Thursday, July 27, 2017

Eight Months Later... !

... and my life is much, much better than it was at this time in 2016. Let me count the ways:

(1) I have graduated from prolotherapy. My last treatment was in February, and I last went in to see Dr. Bell in May. She is thrilled by my progress, and did some actual OMT adjustments during the visit in May. I'll see her again at the end of August for a check-in/possible tune-up, but - the worst is behind me, as far as prolo goes. I can't say that I miss the injections (and subsequent pain), but I would do it all over again if I had to!

(2) I have graduated from physical therapy. My last day was in late January, complete with balloons and happy tears. I am going in once a week now, but for nothing related to my SI/pubic symphysis. We are working on strengthening my calves and my feet! Now that I am up and about much, much more, my feet/lower legs (which have always been rather small/weak: I partially torn an Achilles tendon three years ago, and have had multiple stress fractures in my metatarsals) need to get pumped ::clap clap:: UP! It's been nice to reconnect with my PT, too. She is around my age, and has a daughter who is just a bit older than R, so we have grown close.

(3) I am regularly doing cardio (elliptical, stationary bike, and brisk walks) 4-5 times a week, and am also keeping up with my core/stabilizing exercises. It feels REALLY GOOD to be getting stronger and fitter again. I have also been given the green light to pick up a field hockey stick again, wahoo! Not necessarily for hardcore scrimmaging, but I should be able to warm up the high school goalkeepers I coach, and rip some shots on goal... just for fun. :)

(4) My family is doing well. Hubby is muuuuch happier without his gallbladder, and R is laughing, babbling, eating, playing, and growing happily. Even our two cats are at peace with the current set-up! I'm sure there are more challenges ahead (because what is Life without them?!), but I feel ready. With everything we've been through since R's birth, and how we've responded, I'm ready to roll. As always -

Stay Thankful!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

More Prolo, The Holidays, and Staying Thankful

A little update, since it (once again) has been a little while since I last wrote in.

* Prolotherapy is the real deal, my friends. I have now had two treatments, and am due for my third a week from tomorrow (December 8). The second treatment was not nearly as uncomfortable as the first (maybe because I was mentally prepared for it? Who knows.), and my recovery time (the time I spent moving gingerly from point A to point B, and taking Tylenol as needed for pain) was MUCH MUCH shorter. My OMT had not seen me for five weeks between treatments, and reckoned that I was moving about 50% better than I had been before my first treatment. Since I'm living in this body 24/7, I hadn't noticed the difference too dramatically after the first treatment. However, after almost five weeks since my second treatment, I am feeling a huuuuge difference. My pain levels are way down. I am able to sit down on the floor from a standing position without help. I am able to bike on my trusty Airdyne with nearly full-abandon. My OMT has told me that she thinks I will need 4-5 prolo treatments total, before we move on to the manipulation-based treatments. We shall see. I remain, as ever, cautiously optimistic about all of this! Where is the fingers-crossed emoji? I need one.

* PT is also continuing to go well. I have "graduated" to the gym-area of the rehab clinic, wahoo! Meaning, I am now working on strengthening my poor, weak muscles. I am still working to fix one last, stubborn area of diastis recti, too. I am still using the cane when I'm out and about, or when I'm trying to move fast (at work, for example). Slow and steady.

* My whole little familia had the stomach bug over Thanksgiving break, which is one of my very favorite holidays. I was SO sad to miss celebrating with R for the first time. Now that we have all regained our appetites, I am looking forward to Christmas - gahhh! I'm already jamming to old-school Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra, and have hauled out our Christmas decorations. I've loved reading R some of the staples of Christmas books from my childhood: The Polar Express, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, etc. 'tis the season, after all.

* What with the demon virus, my husband getting emergency gallbladder surgery, the current American political environment, etc., I have been feeling admittedly blue lately. Missing Thanksgiving had me miss my annual opportunity to truly and openly reflect on the many reasons I have to be thankful. Usually I can count my health on that list, and I had initially thought, "Well, not this year! Stupid pelvis!", but - but but BUT - here I am. Breathing. Carrying my son some. Living in a sweet little house. Loving my adoring, supportive husband. Walking with only a cane to assist me. Eating every day. Advocating for what I believe in. The list really does go on and on. I can't continue to ask WHY my injury happened, but I can focus on the present and future. So, that's what I'll do.

Stay thankful, everybody.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Back To Work, New PT, Starting Prolotherapy, Etc.

