Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Rub Me the Wrong Way

Gah. I have hit a point where I would love nothing more than to rant about something but there's no way I can siphon off enough of the details to cover my butt and still have anything worth posting. I will only say this: if you're reading this, it doesn't apply to you.

So, instead of a long, juicy rant, I'm going to do the next best thing and grouse about my phsical therapy appointment, which essentially encapsulates the philosophical griefs of my rant in physical form. It's so nice when life gives you that particular brand of synchronicity, isn't it?

Yesterday I had my third PT appointment. We're focusing on stretching out my overly tightened hip muscles, strengthening my abs, and monitoring my back's response to all of this. The first appointment revealed my left hip is slightly higher than my right and this may or may not explain why my back rolls unevenly when I slouch and straighten, which may or may not be the cause of or a contributing factor to my current hip pain. Still, the therapist wants to help me even out the imbalance as much as possible and has geared my stretches and appointments accordingly. The first week of PT went fine along these lines.

Enter Monday.

I am already torqued and likely carrying around far too much stress in my body. I hustle to the appointment, and they start me out with a nice rest on a heating bad and electrical leads to relax my back and ease any pain in my workout. About halfway through the heat session, I notice that the numbness in my left leg ramps up from its usual, constant level 1 baseline to about a 4. Not numb enough to prevent me from using the limb, but enough to make me go, "hmmm." But I don't say anything as the therapist checks in to stop the heat and have me start my stretches while he finishes with another patient. After all, I had spent the entire time on the heating pad with my legs elevated, so maybe it's just a result of that.

I get about three reps into my first stretch when I notice my back is not happy with me when I do the stretch, which is essentially just a pelvic tilt while I contract my abs. So I switch to another stretch, this one focusing on loosening my hip muscles, and the back does not protest. I try another stretch involving contracting my abs, and the back protests again. I run through my stretches as much as possible, trying to figure out what hurts and what doesn't and where.

My therapist comes back, and I give him my report. He then says, "Hmm. You're going to be my case study." Translation: I have no idea what the hell is going on, so let's go hunting; this is gonna hurt and/or involve a lot of extra tests. Unique is good for just about everything in life, but when it comes to health issues (and technological difficulties), unique is bad.

And a-hunting he does go, pushing all sorts of spots on my back as I move this way and that way, figuring out (or trying to figure out) where the pain is coming from by finding the very painful spots and comparing them with the not as painful spots. I whimper and gasp a lot, thinking it's a perfect way to end a Monday.

My next appointment is Friday. I think I'm supposed to hear back about the results of my MRI (that I took on Saturday) before then, so hopefully I can go armed with more information to prevent a repeat of the "What Happens If I Do This" game.

No comments: