Still not recovered from PT

field of poppiesIt’s been two and a half weeks since my last PT visit and I’m finally able to sleep through the night without being woken up from the pain. I am able now, for a few days to remain in bed when I wake up and not be in pain. That’s really, really nice.

However, my walking has remained severely limited. I’m about 2000 steps below what I normally do. For all those people out there who are worried about their weight, let me just say this. I’ve gained 3 pounds in the last 2.5 weeks. So, at this point, that’s perhaps what this 2000 steps equates to.

Besides the increased pain and the lack of concentration because of it, I’m bummed because what the loss in steps means. I was working so hard to be able to venture outside of my apartment to go do stuff. I was hoping to be able to walk to the bars come football season to at least be able to watch a quarter there. It would do me tremendous mental good to be able to be around people again. I’m so isolated and so lonely, I was so looking forward to it.

I’d rather be able to do that they have a modicum of increased range of motion.

I go again tomorrow and I am quite frightened.

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This blog is made possible thanks to this GoDaddy coupon CJSIGLERC. If you want to blog yourself, I highly recommend it, check it out.

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Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Diego. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook atmadelinefresco.com. Her second book THE CHOICE, is available on Kindle at Amazon. Her third book ANGUISH, is available for Kindle at Amazon.com

Feeling a bit down

I’m just feeling a bit down today as my friends came to visit and now they are gone. I have had some visitors lately and it has been so super nice. As I’ve recently posted, my family was in town, and then now my friends.

It just goes to show how very lonely I am. I spend day in and day out without seeing anyone and it is just really tough. I didn’t get to go do any of the stuff that my friends came into town for — to go see the baseball game and then get dinners and such. They also went to the beach one day.

However, just to have them come back in the door and chat about their day was just so lovely. It made me feel like a real human being again. We could chat about something other than my pain. I could just be quiet and listen to them happily chat away about their good times for the day.

Yes, of course I wish I could have gone with them, but even just to be around people living life was just so nice.

The PT setback is just really an absolute bummer. I’m having such a hard time even standing. My steps are down by 2000, so my dreams of walking a few blocks to the bar to watch football games looks like it is out of reach for awhile. I worked so hard to get my steps up for that. It’s the hugest disappointment.

Then there is the pain. I can’t sleep. I don’t feel like eating because the pain sucks so bad. The worst is that it wakes me up and then I can’t fall back asleep.

I really just don’t know what to do anymore. I’m so lonely and so miserable it is just tough to find a reason to get up in the morning anymore.

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This blog is made possible thanks to this GoDaddy coupon CJSIGLERC. If you want to blog yourself, I highly recommend it, check it out.

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Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Diego. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook atmadelinefresco.com. Her second book THE CHOICE, is available on Kindle at Amazon. Her third book ANGUISH, is available for Kindle at Amazon.com

Physical therapy hurts

soccer ballI”m not gonna lie. Physical therapy hurts. Let me be clear. It’s not, oh I just came back from a soccer game and I’m sore kind of pain.

It’s I dropped 2000 steps in a day pain. Let me be specific, that’s a little under half my steps for the day. The kind of pain that is hard to breathe throughout the day. The kind of pain where when I lay down, I can now feel it pain. It is the anxiety producing kind of pain. It’s anxiety producing because you just can’t get comfortable. You stand, you lay, you pace — but nothing, nothing works. As the day progresses, the anxiety sets in more and more. The shallow breathing. The shaking hands …

Then you’re crying.

But I’m desperate. I want to be better. So I’m not sure if I am doing too much at PT. How can I be doing too much? I’m barely doing anything at all.

But it seems too much for me.

I can’t bear the thought of telling people it hurts too much. I already feel like a failure. Medications don’t work. Surgery isn’t warranted … so what do I do?

PT has gotten me in trouble before, clearly. I wouldn’t be as bad off as I am if it weren’t for PT. However, some of it did help before.

So I’m caught between putting pressure on myself to get better, seeing this as my last hope, and very much worried that I’m doing more harm than good.

I’m at a loss of what to do.

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This blog is made possible thanks to this GoDaddy coupon CJSIGLERC. If you want to blog yourself, I highly recommend it, check it out.

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Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Diego. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook atmadelinefresco.com. Her second book THE CHOICE, is available on Kindle at Amazon. Her third book ANGUISH, is available for Kindle at Amazon.com

Physical Therapy- again

Hello Kitty Bike for my niece

I think I might get this bike for my 4-year old niece, I mean, how awesome is it!

So I went to physical therapy on Monday, June 21st. It went fairly well.

Walking there was easier than I thought it would be. It is literally in the same building as my apartment, but I still have to go out the front door and walk up a slight slope. My back seemed to be fine from that.

The front desk lady was really nice. That helps. Scheduling future appointments with her should be a breeze.

Then I met my therapist. He is a boy, which I’m not sure how I feel about that, but it is what it is. He is the owner of the practice, so that is good.