So, it's been almost ::gulp:: two months since I last wrote. Needless to say, a LOT has happened since then. Here we goooooo -

* I went back to work on August 30 (I'm a middle school Spanish teacher). I hadn't been working since maternity leave started in the first week of February. So far, being back in the classroom has been really great for my mental health - it turns out that I had missed teaching tremendously. Even with my physical limitations, I can basically be my "old self" when I'm in teacher-mode. My coworkers and my students have all been very understanding and supportive, too - so good. I'm taking on a new role as part of my building's Leadership Committee, and have new classroom to boot - GOOD changes.

* My work with my OMT is going well so far. She and her wife have a son who's about a month and change younger than R, so she *gets* what my situation is, and how much of a struggle my injuries entail. I've seen her twice thus far, once for an initial consult, and just over a week ago for my first round of prolotherapy (also known as regenerative injection therapy). Prolotherapy (from here on out, I will refer to it as prolo) has been around since the 1930s, but isn't necessarily considered "common" - I had never heard of it before. You can read more about prolo here (, but in nutshell, this is what prolo does: injections of saline and dextrose into the ligaments around my damaged joints (primarily my PS and my left SI) are promoting healing. The injections purposefully cause inflammation in these areas, and are prompting my body to restart the healing process. After a few rounds of prolo, I should feel a significant decrease in pain. After that starts happening, I'll be able to start more manipulation work with my OMT, which should jump-start my mobility gains. For about 6-7 days post-prolo,I was REALLY sore (as prescribed). I took Tylenol (but no anti-inflammatories!) for about a week to help myself along. For the first time, pain IS gain, as far as my recovery is concerned. Time will tell how successful OMT/prolo will be for me. I'm feeling cautiously optimistic.

* Work with my new PT is also off to a great start. We are about three weeks into working together. She's also a new mom (her daughter is 18 months old), and, as with my OMT, we can relate on many levels. She is a pelvic PT, and does have experience working with patients recovering from PSD/PGP. We meet twice to once a week, and I'm doing exercises independently at home every day. The big focus has been core work. At our first meeting/after her first examination of me, she informed me that I have two areas of diastis recti (who knew?!). Nothing crazy, but - enough of a separation that it's been affecting the ability of my core to strengthen. So, we shall continue to work on that! Slow progress, but - progress.

* I have started to use the stationary bike again! I am terrified of biking on the road, but I have always loved a good sweat session on my Airdyne stationary bike (a birthday gift to myself when I turned 25). For the past three weeks, I have been slowly getting reacquainted with it: I started with 4 minutes total, and have cautiously added minutes. I'm now up to 15 minutes, and am trying to get in at least 4 rides a week. I feel zero SI pain when I bike, and my PS is only a wee bit sore afterward. I have the blessing of both PT and OMT to continue biking as my body tolerates it - wahoo! Since I was an avid athlete pre-baby/pre-injury, it is amaaaazing to be able to sweat even a little bit again. :)

OK, off to work - happy Hump Day.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Half A Year of R

I figure it's high time that I share a photo (or six) of my little man. What with all that my injury entails, it's hard to keep positive, a lot of the time. But, here is the "worth it". Happy half, to my R.

Update-a-roo-ski: A Cane, OMT, Pelvic PT, Etc.

Alright, here are some updates. I'm a huge fan of the bullet-style blogging (if you haven't already noticed), so - read on...

* I have a start date for OMT: September 15. Unfortunately, that's a long way off. This OMT (who has apparently treated SPD/PSD/PGP before, wahoo!) only sees three new patients a week, so... that's me. Since she's one of few in my area, she's obviously booked out. Also, I'll travel about a hour and 15 minutes to get to her. I'm on the cancellation list, so we shall see if that happens. In any case, I'm excited to see what OMT has to offer me!

* I met with my ortho doc again yesterday, for x-rays and an examination. The bad news: my PS gap has hardly closed. I was at 2.5cm at 10 weeks PP, and am now at about 2.3cm at just over 6 months PP. I say "bad news", because my heart sunk when I saw that. However, my doc says that, even if the width of my gap stays stubbornly where it is, my recovery can still progress, with continued focus on core strength, pelvic floor work, and gait training. I see that I should believe this, because (a) if I don't, what do I have left?! and (b) he (my doc) has treated SPD before, and seen nearly full recoveries happen.

