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week 40-41

40 weeks

Long enough to have grown a baby and be giving birth to an entirely new human being….. really stunning when you think about it. Long enough to have 2 cells turn into an entirely new and independent human being. Trying to take that in today.

Today was a really normal day and I don’t think I have outlined a day in awhile so here we go….
Our son had a bad dream and ended up in our bed at some point in the ungodly hour of the morning – which woke me, but then I feel back asleep until the alarm started blaring at me. Pain no longer wakes me in the night reminding me meds have worn off. I also didn’t wake up because the mattress and been moved by the addition of my sons body weight which would have stressed my SI joint and had me unable to go back to sleep 40 weeks ago.

7:00 alarm goes off- hit snooze ( time is no longer the enemy it once was… I move faster than I use to.
7:15 out of bed – get dressed and take Vit D and thyroid meds ( the only ones I am on now) and 1000 mg of Tylenol… the PT worked me out VERY hard on Tues and I am not totally recovered.. muscles still very tender and sore… and need to go to class.)
Hop on FB see what my friends have said
7:30 go into kids rooms and wake them up… I climb into beds where before I couldn’t it was too hard to move that much. While kids are getting moving I foam roll my t-spine, and stretch whatever happens to be tight that morning ( this morning it was hamstrings.)
7:45 – down stairs for breakfast – help kids get whatever they need, make sure school stuff is ready , yell about shoes and lunches – good old mom stuff! BUT I am up and ready and NOT going back to bed nor counting the moments until I get there!

8:15 out the door to school for all of us!
1 hour drive to class
1 hr 15 min in class with about a half mile walk to class from the parking lot – this is easy now, at the start of the semester it was still kinda breath holding and took me linger to walk.
1 hr drive home.

I went from class to the gym so at 12:00 I got on the treadmill and walked at a 3.0 for 25 minutes…. until my glute max didn’t really seem to want to contract every time. I am sure the guys behind me thought I was hysterical as I kept putting my hand at the underside of the cheek where it meets the leg…. just checking for that contraction!
( I have not walked this fast for this long – it was a real victory to walk at that pace for that long! ) however I was disappointed when the 80 something year old man got on the treadmill and started at a 3.0… he had no need to work up to it in the first 5 minuets of his walk…. *sigh* that’s where I get knocked down a little. I FEEL like HEY this is normal – look at what I am doing, look how FAR I have come… and then the little old people that look like they might fall over out pace me….. it gets hard to keep prescriptive in those moments!

After my walk I went and stretched at the gym… and surveyed what I will have to work with after next week.
I found lots of “tools” like at the PT office, plenty of things to balance on and plenty of things to lift, and big ol yoga balls in every size. They even have the TRX system…. ( Oh favorite PT of mine, I hope you didn’t read this because I am NOT so sure I am going to tell you that right away ;))

about 12:45 I got home, showered and foam rolled that t-spine again. I am 98% positive I have a facet in my upper t-spine that doesn’t want to stay in it’s neutral position and it’s twisting a bit putting some tension on some upper back/shoulder muscles. I can here the pop when I roll it out and after I roll I feel more level in the shoulders. This time I did a few exercise for upper body and then grabbed my flash cards to stretch again. total time about 20 minutes.

Then I sat down to do some computer work and study until the kids get home from school at about 3:20ish

3:30 window guy comes and I listen to his deal…
4:30- get kids ready for swim team and take care of pets… feed, water ect- lots of bending and picking up ect.
5:30 – now I am upstairs on a heating pad to try and loosen up those darn hamstrings and update this journal. ( I am hoping that the are back to “normal” tomorrow.

The rest of my evening will be studying and dinner for the kids and at about 8:00 I will do all my ab work as well as my other strength stuff mostly for lower body and core. that will take about 35 minutes maybe more depending on what I do and then another time of rolling out t-spine and stretching, while we watch tv and then bed and do it all over again tomorrow.

I am pleased that even though I am tight and sore I still went to the gym, and it didn’t stop me from any part of my day. This really is victory, and a huge one.

I keep trying to push my limits and see what happens when I walk faster, swim longer, do more laundry , move faster, rest less….. I do sometimes generate pain and inflammation when I “step it up”. It frustrates me and reminds me my body is not done. BUT I am totally functional.

I am within 8 lbs of my goal weight and very excited about that. I had to take a break from my “diet” and just allow myself to get out of the emotional funk. I feel better about my body and it’s shape and they way I feel in it.

