More about pain... *Updating to 2012*

There are several stages to explain the pain I am in at the moment.  This is the first one.  I wrote this a few months after I started enjoying the wonders of Chiro, to help explain things to my family.  I will update it to 2012 as well, but for now, here's some of my medical history.
One morning in November of 2007, I felt a nasty pain in my back, accompanied by my heart feeling like it wanted to jump out of my chest and sudden breathing difficulties, shooting pains on both sides of my body, with an especially horrid one in my heels.  My vision was still there but I was seeing through a whitish fog.  I was a bit scared.
A trip to the Hospital later, I was declared fine.
I didn't feel fine.  The muscles in my entire left side had knotted up in the hospital, returning me to the familiar state of having no sensation down my left hand side.  I could barely walk, sit, sleep or stand (which doesn't leave a lot of options) and food was not only something I had no appetite for, but as it turned out, also something I couldn't digest.

I had to do something.  At 36, this was all to much to cope with and the thought of being like this for another 40 years... overwhelming.

As an 8 year old, my posture was so bad that my sister tried to teach me how to "stand up straight".  It hurt so much and continues to hurt to stand properly, but not standing straight has consequences.  I wouldfall over a lot, had allergy (food, dustmites and grass) problems, sinus problems, headaches (some migraines) and neck tension to the point where my natural position was with one arm up over my head, massaaging my neck and shoulders.  My feet hurt and my arches had dropped.  I had great difficulty concentrating and a very poor memory.  I suffered from IBS for years, though had managed some control over it with massive diet changes.  I went to the gym regularly, until my 5th lost pregnancy, and stretched constantly.  My Menstral cycle was at 21 days, painful to the point of fainting and made full time work impossible.  I had endured 6 miscarriages, 2 ectopic pregnancies and delighted in one full term pregnancy, though with many problems. (Pre-eclampsia, Pupps, placenta prevaria are the ones I can recall of the top of my head.  And she wouldn't turn, so a ceaser.)  I have been treated for depression.  I was unable to turn my head properly, due to pain, stiffness and a dislike for the horrible crunchy and sandpapery nioses it would make.  I had been exhausted since 1999 (some party!) and by November of 2007, was sleeping 12 hours a night and often 1-4 hours a day.  For most of 2007, if I cooked dinner and got my daughter to school, I considered the day a success.  My garden was overgrown and my house a complete mess.

To cure the pain, I have tried many things over the decades.
For allergies and sinus - medication, environment and diet change, which did not have much or a permanent effect, except when staying at the beach.
For IBS - Diet change, to avoid dairy, wheat, nuts, fish and soy (eventually all beans), drinking 8 glasses of water a day and increasing exercise, which did remove the major symptoms, but left me with a fragile digestive system.
For headaches - glasses (these fixed the migraines, Halleluja!) medication, massage, peppermint oil (still use this) baths and spas, I would have a two hour spa every morning in 2007, just to relieve the tension enough to get my daughter to school.  Other than glasses, only temporary fixes.
For Depression -This is the Big One.  I have had post-natal depression, which some good friends helped me out of, depression from grief over lost babies and fear of the next pregnancy.  However, on top of that, I have had depression off and on since I was 11.  I own a shelf of self-help books and have been involved with support groups and have had counseling.  They all helped but didn't fix it.  I never took medication for this.
For menstrual cycle - medication, herbal remedies, diet changes.  Nothing made my cycle longer or removed the intense pain.
For Reproductive Issues - After many years of tests, my Obstetrician has said that he can see "no reason known to today's medical science" as to why I don't carry to term.  We had stopped trying.  I lost hope.
For Numbness of the left side - Two hospital visits, one advised counseling and massage, which gave limited relief from the pain/numbness and I was beginning to regain some sensation down my left side only a week before the excruciating back pain began in November.  Heat helped as well, but only while applied.  During the second hospital visit, they recommended nothing, they simply said I wasn't having a heart attack or a stroke.

I didn't want to cope with this pain for the rest of my life.  So I started, "Diagnosing" myself, reading up and talking to others who had back problems.  My sister-in-law had been going to Chiro for about three years, after a motorcycle accident.  I had been watching her improve, her breathing, her energy, her ability to sit for extended periods of time.  With her recommendation, I made an appointment.  I was nervous, but my SIL assured me the first visits were easy tests to see if my spine was causing any problem and could be fixed by chiro.

I hobbled in, changing seats and walking while I waited, because of the pain.  I met the Doctor, who described what was going to happen.  She asked more questions, I answered through my tears, because at this point in my life I found everything made me cry.   Especially being touched.

She stood me in front of the mirror, pointed out how uneven in height my shoulders were, which I had known.  Also my hips, which surprised me.  My legs were different lengths, which I knew from childhood.  Apparently, this is not good.  Which I had also sort of known*, but ignored.  The scans showed porblems in my lower spine, middle back (where the new pain was) and neck.  The Doctor asked me to get an X-ray and said some words I had not heard in years.  "I think I can help you".  This is when the hope began.