* The good news from my ortho doc: I am officially ditching my walker, and moving on to using a cane! I have secretly been using a cane for the past few weeks, at first just around the house, but in the past week while out and about, too. I decided to go for it after hearing from some of the ladies in the SPD Facebook group: many were moved from the walker to the cane at around 3 weeks postpartum, on the recommendation of their pelvic PTs. I confessed all of this to my ortho doc, and he nodded sagely and said, "Good for you - that's the right choice". I told him about my PTs being gun shy about progressing me, and he wrote them a note for me to deliver, explaining that now is the time to let me "weight bear to tolerance". #letsgoooo

* In addition to continuing with my current PTs and pool work, I'm going to see a pelvic PT, too. I found a woman who practices about 10 minutes from the school where I work (!!!), and asked my ortho doc if it would be a good idea for me to see her, too. He said that, while he has a lot of knowledge after having practiced for 35 years, he is open to trying new things (such as writing a referral for a PT he has no personal knowledge of), and gives me his medical blessing. So. Stay tuned for more on that!

* Little R slept for the entire night, with no wake-ups, in his crib last night, for the first time ever. He also started daycare this week (he'll be going 3 days/week), and he (nor I) has suffered too much with the transition so far.

Speaking of the devil, he's done in his jumparoo for the time being. Time for a diaper change, a bottle, and a nap. More later -

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Newly Discovered Resources

In the past week or so, I've made some amazing connections, re: exploring treatment options and finding a group of women/people who "get" PSD/SPD/PGP (Pelvic Girdle Pain - apparently, this is the most recent name for this condition, with or without a rupture of the pubic symphysis).

* Pelvic Partnership ( This is a non-profit group out of the UK. They provide TONS and TONS of great information on their site, re: symptoms, treatment, sex, pelvic floor muscles, going back to work, tips for sleeping, sitting, driving - the list is endless. I found their page via Facebook. So far, the biggest take-away I've gotten is this statement: "The good news is that because PGP is a mechanical joint problem, it does respond well to manual therapy." Hmmm. As I've been exploring my options for starting osteopathic treatment (in addition to PT), this really resonated with me. Stay tuned for more there.

* The closed Facebook group, "Diastasis Symphysis Pubis/Pelvic Instability: Separated Pelvis Group" : What an outstanding group of women. I've learned more about PGP from this forum than any medical provider to date. This is what I've been looking for, if subconsciously - someone, anyone, who really understands how I'm feeling, both physically and emotionally. I was alerted to this group's existence by Lexi, who commented on one of my recent posts here on Blogger (thanks, Lexi!). This group has a range of members: ladies who experienced PGP during pregnancy, ladies who had a rupture of the PS during pregnancy, ladies who had a rupture of the PS during delivery, ladies who are pregnant and starting to experience PGP, etc. It was within this forum that I really found the final push I needed to start pursuing OMT treatment in earnest. I suppose I've been hesitant to explore other treatment options due to a fear of "striking out", of these treatments not improving my condition. However, with my return to work coming up in mid-August, I think it's time to get back on the horse and keep moving!

OK - off to see if little R will nap in his crib. We're slowly transitioning him there from his cradle, and so far, he's a bit freaked by all the space the crib has to offer! Wish us luck -

Sunday, July 24, 2016

An Open Letter To Myself

Dear me,

Right now, life is not anything like you imagined it would be. Summer of 2016, with a 5 month old, was supposed to include leisurely stroller walks, family hikes, trips to camp and the islands, exploring the backyard, dancing the night away at a best friend's wedding, gardening in earnest, general adventuring. Your biggest concerns were supposed to be losing the baby weight, transitioning R from the bassinet to the crib, being anxious when you and E go out for dinner without R for the first time, fretting over R starting daycare in late August. Instead, you're locked in a battle with your body. Trying to get your hips, your joints, back into alignment. Trying to find medical providers who aren't stumped by your diagnosis. Using a walker to move from point A to B, all the while attracting stares that range from curious to pitying wherever you go. You're also at odds with your mind. Seeing a therapist for the first time, to talk about all this, and try to understand how you'll move forward. Feeling awful, deep-green envy whenever you hear about your friends, family, anyone having fun doing all the summertime activities you can't. Feeling rage against the OB-GYN who sent you home from the hospital without a diagnosis, in a wheelchair, and with instructions to "take a couple walks a day, take a couple naps a day, heal!". Feeling more anger that, at that time, you didn't know any better to scream for help. Let's be honest - life sucks right now.

That said... it's going to be OK. You're on the right (if painstakingly slow) path. You're doing all the things you can do, the things you need to do, for yourself, for your baby, for your husband. You're going to continue to get better. Even if your "fully-recovered" body isn't exactly capable of the things your pre-injury body was, you will be active again,you will be happy again, in that body. Keep fighting - each second that passes is another second closer to feeling, at the very least, a lot like your old self. Your new self is already a billion times stronger than your old self. I love you!