I think my butt pain is even less than it was 3-4 weeks ago…. I think it related to my ab strength, which is what was most neglected by me at home in my rehab. It’s just hard to stay on top of ALL of it all the time…. so getting the glutes working really became my top priority and keeping the t-spine and shoulder stuff under-control so that my head didn’t feel like it was going to be squeezed off!

I haven’t ridden my bike, but that’s ok. It will happen… the weather is turning cold and I “could” ask my hubby to get it down just to try it out… I feel safe enough and strong enough to at least ride it around the block now!

In the pool I actually started working with speeds and distances and THAT felt really good- being able to change speeds because I HAD enough muscle to do it… and it actually raised my heart rate for a change!

So there are a lot of things to feel good about.

Other realities….

I don’t use that foam roller just for fun, it keeps me as highly functional as I am… when I look at the commonly affected muscles from a malaligned pelvis… I can still say those muscles are the ones that I need to pay attention too. It would be very very easy to just stop here and allow life to be “normal” with no more strengthening or stretching, and I am sure that I would end up with pain again later. I am SO much closer to balanced than before, and frankly there are millions of people out there that walk around with muscle imbalances every day. My very own husband is one of them. I can see it in his gait and in his aches and pains when he shares. He’s not a big train wreck of a mess, but I can see that I am more like normal people now. I hate that the places are the same, but the balance beam is so much closer to even than where we started this journey…. but that perspective is hard to hang on to at times!

There are probably a lot of people that if they were IN my body would be like – WHAT is your issue, your fine! But I was a finely tuned machine at one point… I can feel the imbalances and how it cause my body to adjust and I can feel the inflammation in certain parts…. I’m just gonna keep working that out because it makes ME feel better.

My favortiest PT and I have 1 more official session next week. He told me that I would be graduation. My heart still swells with joy as I write that. I ‘m not failing out of PT, or being released, I am graduating! He has been working on an at home plan for me and has been pushing me hard the last 3 weeks (well ok the last 9 months!) but I have a renewed confidence that my body can handle it, that I will keep pushing myself, and that if anything goes wrong he will be there to help.

In one of our recent conversations we were doing the tv show flash backs to how far I have come…. it was only then that he realized for 16 years I managed my Si issues on my own…. without help, with out input, and learning on my own off the base that my first PT gave me…. What that moment did for me was make it REALLY clear why I freaked out about having to do this on my own and solve issues and figure out how to strengthen and stretch…. I left the office very clear that all I have to do is pick up the phone and call and I will never have to be alone in this again, there will always be a medical professional out there that will help me answer my questions. It’s a lot easier to breath and head out into the sunset knowing that there is a home that I can go back to if I need it.

I also learned that my family is still pretty hyper tuned into my body and it’s pain…. we were all hanging out downstairs around the fireplace and I needed to go foam roll – I really try to do all that upstairs away from the family so that they don’t see the faces or hear the sounds that come with the sometimes painful rolling…..
My son REALLY wanted me to stay downstairs so he ran up , grabbed the foam roller, brought it down and said here just do it here! I warned them that it’s not always pretty and sometimes painful – and started and we were all talking … well I hit a spot that REALLY hurt and I yelped and bore down and when I looked up after the knot had melted my son looked like he had seen a ghost and my daughter was crying……
they both ran to me and asked if I was ok… I was not getting it… then my little girl looked at me and said MOM are you broken again?! Do you hurt real bad?! Should I get you ice? Can you move?!

It was heart breaking. It was breath taking… and it showed me that there is all kinds of healing that will continue to happen within my body and within my family. We were all affected and we are all healing and all learning to trust my body again.

 

THE BLOG IS BACK UP!!!!!!!!!!

40 weeks 3 days

ARGGGGGGUUUUUHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!
I don’t want to write this, I don’t want to talk about this, I want to ignore it and pray to God it goes away… and I’ve been trying that over the last few days, and it’s not going away…. What you ask… this HORRID pain in my groin. The muscles are as tight as fully stretched rubber bands, it hurts to put clothes on or have it touched in ANY way shape or form and there is a big red hot knot about 2 inches down from where my leg meets the girl parts. I am trying HARD not to freak out. I am trying to tell myself that it’s just irritated; it’s just a strain… I can handle this, I am a big girl… I will get through this. I mean I have to right… I have 1 pt session left…. What other choices do I have?!

I hobbled around yesterday , and most of this morning… I can almost feel myself undoing MONTHS of hard work … my husband is not really digging the suck it up independence I am trying to show here…. He thinks I am being stupid and should call my PT, like I was told too if something happened….. But is this really something ? Does this qualify to call the poor man at home on a weekend or am I just freakin out? Is it as bad as I think it is… cause truth be told, I think it’s kinda bad… like the pain I am feeling is FAR higher than it should be and I KNOW I am swinging my leg around and screwing with the butt muscles.