He seemed to really listen. I liked that. Also, there didn’t seem to be any judgement coming from him. I also liked that. That first therapist I saw when all of this started totally and absolutely judged me. She wanted me to do an exercise and there was no way I could do it. I told her that and after, I don’t know, one or two exercises, she said “You have to be able to do this.” No, I didn’t. I said I was willing to do exercises with her, but maybe she could modify it or come up with a new one. She basically said if I couldn’t do that, then I couldn’t do anything.

With how very limited I am now, I could see someone raising an eyebrow and questioning how little I can do. I did not get that sense from this guy. I will call him B. In fact, I kind of rolled my own eyes when B asked what was wrong with me and I said “an annular tear, but no one seems too impressed by that.” He said that he thought annular tears were worse than just herniations and that the pain could be very bad. That made me feel like he believed me. That made me happy. Too often I feel like people think my condition is no big deal and that I should be better by now.

B gave me two exercises to do and then suggested PT twice a week. I think that sounds reasonable. We discussed the fact that I said I don’t need to be cured, but it would be nice to be more mobile and to be able to do more stuff.

I hope for improvement; what can not happen is that I get worse.

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This blog is made possible thanks to this GoDaddy coupon. If you want to blog yourself, I highly recommend it, check it out.

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Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Diego. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook atmadelinefresco.com. Her second book THE CHOICE, is available on Kindle at Amazon. Her third book ANGUISH, is available for Kindle at Amazon.com

 

I tried a new Craniosacral massage therapist – my thoughts on it

The one thing that I find the most relaxing is a Craniosacral massage. It’s so relaxing. There is no worry about someone pulling you too much. Your brain doesn’t have to think about where it’s coming from next. It just is. It’s the best.

However, this therapist had no idea what she was doing. I mean, truly. First off, she did Reiki, which is fine in and of itself.

(However, later, when we discussed, she confused the terms Reiki and what is cranial-sacral massage. Just to be sure, I looked it up on the internet. I mean, one of my really good friends did it for me in SF, and I trust that she had the terminology correct. However, it never hurts to check. I was right. That was not it.)

Does Reiki work?

I like Reiki. I know that it’s a sham. However, for me, it helps calm me, that, I think anyone would agree, is helpful. I don’t realize how wound-up I am. Not until I have to lay there and feel myself breathe. Which, by-the-way, I really don’t do. It’s true. When you are in so much pain all the time, you begin to change your breathing patterns. I breathe so shallow now. It was actually kind of hard to force myself to take true breaths. Not even deep breaths, just real, true breaths.

So I wouldn’t knock her for that, per se, but that’s not what I asked for.

Other bad was that after the Reiki, she asked if I would like a scalp massage. SUre. Yes, as this is closer to Craniosacral massage.

I’ve had hair washers at the spa give me a better scalp massage.

Overall,  poo-poo experience.

It was good though, as I said, to realize my breathing when calm is still so shitty. I think what it did help me realize is that I need to do those online Youtube meditation videos again. Just not the ones that talk about your relatives visiting you from beyond the grave. Uh, it’s supposed to be relaxing! Not invoke tears!

 

Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Francisco. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook at madelinefresco.com. Her second book THE CHOICE, is available on Kindle at Amazon. Her third book ANGUISH, is available for Kindle at Amazon.com

Anat Baniel Method of Feldenkrais

Today I tried something new. It is called ADM. It stands for Anat Baniel Method of Feldenkrais.

 

it is supposed to help retrain your brain to not perceive, or to over-perceive pain. It was pretty interesting. Since my back has been so bad for the last four months, we couldn’t do any work on my back. Yet, she did introduce the concept to me by using my fingers. We did a technique that would allow me to very smoothly lift my fingers up to train my brain the right way to do stuff. It’s supposed to break your brains pattern of causing pain every time you turn around.

 

I could see that that could work. I hope it does. Nicely, she didn’t charge me, and she came to my house. She was very, very nice. She agreed to email me a game plan due to the severity of my injuries. She also agreed to 1/2 sessions, which I thought was nice to help me tolerate the lessons. Overall, really nice lady.

Myofascial Release

Today I tried for a second time Myofascial release. It went fairly well. I was very, very lucky that she agreed to come to my home in order to do it. That meant that I didn’t have to go through the car ride again and be hurt by that whole process. That was also really nice because there has been a ton of construction around my apartment building as of late and that just makes the drive that much longer.

 

So she came to my house and was very professional. She washed her hands before we got started and she asked me how I was doing. I was very impressed that she remembered that I wanted to take things slow. I didn’t have to remind her. That also make me feel good that she had reviewed my chart before she came. I have felt so often that other practitioners aren’t prepared for my appointments and need to be reminded what my case/situation is all about.

 

She did much firmer pressure on the trigger point release this time and she stated she felt that I was loosening up. That was wonderful news. She also did some passive range of motion in order to help with blood flow. That was okay. She went very slowly, which was nice. When she asked if I felt pain, I felt comfortable enough telling her when I actually did have pain.

