Friday, July 19, 2013

Back pain update: Out with pain management, in with aquatic therapy

If you've been keeping up with my back issues through this blog, you've probably gotten the idea that I'd almost given up having any kind of relief whatsoever.

The last time I really updated was when I was going to a pain management clinic. I can say with certainty now that it was the wrong move for me. I had issues with the doctor, who would get irritated with me when I questioned having to drive over an hour every week to try expensive procedures that ultimately never worked. On top of that, after spending hundreds of dollars in that office, the office manager decided to penalize me for having a sick child and being unable to show up. When I canceled my appointment, I was trying to tell them that I would reschedule after my vacation and finals but no, they didn't want to hear it. Since I couldn't reschedule right then, they decided they were going to charge me an "inappropriate cancelation fee". I'd already been having doubts about continuing there, but for me, to be disregarded in such a manner, sealed the deal. I'm not sure that battle is over, as the office manager made it clear she would bill me that money regardless (if I ever get that bill, I will retaliate full force).

In any case, aside from my gripes about how I was treated as not only a patient but a paying customer, I knew it was the right time to really search for a new doctor; someone who specialized in the spine. I also knew that I'd exhausted just about every avenue I could. I was tired of being in pain and tired of being in tears every time I left the doctor, feeling like it was hopeless. I would continue to deteriorate, I would continue to deal with horrible pain every day.

My current doctor listened to my concerns and what I'd been through and said he needed to get me into a physical therapy regimen that I could handle. And that's exactly what I've been doing.

I've been doing aquatic therapy for the last few months and I've lost weight, I can feel that my muscles are getting stronger, and the best part? My pain has decreased.

I'm still in pain most of the time but I'm learning how to better manage it so I don't have as many bad days as I was having before. I'm learning how to listen to my body better and I continue to get stronger. I still struggle with many day to day things and I still can't run or jump but I feel like now I may actually get there in time. I don't feel hopeless anymore.

A few weeks ago, the doc tested me with some shots to see if the pain was coming from my facet joints or the discs and spine itself. It told him what I'd already known; it was from my discs. The doc and I have been discussing epidural shots but we'd both rather wait and see what improvements I can make with my therapy.

It's hard work and you really have to stay diligent with it. It's a hassle to go twice a week on top of work and school but it has definitely been worth it. Even if I have to end up getting the shot, I still know that the exercises are benefitting me in the long run.

I'll keep you updated. Thanks for reading.

Peace, love, and (finally) less pain,


1 comment:

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