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Archive for November, 2006

Relief

It amazes me sometimes how much pain and worry can really affect my entire outlook on life. In my previous post I talked about my back pain and how it made me cranky. Well that back pain was not going away and it had been 4 weeks this past Monday since the morning it first appeared. I was feeling very overwhelmed by not only the actual pain day in and day out, but the worry about what it was, why it was there, was it more than just my back etc., It was completely affecting my outlook on life and while yes, it really was a gray and dreary week (again) I think I was seeing it ever grayer and drearier than it was.

Monday I saw my lymphedema dr. who is a physical rehab dr. at a major hospital (I have lower limb lymphedema from the surgery, radiation and chemo for endometrial cancer) and she did an exam and said that she did not believe me to have a disc or nerve problem, that it was muscle related. This is what I thought also, but during some of my down moments I was imagining all kinds of awful reasons for the relentless pain (all involving cancer). She gave me some stretching exercises to do and a script for physical therapy for more stretching exercises and core strength training. I called the rehab place and got an appt. for 3 weeks away (just for the initial consult, not any actual physical therapy) so obviously this wasn’t going to do anything for my immediate pain.

Thankfully, a friend recommended her chiropractor. Now I’ve always been kind of skeptical of chiropractors, even though my mother has been going to them for years, and have preferred osteopaths instead. However I actually had never been to either because my previous back problems always resolved themselves within a week or two so I never pursued treatment. But on Wednesday I was in agony and I just couldn’t take it anymore. Driving to pick my daughter up from school that afternoon I was practically in tears from the pain in my hip/thigh and back. At school my friend gave me her chiropractor’s name and when Z and I got back home I called. They had an opening due to a cancellation in 20 minutes which the woman on the phone said, “oh you probably don’t want that appt., how about tomorrow morning?”. I said, “oh yes I do want it, I’ll be right there” and got in the car and went as soon as I hung up the phone.

This chiropractor’s kind of a jock type with a background in sports medicine. He did the exact same exam as my dr. did on Monday and gave me the same diagnosis. Then he performed his magic, and afterwards I got to spend 10 minutes on the water massage table (OMG, I want one of those for my house, it was soooooooooooooo wonderful!). I still ached as I left but amazingly about halfway home the pain started to go away and that evening, while I knew the pain was still underneath there, I felt pretty darn good! On Thursday, after taking my usual morning ibuprofen the pain went away completely, like I didn’t have a back problem at all! I went back Thursday afternoon for another round of treatment (and the water table massage) and will go back on Monday for one last treatment and that should probably be it. Wow, why didn’t I do this sooner??

So, last night I found myself thinking about the normal stuff of my life, and instead of everything seeming way too overwhelming and depressing (and I mean everything) I felt light and even. It just struck me (as it always does in this type of situation) how quickly the switch goes back and forth when I am worried that the cancer is back. Because that really has been the issue here, not my back (although we are planning a trip to Disney for Z in December and I was getting concerned as to how I was going manage it feeling this was since I honestly felt like I was never going to feel any better). The emotional pingpong is also exhausting, by 7pm last night I had to lay down on the couch and rest for 20 minutes because I literally could not do anything else, not even sit up in a chair, I was so tired.

Well I’d better take the rest where I can get it, we’ve got a busy week ahead between my bday tomorrow (I’ll be turning 49- one more year and I’ll be 50! I plan on celebrating that bday big time!!) and lots of weekend plans (dinner with friends, 2 concerts, brunch, family staying overnight) and Thanksgiving week next week (A and I are cooking the meal and we’ll have family staying with us for a few days). Now that I don’t feel the weight of impending doom on my shoulders I should be able to not only get through it, but enjoy it!

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