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weeks 5-7

5 weeks
Ditto to my last update. PT was still hard and wiped me out- I napped all afternoon and made a second trip down the stairs for dinner when the kids got home and stayed down with the family for 3 hours. It was nice, but taxing.

My left side that was must less affected feels fairly good, It takes most of the brunt of stair climbing – with the weight bearing exercises I am trying VERY hard not to tax the piriformis any more than necessary, but I am finding that hard to accomplish. It triggers so quickly and without a whole lot of warning. I go from fine to not fine in a heartbeat OR I feel fine until I lay down and then the swelling starts. I am icing multiple times a day.

I can’t complete 2 sets of 10 of any of the standing exercises in a row; I still have to break them up with a long rest in between. My goal is to be able to do both sets together by this coming Tues.

It’s easier than ever to feel the muscle imbalances for me, so with the zillion questions I ask my PT every time I see him about anatomy it’s getting easier to tell when I am recruiting other muscles and that I need to stop and rest. Now I just need to do it! Tomorrow a friend is coming to take me on a short outing for saltwater reef tank goodies. I am looking forward to that.

Yesterday a good friend surprised me with coffee and cleaned my house. It felt so good and I was so thankful, it’s been a long time since it had a good scrubbing and the company was very welcome!

5 weeks 3 days
Hit a mile stone today… I went for a swim!

I was terrified getting in, and wanted to be super careful so I did just some dog paddle for a while, (please note this was horrifying to me as a former swimmer, but I did it to be safe… ) then swam front crawl with just my arms, and then added a little kick to it – never touched the wall with my feet, didn’t want to push off, but I was in the water for 10-15 minutes… it felt wonderful!!!!!

Best part was my kids and hubby were with me and I got to participate with my family again.

5 weeks 5 days
PT was even pretty good today.
Biggest notes from today are that there is noticeable difference in the piriformis – it hurt mostly on the outside of the leg now, not as bad towards the “butt crack” any more. (I can make it hurt if I do too much, like walking for too long or doing the stairs too much.) My PT was really happy at how quiet it was today. I made great progress with the new exercises.

We moved on to simple clams ( I HATED those before almost as bad as bridges) and they went pretty well.
Dog points – yeah… I can’t lift alternate arm and leg at the same time, so for now it’s arms first then legs – I am suppose to do them that way until Thurs and then try again at my next appt.

After PT I was even able to take my kids on a lunch/play date with out pain. I was tired, but not wiped out.

I can go down stairs alternating legs, I am still going up 1 step at a time, but I can do it once in the am and once in the pm now.

I was able to walk for about 15-20 minutes before becoming too tired.
I can sit for longer periods of time than prior to surgery without pain, but it does get hard to hold myself up after awhile.
I feel the weaknesses mostly in the lumbar area now. I mean I am not up to a normal life, but it’s not completely taxing to lift a leg right off the bat anymore!

Still can’t bend over and really haven’t tried twisting at all. But feel like I can see an end to needing my parents around to help get stuff done with the kids and stuff.

I am still on an 24 hr anti inflammatory it’s a once a day and I can tell that makes life more bearable as well…. In the am when I wake up and all the meds have worn off everything is real swollen and “congested” feeling in and around the pelvic girdle. I feel like I need oiled in the morning to get everything moving. After the meds kick in all that disappears and I hardly think about it.
I am also on muscle relaxants 3 times a day – but nothing else. As long as I live within my limits ice and a tens unit for 20 minutes deals with whatever pain I have and takes it down to a zero. A ZERO, can you believe it!

I hate taking meds and will be rejoicing when I can kick these as well- my PT knows that and he asks every visit if I am still being complaint with my med…. I appreciate the accountability he proves me with that…

I have a strong need to do this as by the book as possible so I am not taking myself off the meds like I would have normally been inclined to do. I think I have 2 weeks left of the anti inflammatory and a long way to go on the relaxers.

6 weeks
PT again this morning, it’s always good and encouraging – yet exhausting and taxing at the same time. We progressed to a little single leg standing stuff- WOW did I have to work hard for that. My right side (which was always the more affected) is once again significantly weaker than the left). I find myself concentrating so hard on body position and what muscles I am using that I can hardly talk while doing them- which amuses my PT since I am normally such a chatty Cathy;)

I usually run a small errand after pt to get some walking in 15-20 minutes – like today I went into Target to by my daughter some clothes as she is rapidly out growing her jeans

By the time I get home it’s been 2 hours out of the house and I am physically weak and tired. I take a nap and when I wake up I can usually feel the all the sore muscles that I used that morning. My gait changes again from a normal stride to a cautious walk – I have found the more careful I am the less I involve that darn piriformis.

