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Week 32-33

32 weeks and 1 day

Holy Cow! I never thought I’d make it… but I did. 3 days of classes, 5 loads of dishes, 5 loads of laundry, 2,550 yards in the pool, 1 PT session, 1 yoga video, 150 flash cards, kids to and from swim clinic, and school, 2 dinners ( my husband has cooked the rest), and a little hubby time…. all this week!!!!!!!

Not to mention the moments of tears, fears, smiles, and joys…. I think I have had every emotion known to man this week. The real kicker is that I only have increased pain from my swims… a 1250 and 1300 on two different days…. my shoulder is continuing to pop out do to muscle imbalances… it’s not REALLY popping out, but it is shifting in the socket. The day after I swim it really hurts… so guess what…. at home exercises and stretches…. back of shoulders too strong front of shoulders to weak + pulling bones around and causing pain and dysfunction. Doesn’t really help that when I lay down to write I jam the shoulder further out of wack by the way I am laying… so I have to stop that…. time to learn new taping method I think…. I’ll ask about that on Tuesday.

But the butt…. it wasn’t thrilled Tuesday with sitting 8-2…. that’s travel plus class… I was VERY happy to NOT be bend at the groin for a little bit before therapy… I was tighter than I had been in awhile. The dull aching pain of the medius and minimus is continuing to drift lower and lower. It still needs work, I can tell when Hubby or PT push into them… produces a HEY TOP THAT feeling. but that’s why I am still working on strengthening and all that good stuff at PT. Lots and LOTS of motion with resistance and weights these days. I like the challenge, but boy it makes me REALLY tired. I look forward to the day it’s hard for him to wear me out. It is taking longer and requires a higher level of function to wear muscles out and for that I am very happy!

I am not really mad at my body this week. I am pretty amazed at it. I iced and heated things at night and sometimes while I studied… not sure if that was out of habit or necessity…. it sure feels good after I swim though. Yesterday on my swim a nice woman and her daughter got in and swam next to me… the mom commented that my stroke looked wonderful and wanted to know how far I had gone ( we started about the same time.) I told her and she said join us we are trying to hit a mile in under 30 minutes! ( that’s a 1650) only 350 more than I had done…. I WANTED to join her so so bad… but I promised if my butt r shoulder hurt I’d stop…. wouldn’t you know it my butt was fine… it was the silly shoulder that kept me from hitting that mile stone! But it was nice to have someone recognize that my stroke was still together after 1300 yards! That tells me I am making progress, and LOTS of it!

I also have not taken any meds in about 3 weeks. No muscle relaxants, anti- inflammatory… nothing. And it is sooo freeing! I am glad i took them as long s I did, it was needed, and now it’s not, and again, THAT is progress.

I go back to Georgia in a few weeks… it’s on my mind with all the school and stuff… but 2 exciting things are going to happen. 1. Vicki Sims invited me to take her SI class with PT’s. How could I resist. I couldn’t. Thanks to my brother he shared air-miles with me and was able to get me flights to and from… now I just need to book my hotel and figure out transportation and I am good to go. My head will be spinning again with information, but this time I promise to at least share SOMETHING while I am there… I haven’t forgotten I need a summary of my time last time I GA! 2. I will finally get to meet a fellow SIJD friend that had her surgery done without proper alignment and has been in pain for the last 8-9 months… she had her surgery a few weeks before me and we have traveled the road together…. She JUST had her surgery redone on Tuesday By Dr. Weiss and Vicki Sims… she’s recovering now and I can not WAIT to meet her. I look forward to spending time with her and rejoicing over all that God has done to get her here and FINALLY heal her! I just wish I had the whole weekend to spend with her… but sadly I do not… but I will make the most of every minute with her and I can’t wait.

I’ve been all over the map this week trying to figure out if I can do this… I am not sure if I can or not, but I hold tight to I believe with all my heart that God has called me here and even though I feel like chaos in my head, I am at peace… while I was driving home from school on Tuesday I heard this song…. it’s so true and so hopeful.

My body did not fail me, my family continues to support me, my PT continues to make my body work better, and I hopefully continue to share what I am learning and feeling… good and bad… messy or not… it’s me… and I am thrilled to share it with you!

