The last time I wrote about this subject, I left you with the idea of a long road to recovery. As I write this today, I am lying on the couch recovering from yet another episode. But I am not going to begin here, I am going to continue my story about my journey from where I left off in Part I.
I had just had my second child and had just finished aqua therapy. Things were starting to get better…with my back. That is when the headaches began. I was sitting in a chair in the driveway, watching my kids play, my back feeling pretty good. I started to get a headache, but not like any headache I had ever had before. It was pounding and made me feel like I was going to pass out or puke. When I would stand up, I would get dizzy but some of the pounding would go away.
This went on for months and months. I would have such bad headaches that I could only lie completely flat. Sitting was absolutely horrible. Laying down with my head on a pillow was horrible. I would get pain, numbness and tingling down my arms and into my fingers. So I got an MRI. Guess what. There was nothing wrong with my discs or my brain. Go figure. That was the same thing my MRI said about the discs in my back. I had no bulges, or herniations. So what the heck was going on? I saw a neurologist who told me I must have a leak in my spinal fluid, so I needed to take sodium supplements to keep my blood sugar up and drink tons of caffeine. As a matter of fact he told me that he takes nodos every day and would recommend them to me too. Huh? I have always tried to stay as far away from medicine as I could, so this guy just seemed like a total wack job to me.
I started doing physical therapy for my neck and things started to get better, but then of course things fired up with my back again.
So this time I saw a rheumatologist. She was awesome and probably one of the only doctors I have seen that didn’t just tell me I had something related to their field of expertise. She ran blood tests for autoimmune diseases and found nothing, so she told me to see a physical therapist and a sports medicine doctor. I did just that. I was diagnosed by the sports medicine doctor as having piriformis syndrome. I started therapy for that. And I got worse.
I started to think back to the only time I was able to really start feeling better since my second child and that was after doing water therapy. I decided to go back to that therapist and see if she could help me since nobody else could. I had just started seeing a new internist and he wrote my script to the therapy office as “Diagnose and Treat”. I couldn’t get in to see the same therapist as when I had done the water therapy, so I signed up with a different one. But God must have been looking out for me because this therapist is now the only therapist I will ever see. Because she didn’t have some prescription from a doctor to treat me for things that didn’t really exist, she could just correct all of the imbalances I had in my body. By the time I saw her, after all of the other therapists and doctors and massage therapists, and acupuncturists, I was so weak I could hardly do any of the exercises that needed to be done to correct things. But she started me at the very basic of basic core exercises and I can say I went an entire year! YES! ONE WHOLE YEAR without any major flare ups or major pain in my neck or head or back. She was like a miracle worker!
To this day, I still have to massage out my piriformis almost every day and I do still get pain and I still have to be careful about the things I do, so I am in no means cured of whatever was causing all of my problems, but I am so much more functional now. I can clean and cook. I have gone hiking with my kids and can go for a walk around the neighborhood. I can stand for an entire day without fatiguing.
I began this particular blog entry stating that I am having another flare up. It started about 3 weeks ago and I called my therapist immediately, but she couldn’t get me in for 3 weeks. The first thing she noticed was that my hips were not sitting level, which is what she corrected the first time I saw her. She said many things could have happened to get the muscle imbalance ball rolling again, but she manipulated my muscles to get me back into place. Then she had me do some exercises to remind my muscles that my hips were supposed to be in that place. I was sore afterward, but I was moving so much better. I was moving even better the next day. I have seen her two times and I already feel like I am getting close to feeling normal again, so I think she once again has me on the right track.
Looking back on everything I have been through, I cannot say that any one diagnosis or treatment stands out in my mind as being totally right. At the same time, I cannot say they were totally wrong either. My symptoms were so all over the place. I would correct one problem and another would start. But throughout all of it, I do believe that I became so weak that I started a downward spiral. My hips have been off since before I had my first child. I am not sure if that is what caused everything or not. But in the end, it seems to be that correcting my hip placement was the thing that finally helped me the most.
My reason for writing this blog post is not for people to feel sorry for me. I have had enough of that over the last 11 years. The reason for this post is to hopefully give someone out there hope that they can figure out what is causing their problems whether it is back pain or neck pain or just a problem in their life that they need hope to push through. I did not do any of this alone. My mom and my husband have been there to listen to me cry and convince me to keep pushing for answers and not give up. My dad and my father-in-law helped me with my kids any time I called them because I couldn’t do things myself. My aunt has cleaned my house for me on occasion and cooked me food. All of these people are the reason I could keep going. So find your support system and keep pushing to find answers. Someone in this world can help you. You just have to find them.