Sunday, May 30, 2010

Perhaps you can help me feel peaceful (Warning: long, whiny post)

Truth be told, I'm really not feeling so peaceful at the moment.  Mostly it's because of my body.  I feel like I'm falling apart.  See, I've been having headaches for a little while now (a couple of weeks?) almost daily.  And I'm not the kind of person that even gets headaches weekly... usually.  And on top of that my back and neck and shoulders have been sore.  And I've had some toothaches.  So I figured it's probably time to see the chiropractor.  And the dentist.  Well, I still haven't taken the time to find which dentist I can see on our oh-so-lovely (not) student health plan.  But I did go and see the chiropractor on Thursday.  I really liked him a lot.  He seemed to have a really comprehensive approach on what's going on with my body which won him a lot of points in my book.  I have a hard time believing doctors when they start going on and on about what's wrong with me, but haven't taken time to learn all the facts--that I have mild scoliosis, that my left leg is slightly shorter than my right leg, that I have orthodics, that I have a child, that I'm breastfeeding, etc., etc.  Anyway, basically what the chiropractor said is that I need to do a few things to help my body get back to where it needs to be.

Right now my body is overworked trying to function because things are out of whack.  So in order to get back in whack I need to see the chiropractor a couple of times a week, have some acupuncture done at least once a week (he does that too, which is part of the reason I went to see him), have some deep tissue massages to help break up all the knots in my back, get a good cervical pillow (he suggested one like this, but I think since I sleep on my side a lot I'll probably get one like this) which will help my neck to stay supported while I sleep instead of forcing my neck to go flat, and--ultimately--work on my posture.  He said that the core of my problems are structural, meaning that my spine is becoming... not the shape it's supposed to be.  Which is chiefly due to my slouchy posture and leaning forward to breastfeed and look at the computer.  And, according to the chiropractor, this bad curvature in my neck/spine and my body/nerve endings being overworked is causing a lack of blood flow to my brain, which is causing the daily headaches.

Needless to say, I came home on Thursday very concentrated on trying to keep my shoulders back and my head held so that my ears are aligned just over my shoulders.  And I was trying very hard not to pop my own joints since the chiropractor said that when you pop your own joints it usually just puts added pressure on the ones that already have too much pressure on them, rather than releasing pressure in between two joints that are stuck (which is what chiropractors can do since they know what they're doing).  I was trying very hard to focus on these things and try to be better.

Then, on Friday at about 3:00AM I woke up feeling absolutely terrible.  It felt like someone was taking my stomach and trying to wring it out like a wet towel.  Finally around 3:30AM I was in the bathroom violently throwing up for a while.  I feel fairly certain that I got food poisoning from some spread that I had eaten on a roll as a snack on Thursday evening.  Finally around 4:30AM I got back to sleep, feeling absolutely miserable.  Bryan came home from work early to take care of Olivia since I was still feeling so sick I could hardly do anything.  I slept the majority of the day.  We already had a babysitter lined up, so we went out for a really low-key date on Friday night during which I "walked like a 90 year old woman the entire time" (according to Bryan).

I woke up yesterday (Saturday) feeling a lot better, but really sore.  I had thrown up so violently the day before that the whole frame of my upper body felt bruised, especially my ribs.  I skipped lifting weights (just the thought of doing the chest press made me feel exhausted) and we took it easy going to some yard sales, babysitting our friends' kids, watching a movie at home on the couch, and later playing games with friends.

But you had better believe that any efforts to sit up straight and not pop my back have flown completely out the window.  I've been in so much pain the past few days that anything that makes me feel even a little better has been up for grabs.  Which may have already come back to bite me in the bum.  Because I woke up this morning feelings so, so stiff.  My whole back/spine from about my waist up feels extremely stiff and sore.  I am definitely far worse than I was when I went to see the chiropractor on Thursday.  Which means I'm definitely going to need to go again this next week.  Which, I'll admit, stresses me out a little because he seems really good, but, quite frankly, he's too expensive for me to see on a regular basis.  So I had kind of already made up my mind not to go back and to just try and do things on my own as much as I can.  But clearly these problems with my body are beyond me.