But what else is he going to tell me to do other than stretch, rest, ice, tens, ultrasound, and heat…. Not in that order, but really… I can’t exercise it – I can’t stretch it… I CAN NOT massage it… in desperation I got on a foam roller…. NOT happening today – NOT.

So – in a moment of caring frustration my husband tossed the phone at me and said, unless you like walking with that “new tin leg again” I suggest you call you PT!”. So I did…. He told me I was doing all the right stuff – suggested I stay OFF of it – like WAY off of it…. And rest rest rest.

(Do you have ANY idea how much I hate hearing that these days? It’s like a horrid visceral reaction that the world is ending and I want to burst out crying.)

He told me he would cal land check on me later, I am pretty sure that was simply for me mental well being, but it was DEEPLY appreciated. I babied the groin all day, heat, ice, tens ultrasound….. tv…. Repeat…. Heat ice tens ultrasound….tv…… and when he called back there wasn’t a huge change in the way the muscle felt, but mentally I felt better – I realized that I was NOT going to be alone no matter what happens from the time I am released…. I still have a safety net if I need it.

I realize this may sound strange, but maybe not – I have always felt like when you get released it’s because they have no idea what else to do with you, or your better, so what would the point of calling be?! What are they going to do? How will they help? I admit, it was nice to have back up… to be told I was handling things right, and to just give it a bit. He told me to keep doing all the “foofy” stuff until I saw him Tuesday. So I will.

40 weeks 5 days

Its graduation day….. and it’s bitter sweet. But aren’t they always. I buy into the whole idea that graduation isn’t an ending… it’s more like a passageway from one stop to the next. But it’s a passageway that usually has cake, and I like cake!

I got a call asking me to come in later than normal and I was happy to oblige. My PT had an eval before me and since this stupid groin is still tender to touch I figured it’s not like we are going to be doing much anyway… and in the back of my mind I admit… I was a little worried that I might not even be graduating with this dumb thing.

I talked with one of the PTA’s there… Once I put my stuff down she said hello and said… “So you better yet?! “ I felt like someone had punched me in the gut…. Still not sure why that was such a blow, but it was… I stood there with the pain in my groin assessed the situation of what I was feeling in my body – which was really nothing other than the pain in my groin… looked at her and said… “Actually… yes, I think I am…” I trailed off… not really sure that any other answer would have been correct, and again grateful for my PT’s bedside manner. She then started talking about recoveries can be hard and long and I have worked hard and should be proud…. Some how it just wasn’t sinking in… I mostly just heard it’s about time your done…..

My PT came out and asked me to get comfy for heat…. It’s been MONTHS and MONTHS since we heated anything… I said sure… and hopped up on the table to be heated while he finished with the mystery eval.

I was sitting on the table, leg wrapped in heating pads contemplating what today would be like… it wasn’t going to be like I hoped… really hard exercises, me feeling REALLY strong and ready… It was going to be soft tissue work… trying to calm the groin down…. Talking… probably going over my at home plan…. I tried to take stock – I was ready, I was ok… I wasn’t going to be alone – I had back up ( you see this showing up all the time right… yeah… me too.) after realizing I was as mentally ready as I was capable of being I just kinda sat there and heard the consult conversation floating out the door……

It was a she, she was having back pain, she was active and frustrated. Mumbling…. A female voice full of gratitude… talk of stability… then she walked out of the office and I saw her.

It took my BREATH away and tears formed in the corner of my eyes…. Dressed in a ISU athletic sweats, hair in a ponytail…. She was ME 19 years ago. Literally 19 years ago… I was injured in late October of 1992 and in late Oct of 2011 I was graduating….. A young athlete, hurt, her athletic career on pause as she fought to get out of pain. I have no idea if this young lady has Si issues…. She is a gymnast and cheerleader…. It is certainly possible… all I could think is , you walked into the right office if it is dear.” The tears welled. I had come full circle again. This young woman took me all the way back to October of 1992 when I snapped those ligaments. Lost, afraid, with no idea what my life would be like and if I would ever live a normal life again… would I have hopes and dreams, and children? Would I be married? Would I even be able to finish college? Was it worth dreaming and hoping? I resolved then that I would be worth dreaming and hoping…. At 18-19 years old we are obviously much more resilient…. Life hasn’t knocked us down as much… but the feelings I had when I said goodbye to Anne, my first PT… they were so similar to the ones I was having today! I had to learn to trust again, to live again… and I did. I would continue to figure it out this time too.

