Thursday, July 9, 2009

a light at the end of the tunnel

No, not the one you see on your deathbed.

Today, I had my first appointment with a physical therapist, to work with me after my Mayo doc recommended I try using a personal TENS unit to relieve my back pain (along with the narcotics I am already on). A TENS unit delivers electrical impulses to your nerves, to trick your brain into thinking you don't feel pain. If that didn't help, I was looking into having a neurotransmitter implanted into my spine.

eww. Now, I will do anything to relieve my pain, but I was not looking forward to having something surgically placed in my back to tell my brain I didn't hurt.

I have tried physical therapy before, it did nothing to alleviate my pain. So I was not anticipating anything more today than just showing me how to use the TENS unit, and to send me on my way.

The therapist I met with reviewed my most recent MRI, and the info from Mayo. I was sitting in a chair, and he asked me to stand up and face him. He looked at me, and said, "I know what is wrong, and I think I can help." He then proceeded to tell me what my days were like, what my pain felt like, how it was when I got up in the morning, even the position I slept in. It was like he had been living with me for the last several years! I was dumbstruck, and simply nodded.

It turns out, that I have a genetically major curve in my lower spine, that my body has compensated for, for years. Whether walking, sitting, or moving in general, which has caused major wear and tear on the muscles in my lower back, and weakened everything to the point that discs slip and nerves are shot. One of my legs is fully an inch shorter than the other, and my right hip is an inch lower than my left.

Today he started working with the muscles and my body to level things out, and strengthen what needs to be strong, and basically learning a whole new way to move, sit, and stand.

I am blown away, and THRILLED BEYOND BELIEF that I have other options. If only I had seen this man 3 years ago!!!!

He said that if we can get this where it needs to be, I won't need a TENS unit or an implant, and can probably throw away my narcotics. I am still reeling.

So it has been a very good day, and there is now a light at the end of my pain tunnel. And what I have learned is you have to go through a whole lot of doctors, and procedures, before you can find the right one. So for any of you reading this, who have a chronic pain condition, don't give up, and don't stop trying to find what will work for you, and put an end to your pain.

1 comment:

  1. Kristi~ this is such wonderful news. Boy, for all the suffering you're going through you sure do accomplish a lot. I'm impressed with you. I hope you get the answers and relief you deserve. What a looong time to be dealing with this!


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