A New Adventure In Healing

Greetings to my friends and followers! I am so sorry it has been a while since I last posted. I was really at a plateau with my recovery and with my mood and really had nothing to say, that is until last Wednesday. The Monday before, I did 10 minutes on the elliptical. It went fine and I was committed to getting in some regular exercise throughout the week. Exercise is mood boosting and health producing. I really thought I could do a little a day. Then last Wednesday, 2/17, I got on the elliptical, and immediately felt sharp, flashing pain right into my lower back and right buttock. It felt like I was being shot from the inside of my body. Needless to say, I got right off the elliptical, which stopped the pain, layed down on my tempurpedic bed (which I love), and proceeded to play Candy Crush for about an hour just to escape my utter frustration and discouragement.

Somehow when I play what I call my “stupid games,” my brain is still processing everything. I felt frustrated with my current treatment, especially with my chiropractor who has been late my last three sessions, leaving me either sitting in the waiting room, flaring up my back in the dreaded sitting position, or lying in the room with the electrical stimulation (which I hate) long over. Last time I was there for a total of 1 1/2 hours. Then they didn’t return my credit card (which I didn’t realize either), so after I left they called me and I had to come all the way back to get it. When I got there they complained that I took too long and that they wanted to go to lunch (even though they could have gone to lunch and left my card with anyone else working in the office, such as the other chiropractor and anyone on his staff!) By the time I was done, I had invested two hours of my day and was given attitude, to boot.

So, after my flare up on Wednesday, who was I gonna call? Not Ghost-Busters, but not my chiropractor’s office either. So, Thursday morning during a break in my office I went on Yelp and looked for a new chiropractor. There I found a Dr. M. who was just in the very building next door and had 67 great reviews! All I could think was, why didn’t I see this before? I read a bunch of his reviews (all superlatives) and looked at his website, seeing that he includes massage therapy and physical therapy in addition to adjustments and takes most insurance plans.

Feeling urgent about getting help, I walked over after work and asked for a new patient appointment. The receptionist handed me paperwork to fill out, and I gratefully filled it out. Then she said it would be a few minutes. Incredulously, I asked, “he can see me now?”

“Yes.”

The decor was gray, black and maybe some green, a little dim for my taste, but still somewhat spa-like. Young, hip looking people were coming in, and then being told to go to the waterbed. Hm. Soon I was taken into a consultation room, and a thirty something looking man came in and introduced himself as Dr. M. He was friendly, approachable and asked quick questions apparently looking for a simple understanding of what has, for the last five years, been a very confusing and complicated situation.

After the consultation, began the amusement park part of the program. He took me into this room that had 4 beds, 3 of which had young men lying down on them. The beds seemed to be vibrating. He had me sit on a solid part, and then lie down onto a heated bed, explaining that it was filled with water. He turned it on and I felt pulsing mounds of warm bed massaging me. Again, he said it was all just water. And then he walked away to attend to some other patient somewhere. I closed my eyes and tried to relax into this heated waterbed/massage machine. It wasn’t difficult. Truly, it felt amazing. Wonderful. Much better than the awful electrical stimulation that I received weekly at the previous chiropractor’s office.

Eventually and sadly, the machine turned itself off. I remained lying on it, enjoying the heat, until Dr. M. returned. Then he brought me into another room that had two machines on it. He had me lie down on one on my back again, and I noticed it was not heated and the room felt a little cold. This machine was like a wave machine, rolling first my upper back, middle back and then my lower back, and then back up to my upper back again. The lower back part was a little painful, so he turned down the intensity of the wave, which helped a bit. He left me to it. The machine perpendicular to me had a bald man on it on his stomach. The machine was moving his legs down in a jackknife position. I closed my eyes and let the machine move my back up and down until the lower back was used to the motion.

The next stop was another room for the adjustment. He did my lower back, middle back and my neck on both sides. He explained that the cracking sound is not bone on bone, or bone on disc, but is the sound of the release of gas between the vertebrae. I didn’t know that before!

The last stop on this rodeo was the jackknife machine my fellow patient was on earlier. This one scared me the most. Dr. M. asked me to lie on my stomach and hold onto a bar over my head with my arms straight. Then he asked me to hook my feet over the bottom of the bed and hold on tight with my feet and toes. The machine brought my legs down stretching my lower back right in the sore spot. This worried me because I have been flared up many times in the past by stretching, a spinal decompression machine, and also by an inversion table. This one, though, was not a static stretch, but rather moved me in an up and down motion. He put it on low intensity, and I took one for the team. The team of me, my back and I.

When this was all done, he asked me how I felt. It was very hard to answer! That was definitely the most movement my back has had in over 5 years and I think I was in shock. I did feel taller and lighter though, and kind of enjoyed the whole routine. It was something different, at least. He asked if I wanted to come back and I decided to give this treatment a try, so I said “Yes.” He recommended that I skip a day, and then come in the day after that, which I did. I felt better during the day in between, so I felt some hope.

I have now been three times, and am scheduled to return 3 times a week for the next two weeks. My results so far are inconclusive. My sore spot feels looser, which is a good thing; but the buttocks pain and leg pain which started after the sharp, shooting pain last Wednesday still remain and may be a little worse. I am confused, as usual. I told Dr. M. about the increased butt and leg pain, and his take on it was that I had been so tight for so long that the butt and leg pain went numb, and that it really has been a problem all along. I don’t know if I buy that, but I will give him and his treatment the benefit of the doubt for now. Overall, I do not feel worse, just different. At least I can look at this new treatment as a new possibility for  healing, and certainly a new adventure. I will keep you all posted.