Ground Zero

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Finally, I’ve made it back to blogging. For the past seven months I’ve been struggling with horrendous pain that has kept me from being able to work out. I was making such good progress on the working out end of things and had made my goal of cycling 10 miles pretty quickly. Cycling is a passion of mine and I wanted to get back out there on the road and even participate once again in organized bike rides of 20 to 40 miles. Getting up to 10 miles was so important to getting there. But then one morning, I woke up in the worst pain I can remember in a really long time. My neck felt stiff and it was throbbing. If I turned my neck to the left I’d get strong piercing pains from the base of my neck to the top of my shoulder. Yep it felt like a really bad crick in the neck. Maybe it would go away. A week later it had only gotten worse.

My doctor asked if I had done anything to hurt my neck like an accident or something like that. I hadn’t done anything like that. I just woke up to it. I tried some exercises she had given me to do but this didn’t work. A week later I got a notice that she was moving to a different office that was too far for me to follow her, so now I was out a general doctor to help me. The things I tried over those months to get better…my goodness. I sought out a doctor who specializes in bones and the first thing he did was to send me for an MRI. That MRI is a story in itself and for another time. We found inflammation in my neck but no broken bones, slipped disks or anything that would keep causing lasting pain.¬† That was good news but why was I in so much pain? He told me he could send me to a pain management center and they could give me a shot in my neck. The world stopped moving, in a bad way for me, when he mentioned shot in my neck. I asked him if there was another way? I’m not good with shots. He said we could try physical therapy first if I wanted. I told him, “Yes, I wanted!”

Twelve sessions of physical therapy didn’t do much at all to help. I had already seen a chiropractor which just made it worse. A friend at work suggested I find a massage therapist that specializes in pain management. I thought hey why not and it was as if an angel was looking out for me because I had only skimmed google for a short time before I ran across Touched By an Angel. Brelinda is amazing. We had weekly appointments that helped a good deal but the pain was just too bad. At this point I had suffered with this pain for 5 months now. It was affecting my work, my home life and my weight was going up, up up. I was depressed. I couldn’t work out and so I ate things I shouldn’t. I had to do something, so I succumbed to meeting with the pain management doctor. Yes the man with the huge needle that was going to be put in my neck!

The doctor was great. They did put me to sleep for both times. The first time he called it a diagnostic shot that has a steroid and something that deadens the pain for a few hours afterwards. He does this to make sure we are working in the right area. The second time was to do what’s called aberration. They burn the nerves that are causing the pain. The nerves do grow back in about¬† 9 to 12 months so they aren’t murdered forever. The doctor told me that I don’t have any lasting issues like slipped or bulging disks, it’s just that I’ve come across a rough patch and I shouldn’t need to be back in twelve months for another shot like others do. I was super worried about that. I have a fried who has had lots of shots and at some point the insurance insists you get surgery and you are cut off from the shots. This isn’t my case he assured me.

He did tell me that if I start working out again and building up those neck and shoulder muscles that this is the best things I can do for myself. I also need to keep my eyes out for other things that might irritate my neck like my posture at work, my bed and how I was sleeping. For me, after the last shot, the time clock started ticking. Some things happened prior to going to sleep for the last shot that traumatized me. It wasn’t the doctor’s fault. It was essentially my fault for being over weight. They couldn’t find a vein to put the IV into and I got stuck over and over again and… well right now the memory is too raw to talk about. Maybe another day.

With all that I’ve been through with this pain, I’ve sworn to make the most of this year. It’s not a game anymore. I can’t keep saying I’ll get back on track Monday and say this every week. I refuse to be back in that situation again. I’m back at ground zero but this has to work out. I’ve prepared some things to get going again that I’m excited to share with you in the next post. I tend to make these posts too long and don’t want to lose anyone is the length.

Until then… Eat Well and Prosper!