Saturday, March 13, 2010
I am trying to think of everything I can do for myself during this time of a "nasty back flare." I did call my doctor and got their first available appointment of March 26 (the same day I have a check up with my GP). It's a ways off, so I am trying to come up with my own game plan.
I need to spend as much time in the pool as possible to be able to be active--it helps to be on spring break right now, that makes this easier. Today was my last official day in pool therapy and I will miss the warm pool, but now that it isn't frigid outside, the regular pool should work out well. I have heat on my back now and will use my pain meds regularly to try to keep the pain under control. I will avoid extra lifting and bending and will continue working with my physical therapists in the gym next week. Theyare writing the report to my doctor and I hope she includes her thoughts that I am not ready to return to work full days just yet. Our talk resulted in her worries that the stress and business of being a full-time working mom would win over my time for rehab and that I am not finished yet. I have had the same worry in the back of my mind--good intentions are not enough. I do intend to do everything I can to take care of myself though.
Finally, I have prayer to fall on. I know that I have strong, gentle hands encircling me and they have protected me through all kinds of tough things lately. I am sure that He will help me to help myself as we explore what is going on with my wayward body now.
Thanks again for each note, prayer, and thought of support. I continue to be blessed in so many ways and am so lucky to have each of you helping me to get through this difficult time.
Love and gentle hugs all round,
Friday, March 12, 2010
It is hard to believe that we were down to the last quarter of this school year. The winter has been long and cold and difficult for everyone. Today was the most spring-like day yet. I was out in shirt sleeves. I had a tough work out at physical therapy and for the first time in a long, long time, I cried tonight because of the pain in my back. I know this means it is time to ask a doctor for help--but I am so scared.
We walked on land today for quite a while in small increments and I stood and lifted things weighing from 3 to 5 pounds up and down at varying levels that required me turning and taking steps so that I didn't twist at my waist. I could do that for almost 2 minutes before I had to sit. I have to focus hard and really work harder to stand up straight--but I gave it every ounce of effort I could muster up.
I am tired, sad and hurting right now. I am so fearful that I am going to have to deal with awful medical things again--or as bad, accepting the idea that this is as good as it gets and there is nothing left and no hope. I haven't taken any meds--some 20 prescriptions--except for pain meds since November. I don't want anti-depressants again because they totally hinder my weight loss. I don't want meds and hoped to get away from pain meds too.
it is probably time for me to let this go. I have heat on my back and am weary. I am expecting things to be more positive and bright in the morning, knowing that by noon, I will be on two weeks of spring break. I'll deal with the tough thinking then.
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
I'm going to go to sleep early tonight if my brain and body will let me. I have fallen back to exactly where I was in early February. Another email and another meeting (tomorrow) except the topic is totally unknown to me. It is working with my back pain to make me emotionally and physically sick. I know that I have God on my side and things will be okay, so these physical reactions are not called for. I have a feeling this is God's answer to the prayers I have been making--and the answer may be very clear to me tomorrow.
As always, I am glad to have you all as friends and for the support and kindness you show me. I am trying to focus on the positive in my world and push this negative stuff out.
God bless each one of you!
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
I got an email from "Everyday Health" today which included this list of five really bad things to do to your back. Some of them match up quite well with what I am doing and being told at physical therapy. I thought that I should share them with all of my friends who are as hungry for information to help improve their own painful back situation.
As for today--it has been a busy day. I seem to have a problem with one of my young adult children every other day anymore. (Maybe it is because I have so many of them, lol...) I think I have straightened things out, but it sometimes takes me behaving in a way that I don't much like or approve of to get the needed talking to happen. Oh my, at least nobody is going to bed not speaking to each other.
This can be found on "Everyday Health"
Back Pain Prevention: 5 Harmful Habits
Breaking yourself of certain bad habits can help protect your spine.
By Eeric Truumees, MD, for Spine Universe
We all have bad habits some of the time. But now is a good time to fix the bad habits that can be harmful to your spine and cause back pain. Here are the top 5 bad habits that can be harmful to your spine:
#1 – Twisting when Lifting
So many people make this mistake! We forget to check our body mechanics while lifting, yet too much of this type of movement can be very damaging to your back. When lifting, follow these steps:
Get close to the object
Bend your knees and grasp the object firmly
Lift straight up (don't twist!) in one fluid motion
Hold the object close to your body
Move close to where you want to place the object
Bend your knees when lowering the object
#2 – Bad Posture
How often to you think about your posture? If you're like most people, not often enough. But bad posture — slouched shoulders, head down, knees locked — places an enormous amount of stress on the spine. Good posture keeps your body in balance and helps avoid that stress. Here's what good posture looks like when standing:
Feet slightly apart
Chin slightly tucked in
Be sure to check and correct your posture during your everyday activities. Soon you will find that you are actually more comfortable when your spine is in balance!
#3 – Too Little Exercise, Too Much Weight
A sedentary lifestyle has become all too common in our society today. Eventually our spines will pay the price. In fact, research shows that people who do not exercise regularly and are overweight are more likely to suffer from back injures and pain. To keep that from happening to you, get up and get moving! Find a way to put exercise into your daily activities. Not only will it help keep your spine healthy, it will help you to shed those unwanted pounds and feel great, too!
#4 – Ignoring the Pain
None of us like going to the doctor, but persistent back pain should not be ignored. If you suffer from persistent, chronic, or recurring back pain, see your doctor. In most cases there is an easy, non-surgical treatment that can return you to a pain free life. However, if left untreated or allowed to progress, back pain can lead to serious and severe disability.
#5 – Smoking Tobacco
Among the many harmful effects of cigarette smoking on the body, early and more severe degeneration of the back is getting more and more attention. Nicotine — in any form — blocks the transport of oxygen and important nutrients to the spine's discs. Starved of oxygen, the discs are much less able to repair themselves and tend to collapse at a much earlier age than is seen in non-smokers. This painful collapse — degenerative disc disease — can lead to chronic back pain. Moreover, should any surgery be needed, smokers have been found to have much slower healing times and a high rate of failure to heal.
Last Updated: 11/24/2008 Content provided by Spine Universe.
I am guilty of breaking numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4. I have been working hard on how to lift without that twisting. It seems as if I am making things easier and faster by twisting, but I now recognize the pain that it causes in my back. I have so much trouble standing up straight, especially if I am in any pain, that I have to conscientiously push my back straight--and at the same time, I pull my abdomen in to strengthen my core. I am trying to correct things with too little exercise and too much weight--enough said on that topic for now. As for the fourth item, ignoring pain--I am guilty of that most of the time and have been for a long time. I know that there is a reason for most of my pain, but I haven't dealt with the recent increase of pain I have been dealing with. I think I have long since been at the severe disability stage with my back anyway.
This is important information, and I want to make all of my friends who are dealing with their backs to be aware of what they might be doing to make problems or bigger problems for their backs, so they can fix those issues and protect themselves.
Take care, Sylvia
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