Friday, December 14, 2007

Thank God Almighty for Physical Therapists!

As I briefly mentioned, I have been lying flat on my back for almost 2 solid weeks.

Let me back track...
I decided to go crazy and paint...nearly my whole house...by myself. I painted a 2-story foyer (though my SIL did help me with that because I don't like those straight ladders), stairway, hallway, kitchen, breakfast room, living room and kids bathroom. All in the course of like 2 weeks. Yes, I went paint crazy. That's a different story.

After almost all of the painting was done and I was down to piddley (how DO you spell that word?) touch-ups, I started feeling immense pain in my back. It started two weeks ago today. I spent that Friday taking it easy. On Saturday, I felt better so we went out and did a Christmas event and then a 1 1/2 hr drive to and from SIL's house and then I went to a party that night...tolerable, sore pain. Sunday I awoke with sharp stabbing pains in my mid-back. I got the Tylenol and heating pad and through I needed a couple days rest. By Monday, I was feeling worse. On Tuesday, after crying through my shower, I called my doctor. (Yes, I'm one of those who's quick to ask for help...teehee). I barely tolerated the drive there and was in tears in the waiting room because sitting was excruciating.

Now I have to pause and say that while I've always thought of myself as a pain-weenie, I did go through natural childbirth of my own free will last time and would do it again, given the choice. So I have to say that I probably have a pretty good pain tolerance when it's all said and done.

The doctor came into the exam room, saw me lying on my back. Uttered the words, "possible kidney stone" and asked me for a urine sample. I wanted to cry again with the thought of having to attempt that feat. He glanced at my back but never even touched me. He sent the nurse in with a shot of muscle relaxant and gave it 20 minutes to "feel better". It didn't. I was so desperate to get home that I somehow made it through the sample routine. After he cleared me for kidney stones, he sent me on my merry way with a prescription strength anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxant (Flexoril). They both had daunting possible side effects so I decided to do one at a time. I took the anti-inflammatory. It gave me blurry eyes and mellowed me out but nothing else. Around 8pm, I took the Flexeril. At 11:30, Hubby woke me and told me it was time to go to bed. My eyes were so blurry that I couldn't make out any shapes whatever - only colors. Very disoriented, I somehow made it upstairs. As I stumbled into the bathroom, I announced to Dear Hubby that I was going to hurl. He tried to talk me out of it...and he told me to cough. Coughing, amazingly, works! But not long enough. So, really hurting back and hurling...not a good combo. Somehow I made it back to bed and vowed never to let Flexeril ever darken my doorstep ever again.

I used the anti-inflammatories and ice packs and stayed on my back...one day, two days, three days...suddenly, it had been a solid week and I was quite depressed. My Christmas tree wasn't up, I had exactly 3 Christmas presents bought and I realized I had only 14 days left. I was getting better but it was very slow going. I also had a MOPS craft to facilitate (today), a Christmas book to gather submissions for and all the baking as well as decorating and shopping. So on Wednesday, I decided I just had to get up. Maybe the muscle was too tight now from non-use and needed to be used. Wednesday I increased my activity a little (still didn't go anywhere but did a few things around the house) and Thursday I did the same. I was determined to at least drop off the craft materials for the moms today.

This morning, I called my doctor and asked for a referral to my old physical therapist who I saw for sciatica during my last pregnancy. At the meeting, I was doing ~moderately well~ until I sat down for the last 30 minutes. That was horrendous and the thought of collecting my children from their rooms and getting my van loaded up with the craft items was enough to make me cry again.

Sharp stabbing pains for almost 2 weeks straight had taken my last nerve away and when I got the report that Matthew had acted up in class, I applauded myself for not bloodily murdering him on the spot (SEE?? I'm NOT super mom!)

Somehow, children made it home alive and the baby got nursed and put down for nap and the kids went up for quiet time. FIL arrived to babysit for me while I went to the physical therapist.

I teared up several times on the way over there, just sitting in the seat driving. I saw no future and was scared that the PT (physical therapist) was going to make me even more sore.

I got on her bed, she had me twist this way and that way a few times, telling her when it hurt where. Then she had me lay on my stomach she poked around my spine for 30 seconds, called the student over to show him what she found. She got me into a pretzel and pulled this way for 30 seconds and that way for 30 seconds and had me sit up.
"How does that feel?" she asked.
"I could KISS you! Ohhhhh my gosh! I feel soooooooo much better!"

Seriously, there's not much I wouldn't have done at that moment to show my appreciation for what she did. She showed me exercises and did ultrasound and some kind of electrode therapy (I'm sure it has a cooler name though). She said that, probably due to my excessive painting, I had twisted one of my vertebra - it was very slightly (she said a "hair") misaligned. And that tiny misalignment caused that much pain. I never would have believed it.

I still have some pain but I feel 1000 times better than I did this morning. I'm even able to cook dinner tonight and I haven't done that in two weeks. I have been able to sit here this whole time and type this post. Last week, I could barely tolerate sitting long enough to take a drink of water. This woman needs to be paid more. A LOT more.

Bless you, Cathy, the ultimate PT! Have the most blessed of blessed holidays...and new year...and...life...ever!! MWAHHHH


Ummm...anyone wanna come paint my pantry/laundry room, master bath and master bedroom? Hmmm...maybe next year. Maybe I should hire someone next time. Learn from my mistakes...if you have 4 kids ages 7 and under, don't do marathon painting. Not a great sport and there aren't any medals.

4 comments:

Cat said...

Sure I'll paint!!!

See people with that name are just angels aren't we ;P LOL!!!!

Mrs. Pivec said...

Wow, wow, wow! What a story! Oh, I am SO sorry for everything you have been through. I am sure you are CELEBRATING now, though. Isn't it amazing how good NORMAL feels?

Have a very Merry Christmas!

Jen E said...

Ouch!! Glad you are feeling better! Stay away from the paint for a while!

Jean 2 said...

You have certainly given me a different perspective on things today. Feeling good or just decent is nothing to take for granted.:) I can't imagine being down for two weeks at this time of year (not that it is ever good)!
Glad you are better.