 

All-in-all, I would say that I had a positive experience from it. I would say, if anything, it is teaching me how to relax, and how to trust my body again. If she decides to continue doing it, I would be agreeable to continuing.

Physical Therapy Journal: How goes it? It goes …

’m still going to physical therapy three times a week. I’m 8 months in and while I see improvement, I’m still no where near where I want to be.

Here is a list of things I can do.

Walk 30 minutes x 2

Be driven to the pool. (14 minutes)

Sit for 10 minutes

Go to the OB/GYN

Lay on the massage table pretty much no problem.

Can lay on my back on the floor with a mat and two towels. That has gotten better.

Pull one knee to my chest at a time

Bike for 15 minutes on level 0

Bend side to side with my fingertips touching at the side of my knee

With knees slightly bent I can bend forward and have my fingertips touch my knees. (barely) Yet, my back still doesn’t seem to curve?

*** Further note. If anyone ever needs to go to the gynecologist let me help you out with my experience. When you get on the exam table they will of course ask you to scoot down. Make sure you ask them to pull the table tray out. That would have made things so much easier for me. I had to try and scoot down and had no where to put my feet so it ended up arching my back a bit. I couldn’t seem to find the stirrups to put my feet in either. I didn’t have the abdominal muscles to hold my feet up in the air while I searched for them. If the doctor had pulled the tray out I could have scooted down much easier and then it would just have been a matter of sliding my feet outwards to find the stirrups. At that point, they could have just slid the table back in and proceeded with the exam.

On a positive note the gynecologist was very, very quick and I was only in the stirrups for maybe three minutes. When she was finished, she pulled the tray out. What took me ten minutes to figure out how to get into them, it took me ten seconds to maneuver out of them with the tray there to use as leverage. TI used the tray to scoot up in bed, then pushed off of with my feet in order to turn on my side. Once I was on my side, they pushed the tray in and I sat up sideways and then got off the table.

Thus, I’ve made some gains in the last 8 months, but it all seems too little. It’s true, all I focus on is the stuff that I can’t do, but it’s hard not too. There is so much that I want to be doing. Least of all is to be able to sit and write for longer periods, to not be in pain, and to maybe go out to dinner with some friends. How great would that all be?

I have a doctor appointment tomorrow so we will see what he says. I’ll keep you posted.

Love,

Madeline

Daily Pain Journal– Lower back pain is worse

Michelle BasicThe last time we talked I was going to be working on maybe going driving and trying to tackle the big hill.

Well, I tried driving and I tried the big hill — sadly, I was forced to do it all in the same day.

The driving though is what did me in. I tried sitting in the driver’s seat first, which went surprisingly well. Then my husband drove me down to Marina Green so that I could drive someplace where there wasn’t a lot of people around. It went well at first. I was able to sit totally forward, which is something I haven’t been able to do for a really long time. Things were going great, until a car started backing up without seeing me. I had to slam on the brakes. That is what hurt my lower back. Having to lift my leg, my body tensed and then slam my foot down on the brake was too much for my completely inflexible lower back to handle.

Later that night we went and walked down the big hill. While I was able to handle it, when we walked back I could barely move my legs. It was a weird phenomenon. I wanted to walk like a normal person, but I couldn’t. I later told my physical therapist KC about it, and she said in the PT world they call that “monster walking.”

Nice.

So that was Sunday, and today is Tuesday. It’s hard to do my normal stretches because the rubber band feeling is back. I try not to stress about it and give it a week, but it’s hard. I know there needs to be some pain to make some gains, but I feel like in this instance there was no gain — just information that I can not drive yet.

Today I will walk to PT for the first time ever. I’m nervous, considering my back still hurts, but the husbad is away and I have no other way to get there.

Hmmm. Wish me luck

This is one year out by the way from the original Emma injury and 8 months out from the nightmare injury to my lower back.

Love,

Madeline

Physical Therapy Journal — Stairs and Big Hill Ambitions

Updates.

Over the last few weeks I’ve upped my level of activity. I started doing the stairs up to my apartment. Basically I told my physical therapist that I needed her to watch me do the stairs at our appointments for a week — just to make sure that I got them done. I told her I knew it was a colossal waste of her time, considering I could just do them on my own, but that it was more of a mind thing than a physical thing. To her credit, she marched my right to the stairwell and watched me do them.

It’s been going well, so now I think I’m going to attack the big hill by my house. If I can just get past that hill, I can start walking to physical therapy on my own and my husband won’t have to drive me. That will be huge — especially since he’s a bit tired of taking me three times a week.

I also think I am going to try to start driving again. It will be painful at first, but think of the world that will open up to me! I think I will start in a parking lot first, just to see how it goes. I don’t want to be on the streets of San Francisco realizing I can’t do it and have nowhere to pull over.

Best of luck and well wishes to you all.

Love,

Madeline Fresco