I set myself back yesterday by RUNNING down the stairs. Yes you read that right, I RAN down the stairs, my daughter was sobbing a Mommy 911 sound and without thinking I bolted down a flight of stairs – at the bottom my brain caught up with my body and I was like HEY, I ran down the stairs…. COOL… UH OH I will pay for that later….. Then off to scoop up my little one.

She was okish- she has a small saltwater fish tank and her favorite little fish had died and other bad stuff was happening- she lost all her fish and shrimp and was really upset. I am the only one in the house with the knowledge to help out with the tank, so she screamed for me in her distress. Poor kid! After lots of cuddling she was able to get herself together and get to school and I iced and stretched -a lot!

Needless to say my little run was not missed by my PT.
Upon the start of the massage I was meet with,” Um, ,Amy, what did we do to get like this?” He suggested I set aside my marathon training plans for now
I laughed and reminded him I only run when being chased, or my kids need me. I promised not to run down the stairs again anytime soon.

So I am burning a little today – kinda reminded me how far I have come and that I have no desire to ever go back.

6 weeks 3 days
Meh – frustrated since Thursday. Tried to “live” in my life more this week so that I am more ready for my parents to go home. They have been a big help, but it can’t last forever.

I am easily frustrated with myself this week.

My favorite nursemaid, Milo, my Shih Tzu.

Went to the pet store yesterday morning with not too much trouble – then to the grocery store for some creamer… total time out about 40 minutes – came home beat…. rested,…. too sore to even attempt at home rounds. Sat evening parents insisted I go out to dinner with them. Knew before I left it was a mistake… put on my SIJD mask and went down stairs again and out to the restaurant – no strength left to sit – it was hard and uncomfortable – thinking to myself why am I here – this is dumb – I should have said no…. shouldn’t matter if they think I “should be up to this” I’m not and I know it…. Didn’t get to finish my meal – tired standing, tried stretching – didn’t care what other diners thought… needed to stretch!!! Hubby looked at me and said, yup, I’m going to take you home now. Was thankful for him intervening – I couldn’t do it for myself…. I wanted to be “normal” and better for my parents.. No one else really has those kind of expectations on me but them…. they don’t mean to, but yeah….. they do….

Hubby massaged and it was better, but I still feel all knotted up in the lumbar and glutes. IT band too.

My kids schoolwork is really suffering with me “out of the loop” it’s wearing on me – the lack of routine. Most of the time I realize I can’t get better any faster, and that I am the one putting the most pressure on myself, but the lack of routine is wearing on me emotionally. I miss being able to go to church- it’s still far too hard to sit though a service. I miss worship. I miss my life….

6 weeks 5 days
My pity party is over for a little bit. I was reminded that chronic pain has also taken my emotions on a wild ride and those need to level out as well – a beautiful reminder, thank you SIJD friend!

HUGE accomplishment today at PT – we started bridges…

I almost cried when he told me it was time to do them – I got really scared- like afraid to try scared, tears welling up in the corner of my eyes scared….
I was quickly reminded that I wasn’t alone and it was ok to try…
I had one of the small balls under me for support to make it easier – I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to lift my rear off the table and ya know what… I DID THE WHOLE THING – full bridge on the ball NO PAIN!!!!

Now I know you folks know what this means because we have talked about these as a horrible form of torture often inflicted upon us, so for today I am just gonna be happy that I did 10 bridges without crying, or terrible pain.


Another conversation with the PT:
Each week the pain and discomfort in the piriformis is less and less. My PT tells me the ribbons in the muscles get less and less – though they move to different muscles as we move along. He encouraged me telling me it was as he expected and that I shouldn’t worry.

Had a good another good conversation about pain and recovery. He is so good to ask me,” Did that cause pain? Are you still ok?”
I pretty much always say fine… then I looked at him and said ya know I am not sure I know what not fine is….
He said, well anything that causes increased pain, but wait you don’t usually feel it until later…
I said, yeah it’s not usually until a few hours later that I feel it. I have always taken some muscle discomfort as normal since they have to be broken down to get stronger, does that not apply here? – I look at PT like I did my coach when I was training as a swimmer; In order to get better it has to be a little comfortable.
He said, no it does apply, but I don’t want you to be in pain or discomfort for more than about half a day.

