28 weeks 1 day
I am in Georgia! I am in Georgia working on sorting through information to help bring SIJD into the light and out of the dark ages. It’s the next part of the journey for me. I still am not sure what it will really look like, but just like recovery I will keep putting one foot in front of the other one and keep pulling away until something changes! Most likely it will be my perspective. That seems to be a common theme this year. Baby steps, growth, and perspective.
I am staying with Melany while here and have the amazing chance to shadow Vicki for the day on Monday… but before I left Illinois I was scared out of my mind and I want to share that today….
I left the hands of my intelligent and dear PT on Tuesday feeling good about my body and my recovery – I needed that. I often lose my perspective on my own body, it’s hard to see, hard to trust and sometimes hard to hang on to the belief that muscle pain will ever go away. If I’ve told myself once I have told myself a hundred thousand times, this is NOT an easy recovery. This takes patience, balance, dogged determination, and restraint. I don’t always have all of those things at the same time… when I become unbalanced in any of those areas- I flare up and my pain increases.
Melany and my PT have pointed out to me how hard I am working on my own recovery… I cant’ see that. All I see is me doing everything I can to get better. I know I am working hard, but I can’t always see the gains others see. But when Mel says HEY look how hard your working… I don’t see that either… it’s just me, I don’t know how to do anything else…. But when they show me that yes, I am diligent not to over do, to rest, to do my PT work at home, to listen to my body and respect the messages it is telling me… that is hard, and hard work… they are not wrong, and it is yielding results. Not quickly, not as fast as I want, but it IS paying off.
I was so fearful when I left PT… fearful I would not be able to travel alone… I haven’t flown on my own since 2001, it’s too hard, too much to handle… I was afraid I wouldn’t make it with out a flare up. I was fearful Vicki would take one look at me and say I was a mess and that we are doing everything wrong… a silly panic I know, but I know my PT and I don’t always get it right…and what if she … what if I… what if I… what if I am not doing as well as I think I am… THAT would be too much to bear- it would break my heart. So I was panicked and a little irrational.
I managed to get packed and dressed and to the airport even though I really wanted to back out a little… once at the airport I started flashing back a little to my last trip through the airport, in January, to get here for surgery. I don’t remember who dropped us off, going through security, or sitting waiting for the flight, too much fear and too many painkillers on board but boy, I sure was panicked once I got through the doors this time. I sat at the gate waiting to board. No kidding there were 5 women of varying ages around me with walkers or wheelchairs… tears started dropping from my eyes. I was NOT ok. I watched a woman probably a few years older than me pulling her leg behind her with her bag on the seat of her walker, pain etched on her face… I couldn’t speak… did this woman know what was wrong with her? Was she going to GA to see Dr. Weiss… was she going to get her life back? I couldn’t ask… I couldn’t keep the tears back… my life IS better than it was 6 months ago. When forced to look at an echo of where I was- my perspective changed in an instant. I carried my own bags, I sat waiting for a flight to be called, I helped a nice elderly woman in a wheel chair put her bag in the over head bin… my fear of being told I am still early in recovery, or that I was a massive train-wreck… it left… I’m not a massive train-wreck.
I hurt because I push and I want more from my life. If I was willing to just live a conservative sedentary life… I’d be fine. If I didn’t want to exercise and be healthy… I’d be done. But that is NOT what I want, I want SO much more.. so I have to keep on testing my limits and adjusting my expectations and my life around those things.
If I stopped now I could say yes my surgery was a success- my pelvis is stable – it does not move, it does not cause me pain… the ligament pain patterns are quiet as well… nothing burns anymore, my ligaments have healed from being stretched and sprained for far too long.
My muscle imbalances are common compensation patterns – muscles are firing, even if they are still weak. If I stopped working on those I would be doing myself a disservice and still have painful patterns. Ones that would keep me from living the life I want. So I press on. I’m glad I took that flight, it showed me just how far I had come.
I know I know I haven’t said much about my time IN Georgia yet…. it’s going to take some time to process all that I will come back and write more about it.. but for now we are just going to deal with today.
