Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Back-tastrophe!

A couple of weeks ago, I started to develop a pain. It was in the lower part of my back, right around the waistline, not on my spine but to the left. Each day, it hurt worse than the last. I asked around about a masseuse and a few people recommended their chiropractor.

Then, quite quickly, it became so much worse. With each step I took, an excruciating pain would seize up in that spot, almost to the point of being stuck in whatever position I was currently in. In fact, there were several times I was stuck. Ryan would have to come and help me and, when he wasn’t there, I would have to find some way to crawl myself out of it. My record was a full three minutes trying to stand up from the toilet. Funny now, not so funny then!

It got to the point that I simply couldn’t do anything. If I dropped something, I couldn’t pick it up. I had a hard time getting into bed. I couldn’t sit, lay down or stand comfortably. And forget walking! That was the worst! My left leg, ankle and foot swelled up severely and nothing I did made it better.

I called the masseuse. She told me it was my hip separating and stretching and that the pain would only get worse as I got bigger. Only get worse??? Any worse and I would be completely incapacitated!

I went to the chiropractor. I cried through the entire appointment as he also blamed my hip and told me it would get worse over time. He gave me several remedies to help. I tried them all and just when I thought it couldn’t hurt any worse, it got worse.

I asked for advice and received a lot of, “Sorry, this is common in pregnancy… not much you can do! P.S. It’s going to get worse!” Ahhh! This was beyond confusing because I see pregnant women every day, and most of them aren’t gasping in pain with every step…

Last Tuesday, the pain was unbelievable. Tears fell from my eyes with every step I took. I was at my wits end. It goes without saying that I would endure *anything* for the chance at motherhood, and that thought was never far from my mind. I consistently comforted myself with the knowledge that Katelyn was lounging away inside my belly with no clue what was going on. That gave me so much strength, because physically and mentally I was struggling. I had never been in that much consistent physical pain in my life and the urging of everyone to ‘get used to it’ was driving me insane.

Only Ryan knew how serious this really was (especially Tuesday night when I called him in so much pain, home alone, and practically unable to move). At one point, I tried to get into bed and found myself planted face-first into the pillow, with no way to get myself out of that position. This was NOT normal. Or at least it wasn’t how I was going to spend my last 3 months of pregnancy.

Finally, I threw out all the advice, tried to forget all the negative feedback, and went with my gut. I asked Ryan to give me a blessing and I decided I was going to try to fix it on my own terms. I rested. I worked through the pain until I found a way to sit and I sat there. I stopped all the suggestions (ice, heat, yoga, massage, certain stretches, etc) and just rested. I got up to use the restroom and that was it. I did this for a day or so.

Then, I continued to rest, but started including a little light walking. As the days went on, I started to improve. My guess is I had a pinched nerve and the muscles around it were swollen and inflamed. Perhaps everything I was trying before made the problem worse. As of now, I only feel the clench in my back about 15 times a day, the feeling isn’t nearly as severe, and it’s getting better each day. I am so grateful!

And guess what? Now that my 'real' problem has calmed down, I am feeling what everyone told me was ‘normal’. I do have pain in my hips and lower back area, and at times it can hurt pretty good. Sometimes the pain spasms up and sometimes it’s a dull ache. I am feeling all those things people told me my ‘back-tastrope’ was, and I bet those aches and pains WILL get worse as I get bigger. But what I was feeling the last 2 weeks was NOT that. It was different. I feel vindicated.

So if this returns, I now know what I need… rest. And confidence. The confidence to rely on my gut and do what it tells me to do. The confidence to keep a positive attitude and believe that things will get better (despite hearing multiple times that it won’t). I am so grateful for what I’ve learned through this, and most of all I am grateful that little Katelyn never even knew it happened. ;)

P.S. I am giving my back another week of rest. Then I plan to re-institute stretching, yoga, etc to help this not occur again – if I can help it!


Sarah said...

OUCH! So glad you are feeling better. You dont deserve to go through your last few mths of pregnancy like that! Thank goodness it went away. Im such a baby, I would have been like "Get me to the ER!" haha

Luna said...

So glad you are feeling better. I have been wondering about you! It is amazing how our body will force us to rest! I hope you get a lot more rest and pampering for your last few months!

Stephanie said...

I hate when people belittle our suffering! I'm assuming you didn't have to go to work during this time which is the brightest side to any illness :)

RMCarter said...

I took that Wednesday off (because I literally couldn't get into the car!), worked Thursday, and then worked from home Friday. That is how was able to rest so much and help it get better! :) You're right, that is so nice. I have a very understanding boss!

Suzanna said...

Don't you just love when NO BODY LISTENS!!! I am so glad you went with your gut, and it worked! Very happy you are feeling better. And I hope your back never gets like that again