were walking me through the exercises. Derick asks me, “So Shilo, how’s your bracket?”
Now being the super sport nut that I am had no idea what he was talking about. In my head I was thinking something along the lines of, “Is that a group of muscles in the back or something that I totally missed in health class?”
Thankfully Derick almost immediately let me know he was talking BASKETBALL and March Madness and all that wonderful stuff. We had a good laugh that the only team I ‘should’ care about was out just as quick as they were in.
Later that night (right before bed, of course) I was replaying the conversation and me thinking about why I don’t remember ANYTHING I learned in Health. EVER. I then had this revelation:
In Jr. High I had a he/she teacher. Now she claimed she was a she – but this poor lady was HUGE. I’m not talking like way fat (though she was overweight) she was just tall and stocky and her hands were very masculine. Is it any wonder I don’t remember anything about that class? To this day I still don’t know what gender that person was born as. I’d like to believe she was just a very unfortunate woman, but knowing what I know today – I’m not positive that’s the case.
In High School I had Health with my boyfriend at the time. So most of the time was spent feeling very uncomfortable with the subjects discussed as the boyfriend was sitting right next to me. Ay yi yi!
My mind is nuts, I know – but I thought I should at least share this whole Physical Therapy journey with my family.
As for the Physical Therapy I am glad to have something that makes my back feel better. It’s still not great and I still have days that are worse than others, but since I’ve started I have felt better. I was feeling that I wasn’t making a lot of progress last week and was feeling very frustrated, but Derick told me that I was right where he’d expect me to be. And said, “You always want to feel better right away, but it just takes time.”
When I went in on Monday I was actually feeling pretty good. And I think the more active I am, the better it will feel. I was afraid to do a lot of anything because I wasn’t sure what was going on and I was afraid of injuring myself even more, but I am finding the opposite to be true.
I’d love to say that I am pain free, but I’m not. In fact today I feel quite sore, but I haven’t done my homework for 2 days now. (Ooops…) It will come in time!
And I am LOVING the 40 minutes I get weekly of quiet/reflection time. If nothing else, it helps me emotionally as well! So even though it’s costing us upwards of $150 every two weeks, I think in the long run it will be worth it!