When I got home I found out that all my classes that I had registered to take had been dropped… in this computer age apparently bills don’t come through the mail any more…I was suppose to magically know that if I went to my e-service account that the total would be there and I could pay it…. well computers when I was in college were glorified typewriters… unless you were a computer MAJOR… which I was most defiantly NOT! So I started second guessing even going back to school… who am I to think that as a PTA I can make a difference at all…. maybe my time would be best spent as an advocate… but I kept thinking back to how I felt IN the clinic… I KNEW what those patients were going through, I related to their pain and struggle and it made it natural to reach out and want to explain and help…. then I kept thinking.. well… even if I am “just” and advocate an anatomy class would still be VERY helpful. So I was told to call back today and see if I could get into any of the now full anatomy classes… long phone call later… I am back in classes and with a better schedule that is more compact than before! Sometimes I wonder why I worry at all when things keep falling into place like this. All that to say I still have no idea where this trail eventually ends, but I am back on it and confident in the steps I am taking. I am feeling more and more and more like SIJD is something I use to have… it is starting to become a past tense idea. I really honestly NEVER thought that would come.
Sneaky PT got me talking a mile a minute again… remember how a few weeks ago I said that was a bad thing because you stop paying attention to the crazy stuff they are having you do… yeah… it was one of those days today! We did stuff I NEVER thought would be possible. bridges off foam things, marching on one of those big exercise balls… at one point I was on my hands and knees on the ground… with two smooshy playground balls underneath my knees doing a modified mountain climber ( that’s the best way I can think to explain it). It was UGLY… arms shaking… desperately trying to tighten abs, glutes, and ANYTHING else I could find to keep from falling over.. it was ugly, but I did it. ( Thankfully that was also the LAST thing we did!) My body is tired… totally worn out, but NOT in one big spasm. While I was catching my breath and resting from the insanity before I stood up my PT made the observation that it was probably a good thing very few patients had evening PT times because if they saw what he asked me to do they might cry and never come back! I pointed to the company slogan,” get busy living” and pointed out that my idea of living was much more adventurous than most. He agreed. I said the only thing that concerns me at this point is that those darn glutes are still so weak in places and the constant low hum or the mediums and minimus and or the hip flexors…. we both think that will end when I have even better strength than I do now…. I am trusting he is right… he has been so far and it seems silly to stop trusting him now! He asked if I am ready for the end…. and for the first time… I didn’t’ freak out. There was no pit in my stomach saying I am not far enough… I am not strong enough…. the end isn’t right now… but for the first time ever the idea of being “done” with Physical therapy doesn’t scare me that I will have to figure it out on my own…. because I really will be “done.”
We revisited the idea of clay again today. He said it’s a piece of art taking form… the clay is sturdy now and holding form… not like earlier when the clay was so soft it would run…. I am happy to be someones work of art.
29 weeks 1 day
ouch. ouch. ouch. Sore, very very sore- NOT increased pain, but so very very sore! Everything is sore, shoulders, sides, tummy, low back, butt hurts… quads…. we defiantly worked EVERYTHING yesterday! Even though I took it easy today and laid low, rolled on a foam roller and tennis balls and all that stuff its NOT the same as it was before…. my butt is but the rest of me isn’t. I am so excited that today feels like I worked out – not like I was in PT fighting to regain the ability to walk and do simple tasks. THIS feeling is like I am trying to rebuild a body so that I can live and be active! Weeks ago when we reevaluated goals I said that I wanted to be able to take a class at a gym and not break down muscle wise… this is the start of that, and while soaking in ben-gay sounds like a good plan… I KNOW that this is the start of real mobility.
Wanted to swim today, but I didn’t… it would have broken me down further, and I need muscles to go back to not being sore…. the fact that they still ache 24 hours later means we did too much, so we will scale back next time, but since we upped PT I DID NOT push it today and that choice means that I am not in increased pain. If I had gone for a swim or cleaned the house or done a ton of shopping I wouldn’t be feeling this good. So yes it’s still somewhat an either or BUT I am getting the rhythm of the balance.