(sort of known means I had figured out myself I had Scoliosis, but never had it formally diagnosed o treated)

I was so nervous before my first adjustment.  I knew it was goiong to feel weird, but not painful, because I had asked my SIL lots of questions. I still felt nervous.  The Dr. described each step, which made me feel more in control, (but still nervous).  The she did the first adjustment on my lower spine.  Absoutely amazing relief.  The hot, burning pain in my lower back simply... went away.  I have had that pain for decades.  And it went away.  I felt a rush of warmth all along my left leg and realised that I could feel my toes again.  Now I was excited!  The next adjustment, in my middle back was not painful, but was startling and had such an incredible effect that I burst into tears. (being very careful to inform the Dr. that it didn't hurt)  The really nasty back pain disappeared and my whole left side became awake and I could feel it again.  My breathing became easier.  My heart stopped feeling so weird and worrying.  My vision cleared (though I didn't notice that until I stopped crying from shock).  I realised I had a really bad toothache.

The final adjustment was to my neck and I was still nervous about this, but for a different reason.  I was worried that my very tense and tight neck muscles would be damaged with the neck turning I had seen on TV shows.  (Sound medical basis there)

My Doctor listened to my fears and said to me she had intended to use the activator now and maybe later, manual adjustments would be appropriate.  I like the activator.  It's got a science fictioin sort of name and it's a groovy, spring-loaded tool that removes pain.  My neck had a good and weird reaction.  The muscles on the left side relaxed a lot, then the muscles on the right side of my neck suddenly started to pull.  This adjustment removed my headache.

I walked out of the office, feeling light and brighter and with more hope for a pain free life and possibly a reactivated reproductive system, than I had enjoyed in years.  Later that day, I felt very sleepy, but in a good way, and I snuggled down for a really good sleep, and have been sleeping easier since.

Over the last few months of constant visists to chiro, more healing has taken place.  I can turn my head, plus it now sits in a different positionm which has taken some getting used to, but I have minimal headaches.  I haven't taken pain medication since my first adjustment.  My heart problem, breathing difficulties, vision mistiness and numbness have completely gone away.
My digestive system is working better than it ever has - I finally know the meaning of regular!  After the first adjustment, I came out in a spate of tiny white pimples, similar to during a detox, which I think means my body's self cleansing system had kicked into a higher gear and was throwing out some rubbish.

The depression disappeared with the pain.  Just to know that something CAN be done shook away the last remnants.
My memory has improved greatly and during December, I made over 20 Christmas presents, all projects that required concentration. I am looking forward to a creative year in 2008.

One thing that amazes me is that my sinus and allergy problems have cleared up so much.  I can breathe.  I don't wake up sneezing.  Direct contact still causes a problem, but this is such an improvement and one of the reasons I can sleep now.

My menstrual cycle has changed.  I the pain I felt during the last period was mildly annoying.  Apparently, I wasn't scary and irritable during PMT, either.  We aren't trying for another baby yet, but we will have a go at pregnancy no. 10 and we have hope for a positive outcome.
I no longer sleep during the day, though I do still lie down to let my neck relax, as I have years of healing ahead of me to fix what has been hurting me for over 20 years.
My house is clean, my veggie patch is growing and I am happy.

I brought my Husband and daughter along to be checked, both showed problems and both are enjoying the improvement in co-ordination, energy and my daughter's upset tummy of three years standing, which the pediatrician had finally declared "just an upset tummy" has become a happier tummy.

I love Chiro.


So, things were looking better.  I was improving every week, I joined the circus and started doing amazing things like aerial (trapeze and Lyra), I went from a size 22 to a size 14, I had energy and I could think.
No more pregnancies happened, still at 9 tries.  Now I want more kittens.  Crazy Cat lady in training.
Then the money ran out.
And I had to stop Chiro.
I thought I was having  an ectopic pregnancy and the scan revealed a gall stone.  More diet changes.
This new diet is thought to be what caused the ovarian cyst, which began a lovely cycle of growing and bursting in agonising regularity, until a Naturopath helped me get it under control.  Now eating very minimal variety of food.  Red meat is no longer part of my life, nor processed flours.
 A family member got hit by an idiot driver and went into a coma, subsequently passed on after 16 months of no real hope, and I went into a depression.  During the descent into depression, I ate.  And ate. and then... this is a letter I wrote to my new doctor.

"About October 2010, I began to feel very dizzy and disoriented, lethargic and unwell.

I went to a doctor, thinking it was an ear infection, he said my right ear was mildly inflamed and gave me antibiotics. Unfortunately this did not change the symptoms.

The next week I went back and was diagnosed with a urinary infection, was given antibiotics for that and they helped with the urinary infection, but not the dizziness. My bladder stayed in a state of mild discomfort for months after this, which I countered with Cranberry drinks and tablets, but it took about three months for that to become comfortable.  (Which turned out to be because it wasn't an UTI)

The dizziness was becoming a problem, especially at circus training. I talked to my Chiropractor about it, and she suggested changing my diet to the “eat right for your blood type diet” A+.

