I'm continuing on to give an update on the pain/inflammation that I experienced earlier in the week including what I've been doing to try and treat this alternatively and how that's all going, etc. I'll start by saying that I'm amazed at how fast the body can shift out of something that feels so terrible to something that feels way more tolerable. Yesterday I was moving around the house with a lot more ease. Two nights ago I woke up noticing that I had both my knees up and there was no pain associated with it. I was able to take a shower yesterday, wash my feet, get undressed and dressed again and put socks on. So I'm definitely having a wider range of motion in my hips and legs. I'm still feeling a dull ache in my leg and this is what has been with me the last week and a half or so. Yesterday I was also experiencing sciatic pain which I'm really thinking is because I've been laying on my ass for two days. The other thing I was feeling yesterday was the beginnings of charlie horses in my right hamstring and groin muscle. I'm guessing that my muscles are just a bit worked and it's my job to help them relax and regain strength/flexibility. For the sciatic stuff that was beginning yesterday, I was just massaging down the outside of my hip and leg. I am still taking the zyflamends and they are working amazingly well. I'm eating a vegan diet and a majority raw vegan diet so it's heavy on the greens. That there is no animal fat clogging me up I think is what is helping the most to having this quick turnaround in my body. I can tell you I've had this recurrent pain in my hips over the last 9 years. When I went totally vegan (high raw) and increased my greens is when I started to be able to walk and move again without pain. That is a miracle to me because even while I was doing majority raw for the last nine years, I would occasionally have some kind of meat. When I decided to skip all the meat and add more greens was when I saw a major shift in my health and well being. I'm using the traumeel to rub on as a kind of ben gay. I'm still applying ice packs every couple hours. The massaging, though, seemed to be the most beneficial. That and getting off my ass and moving around a bit to get some circulation going. To help with the charlie horse feeling, again I was massaging my leg but also drank some magnesium Calm (almost a tsp) in a small glass of warm water. I remember reading somewhere about potassium and magnesium helping with cramping and charlie horses and so I figured it couldn't hurt. Also, this was a recommendation from a coupla friends the other day to help with inflammation (one friend is nearly finished with her schooling to be an ND - Go Deanna!) I'm trying to have a dialogue with my body. I don't want to mask over any of the experience I'm having with pain killers because I'm feeling like my body has some important things for me to know and do. I'm not having unbearable pain - it's more like an annoying kind of dull ache. Just the simple act of breathing through the pain has been the biggest way to shift out of it quickly. Even when it was at its worst the other day, I felt a bit like I was in labor because I was just breathing fully and deeply into it and trying my best to experience it waning. It was worse than labor because labor comes in waves, pain lasts for a minute and then goes away for a few minutes before coming back. The pain I had the other day was constant and intense and it was more like the pain when you are transitioning and nearing the time for pushing the baby out. If you had a natural childbirth, then you know what I'm talking about. I found that my body was hurting the more I was trying to move and struggle against i. If I breathed deeply and stayed immobilized, the sharp pains went away. So I'm no dummy, I tried best not to move after that! :-) Funny that both the chiropractor and the ER doctor said when there's an injury the body gives you pain and immobility on purpose, because it wants to protect the injured spot and give it time to heal. Well, that's amazing, isn't it? The problem comes in our heads when we fixate on the pain and think "OMG! What's wrong! Why is this happening?!" instead of breathing and looking for breaks that do come. The body does give us breaks and it does tell us what we need to know if we only shut up our chattering minds and listen. The way that I see physical pain and illness is really just the body trying to get our attention. Basically our bodies begin to yell at us because we were ignoring the piddly annoying things that can occur. I have a deep reverence for the body and all it's wisdom. I am just the student. My body is the wise teacher. The amazing thing is that the body really quickly wants to get to a place of happiness and relaxation (homeostasis) and we tend to slow down that process when we try to numb out, tune out, deal with our minds more or overly fixate on emotions. So my body is responding very quickly and well when I do little things like rub an ache, bring circulation to my tired/overworked muscle, drink lots of water to flush out aches. Thankfully I'm having reinforcements from the chiropractor. She recommended I use ibuprofen if I needed to for the pain (I haven't been needing it since the trip to the ER) but she said, "Remember that sometimes we can do more damage when we mask the pain because we don't feel anything so can overtax the injury and make it take longer to heal." I've been checking in with her to give her updates. I made two massage appointments - one for this Thursday coming up and one for the following Thursday. Leita (the chiropractor) recommended I do this to help the muscles in my body relax and I'll feel even better. So that was an easy phone call to make! I'm also still needing to call and make an appt with the orthopedist. Again, this is the chiropractor's recommendation. She said if it takes a couple/few weeks to get on their calendar, better to make the appt now and cancel it vs. being a few weeks out and this pain is just not going away. I think I've been forgetting to make the appt because I'm feeling so much better (plus I really don't like allopathic medicine.) :-) But I promise I will do it. I have written it down here so I mustn't go back on my word. So that's the latest. I am doing a good job of caring for myself. I am feeling loads loads loads better. It's actually feeling quite good to write this out. This way I can look back on this and see what I've done and the turn around time. I wish I had done this 9 years ago when the first excruciating pain happened. Thank you for reading. By the way, Leita Hancock is my chiropractor. She works in Montpelier and she is a kickass chiropractor. I went to several, as I wrote in the first blog on this subject, in VT as well as in MD when we were living there. Her philosophy is to help get a person to a place where they DON'T require her services and that's why I like her (among other things.) So many places I went were like "OK, you have to see me twice a week, every week for the next 6 weeks and then we'll go once a week after that for about a month and then we'll see where we go from there." When I met her a couple years ago and asked her about this she said that given the pain I was in, she'd want to have me come in every week or couple weeks but she wanted me to do my work of stretching and exercising and help my muscles retain the adjustments. She said she didn't want me relying on her to feel better and that I have to be in charge of my health. And that has been the case and it's a much more empowering place to be.