29 weeks 3 days
So… there’s a few things to say today… me.. I am almost back to normal after PT 3 days ago. An excellent massage or 2 from my hubby and the hand held ultrasound machine I recently bought has really helped. Thanks Mel! (60 ish dollars on Amazon…. go check it out…) Today was a huge milestone for me. I went to church, then went with my son and hubby to see the last Harry Potter movie IN a THEATER. I think the last 2 movies I saw IN a theater were the 6th Harry Potter and Avatar, with the blue people. So this was a huge day because I wasn’t uncomfortable in the theater and I don’t feel like I have been through a war. I felt so normal that I even went to the grocery store, shopped for 45 minutes WITHOUT my kids…. put the groceries in the car, took them out of the car ND into the house AND put them away! I really should be jumping for joy… because that is all really monumental – heck it’s even a victory…. I think bike riding and flip turns are the only real tangible things that I haven’t tried or conquered yet. All that remains is that ever present hip burn. But all of today’s successes are a little overshadowed by some other stuff.
2 nights ago our daughter came to me complaining again that her butt hurt. Over the last few weeks she has complained of butt pain and on a few occasions asked us if we would pull on her leg. I brushed these requests off as the attention seeking behavior of a very smart little 8 year old that can explain some of the more common signs and symptoms of an SI patient. What I failed to see is that when I asked where her pain was she was pointing to her piriformis…. that both her Daddy and I have noticed for years that her hamstrings were tight and her abdominals were weak… but the icing on the cake was when the kids and Dad got home from vacation and she said MOM it really really hurts! Sitting in the car for all the long drives it REALLY HURTS TO SIT DOWN! It feels like something is stuck up here ( points to right above her hip (iliac crest).
My stomach started churning, everything went hazy as I considered the thought that my beautiful, smart, active, daughter with nothing but her future in front of her, might have SI issues. The thought that she would ever feel a drop of the pain or fear I felt made me sick – like waves of bile crashing in my stomach. I’m usually good in panic situations, I tend to fall apart later. This was no exception. I pulled myself together and realized that just 4 days before I had been given all the tools I needed to check my daughter for alignment, correct her, and give it a go at fixing whatever I might find.
So I asked her to let me check a few things…. I started with the top of her hips, turned to her Dad and said… well…. I felt that bile creeping up my throat… he said Your right hand is defiantly higher… I continued checking.. ASIS, ribs, PSIS, ankles…. all read high on right…. I had her lay down and pulled at a 45 degree angle on both sides… rechecked all those spots and she was reading even…..I asked her to sit so I could check her sacrum for torsion. It’s a little harder to explain, but you put the fingers level on the sacrum and push in… your looking to see that the fingers are pressing into the skin evenly… one shouldn’t be deeper into the skin than the other… if it is then there is sacral torsion. Right thumb deeper means it’s turned to the left… left thumb deeper means it’s turned to the right… Erin’s was turned to the left, just like mine. I don’t know how to check for rotation, but I can comfortably assume she is right posterior left anterior. I corrected her sacrum by using the method I had just watched Vicki teach… I’ll try to find the words later to describe it, rechecked her and everything was level… we did resistance squeezes to set her pubs and then I sat in awe. In awe that I was able to find and correct my own child… that it was easy, and that I had JUST acquired the confidence and know how to do it. I was also in awe of how normal this was for her.
Over the last few days we have had a chance to kind of take it in and talk through some things. In some Mommy and Daughter time yesterday she let me know she wasn’t worried at all because I was her Mommy and I knew just what to do…. Like I was passing on a cookie recipe or something… she also added that I knew where to go for help… my PT, who she adores, She actually WANTS to go see him, that was until I told her he’s have to stretch her hamstrings… she has already found how unpleasant that is! Her last comment on the subject before asking for ice cream was… if it all doesn’t work… and you and your PT can’t fix me… we already know where to go… Ms. Vicki will help us and then we can both have screws in our bottoms! ( But I think I need to finish growing first!)
