Monday, March 16, 2009

Oh, owie

Sorry, guys. My back hurts and it scares me. I'm feeling very sorry for myself today.

My back has been hurting for weeks, but small, tight hurts in specific spots. And everything you read is all, "You're carrying an entire human on your front. Your back is going to hurt."

In an attempt to mitigate it, I've been exercising and stretching regularly. I have strong abs. Plus, I'm working with a trainer once a week - in the gym with the pretty red button - and I've been doing exercises to strengthen lower back.

So for the most part, it hasn't been terrible. And, quite honestly, I'm not sure what else to do.

If you know any great back stretches or exercises or have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

Because what I want to do, which is wash down a whole bunch of Advil and maybe a smidge of Valium with a bottle of wine, is so far from anything I actually can do at the moment.

As if that would ever be a prudent solution to anything in the first place.

But back on topic. Last night, my back, it huuuuuurt. And so I stuck a pillow behind me. But then I wanted a pillow in front of me for my belly. And then I had to readjust them every time I turned. Which was a lot.

Tejal gave me her Snoogle, but I haven't quite figured out how to use it.

So I staggered out of bed tired, unrested, feeling kind of pitiful.

And then, bending forward to wash my face, my lower back spasmed - the kind of pain that makes you yelp, knocks the wind out of you, and brings tears to your eyes. The sharp, hurty hurt of something bad.

I don't know if you've ever hurt your back, but it's like no pain I've ever experienced. I pulled a muscle in my back a couple years ago.

Your back turns out to be connected to your everything.

I did it doing nothing unusual, and by that evening, could barely move, despite obscene amounts of Advil. By the middle of the night, I was nearly incapacitated

At some point I had to pee desperately. So I slid as gently and low-motionly as possible to the floor, and crawled into the bathroom. I was able to hoist myself up on the edge of the tub. I figured, I'd get myself up there, and then just shift to the toilet, which was right next to it.

Shift? Ha. I peed in the tub.

It was all I could do. I considered sleeping on the floor, but eventually hoisted myself into bed. The next morning, I called a doctor - sobbing. I was pretty sure I'd never get underwear and pants on in order to leave the house, but after about half an hour of effort, I did.

I spent the next couple days in bed, on Vicodin and some really strong muscle relaxer.

I wouldn't do it recreationally, but you can pretty much entertain yourself for hours doing absolutely nothing on meds like that. Seriously. Things like wrinkles in sheets can be fascinating when your reality is all Alice.

All this to say, this morning scared the shit out of me. It's the exact same place on my back, just not as bad. But what if it gets worse?

I have a doctor's appointment set up for tomorrow.

I'm not a pain person. It can't happen to me again right now. I can't deal with that kind of pain without insane medication. I just can't.


  1. Have you ever gone to a Chiropractor?
    I know that's not everyone's cuppa but it was the only thing that helped me- especially near the end, when both my back and hips were horrid- well that in combination with yoga.
    With the "no drugs" thing, I'm not sure how much a doctor can do.

  2. You've likely re-injured or aggravated the spot you initially injured. Best thing to do is lie on your back with your knees in the air and reach your arms above your head. This elongates the spine and relieves pressure between the discs, which usually causes acute back pain.

    Another good idea is to try the yoga pose vipraita kirani, or legs up the wall pose.

  3. I did the same thing last year, leaning over the sink to spit out my toothpaste. I was bedridden on valium (yay!) for two days.

    There's got to be something your OB will approve your taking. If not, maybe you can get a Rx for a jacuzzi and a massage somewhere.

    Hope you feel better!

  4. Ugh, never had back pain, but my boyfriend in college kept re-injuring his, to the point he couldn't even walk.

    Good luck!!!

  5. mary - I'm actually seeing an osteopath, and he does chiropractic manipulation (as well as drugs). But maybe I should think about seeing a chiropractor regularly. I had one I really liked but she doesn't take the insurance I have now. I was mentally prepared for aches and pains, but not for big pain!

    Jo - This totally makes sense and those seem like good ideas, and I suppose I could try them for a short period of time since the kid isn't that big and heavy and blood vessel squishing yet.

    FreckledK - It is just crazy, isn't it? Out of nowhere you absolutely can't move without crying. I am going to see what the Dr. does/says tomorrow.

    Beach Bum - I always thought people were exaggerating until it happened to me. It is shocking and completely unimaginable how intensely painful it is.

