Tuesday, March 05, 2013

some unwelcome news

Since I started my blog hiatus I've been pretty depressed. I started to feel a bit better at the middle/end of last week though. I still couldn't racewalk much, but for some reason my spirits lifted a bit, which was welcome.

I started seeing a chiropractor last week on the recommendation of coach and some friends. I figured it can't hurt (too much) and might help. Mostly I don't think it's particularly scientific or evidence-based, but there are reports that it can be useful for musculoskeletal issues so I thought I'd give it a shot. I'm still doing physical therapy as well, so 2 visits there plus 2 chiro visits adds up to a lot of time. Plus all the exercises, plus keeping my cardio up both for fitness and weight maintenance. Whew.

Last week I expressed my frustration to the physical therapist about how things were going (or not going, as the case may be). I can walk for a few minutes, but then the pain starts. That hasn't changed much despite taking time completely off from walking in addition to doing everything I'm supposed to. The PT got thinking that something else was underlying the piriformis pain. He tested me and found some positive signs for SI joint dysfunction. He did some manipulations, and got another PT to do some, and it made me a bit sore but not really better. This week he asked a PT colleague who'd been to an SI joint class for extra training to assess me. She said that my sacrum is rotated so that the left side is too far anterior and the right side too far posterior. It seems likely that the fall I took on my porch steps back on February 2nd is responsible for this problem; I hit the left side of my lower back (actually left hip at the top) in just the right spot to cause the sacrum to get out of alignment. Heck, I'm lucky I didn't break anything...but I'm actually not sure this is any better. Regardless, the PT gave me some exercises to try and realign things, but they are running out of ideas. They want me to go see my doc since I never saw her for this problem and see what she can do for me medically - i.e. imaging, medications, injections, whatever. I called the doc to make an appointment but can't get in until April 2nd. Yikes.

So now I'm pondering things. Looks like it's going to be a while until I can even think about racewalking again. A good long while. There may not be much anyone can do for this beyond exercises and time. Perhaps lots of time. I'm hoping it won't be a permanent problem. I'm really trying not to let my mind go there. However, I do need to figure out what to do in the meantime. I can't do the elliptical and stationary bike forever - it's just not that fun. My boss suggested bicycling; it's not warm enough yet but soon it will be. He also suggested martial arts. Not sure I'm up for that or that it will be enough cardio. It doesn't hurt a lot to run short distances, so I might be able to run. Maybe. But that seems risky. Swimming is OK but I don't love it. I'll have to consider this ... right now I don't feel up to making decisions about much.

I'm mentally doing OK and hoping I don't start to feel depressed again. Somehow I don't think I will. I'm committed to finding a way to muddle through. I haven't gained any more weight, though I haven't lost any either. I guess that's a good start, but I need to get my diet back to where it needs to be, which is challenging when life is a bit out-of-control. One step at a time.

1 comment:

Harriet said...

Oh boy. Actually your post was useful to me; I first got piriformis issues in 2006 and they've dogged me off and on every since. But in 2006, while cycling, I hit a patch of gravel and fell, hard on my left hip...very hard. I wonder if that gave me a misalignment such as you have.

The good news is that, while I am limited to a degree, I still could walk enough to finish a few marathons (albeit with illegal technique), a 100 miler and do some running. But all of this involves managing the ^%$# piriformis issue, which hasn't completely gone away.