Any ideas?  Any advice?

I hope you're all having a nice Sunday.  And even though this probably wasn't the most uplifting post for you to read (if you even made it this far), it does make me feel a little better to get all of my "poor me"'s off my chest.  So, thanks for the vent.  And, please, I would really appreciate any advice.


Kathy Haynie said...

Wow, rough week. Yes, I would go back to the chiropractor, at least a few times. Sometimes it seems like they just want you to keep coming back for months...too expensive, and generally not that productive, in my experience. But a few for 3 or 4 weeks...often helps me a lot when my structural self is in crisis.

For long term care, there are lots of studies that show that yoga or tai chi really do help a lot. I know you didn't like yoga that much in high school, but I'd definitely suggest trying it--or tai chi--again. And not just with a DVD, actually go to some classes. I haven't ever tried tai chi, so I don't know if the classes vary much. With yoga, there are lots of different styles, so you might need to try out several different instructors to see which one works best for you. Mark and I began to notice significant differences in our health/energy levels after about 3 weeks of yoga. We've been taking the classes for 6 months now. I hate to stop over the summer, but we'll be gone so much that it's not worth it to pay for the class and then miss half of the sessions. We'll do the best we can over the summer, and then start taking the classes again in the fall.

I agree with the comment Julia left on your other blog about taking ibuprofin until the symptoms calm down. Because it's both pain-relieving AND anti-inflammatory, it can be very helpful. But you do have to take it on a consistent basis for several days. Just a dose here and there won't do any good.

I'm so sorry about the food poisoning. That's AWFUL. No wonder you are so sore. Your body should be recovering from the soreness in another day or two. But those barfing muscles in your stomach get a huge workout when you have that kind of reaction. It's the "Dog Mountain" of vomitville.

Are you eating yogurt with active culture every day? That will help your digestive system restore its normal balance after the food poisoning. Best to have a couple of servings a day.

Cuddle up with a good you...

Syl said...

Whew! Sounds like your body could use some TLC.

I went to a physical therapist a month or so ago for my neck and shoulders. They were super tight and I got a ton of headaches too. Improving my posture has really helped, to be honest. It seems to straighten things out and takes pressure off of places where it shouldn't be. Having good posture is HARD though. I would suggest trying to sit up straight and hold your shoulders back as much as you can, but accept that you won't do it all the time (because you won't think of it, and because constantly having good posture is a workout in and of itself until you're used to it). Even working on your posture at various times throughout the day can really help.

I've got a yoga DVD you could borrow if you want. It's pretty long (I don't think I've ever gotten through the whole thing), but you could just do sections of it.

Something else that has helped me is to just relax my body. When I get stressed or I'm cold, I tend to brace myself and hunch my shoulders even more than usual = not good. If you notice that there are times when you feel yourself tensing up and clenching your muscles, try to become aware of it and when it happens, consciously make yourself relax. It has made a difference for me.

I use a hot pack on my neck and back from time to time. It's just a cloth bag filled with uncooked rice. I microwave it, then just lay down and put it on whatever muscle is tight. It helps the muscle to relax. That could be good at the end of a long day, or if someone is going to give you a massage, it's good to loosen up the muscles with heat first.

Are you taking some good vitamins? I used to just feel kind of sick and tired all of the time. Then I started taking some really good multi-vitamins and that has really helped me.

Stretching can be a big help too. I'm trying to work on that. (Holy cow, I am so NOT flexible!)

I'm sorry you got food-poisoning! That is the worst! I'm glad you're feeling better, though.

Nancy said...

What Chiropractor did you see? Did you have to be referred by a doctor so your insurance would cover it? I've been looking for a chiropractor . . .

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