\”Whatever you\’re doing\” By Sanctus Real Give it a listen… it’s worth it 😀

32 weeks 3 days
This weekend was a nice slow hanging out not studying to much kind of a weekend. It was so nice. I enjoyed every moment of NOT doing. OK… I did study my flash cards a lot, but that’s the way it’s going to be this semester… me walking around with flash cards in my purse… I suppose it’s better than a tens unit right!!!!
I still need to get in some kind of work out today… not swimming sadly. My shoulder was really giving me trouble and I asked for help from some other SI patients to help me find a video of a taping technique we thought might work. I am grateful that others were there with experience to offer me a few different patterns! I combined 2 and got the shoulder to stay put and had a lovely nights sleep!

Really- the shoulder pain was worse than the cravings for bread at the start of the 17 day diet! Which by the way I have been on for 21 days now.. I am in cycle 2 and get to add 2 servings of whole grains and LEAN BEEF… I am a steak girl so I was more than happy to add that in! I am down 12 lbs and VERY happy about that.

32 weeks 5 days

I am laughing as I sit down to type this… kids are packing lunches, books are calling me to study, dog is whining, and the dryer is buzzing. I think those are the sounds of a normal active household! It is my long school day as well as my PT day. So many good things on my mind… but I still find comments and interactions with the PT to be the most thought provoking. So lets start there.

hanging out with my family – first cool evening and we made a fire and smores!

You NEVER could have handled this before surgery…. referring to my taking classes, and really my current lifestyle in general. It was connected to a conversation about fatigue and when should I come to PT since I am a mental mess at the end of my classes on Tuesday – BUT so happy to get in there where someone else tells ME what to do and for a minute I don’t have to think so hard! Anyway it was SUCH an encouraging comment…. with all the baby steps sometimes I forget where we started this thing…. a few MONTHS ago I couldn’t have done this, and honestly I am thrilled and amazed that I AM handling it!
For the last several weeks I have been exercising 3ish times a week… 2 in the pool and yoga or walking – all about 20-30 minutes each…. ok it’s not an hour class at the gym like some of my girl friends, or 2,000+ yards in the pool ( still done by people my age). BUT it sure has heck beats not being able to walk to the mail box!!!!!

I’m not gonna sugar coat it… Tuesdays are hard… 8-2 sitting… either in class or in the car.. yeah adductors and hip flexors take turns getting tight and fighting for attention… yes due to weak glutes… and since I have a nice 15 minute brisk walk to and from class. The tightness is way less than it was even a few months. But it’s still annoying and I want it to be done with. I know I need to walk more, but I just hate how it irritates the giant knot near the sacrum…. ( this is me avoiding things that I just feel are too hard and not worth working on… I mean I don’t want to RUN or anything, an I CAN get to the mail box pain free….) you can see how maybe this is NOT the best plan… yeah, me too… so I figure if I swim twice a week I can certainly walk twice a week… that should help shore up more of that silly glute.

The last 2 Tuesday’s I have come in pretty taxed already after that long day at school and right on the brink of my limits physically for what he has been having me do. I can feel it now, where before I never could. He will ask me to do something and I usually have a decent idea that 3 sets of 10 isn’t going to happen… maybe 2 and a half… but I’ve been wrong before so I always try… sometimes I will say… I don’t think these are going to be pretty. He usually follows that with – your right, they weren’t….
So we talked about timing of PT… I wondered if should go on a different day when I wasn’t so broken down… or if this was actually a better use of time… so instead of stressing the tar out of me and beating me up for a half hour to break me down, I already come in mostly tired. We agreed for now this was a better use of our time. That way we can build from the weakest point. I think that makes sense for now… plus it leaves more time for other body parts and aches and pains…

Sadly that dumb shoulder is still not staying seated correctly… anterior deltoid weak … tight trap… tight shoulder capsule… all as a result of…. SPORT INJURY! WOO HOOO! NOT SI or hypermobile issues! ( I asked today, not hypermobile anywhere but that Si joints and now not hypermobile there either… I was kinda glad to hear this.) So there was stretching and more strengthening and a conversation about … am I trying to live like I did when I was a young swimmer…. it was part question part admonishment…. I had to claim unfair assessment! Yes, I want to be active and swim… but I have other former swimmer friends in my age bracket that swim 2,000ish yards multiple times a week. If I were pushing for a time, or more yardage, or racing ( which I might down the line, but not now.) or wanting to spend 2.5 hours in the water… well then maybe that would be fair… but I’m saying nope it’s a misunderstanding of a swimmer swimming… On the upside, he did say, Aim, I expect this to resolve soon enough… you just need more strength to keep the shoulder stable… ( I was so thankful he didn’t use the word weak!) It does hurt like heck though. Before I started anything else today I asked him to put my shoulder back where it’s suppose to be. He worked on it for a long time with lots of resistance… I always have trouble figuring out how hard I am suppose to push… is it suppose to hurt when I do it or not? Apparently not 😉