  6. When I was a kid, my dad had horrible back problems. The kind where we couldn't talk to him when he got home from work until he had laid down on the floor in a dark room with his knees held up to his chest for at least half an hour. I thought he was crazy. And then I hurt my back a few years ago and I totally got it. I have no advice, as my method of dealing with the pain was codeine, but I do have sympathy. The worst thing about back pain is that after you've gone through it once, it makes you a crazy person forever. You never forget how much it hurt and it makes you lose-your-shit scared whenever you feel even a twinge in your back. I hope your doctor can give you some baby-safe solutions and your pain clears up soon.

  7. Oh no! Where is Nick to carry you to and from the toilet?

    Also have you considered getting a pregnancy massage?

    Hope you feel better and have some fun on the meds while you're at it!

  8. You know, literally moments before I sat down to read this, I was explaining to our office manager how every time I put pressure on my right foot, I get a searing jolt of pain in my right hip/lower back. My aches started at around 16 weeks, and haven't gone away since. Sleeping with a body pillow wedged between your knees does help the situation, but sadly, I haven't found the real cure yet. Let me know if you do!

  9. This is why I can't live in Harare right now. There are no medicines in the whole damn country. Can't even get an IV. Feel better soon.

  10. You should probably call in for a day or two, love! Not Moving At All is probably the best thing for you. :-(

  11. Hillary - You just reminded me that my mom used to be incapacitated for days with her back out. She even had surgery at some point.

    And yes, exactly. It does make you a crazy person forever. Once you've lived through it any hint of pain like that makes you so terrified totally lose your shit. I started to cry this morning only partly because it hurt, but partly because it scared me so badly.

    Brett - Unfortunately, that first time I didn't know him! He totally would have carried me, I know he would! And maybe pregnancy massage would be good for prevention/maintenance!

    Luna - What is that? Is that sciatica? I've heard that is not uncommon and is hideously painful. I will definitely let you know if I find something fantastic. And maybe I will start up with a chiropractor.

    Anonymous - That is a scary state of affairs. Thank you - I hope to!

    LiLu - Thanks, lovey. If tomorrow is terrible, I'll go to the doc and go home or maybe over to my mama's house so she can take care of me.

  12. Not sure if a Snoogle is one of those body pillows, but one of my friends swore that's the only way she was able to sleep at night later in her pregnancy.

    I have no good advice, just good vibes I am going to send in your direction...

  13. I have to second the chiropractor suggestion. My chiro is an absolute God!! He can fix my migraines (that the strongest of meds won't do more than dull) in five minutes. My insurance doesn't cover him either, but we worked out a 'friends and family' deal, where I pay my normal copay in cash to him, and we call it even. I go weekly, because I have poor posture at the computer and tend to sleep in positions that mess up my spine, but...I bet you could get away with once or twice a month and be feeling great. Good luck to you - it sucks when even thinking about your back hurts. Hang in there!!

  14. I'm so sorry Lisa. I don't have any experience with back pain. You have my sympathy for sure and I hope you find some relief very soon. Big hug!

  15. In extremely painful situations like this, I like to turn Benny Hinn on the tv and feel his healing powers overcome me. I get all tingling & sweaty when that happens. Has this ever happened to you Lisa?

    I remember when I was little and my dad died in the living room in an awful accident playing the game of Twister.
    Fortunately, Binny Hinn, or was it Pat Robertson..... my mind wanders....
    there was eye squinting and powerful prayers of healing, and some average looking woman next to him saying Amen a lot. My dad came back to life and boy oh boy was I happy.

    If you are kind of afraid or nervous, I can watch Benny Hinn with you and hold your hand through it.

    I hope this helps you Lisa and no thanks is necessary, its my little gift to you.

  16. I have had back problems for many years and about 7 years ago, while sitting on the floor of the darkroom (I'm a photographer) completely unable to stand up, I was urged to go to a back specialist. I ended up learning I had fibromyalgia and started doing acupuncture. It was absolutely amazing. I never really believed in it, but I can honestly say that acupuncture helped enormously. Maybe try it?

  17. "it's like no pain I've ever experienced"
    "I'm not a pain person"

    thank heavens for epiderals girl, because from what i hear 5 mos. from now is going to be very painful... just think, after that dealing with the pain of throwing your back out will be cake

  18. Yikes. Maybe there's some kind of brace that might help, something for a little extra support? I can totally understand you not being a "pain person," I don't think anyone really is. And people who DO seem to just love punishing themselves are sicksicksick.

