Category Archives: Back Pain

Chronic pain is ruining my make-up

These past few months have been hell for me, which I am sure quite a few of you are aware of, if you follow my tweets. First it started with a particular drug manufacturer to all of a sudden, without notice to its customers, stop making the one and only muscle relaxant that I have been on for years. Some of you may wonder, what is the big deal? Well, there are literally only a couple of true muscle relaxants on the market, and the other one, it seems I am allergic to it, causing me to sleepwalk up to four or five times a night. Hubby was very afraid of me falling down the stairs or burning the house down.

During this time, my medications have been increased, changed, stopped and restarted, all just enough to completely mess with me. There was the time I went through withdrawal, where my husband sat by my side, rubbed my back, telling/reminding me to breathe while holding a bucket so I could puke up nothing, listening to me cry in pain wanting to just give up because I was hurting so much (if my daughters are reading this, no I wouldn’t have given up, I was just venting so don’t worry).

In effort to alleviate the pain caused by the constant muscle spasms in my neck and shoulders, which gradually grow down my back, I first went to massage therapy, something I clearly cannot afford, only to have the massage therapist make me worse. Thus I went back to physiotherapy something I admittedly hate, having been in and out of treatment since my first accident when I was 17. There isn’t a machine/device that hasn’t been tried on me, but given the amount of pain I have been in, I thought I would give it another try. The physiotherapist I am seeing, I saw a few years ago, so she remembers my body well.

One of the first things I was put back into was traction. Oh, so much fun. Your head is literally put in this ridiculous contraption with a heating pad wrapped around your neck whilst being pulled up and down. Twice a week for a month, followed by massage and more heat. I forgot, when I first arrive I have a set of exercises to do, tailored to how much I can move, which isn’t much some days. The traction didn’t help, it caused more pain. Some pain is good, but too much pain is bad. Next we tried acupuncture. She put a whopping four needles in me, two at the base of my head, then two at the base of my neck. By the time I arrived home, I was in misery. The pain had quadrupled, and for the next twenty-four hours, I ate as many painkillers as possible. Now, I was quite willing to give this a second try but my therapist said no because I had had such an adverse reaction.

This week when I arrived for my usual appointment, and was trying to do my exercises, my physiotherapist made the mistake of asking how I was? I don’t really know what happened but the tears flowed, down my cheeks, ruining my make-up, you see my neck muscles had been inflamed for days. After finishing my exercises, I had my massage, and she asked if I wanted to try laser treatment? Why not? So a zap here, a zap there and there, all completely painless. In basic terms, the theory of the laser is to break up the inflamed cells, to promote the healing process so my muscles can relax. It was hours later when I noticed the inflammation had actually decreased some. I had my second laser treatment today, a lot more zapping.

Note: After leaving physio, I went to pick up one of my prescriptions and spoke with my pharmacist, a lovely man. He has been researching medications for me, and in that process, found out that another company is now making my original muscle relaxant. He will fax my physician on Monday for a script and have it filled for me asap.

My birthing experiences

I am blogging about my birthing experiences to support a blogger led initiative to raise money for Save The Children’s Build It For Babies campaign.

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I had my first child when I was twenty-eight years old. It was nine months of morning sickness, except that the morning sickness was morning, noon, and night. It didn’t matter what I did. I would eat crackers before moving out of bed or I would eat nothing, either way, I would vomit. I vomited everywhere, at home, at friends, on my walk to work (that was a joy).  My co-worker once asked why I looked like, well crap in the morning, gee, I just vomited in a parking lot. Even with all the vomiting I somehow managed to gain forty pounds and my gynecologist told me it was time to snack only on carrots. I hate carrots.  The weight gain was terrible on me because of a pre-existing back problem. When I found out that I was pregnant, my medications were stopped, and a special back brace was purchased for me to wear pretty much all the time. There were days though, that the pain was too much for me, and my family doctor would make a house call. He would inject me with a painkiller, in hopes that it would ease the pain, always reassuring me that my baby would be fine, and she was.

Fast forward to the birthing day. We only lived a few blocks away, but since I was huge, and had a very bad back, hubby drove me to the hospital. I didn’t go into labour, so labour was induced. At first, no problems, then the contractions started. I was given an epidural, which now meant I couldn’t move from the waist down. My husband with the aid of the nurse would turn me from side to side every hour, which of course meant I would start vomiting again, this went on for twenty-four hours. After twenty-four hours, I had finally dilated the ten centimetres necessary for birthing and my doctor said it was time to push. I laughed! There was no way in hell I was even going to try to push after having been sick all day and night, plus the epidural had made me completely useless (they had given me quite a bit more than normal because of my back). Out came the forceps and the baby was delivered with hubby exclaiming “it’s a, a girl!” Our daughter, all 7lbs 15oz was adorable.

Three years later, I went through the whole process again, this time labour was only twelve hours and I was able to push. I did yell at my gynecologist because he kept saying just one more push. Really? I also yelled at my husband for doing this to me again! Our second child was a girl, we were overjoyed. Middle child though was born with hip dysplasia and ended up having to wear a brace for the first six months of her life. She hated the brace! We would have to undo it when we changed her diaper, so putting her legs back in was not fun, she kicked and kicked.

Two years after middle child, I had my third and last. Again induced, another twelve hours of puking, and yelling at my husband. Per usual I was far too tired to once again push, but I continued to vomit which had the effect of pushing. So every time I was sick, the baby came out a bit more. When the head was somewhat out, my family doctor asked if I wanted to touch her head. Well I was game, but when I did, my initial reaction was a loud ‘YUCK’. Luckily, our son does not recall this.