My aches and pains are intermittent now… nothing really “stays” around long as long as I am aware of it. It’s kinda like a rotating circus a little… tfl here, it band there, shoulder, neck, hip, butt…. it’s pain that comes and goes with activity – spending on what I am doing, and then leaves as I change position, stretch, or roll on my foam roller…. yup still have that love hate thing with it! I occasionally use a tens unit on various body parts, especially after exercise… I foam roll a little of everything for about 15 minutes at the start of my day and 20 or so at the end. I still do at home PT stuff… some of the simpler things to maintain whatever we didn’t focus on at PT… been neglecting the abs again and that seemed to be noticed today 😉 Where sometimes this exhausts me, the lack of constant pain in any one area encourages me to be that well rounded Venus… well even she has a little bit of a tummy 😉 but it’s more like exercise now and not fighting for exsitance… don’t get me wrong, I have to fight with all I have when I am at PT to do stuff right, to make sure I am engaging the right stuff… and i don’t always feel like I am, especially when tired… but he keeps telling me that he throws harder and harder things at me and I keep rising to the challenge.

Personally I am just amazed that it’s 8:00 at night and I only took a 30ish minute nap after school and before PT and other than that I have been up since 7:00 am! It’s good. I think I like this part of recovery 🙂

32 weeks 6 days
Funny story about finding parts of myself that got lost in all the yoga pants, ultrasound gel, and the smell of menthol….
I think it’s safe to say that my concept of myself as a sexual being, or female, or attractive went away a long time ago. It’s not that I haven’t been intimate with my husband over all these long years. I have… but it was not exactly the same as when we were in the before kids phase. I often figured that part of my view of myself was the mom thing and not the pain thing… but when I started exchanging the smell of baby spit up for the smell of Ben-gay… well… let’s just say there was not a whole lot of I feel sexy time in between the kids and the disabling and downhill slide of my Si issues. Sex has ALWAYS been painful… sometimes during, ALWAYS after… those muscle spams that are intended to bring pleasure… yeah well… the locked everything in my up… it was HORRIBLE. It got to a point in the last few years before surgery that my husband and I both hated to even mention it it caused so much pain. I was still attracted to my husband. I still loved him desperately, and there were times I even longed and needed the closeness that intimacy brings… but it pretty much always ended in tears and an emergency phone call the next morning to see the PT.

I’ll never forget the first time I called… I KNEW I was “out” worse than I had ever been, and all the muscles in the glutes and low back were firing like crazy and muscle relaxants hadn’t stopped it…. I had been going there for about 4-5 months and I called and begged the office gal to get me in with my PT… I hobbled… and that’s a generous description… into the office and they immediately let me back into the exam room… I was barraged by questions from my PT… WHAT did you do to get like this! I’ve never seen you this bad… don’t EVER do what ever it was you did again.. holy cow… we need to put this fire out and lets talk about this…… oh I was fire engine red…. I knew I needed to tell him, but every other Dr I had ever told just kinda nodded and smiled and never gave me any help…. what if my PT did the same….

I was face down on the table and he was working on me… trying to relax any of the muscles that were screaming at me. and in a quieter voice asked again… so can you tell me what you did to get like this…. I turned my face to the wall… I took in a deep breath and said… I had sex with my husband last night….. and held my breath. Compassion just poured out of that man at that point. ( It was also the point that I completely trusted him and was willing to walk through fire with him to get better.) We had an extremely helpful but horribly awkward conversation about positions…. without too much detail, lets just say that I leaned it’s important to make sure the SI joint is supported.. and if the SI patient is on top… well the joint is open and vulnerable and it is a really bad plan… After restoring me to walking and putting my joint back in place and taping me up I went home to rest. When I came in for my next appointment he came in with a few sheets of paper and said told me had had looked into ways to make this “activity” more bearable and not put so much stress on my SI joint… he handled the conversation in SUCH a professional manner and REALLY heard my cry for help. He has been the one and only medical professional to honestly have a conversation with me about the pain that I felt during intercourse… specifically orgasm… and the horrible disabling pain that I felt afterward. Not only did he listen he helped. Here is what he shared with me.

