My son will be 5 months old tomorrow. I felt miserable at the time, but pregnancy was good to me. I had the usual aches and pains and problems, but now that I’m no longer pregnant, the fibromyalgia has started to creep back in. My pain has been at a level 5 or 6 continuously for three days. I take ibuprofen sparingly. It’s one of the few things I can take while breastfeeding. So I live with the pain. My comfort is second to my son’s well being, and I am convinced children should breastfeed as long as possible.
Most people have no idea I’m in pain almost constantly. Right now, sitting at my desk: my left ankle is throbbing; my right knee is very sensitive, but only hurts when I move it; my left hip feels tight, my lower back and mid back hurt, my right shoulder is stiff and painful; and my neck has several dull aches that are hard to pinpoint. I promise this isn’t going to be the sort of blog where I complain about my body day in and day out.
Yesterday I brought Youtube up on the TV and tried to do some yoga. I searched ‘yoga for pain.’ The first video I watched I couldn’t do. I got stuck on the second one when they suggested I do pigeon pose. How does someone with back pain even get into this position? A dear friend suggested searching for ‘yin yoga’ or ‘restorative yoga.’ When I find another half hour to myself, I’ll give it a whirl.
I keep trying to figure out why I felt better during pregnancy and my practical brain tells me it was all the relaxin – a hormone that: “is known to mediate the hemodynamic changes that occur during pregnancy, such as increased cardiac output, increased renal blood flow, and increased arterial compliance. It also relaxes other pelvic ligaments. It is believed to soften the pubic symphysis.” – from Wikipedia
In a nutshell, Relaxin softens up the tendons, ligaments and other connective tissues… the same ones that cause pain in most fibromyalgia sufferers. Seems like we could come to some sort of mutually agreeable situation where relaxin might be used to treat fibromyalgia, but maybe I’m reaching a bit.
Rick Shepard © 2012
In the meantime, I tried to get an appointment with my primary doctor for back pain, eczema, and knee pain. She was out of town for a week, but I needed some more immediate attention. I couldn’t get a quick appointment with a chiropractor, but I found a naturopath who treated me with acupuncture. I have always been curious about acupuncture, but always thought it wasn’t aggressive enough, or wouldn’t work, and I didn’t want to spend the money on it. I was desperate. So I went, and I was amazed. The needles stuck in my body were coaxing it to realign itself, to heal itself. It was pretty amazing and I felt it continuing to work for days after. The second session wasn’t as profound, but it was just as satisfying. It’s a good time to meditate – something I also need to do more often. Afterwards I felt a little confused and groggy, but beyond that I felt much improved. I think I like it better than chiropractic therapies. The jury is still out on the Chinese herbs she prescribed. They taste pretty pungent, but I think they’re helping me feel better, too.
When I finally made it to see my doctor (by then I had caught a cold, and was pretty sure I had bronchitis), the whole situation felt wrong. The staff seemed unhappy and cranky. I was running 10 minutes late, so I called to let them know. My consideration was not appreciated, and I felt like I was a huge annoyance. When my doctor finally saw me, I felt like I was annoying her, too. I’m convinced she was rolling her eyes the second she walked out of the exam room. When I commented that I couldn’t get an appointment with her the previous week, she told me she hadn’t had a vacation in 4 months and had to get out of town. I don’t blame her, and yet I also don’t feel sorry for her. Maybe she should have chosen another career if she gets that tired of people. How many people do you know get a vacation every 4 months? Not me, that’s for sure. I left with a prescription for antibiotics that I shouldn’t take while breastfeeding, and steroid cream that I also shouldn’t use while breastfeeding. I definitely don’t feel they were working with me to help me get better. I felt like they were giving me whatever would get me out of their hair the fastest.
The days are getting sunnier, and that helps so much. I am ready for spring. The winter is so hard on me. Bring on warm weather and let the daffodils bloom. This is going to be the best year ever. My life depends on it.