I Hurt Myself: How I Recovered in 10 Easy Steps

ice pack

Me and my ice pack were really really good friends this past year.  More like, I was the crazy overbearing friend who couldn’t get enough of my friend, Ice Pack.

It was a toxic relationship.

You see, this past year, in my journey to fitness, I injured my lower back.  It was a nagging, tugging, aching, down the leg and the back of the knee scary pain in my back.  A surprise, really, as I’ve never really had any kind of pain issue that kept me from doing what I normally did throughout the day. (Well, except my last pregnancy, in which my back was so bad at the end that I couldn’t even attempt to get off the couch normally, but instead slid down to the floor onto my butt, rolled over on all fours and shimmy up the couch to a standing position.  Go ahead.  Picture it.)

After beginning with a kickboxing program in January, then heavy weight lifting in March, then becoming certified in TurboKick in April, it started to nag at me a little bit.  And even though I stretched more, modified workouts more, cut back on fitness in general, it still annoyed me with its insistence to be heard. 

So, in order to combat its nagging voice, here is what I did to recover in 10 easy steps:

ONE:  Called  my doc friend, who recommended his in-house Chiropractor.  After 4 visits and subsequent adjustments (FYI, they creep me the heck out), I was no better, and in fact, a little worse.  So, I just quietly stopped calling for appointments

TWO:  Ice Pack and Me become friends

THREE:  Visit my old Chiropractor in Wyoming who, with no adjustments and his trusty Thumb o’ Steel, inflicted pain into my deep muscle tissue all while saying “Tender?  Tender?  Tender there?”  Um, yes, Doc… just assume its tender while I make this twisted face of pain.   After the torture was over and I successfully suppressed the instinct to horse-kick him, I instantly felt SO much better.  But y’all, I can’t drive 4 hours for an appointment, so at his recommend found another doc who does similar treatment.

FOUR:  Ice Pack and Me start spending a lot of time together

FIVE:  Visited this new doc with great anticipation.  Long story short, after 5 visits, 5 different diagnosis’ and an incident involving:  a) acupuncture needles, b) a forgetful assistant who forgot to take 5 LONG needles outta my hip and back and c) me, pantsless in an exam room not wanting to remove said-needles, but can’t leave the room because the needles were in the way of putting on pants, I decided to pursue different care… AGAIN

SIX:  Ice Pack, Me and Ibuprofen have many playdates

SEVEN:  Called my doc friend again.  He hooked me up with a Physiatrist M.D. (sounds made up) who hooked me up with an MRI.  Said Physiatrist (who wore loafers without socks, man-pris and was awesome) hooked me up with an MRI.   Whereas I overcame my horrific fear of MRI imaging tubes even though the technician was pumping angry rap and horrific country music into my earphones and didn’t even offer me a Valium.  Results from the MRI drew compliments from Dr. Man-Pri who said my back was amazingly healthy and complimented me on my “well-hydrated” discs and refers me to a physical therapist

EIGHT:  Mr. PT had me do Cat-Cow over and over and over, charged me a $50 co-pay for each Cat-Cow sesh, told me to stop exercising immediately and that I needed to take a bajillion of his Pilates classes (also another charge), wouldn’t give me a date when all of this nonsense would be over, convinced me to buy a Yoga Brick, and, as the cherry on top, couldn’t remember me from an appointment 2 days prior.

NINE:  Goodbye Cat Cow – Hello Ice Pack

Crestfallen wouldn’t even describe how I felt at this point.  Hundreds of dollars out, and not ONE percentage of recovery.  I went home after that last visit of Yoga-to-Nowhere, and bawled my eyes out to my husband.  And then, as if I had just remembered I had Someone else in my corner, I just prayed that somehow God would lead me to a place of healing… and if He did not, well, maybe it was time for me to hang up my Nikes.

But He always comes through, right?  

So here is what happened next:

TEN:  Upon whinin- I mean, sharing this in spiritual direction, my spiritual director, Father Awesome, had a Doctor friend who just started a practice who specialized in – gasp – SPORTS THERAPY. Dr. Hill was able to see me immediately the next week, identified the problem, tortured me a few times in love of course, and with just 4 visits, had me back to 90%.  

Yep.  9 ridiculous steps to get to the 10th – healing a fitness-related injury.  

Wading through the muddy waters of medical care when you are injured can be difficult, confusing and a drain on patience, finances – but never, apparently for me, a reduction in finding the humor in all of it.  Which is why, my dear readers, Dr. Hill will be guest posting for me on Friday!  How to seek the right care for a sports-related injury so you can get back to kickin’ butt and takin’ names… 

3 things: #1 - Yes this is me.  #2 - My super adept skills at taking action shots may be lacking, and #3 - please don't judge my messy basement...

3 things: #1 – Yes this is me. #2 – My super adept skills at taking action shots may be lacking, and #3 – please don’t judge my messy basement…

May He Who has helped me by doing other and more difficult things for me help also in this: in His mercy I put my trust. – St Teresa of Avila