It felt good to have a better way to qualify what I am feeling and how long I am suppose to feel it.

7 weeks

We had a great conversation today while I was in – we were talking about the protocol and he asked how I felt about it and how/if I felt things changing and what was different. He had been thinking about all the things we had tried in the 2 years we worked together prior to surgery and as a therapist was experiencing something totally different working with me with this protocol and wanted to hear my side.

I told him I felt like each week was a stair step – that it was like a foundation that I could literally feel being built. That as each exercise gets easier something else aches and gets hard – and then the next series of exercises addresses that issue and revels a new one. (With me being wiped out sometimes in between).

He agreed completely- I told him that I refer to myself as his “shiny new physics toy” and he laughed and told me that he compares me to clay -” it’s like your this lump of clay that I get to help mold into a perfectly working body – it changes every week and it’s really great to have these plans to follow and see this happen. HE told me he felt like I would be his Venus de Milo, I had no idea what that was, but figured it was some kind of work of art…. it gave me hope that I might be someone’s best work…. It’s strangely comforting to know we are both learning on this journey.

It was a really great session today – so polar opposite to how I felt last week.
I walked on the treadmill for 5 minutes at a .7 – and didn’t even hang on for the last minute – everything today was just hard enough to be taxing, but not impossible or pain producing.

Yeah for a victory today!

3 Responses to weeks 5-7

  1. Shelley Hester

    Hi Amy, My name is Shelley I am almost 6 weeks post-op from the right side Ifusion. I am still having a great deal of pain. Mostly in the butt area (feels like someone is hammering nails into my bones) and also have some of the pain I had before surgery. Just not as bad because of course I am doing much less. My pain is on the right side down by my spine. My lower spine feels like it it on fire. The doctor did mention to me I may have a facet joint issue as well. Repetive bending and arcing my back and reaching for something at waist level has always felt like a knife in my back. I have always had pain standing, sitting, twisting and sometimes during a major “flare up” even walking. My Doctor has said I will not need PT and this concerns me, because my muscles have felt so weak. I also want to add this is a workers comp. case which has added more stress for me. This has been the hardest most dilbilitating thing that has ever happened to me. Never had this much pain in my life..I am 42. I have 1 child..a little girl and my labor was all in my back and this pain was so much worse. I went to PT before my surgery where they did Ultrasound massage, traction, tens, ice, and spinal minipulations. I am a member of the SIJD group on facebook, but wanted to contact you through here. This is wonderful what you have done, and I am enjoying reading it. I just wanted your opinion on my situation. I would greatly appreciate it…Many thanks !!

  2. Sue

    Background info: I’m 23 years old female. I inrjeud my back about 7 or 8 years ago, I got whiplash from a bucking horse. They think I tore muscles and ligaments in my lower back, nothing was broken for the X-rays. I did physical therapy (PT) for it for about 6 months. About 3 weeks ago I found out that my left leg is about 3 cm longer than my right and could be causing some of my back pain. Oh and I have consent lower back pain. About 1 year ago in March I was diagnosed with lateral tracking of the patella on my right knee. I did 6 months of PT for it and I’m back in PT for it and have been doing it for a month and half. I got an MRI and it was clean, nothing torn or broken. The surgeon says I definitely have knee pain but the cause of it is unknown and surgery right now is not a option. I can’t run, go up or down stairs with out pain, sitting or standing for a long time hurts, driving hurts sometimes, I cant put all or some of my weight on it. I get a burning pain in the inside of knee, it makes a popping feeling, and on the top outer ledge of it. I’m going to go see an orthopedic spine surgeon this week, but this would be doctor number 4 that I have seen for my knee. I really just want to run again and have someone tell me that they know why I’m in so much pain. I can deal with the back pain b/c that never stopped me from running, riding, or got in the way of my life but my knee has. So if anyone can give me clues or help me out with this I would greatly appreciate it. If anyone knows of a Dr. House for knees please let me know!

    • Amy

      Sue, sorry your suffering! Tracking down the causes of our pain can be so frustrating and time consuming! Sounds like you have been working on that. I encourage you to keep looking for answers. Our bodies are connected so any joint above or below the knee would need to be checked out… maybe something is going on with your ankle… maybe your hip, maybe your glutes are weak and putting stress on other structures in your daily activities? There are a lot of potions, but the good news is it doesn’t sound like you are crossing of some of the things it “isn’t”.

      Did the PT help to change the muscle imbalances and get your knee cap tracking correctly again?

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