Let's get Physical!
Let me hear your body talk....
If your body could actually talk what do you think it would say?
I'm thinking that mine would scream, rather than speak. Loudly rather than at a level tone and it would sound something like "What in the Sam Hill is going on around here?"
I've been open about the fact that my continuing illness has been literally weighing me down. If it isn't fatigue, it's weight gain. If it isn't weight gain its pain in my foot, my hand, my shoulder, and back....I'm sure you get the point.
Lately, however, I have been more mobile, active and upright.
And this is beyond exciting for a girl that was nearly bedridden.
When people ask how I’m doing.
In my voice you can feel the hope.
I go to occupational and physical therapy twice a week in addition to senior citizen “chair yoga” on Tuesday.
I am literally on the threshold of becoming the shittiest, most brokenness version of my old self.
And that’s a 5000% improvement.
Spoonies get it.
So the answer to the question is “things are pretty good with me.”
How did I get here and what can lay claim to this victory shuffle around the kitchen island?
1 -More thyroid meds
2-Physical Therapy and Dry-Needling.
For anyone who is on thyroid meds you know the struggle that goes with finding balance and your optimal labs. Mine aren't optimal yet but certainly improved. If you suspect you are being under medicated please speak to another doctor and not the one that is under medicating you.
In other words: Get another opinion, or two.
At the end of the day you are your own best advocate. You are the only person living in your body. Stand up, even if it's only verbally, for yourself.
I've lost count of the number of medical staff/practitioners, some not so professional, who have told me, to get better, all I need to do it walk more and take up swimming. They are positive that these two exercises alone will do wonders for someone like me who has been sedentary longer than any person should be.
"Keep moving", they say.
"But it hurts", I say, A lot.
And walking is hard when there is an indescribable amount of pain with each step.
I finally had enough energy to make a visit to the podiatrist. He couldn't believe I was spending my life not being able to walk. He was offended that no one had suggested I visit him.
I get it but honestly if this was low on my priority list you can imagine how bad the other pain was that took precedence.
It turns out that I have tendinitis in my left foot.
He made some adjustments to my shoes, well only the left ones, but both sets, and then I purchased some of the ugliest recovery sandals on the market and now I can almost walk again. I had forgotten that it could be pleasurable.
If that wasn't amazing in itself, you know, walking, a miracle occurred.
Ok, maybe not a miracle, I exaggerate, it was actually my NP, who kicks ass, who said, now that my meds have been adjusted and we've seen some of the fatigue drop off and the mobility increase "I think it's time for Physical and Occupational Therapy."
If you've never been, I highly recommend it.
If it's been a million years, try to find someone to send you back.
At the first appointment my therapist did an evaluation on me.
Guess what? Walking and swimming are never gonna fix what is wrong with me.
The muscles in and around my hips, lower back and pelvic have quit. Like literally not working. There are other muscles who have also opted out of working too but these are the biggest culprits to my pain.
Created just for me, I now have a series of exercises that are specifically made to get those muscles firing again.
Broken body meet pelvic tilts, bridges, clam shells and marches. All of these are done laying on my back.
Every week I have exercises that I do at home as well as a few additional that I do at PT. Some are standing, squatting or stretching.
My therapist also does muscle manipulation to work on stubborn spots.
In addition to my PT therapist I have an OT therapist who's job is to work on and hopefully improve the pain, tendinitis, in my left hand. This gnawing pain has been present for almost a year. Over time the pain has progressed from my thumb and wrist area to shooting straight up my forearm, taking over my elbow and like a lightening rod up my bicep ending in my shoulder.
A customized brace was made for my hand that I wear everyday and I have special hand exercises I do three times a day too.
I am happy to report that after eight weeks the pain has retreated and sits only in my hand and is milder than it once was.
My back, pelvic, and hips continue to be a challenge. It's not to say I have had no success but improvement had been at a much slower rate.
These exercises, that I do, have done something because my recovery time, from said exercises, has shown great progress. What used take four or five days to recover from now only takes two or three.
And while this recovery isn't pain free, it just sort of brings me back to my standard regular daily rate of pain.
It's hard to explain, but I'm better-ish.
For years I have tried to get acupuncture. I have been told how beneficial it could possibly be for someone like me, in the condition I am in, but I have been unsuccessful.
Insurance, my insurance, won't cover it unless I have that disease that makes you sweat profusely, from every orifice of your body, uncontrollably. No Thanks.
If you pay out of pocket it can get super pricy for the initial consult and evaluation before the actual weekly sessions. $$$
And with every conversation and every recommendation not one person ever thought to recommend dry-needling, until my NP and my PT therapist.
Seriously, It is the western version of acupuncture. Same needle, different application.
And....drum roll....covered by my insurance.
Sign me up.
I had my first application last week and OMG! I got up from the table and was without pain in that one area for the first time in over 20 years.
20 years people. For real, 20 years. I have been to D.O.s, chiropractors and massage therapists since my first car accident a million lifetimes ago. Nothing has ever taken the pain completely away. Ever.
"I", raise my right hand, "declare that I'd like to volunteer to be a human pin cushion."
If that little bit is any indication of the relief I can feel then feel free to poke me with those needles everywhere.
All over my body.
This is what small improvements look like.
I still have a long way to go but I'm going and that's the most I can do for myself right now.
I get up everyday and keep trying.
I've said it before, It's like learning to be human again.
I hope you guys are doing good out there.
Stay safe, keep showing up and kicking ass!
to get you in the mood,
in case you felt like singing along ...lol