Wednesday, January 8, 2014

No Pain No Gain. *mutter* Masochist...

Welp, the day is just about over but I figured it'd been a few days and I should probably put SOMETHING up here.  So I spent the last couple of hours watching a room full of 3 year olds at church and racking my brain for an idea of what to blog about.

I could go all philosophical about why siblings are apparently forbidden to get along for more than 4.9 seconds at a time.
I could try to puzzle out how my teenager can be sleeping and can't hear either parent bellowing at her from five inches away from her ear, but a cellphone on vibrate in another room will have her upright and alert faster than a politician can sidestep a yes or no question.
I could post more pictures of a certain wolf that may or may not be finished yet. *cough*
I could post the promised pictures of Flicker... if they didn't keep sneaking onto Facebook instead of waiting to debut on here.

While I was running the various possibilities through my head, one of the little girls asked me to pick her up and hold her.  She was tiny, so why not?  I reached down and gathered her up into my arms, then straightened up.

...and about died.

I forgot I'd been to physical therapy again this morning.


See, I have been in pretty constant pain for going on three years now and I've seen several doctors about it.  I've gotten a whole slew of diagnoses and what seems to be completely random treatments ranging from "it's stress; quit your job" to "take all of these pills three times a day and if you're the slightest bit functional let me know so we can up your dosage".  One doctor put me on anti-depressants to counteract all the painkillers I was told to take everyday whether I was in pain or not.

Wait... how is this a good idea???

So my latest doctor took a good look at my recent history, all the meds I'm taking, and *gasp* the CT scans and MRIs that were done.  He promptly took me off of every medication except when I feel I need to take the painkillers one at a time ... wait for it ... for pain. (Whoda thunk?)  He then set me up with a physical therapist and sent me on my way.

My physical therapist is awesome.  Her name is Charity and I'm already very fond of her.  She doesn't take guff from anyone and doesn't buy anyone's excuses for why they can't do the exercises she assigns.  The first time I saw her, she sat down and went over my medical chart, asked some questions about where the pain was and what triggered muscle spasms, and then stunned me.
I mentioned that it's believed I have EDS, although it hasn't been officially diagnosed by a geneticist yet.  She asked me to do a couple of basic tests for the condition, watched me do what was requested, and then ripped up the sheet of paper she'd been making exercise notes on and started over.
She knew what Ehler-Danlos Syndrome is.  *faint*

The first day of therapy was a little daunting, I'll admit.  I had no idea what to expect and had heard so many horror stories involving pain, exercises meant to cause agony, pain, forced contortionism, pain, misery, and the occasional twinge of pain that I was ready to bolt for my life within seconds of signing in.  Charity handed me a strip of green rubber and had me doing repetitions of various stretches to test all the muscle groups in my back, neck, and shoulders.  When I'd finished those, she put me in traction for ten or fifteen minutes and then sent me home.

That's it??  That was fun!  I feel great!  Let's do it again!!

Next appointment rolled around and I went to see Charity with a big grin on my face, all set to conquer my pain with another round of stretches.  Finished the exercises I'd been given the first time and let Charity know I was done.

"Great!  How are you feeling?"
"Fine.  What's next?"
"Anything hurting?"
"Nope! Piece of cake!"

Can I just say one thing?  There is nothing quite as disconcerting as seeing a woman you have just entrusted with putting you back together transform from Florence Nightingale to a Spanish Inquisitor right before your eyes.  Apparently, telling a physical therapist that you have completed their exercises and can still move is akin to looking a ticked off Silverback Gorilla in the eye.

I had inadvertently issued a challenge.

And Charity accepted it.

With zeal.

I'm assured that the first set of exercises I'd been given were simply to pinpoint exactly where I needed the physical therapy and what muscle groups were causing the problems.  Now that this has been accomplished, the real exercises have begun.

That's what they call them.  "Exercises".  I call it legalized torture.  The kind that violates the Geneva Convention on every level.

I mentioned this to Charity and she about suffocated from laughing.  When I asked why this was so funny, she pointed out that she was freshly back from deployment.

I am not comforted.  I have to go back on Friday.

And she was rubbing her hands together and cackling to herself when I was leaving this morning....

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