From a book written by Lauren Hebert, PT called sex and pack pain:
– link to the book 😀
Question: I Have Sacroiliac Joint Instability. How Can I Avoid Back Pain During Sex?

People with sacroiliac joint problems and pain on one side of the body may benefit from bending one leg up during sex. Answer: According to Lauren Hebert, a physical therapist and author of “Sex and Back Pain,” 80 percent of people with sacroiliac joint instability find relief from their symptoms when the hip relaxes backward. This can be accomplished by bending the leg on the painful side at the hip.

If you are on the bottom: For the one on the bottom, the missionary position can be modified so that one leg is bent up, resting on the outside of your partner’s leg. Another possibility is to sit at the edge of a chair with the leg on the painful side up so that the heel can be placed on the seat of the chair. The other foot is placed on the floor. The top partner kneels on the floor and enters from the front.

If you are on the top: The missionary position can be modified for the top partner who has pain on one side by propping the bottom partner up with pillows. That way you can lay on top with your leg on the painful side bent.

For Both: This option is a good one for developing emotional intimacy. Both partners can lie on their sides, with one facing the other. If you are on top, place a bent leg under your partner’s (closest) leg, which should be bent.

Sources: Hebert, Lauren, A., P.T. (2001). Sex and Back Pain. Greenville, ME: IMPACC USA. White, A., III, M.D. (1990). Your Aching Back: A Doctor’s Guide to Relief. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster/Fireside. Kisner, C., & Colby, L.A. (2002). Therapeutic Exercise: Foundations and Techniques.Philadelphia: F.A. Davis Company.

Stretching after with the help of your partner, massage, and ice were also things that helped… as well as timing intimacy with PT visits… ya know so you don’t have to call for emergency sessions.

Anyway that’s not exactly where I thought this entry was going to go… but for the last 2 years intimacy has been… welll.. very rare. For the pain, and the fact that I didn’t really even feel like I woman anymore. I just felt like a big huge blob of pain. Add in the nursing home smell the living in yoga pants and t-shirts… and it’s just not real conducive to a “sexy” feel.

In the last few weeks I find I am willing to try on clothes, shoes, and WANT to wear dresses. I WANT to feel pretty, to feel feminine… to redefine who THAT part of me is a little. My husband will be the first to tell you that I have never been quick to pick up on the advances or interest of other men… when we first started dating it was a joke at how blind I tended to be to those kinds of things… But here I am sitting in my very first day of class last week and this man keeps staring back at me and smiling. I smile back because it’s obvious we are the 2 “second career” people in the room… BOY those 18 year olds look young!!!!!!!! Anyway I’m minding my own business and after class he comes up and starts getting all chatty with me. I’m thinking it’s due to both of us being older.. .I mean really it’s lonely out there in the world of Ipods and smart phones! He makes a few innocentish comments about I can’t be old enough to be a second career person ect… I inform him I’m 37 and have 2 kids… old as dirt…. he is surprised that I am “close to his age”. After a few minutes I excuse myself and head home.. thinking… I think that guy just hit on me…. weird… why would anyone do that… maybe he’s just overly friendly…. I mean I talk to strangers all the time and I am not flirting or hitting on them….
So this week- well let’s just say I was SURE he was hitting on me… comments about how pretty I was and in shape… that alone made me laugh… but flattering none the less…. I blushed… I remember sitting there thinking.. ok yeah you’d likely be arrested for hitting on anyone else in the class, but ME…. Ms. yoga pant wearing, ultrasound goo, smells like ben-gay… married mom of two… interesting choice…. and yes, I did remind him I am happily married with kids. He get’s it, but I think he will remain overly friendly guy (OFG).

It made me realize that I really haven’t been seeing myself as a Female yet. That I am a woman, with desires beyond just getting out of pain… that I am still a sexual being and that it’s ok to allow that to start to wake. That dresses and toenail polish and whatever else makes me feel pretty and reconnect with who I am as a woman is also a part of my journey. The fact this overly friendly man took a moment to tease me and flirt with me opened up this whole world of that that I STILL was missing part of what makes me ME. That my sexual being is still pretty asleep, and scared. There were a lot of years that showed me sex is painful… it’s hard to undo that connection…. we are BOTH still timid about it. Time and effort will continue to change that dynamic in the relationship with my husband and I… I know it will because we love each other so much, but for him too… I am transitioning from patient to person :). He never say me as just a huge ball of pain, but he never wants to cause me pain. So thanks OFG, you helped me see that there is still more to me that needs to awaken and be considered as part of healing as a whole person.