And all that happened in about 15 minutes!!!!!

My PT time was great… painful but great.

It would seem somewhere a long the line I got a little tear in one of the adductors.. which is why it hurts so bad… I was not being a baby… or just freaking out. I was hurt, and the pain I felt was normal for what I did. This may seem like a weird thing to read, but I pretty much think I am always overreacting to things within my body. I feel like I have no idea how to respond to pain anymore… or how to respond appropriately. I am hoping that will come in time.

After MUCH digging, massaging, stretching… and the electric stim massage we finally called it a day. ( and here I thought there was NO way my PT could be any more up in my space than he already had over these long years… NOPE I was wrong…. Adductor massage brings a whole new level of awkward!) It made me laugh to know there were still things after all these years that were new.

We chatted as I iced down…. I felt amazed at all I had accomplished in the last 40 weeks…. I’ve been training for the marathon of life, and I feel good. I feel stronger than I have in a long time. I finally feel that EVEN WITH this stupid strain I am able to live.

(Yes, I’d be happier if I hadn’t just been benched from all exercise until this groin things heals… yes I am a little afraid that I am going to lose muscle tone while waiting for the strain to heal… BUT the difference is THIS TIME I know that even if I DO lose strength, I can build it up again and again and again. )

The Venus De Milo…. She’s beautiful, she’s strong, she is a work of art, but even she is not perfect! She was a mess when she was found and had to be put back together, parts were missing and she was never the same as when she was first created, but she remains an amazing piece of art, a masterpiece, even with out her arms, she is a vision and an inspiration, and a goddess…..

And now this masterpiece is finished… not perfect, but every bit as amazing and restored as the Venus De Milo… and I have my arms 😀
****Thank you “my PT” for giving me all you had and NEVER EVER EVER giving up on me. You being in m y life has changed me and the course of my life forever. I promise to repay you by paying it forward, by being flexible, by never leaving them in more pain than they came to see me, and trying to undo whatever I did… and having the will and perspective to see them through where they are to the next step. You have been an amazing teacher! Thank you.

41 weeks 4 days

Cinderella with BOTH her shoes- ok they aren’t glass slippers, but they ARE those cute heels!

It’s HALLOWEEN!!!!!!!!!
I am so excited this year for trick or treating! I feel like a little kid. Every year I take my meds, dress up like a drugged out Cinderella and walk a ways with my kids wanting the night to end….. and then pass out candy… or really telling my kids how GREAT it is to pass out candy so I don’t have to get up and down.

THIS year, we let our kids roam the “hood” with friends… don’t worry I live in suburbia…. There are kids at almost every house… and OH MY GOSH were they excited to go alone. So I stood in my heels, as Cinderella with my bowl of candy and could not wait for the little ones to come by. Seriously how cute is it that they think they are at Cinderlla’s house 😀 I love it. And this year I was up and down, kneeling, squatting, and ENJOYING the holiday.

 

41 weeks 6 days
Some days I have no idea how we endure… how we continue to get up and breath and go on…. But it’s hope… it’s the only thing that keeps us going.
I find myself talking more and more with other people that suffer from SI issues, it makes me want to get through school faster, to be able to suck up all the information and understand it via my finger tips, or putting my hand on the computer screen – really anything that will enable me to be of better support and assistance… I realize that I will never ever have all the answers, but I will be able to offer hope… and for today that has to be good enough, because there is nothing else I can really offer other than my shared story and the journey that I have been given.

I should be studying right now, and I am not… BUT I did clean my house. It’s been a wreck… nursing the strain, studying, Halloween and kids stuff….. yeah the house came in last… So today I’m all taped up and cleaning my house! I don’t worry about taping anymore… or my core shorts… or whatever I have to do to be ok and ensure I am ok. My small lingering pains are almost non noticeable anymore, but when they hollar for attention I deal with it, I don’t ignore butt pain.. I tape it. I ice it I heat it, I ask hubby to rub it…. Whatever it needs, I give it. I still believe some day it will end… I go multiple days now without it requiring anything… but climbing up and down bleachers and wearing high heels to be Cinderella… welll that requires a little attention.

I think the reason I no longer worry about that stuff is because I am more hopeful to day than I was yesterday, and yesterday was more hopeful than the one before.

No matter where you are in your journey, FIND the hope. Find the reason to draw that next breath and KEEP fighting!!!! You too can make it out of the pit of despair…. You too can make it, but you MUST have hope.


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