P.S. Before I begin, I’m writing about my OWN experiences here. I’m not advising that you do any of what I’m doing. I *am* advising that you look to your own heart and body for the wisdom it carries and I ask that you find some good support for your health in whatever ways they come to you: ND, chiropractor, massage therapist, etc and so forth. Don’t go doing what I’m doing and then give me grief about it not working for you. We are all connected and yet we are all individuals so take care of yourself, be your own shaman, your own healer and DO NOT rely soley on the anecdotal information of others… OK, so now that’s done, let me get on with my story…
So I’m dealing with an old “war wound” - 9 years old to be exact. I gave birth to two beautiful big babies - the first was 9 lbs 8 oz and the second was 10 lbs 2 oz. The second birth was blissful and amazing. I had a doula (my sister-in-law) with me rubbing lavender oil on me telling me I have the strength of millions of women before me. The second baby was pretty low in my pelvis during that last trimester and she shot out like a canon. I had some serious hip pain from that birth that comes and goes. It used to be super bad - 7 years of pretty bad pain. I got used to it though and managed to do what I could although I was no longer flexible enough for yoga or able to walk or ride my bike. (Doing what I could do meant that I was just living with pain. Sitting, standing, walking, laying down, moving all gave me lots of pain. I just kinda got used to it as a lot of people in this world do.)
I had gone to several chiropractors and physical therapists in the beginning. When one chiropractor told me I’d be in pain forever, I went to another one. (Don’t tell me about forever! Everything in this world changes!) Finally I met a chiropractor that said, “Why would anyone tell you you’d be in pain forever? Everything changes.” I replied, “Wonderful! I just found myself a chiropractor!” In the 2 or so years of seeing her, I’ve been able to get myself to a place where I’m able to walk 5 miles a day, ride a bike, do pilates and other stretches. She helped me to NOT rely on her for help by giving me exercises to do to help strengthen my body back up. HOWEVER, every now and then I have these recurrences of this “war wound.”
This past Sunday was the most recent one. This actually was the worst one yet. I’m not exactly sure what I did or didn’t do. I was having some aches in my hip and front of my leg for over a week. I had seen my chiropractor (whom I hadn’t seen for a couple/few months) and she gave me a tune up. I went home and was still having some aches in the front part of my leg where it meets the pelvis but just kept going on. The tightness in that front muscle (the iliopsoas) was just getting tighter and tighter. On Sunday I was having trouble moving my leg and getting into the shower. Picking up my leg to walk up the stairs was a bit tender, too. On Monday morning it was worse and I thought I would get on the floor and do some of the exercises that I learned to help my pelvis. But whatever I did must have made things worse because a couple hours after I stretched, the tightness turned to spasms. The spasms turned to incredible pain. My body became immobilized and I was shaking like an animal after a trauma.
By about 9 pm I thought I might go to the hospital because the pain was so great but decided to take an ibuprofen and put on some ice packs. It was clear that there was inflammation and I didn’t really want to get poked and prodded whilst in so much pain. So I asked my chiropractor for her opinion the next morning.
She asked me to describe in detail the symptoms and based on what I told her she said that if it were her or someone in her family, she’d probably want to go to the ER or an orthopedist to rule out things like tears and fractures. She said it would be good to go and see and be sent home saying it’s a severe muscle spasm but better safe than sorry. Matt was very willing to take me because he had never seen me in that much pain than I was in the night before. The kids, too, were wanting me to go to a doctor and see what they can do for me.
