Sunday, July 25, 2010

Just a Beginning

What do you do when you have sciatica so bad that 600 mg of ibuprofen three times a day does not even touch the pain?

What can you possibly do when you want so badly to sleep, but laying down or sitting in even a remotely relaxing position proves impossible?

What is the next step to take when chiropractors are puzzled at your condition and the doctor simply prescribes Flexeril, a muscle relaxant? After taking the drug, you are now sure that this is not merely a tight muscle or a muscle spasm. The muscle does not relax. The drug only makes you so tired that you want to collapse into bed. Except there is one unfortunate condition. Laying down HURTS. After getting up, sitting down, piling five pillows next to you so you can rest your your head while sitting comfortably, you finally fall asleep. For three hours. Or five if you’re lucky.

Yes, the muscle running down the back of your entire leg is tight. It definitely feels like an impossible muscle spasm, a gigantic charlie horse that will not let go. But it feels like a nerve problem as well. Which explains why aspirin and ibuprofen, meant to target muscle pain, still does not lessen the pain in the back of the thigh.

Alas, this is my predicament. My problem began with a trip to Montana, a 24 hour ride split up between two days in an incredibly bumpy van threatening to overheat if the driver dared to go faster than 60 mph. This resulted in a stiff tailbone that made it hard for me to walk properly.

Fast forward to Pinehaven Children’s Ranch where my church was traveling to help with ranch chores. Lifting firewood. That comprised most of my duties. Imagine what all of that heavy lifting did to my lower back. It won’t last long, I told myself.

If I had known that the previous statement would prove to be horribly false, I would NOT have gone on that horse ride the next day, even as beautiful as it was riding high through the picturesque hills with the snow-capped Rockies always in our view. The next day, my ENTIRE body was sore, but the part of my body that suffered most was my lower back/ tailbone area. I could hardly walk, and I must have looked ridiculous taking baby steps, walking gingerly like an old arthritic woman.

To top it all off, I endured a 24 hour journey back to Illinois. In a bumpy van minus the overheated radiator. Did I mention the van was BUMPY?

The pain in my lower back stayed with me for several weeks. Then one day, upon bending to pick up some dirty socks laying on the floor, the pain in my lower back immediately transferred to my leg. The pain was so much that I could not stand on my right leg. I fell to the floor (oh so dramatically), and I just lay there for a while after several failed attempts to stand. It is now a week and a half later, and I can only walk bent over at the waist. If I try to straighten up while I walk, the muscle (or nerve) running down the back of my leg pulls painfully, preventing me from walking any further.

And now I have come to the reason that I am creating this blog. Primarily, for my sake. I will be logging my journey to better health. Of course, there is one question that has bugged me ever since I returned from the mission trip. There were 12 other people besides myself, ages ranging from 16 to 65. Neither the older people, nor even the middle aged people came back with the problem that I have. Why I am the only one who suffered from lower back pain and eventually sciatica? This question gnaws at my mind, and I have several theories that I will cover in this blog.

I also hope that this blog will not benefit only myself. I know there are other people throughout the world who are suffering from pain, whether sciatica, lower back or somewhere else in their bodies. I now know how frustrating it is to be in so much pain that you can barely walk and must give up your daily activities. Perhaps you cannot even go to work.

I know that health involves many facets, and I will be investigating them throughout this blog. To be completely healthy, one must not only be physically sound, but mentally and spiritually sound as well. Often, the physical symptoms we experience are results of an imbalanced mind or spirit. It is not enough to go to a chiropractor. They may be able to fix your problem, but what is preventing such a problem from returning?

I hope that as I discover those practices that restore health to my body, you will be encouraged to make your own discoveries. Perhaps things that I do will be useful to you, but perhaps you will discover different methods of healing that are suitable to your body and your personality. While in many ways the same, everyone’s body is remarkably different.

1 comment:

  1. glad you enjoyed perusing my blog! i wish you so much delight in your indian food exploration. i'm a devoted yoga practitioner and believe wholeheartedly in the healing powers of the practice. have you tried it for your sciatica? i know several people who have healed themselves from such injuries by finding a good teacher and committing to yoga. where do you live? i might be able to recommend some teachers or places to practice if you're interested.