This caused an immediate improvement, and with fine tuning this diet, the dizziness slowly became manageable. (So, at this point, I am living on rice, pineapple, alfalfa and chicken)

During stretching at circus training on a Sat, in December, I bent over from the waist and felt a new and horrible pain in my gallbladder area.  The next week this happened again and slowly became more painful over the next two days. I took anti-inflammatories, drank a lot of water, and considered going to hospital.  It hurt a lot.

On the Mon, I felt much better. But I began to find eating food very unpleasant, to the point where I just didn't want to. I went to the chemist and got some of the digestive enzymes and lactobacillius/acidopholus such as I used to take when my allergies (dairy, wheat, fish, nuts and soy) were first diagnosed, to help my body recover. This helped a lot, and I began to feel a lot better towards food. I was still mildly dizzy.  I restricted my driving to the good days.

At Christmas, I had pavlova (which is NOT a restricted food, but I rarely eat so much sugar in one sitting – for example, I will only eat one marshmallow in a 24 hour period.) The next day I was crippled with pain and unable to move much for several hours. This passed, I went back to my ridiculously restrictive diet, and things improved. The dizziness is very mild now, my left ear constantly feels slightly swollen and if I lie on my left side at night, I cannot sleep for the room spinning. 

I had lots of pain in my middle abdomen, on both sides. This is reducing, but not going away. I do not feel the sharp gallstone pain I used to, but there is still pain in that area. When I haven't eaten for a while, it feels better, if I leave it too long, it starts to feel painful and on the left side, burning.

I have discomfort down my right side, which is not alleviated by Chiro, and I think may be related to the ovarian cyst putting pressure on ...something.

The last few weeks my temp. has been sitting at around 36 degrees, which is not usual. I still feel lethargic and sleep every afternoon, as well as sleeping all night. I have had some problems with low blood pressure causing me to wake up at night with numbness."

Masses of tests later showed my ovarian cyst was hemorrhaging, thus the bladder and abdominal pain and dizziness.  Just sitting there, happily oozing and bleeding away into my body.  I was referred to a specialist.  I've never saved up the money to pay for that.   It's taken a year, but Dr. Google and I seemed to have tamed the cyst to a point where it is not painful. 
I had to drop out of circus.  I had been showing up for class, only to walk out crying because even the first minute of the warm up games was too excruciatingly painful for me to continue.
A recent hospital visit have been about an inflamed appendix (Don't eat pasta (even rice pasta) as it is apparently like a glue that sets rock hard, in your appendix).
Two important changes mid last year were the funeral, which somehow set me free to start the grief/healing process and learning to budget really, really well.  I could afford limited Chiro again.
Unfortunately, during my break from back care, my already badly damaged neck had gone from being  "the neck of a 90 year old, but we can keep it that way till you catch up", to degenerative disk disease.  The cartilage between the vertebrae is very worn away and the vertebrae have many spurs and are also worn.  Hurties.
At this point, I had been to two (WONDERFUL, GLORIOUS!) Chiro visits before the Husbandly one slipped a disk in his neck.  This set me back severely, as not only was all our money (plus some!) naturally going to fix him, but I was now the designated driver.  Driving is one of the most painful things I can do to my back.  It was all I could do to drive him and the Princess to their events and then lie down in between driving.  I remember Princess had Guides to go to and I had been lying down for two hours and they came in to see why I was crying.  I begged them to not make me get in the car again.  I simply couldn't face the agony.  
As soon as his Physio said he could, Hubby started taking the bus.   Him's a nice boything.
Six months later, Chiro is again a regular (though not as often as I would like!) event.  The budget is playing nicer, I have developed even more stringent habits of economy, (Yes, all my clothes come from the op shop, eclectic is a fashion choice!) (No, we can't do a family Christmas this year, because we financially and physically cannot get to QLD) and best of all, I have also started physio.  Hubby responded so well to it, we decided to save for me to go, in the hopes that it will have the same effect, of negating his need for Chiro. (He also has scoliosis)  If I respond well, then the Princess gets to go.
Anxiety has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.  Over the last four years, I have been putting in so much work to deal with that.  This has reduced my muscle tension issues immensely.  No more muscle knots of numbness.  Well, at least, not as often.
I am back at Circus.  Only manipulation (juggling, hoops, etc) but it is good.
The dizziness is incredibly mild.  I think the tooth abscess is causing these last touches.
This is not everything.  But it is more than I wish to write about already, sooo.
There is hurt.  Everyday, there is much hurt.  But.  There is hope.  Hope for less hurt, or at least for a fun life with a background of hurt.  

1 comment:

  1. Oh sweetie. I cannot even imagine. Although some of the chronic pain I can. Not all, but some. Keep your chin up luv. You are doing amazing so far. Hugs from Canada. I am so glad to hear you are back at the Circus doing something even if it's only manipulation. You rock!