  19. i have a history of pretty intense back problems, which have remained under control since i found my awesome chiropractor . . . however, there are times, even when you are pregnant, when drugs are the only short-term answer.

    also, ice the area even though heat would feel better. you can use heat in a day or two.

    oh and yes: professional massage.

  20. well one thing you might try is these pregnancy back-brace things, kind of like a stretchy ace bandage belt that has a a big gap in front for belly. i had one that i used with my first and found it helped, but i also didn't have any massive back problems, mine were pretty low key.

    and as for the labor pain vs. back pain - 2 totally different things unless you have back labor, so don't worry about that yet! :)

  21. Fearless - Thanks for the good energy. Yah, it's a full body pillow that curves at each end, kind of like a big C. Which is what confuses me.

    Susan - Thank you! My old chiropractor got me out of bad sleep habits and really I have to credit her with forcing me to improve my posture at the computer. This really is overwhelmingly in favor of chiros!

    HKW - I hope you never do! Thank you for the sympathy, and hugs to you, too!

    GW Mush - I had to Google Benny Hinn, but you know, now that I know about him, he might just be my salvation. So thank you for that.

    As for your dad, I'm so sorry. I'm not sure why Twister doesn't come with a warning label, quite honestly. This isn't the first tragic Twister accident I've heard of.

    Amanda - I have a friend who swears by acupuncture. I tried it years ago for asthma, but I think I just didn't stick with it for long enough. I'm glad it helped you so much!

    notsojenny - I know! Veryveryvery scary! But I am all about the epidural - no question in my mind.

    J - One of my colleagues brought in a back brace for me that she used while she was pregnant. I'm trying it. And yah, I am far from understanding the people who punish themselves.

    LJ - I will either have to just pay out of pocket or see if I can find one that takes my insurance. I think my insurance will cover it. And ice. Good to know. My instinct was heat.

  22. xuxE - The brace my colleague lent me is sort of like the ones in those pics, but without the top part - so this could be great for now, and then those would be a solution when I'm bigger.

    And I have to say, while it terrifies me, I really am curious to experience labor. From what everyone says, it's so different from everything imaginable.

  23. I've had a bad back for years, and I can't imagine not being able to take a number of Ibuprofen or whatnot ever few days. Hope you get better quickly and don't long for the meds! And if you find out any really good lower back strengthening ideas, pass them on. I'll pass on any my physical therapist gives me!

  24. Sarah - I have been doing so well since the fall of 2006 when it happened before. The osteopath did some manipulation (and gave me a shot of lidocane and loaded me up with painkillers). But after a couple days of drugs, and walking gingerly for a week or so, I was great.

    But tomorrow I will ask for his suggestions on ongoing things to do - and if I learn anything good, I'll definitely pass it on.

  25. Oh no! I hope you can find some relief. Back pain is so distracting and debilitating!

    Fingers crossed that you're better and beyond it VERY soon.

  26. I threw out my back when I was 9 months pregnant,went to the ER, and was chided by a nurse for being a baby about labor pain.I crawled with a belly for about a week.
    Big difference between labor and a wonky back...Funny in a painful way same pregnancy resulted in a sunny side up presentation of babe resulting in BACK LABOR.
    Don't want to scare you with my story,LG..
    just saying you can do it.

  27. Since you can't use drugs and if it is your lower back, I recommend:
    -downward facing dog
    -massage (with you in child's pose and your husband gently pulling your left hip away from your right shoulder, for example)

  28. Lisa - Thank you! I did yoga stretches, ice (twice, at Nick's behest) Tylenol, and slept with the body pillow last night - and the combo was incredibly helpful. And I am off to the doctor shortly.

    Anonymous1 - That is a TERRIBLE story - and what a crappy, unprofessional thing for that nurse to do. And while labor itself sounds terrifying enough, back labor sounds even worse. I'm so sorry to hear that.

    Anonymous2 - Thank you! I tried two of the suggested yoga poses last night and the one I could hold I do think was helpful. Yoga seems like a very good way to go - particularly as ongoing prevention/maintenance.

  29. :-(

    *hugs* Hope things are feeling a bit better today.


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