33weeks 4 days

Sometimes life sucks… a lot.
Went to church yesterday to a WONDERFUL sermon on a topic that has been tumbling around in my head, and I even posted on this week. Yeah the sermon was on Original sex…. God’s plan for sex and how it was suppose to work and not the fake imitations that we have bought into. Well done sermon by our pastor… he was relevant, honest, and biblical. I love when a pastor makes me think… but he might have touched a nerve or several million in me… well ok he was just the Messenger poor Mike… before I forget here is a link to the sermon should you want to hear it -sermon called Original Sex..

Anyway at one point he was like men have sex with your wives… wives have sex with your husbands… that’s the way it’s suppose to work… short times of abstaining are fine… but have sex….. at one point he actually challenged the congregation – to all the married folks to have sex every day for 30 days… I just looked at Ben with tears in my eyes. I was so overcome in so many ways. I still can’t really put it all in words. I know that is what God wishes for us… I know its healthy and important… and no matter what the reason a marriage without sexual intimacy does suffer… but OH how I wish our Pastor had addressed the physically disabled… what are we suppose to do? How are we suppose to give of ourselves in a sexual relationship while it destroys our bodies?

I don’t think this is what God asks of us for those that are thinking my Pastor is a horrible man… I just think it’s one of those grey areas of faith… there are the things God knows is best for us, and so he tells us that… and then there is the reality of living in a broken world that makes best sometimes impossible…

All I know is the resulting feeling was inadequacy… looking back and still…. deficiency…. yeah…. that just kinda sucks, like I said….

it will sort out in time as the rest of this recovery has… I will once again figure out how to be a sexual person that isn’t afraid to act on desire, that doesn’t question my worth or beauty, or desirability… but just like all things I think that is going to be a work in progress and I am just at the start. All I can say to encourage myself is – well, at least I started!

33 weeks 5 days

Just a moment I never want to forget from PT this evening….
Sitting on the treatment table with ice under my butt I ask… do you ever think that knot in my rear end will ever go away?
His response: Oh, Aim.. that’s nothing… it’s already smaller than it use to be… of course it will go away..
Me: Well… I figure I can’t get out of 18 years of this without some kind of parting gift or permanent something or other… right?
Him: Long thoughtful pause….. I think when your done here there won’t be ANYTHING you can’t do! Well except bungee jump…

Tears welled in my eyes as I thought about the impact of what he had just said to me… while I have no idea what a normal life is like… or even how to start to put that into context….. I think that is one of the sweetest sentences that I have heard in a long long time…

33 weeks 6 days

I hate my menstrual cycle… hate it…. a lot.
There have been a number of times I would have been happy to trade in body parts thought the years with this dysfunction… I still think one of my questions should I get a face to face with God will be… why… why did you make the piriformis muscle and WHAT s with all the pain that dumb muscles causes! But the whole cycle thing…. there are so many reasons to dislike it!!!!!!
I mean sure glad that we can make babies and stuff and I am sure there are many positive reasons for it but being done with the babies…. I kinda wish I could make it go away!
It has come up over and over again in the recovery process with so many women – we feel worse around the time of our cycle!!!!! In the early months of recovery it really felt like taking an entire flight of stairs backward until everything calmed down again… tissue flares, weakness, the whole nine it always equaled down time and INCREASED pain. Hate that. Irritating, annoying, frustrating.

Now that I am stronger it doesn’t knock me on my rear end like it use too, but it’s still my weakest feeling time of the month… that knot in my rear tends to be more noticeable, and I fatigue faster, and mostly I am just glad when it’s over

and as a friend of mine says… double blurgh to weight loss platue…. Fell of the carb wagon… must regroup and try again…. not gaining ( so that’s progress) but not losing either….

It’s really hard work trying to be an emotionally, spiritually, sexually, and physically, balanced person!!!!! So much thought and pacing/balancing/ restraint is involved…. I think I need a Caribbean vacation with JUST my hubbby!

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