THIS clarity of process that my 8 year old has… THIS is how it should be to our medical professionals. It should be THIS easy for anyone! and that makes me angry. She has a well physical scheduled for Monday… we scheduled it 6 months ago. I am tempted to have her recite her symptoms to our Dr. and see what he suggests and then SHOW HIM her malalignment. We have been following the program of correcting 3-4 times a day… any time she is active she’s out. (time to get the Lukeotape) We started light strengthening and stretching…. that was another OMG moment… I asked her if she could squeeze her muscles to stop her pee ( kegles to you and me). She said no… she then told me she often has trouble when she needs to go bad she can’t always hold it in and she dribbles…. her bridges were wobbly and as I was running her through the exercises I saw that my beautiful girl who looks just like me did indeed look just like me…
I’ve written Vicki to see what her take on children with SI issues is, I will fill my PT in when I see him next, and I have talked with a friend that is a pediatric PT… I wish I could tell you all with certainty what caused this in Erin, but I can’t… is it her ligaments are loose because she is a child? Is it hereditary and her Si joints are smoother than the average bear, is it because of muscle imbalances? I don’t know… But I know this… I will correct her as often as I need to, and I will help her in any way I can… because she’s right, I do know what to do. So for the next 6-8 weeks I have a PT buddy, and we make noises doing our angry cats and fat cows. and she says MEEP like Beaker from the Muppets when the stretch is too much, and I can tell her.. I know EXACTLY how you feel, and she knows it’s true.
If I doubted for a single moment that I am suppose to press on and go to PTA school… I think that doubt is gone.
29 weeks 5 days
Today is a great example of my life at just over 6 months post op. I woke up feeling good… The body creaks a little when I get up… I don’t know if that’s being 37 or recovery 🙂 Got the house going… that’s code for wandering around a little bleary eyed realizing that I just started a diet yesterday and should skip my creamer with a little coffee…… was watching a friends kiddos today so got them in and everyone feed. Adjusted my daughter, and went back upstairs to do a yoga video… my first try… it was hard, and I stopped at the standing exercises. I am aware that I have PT today and still need to maintain balance. Finished rest of video and got ready for the day, shower and the whole deal. Hung out in the kitchen while the kids played around me, sent them off to the park and then looked over at my fish tank. It’s a beautiful tank… saltwater, and I love it…. but it is in really really sad shape right now… so I start thinking ( as I put in a load of laundry) that I should rip the tank apart and redo it …… give it a good cleaning…. then I thought about balance again…. I CAN do it… but I can’t do it and expect to be ready for PT. So I opted for some smaller cleaning tasks and not changing 100 gallons of water and moving 90 lb of rock around…. I did do that prior to surgery and it was always horribly horribly painful. The yoga video no…. it was too hard.
But you see that was all before NOON! At noon I took the kids out to lunch and then we even went for ice cream at a second place… again NEVER would have happened before surgery, i cou;dnt’ have done it. Two stops at once… and eating IN the resturant… too hard, too much time… too uncomfertable with too much pain…
Now it’s 3:00, the kids are downstairs, I iced for 20 minutes and will head off to PT in about an hour and have my butt worked off…. and then I’ll come home and eat possibly help fix dinner… and watch some tv, and then go to bed.
Especially now I see that there are all kinds of things I COULD do in a day, I have the capacity to do them, but I guard my energy and endurance so that I can still GAIN from PT. If I were to have futzed with the tank, on top of everything else, by the time I got into PT I’d have very little left to give…. That wouldn’t be helpful to me… so I make sure to protect that time and make sure that I can give it my all.
In other parts of my life… I started a diet yesterday. The 17 day diet… I don’t really believe in diets, I believe in eating healthy normal portions… but since surgery have had to pour all my discipline into my body in a different way… not by watching what I put in my mouth… couldn’t handle it… needed comfort foods and just decided that was going to be ok until it wasn’t. Well now it isn’t 😉 I needed something stupid proof… just tell me what to eat and when to eat it and I will. The idea is a lower carb diet for 17 days to jump start weight loss and “cleanse” the body. I read the book… honestly I dont’ know what I think other than it tells me what to eat… I’m ready for that. So for the first time ever I am following a diet book. I managed to just say no to Taco Bell ( my fav fast food) AND Baskin Robbinstoday… took the kids and their friends and drank my water while they ate. So for 16 more days I’ll see how this goes and how I feel… then maybe I’ll move on to the next 17 days. So here are the stats for those that are number people.
Weight prior to surgery -160 Weight now -180 goal weight -155
We shall see how it goes.