So I went and I was nervous about getting and x-ray or MRI. To me, these are invasive and I don’t want this or any real allopathic stuff done to me unless there is a broken bone or something. To me, that’s where the allopaths are at their best - fixing broken bones, helping with emergency things like rashes or major allergic reactions. We got to the hospital and Matt borrowed a wheelchair so I didn’t have to walk. Man, those things are great! I was wishing for one at home so I could be wheeled around to and fro, but really, it was a very fleeting wish and not one that I’d ever really want in my house… I met with the doctor and he asked who my primary care physician was. I told him I go to an ND. He asked if I ever go to an allopath and I said I went to an MD but she moved. (I didn’t tell him the real reason why I stopped going to her… I’ll save that for another time…)
Anyway, he did a few stress tests on me and said he feels like I had a few inflammations going on. He pressed into a few muscles and I winced and he confirmed the inflammations. He didn’t feel I needed an x-ray and wouldn’t go with an MRI unless I was having this unbearable pain for several weeks. He thought because overall, I’m healthy and wasn’t showing signs of nerve damage that it was best to treat this conventionally with a prescription pain killer/anti-inflammatory drug and things like going to the chiropractor, putting ice packs on the muscles, etc. He said that I could use ibuprofen but would recommend I take 4 times the dosage on the bottle. (ee-gads! I thought - 4 times! one ibuprofen really fucks up my stomach!)
The nurse came in to give me the prescription and discuss the drug. It had a lot of side effects that I didn’t want to bother finding out if I might get them. With both this drug and the ibuprofen, I was told it can tear up your stomach (literally and figuratively) so she advised to eat a full meal before taking it. And with the drug, it was advised not to take it for more than 7 days because I guess bad things could happen like stomach bleeding!
Hearing the nurse tell me about the drug, I decided I didn’t want any of that. Matt was thinking I was crazy not to take something to help with the swelling and the pain. I said, “if there’s less side effects with ibuprofen, why would I take something else?” And then I started thinking about ibuprofen and I thought I didn’t really want to take that either! LOL
So I asked the chiropractor and she said that there are good alternatives for inflammation and she reminded me about a supplement from New Chapter called Zyflamend. “Oh yea! I have that in the cupboard!” And then I remembered that I have this stuff called Traumeel! OH YAY! I don’t have to run to a store! And then I remembered about greens and how wonderful they have been to me, healing me in so many ways. Greens are good anti-inflammatory medicine. The chiropractor told me about big doses of tumeric and ginger. She said that tumeric in high doses can be thinning to the blood. She also said that if a person is prone to gallstones, then it would be better not to use the tumeric.
So this is what I’m doing right now and I’ll keep you posted on changes and on how I’m feeling:
The pain is pretty tolerable at this point (it’s Wednesday.) It hurts but I have a pretty high pain tolerance (everything gets compared to labor…) I went to the chiropractor this morning and she adjusted me and gave me a good massage. My muscles feel quite weak from the spasms they’ve been doing and continue to do. I’m massaging them 3 x/day as my chiropractor showed me in order to get circulation going in them. I’m drinking lots of water and liquids. I’m having green green juices.
Matt made me one today that had:
• local kale
• local radish greens
• local lettuces
• an orange
• 2 local apples
• filtered water
He buzzed that in the Vitamix and poured it through one of our V-Shape nut milk bags. It filtered out really well and was really yummy. I gave a taste to my son and Matt had some too.
I’ve taken double the dosage of zyflamend today. 2 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon. I’ve rubbed the traumeel on me a couple of times. Friends have recommended magnesium so tomorrow I’ll add some CALM to my water and see what that does. I’ve used the ice pack several times today.
Today I’ve been able to sit up again and walk around with a cane. I’m very slow moving and feel highly connected to my grandmother (she used to walk with a cane after she had half her foot removed from diabetes.) I keep saying, “Hi grandma!” as I gimp along with my shiny blue cane. I was able to go to most of the school play today but found that my muscles were shaking uncontrollably when I got there. They subsided and then on the walk home I was all shaky again. This, I’m guessing, is because my muscles are very strained and it is a great effort for me to walk. Perhaps I was overdoing it for today but I really wanted to see the plays. As it was I had to leave for the last part and missed some of my son’s play. He was very disappointed and I feel badly about it. He understood but you know how that goes.
Since coming home from the shaky walk back, I’ve been resting. I put a hot water bottle on my back as I iced my leg, pelvis and hips. I put some more traumeel on my leg and I cried out whatever needed to get cried out. I’m feeling good at the moment. My bed is comfy and the company is good. I’m off to clip some nut milk bags now. I’ll keep you posted on this pain and inflammation journey of 9 years.