After my alternative health doctor in Florida discovered that my sciatic pain was from a dental implant and I had it removed, I experienced instant relief. The nerve pain in my legs, hips and lower back subsided almost immediately. However, the road to total recovery was much longer than I had anticipated.
The dental implant came out in May 2012, and in July I fainted again from the relentless back spasms, ending up in the emergency room over and over. The nerve pain was nearly gone, but my body was still in “protect mode,” trying to shield the weakened surgery site. I had started living a more normal life, able to do light chores and take short walks with Barney, yet I still suffered from random spasms and fainting spells. I had to carry a small pillow with me (even to restaurants!) in order to sit with a fraction of comfort. My back muscles, tendons, and ligaments were simultaneously spasmodic and stretched like licorice ropes from eighteen months of minimal activity.
Stop the Cycle
Anyone who has had muscle spasms knows the first thing we do is try to stretch it out…bad idea! The muscle is contracting to protect what it perceives as a weak spot or an injury. The more you stretch or try to dig it out, the harder it “protects.” Best to lay low, use warm moist heat to loosen it, then administer short bouts of ice to decrease inflammation. When it’s not in spasm-mode, that’s when it’s okay to gently stretch or try to strengthen. Tens units are also a dream come true and have stopped the spasm cycle for me. I couldn’t live without one.
Part of my healing in 2012 included weekly Prolozone injections in my low back (a mixture of B vitamins, Prilocaine, and ozone). The combination lowers inflammation and speeds up healing ten-fold. I even had to have one in my pubic area (OUCH!) in order for the ligaments that held my pelvis together to tighten back up (same ligaments that stretch during childbirth). The loose ligaments supporting my hips were making it impossible for me to sit without knife-stabbing pain. I would watch TV draped over an ottoman! Luckily, the shot worked instantly and I soon moved on to the next phase: minor exercise.
I began exercising with a DVD called Egoscue Pain Free Workout Series, http://www.egoscue.com/, http://www.amazon.com. For those of you experiencing any kind of pain that’s inhibiting normal exercise, I highly recommend it. Not only does it make you feel stronger, it helps with mood too. I remember feeling like a wimp at first because it was so easy, but it was the only way for me to get stronger without overdoing it at the gym. It is my tendency to go full-speed ahead and want fast results. This program kept me from hurting myself and I was able to move up to intermediate within about six months. I know – slooooow!! But I had a few set-backs. I was so weak I felt like a newborn, therefore gradual was necessary.
All year, Ken had been waiting for me to get better so we could move to Virginia for his new promotion. Finally, in September, I felt I could manage the short flight. Just as we secured plane tickets to start house hunting, he got a call from a company in St. Louis with a job offer he couldn’t refuse. I was shocked and remember thinking, “St. Louis, really?” But, I am a big believer in things happening for a reason.
In mid-December 2012, as we rode in the car for seventeen long hours on the way to St. Charles, Missouri, I reflected back on the progress I had made since being bed-ridden just a few months prior. I was exuberant about the chance to start over in a new place, to witness the seasons again, and make new friends. If you had asked me in February what my future would look like, I would’ve said “wheelchair.”
Though I was optimistic, I was still nervous about each hurdle before me. Would I be able to walk Barney while we lived in our little townhouse? What if it was slippery and I fell? I didn’t have a doctor in Missouri, so what if something happened and I couldn’t walk again? I had to set my fears aside, learn to trust that God would be with me on the journey, and embrace the gift of each day.
Turns out, having to walk Barney several times a day and go up and down the stairs in our rented townhouse strengthened me. I found a chiropractor that also practiced acupuncture and I relied on him heavily. By the time we moved into our house in March, I had returned to my favorite form of exercise and meditation – yoga. I was taking daily Barney-walks, and flew back to Florida a few times for IVs to keep my adrenal system healthy. I was really starting to feel relaxed about my health and then something changed.
In May, my system began reacting to everything I was eating again. Fatigue kicked in and brought along my old buddy Fear, and I had to find resources around St. Louis. I suspected the move was to blame; once we were settled my body gave in to the stress of it all.
Thanks to a chance encounter (divine intervention) and a referral from the nutritionist at my gym, I made appointments with a few different holistic practitioners and found a new-to-me medical paradigm -– quantum mechanics in medicine. Energy work. What an immediate, life-altering difference it made, and still does to this very day. I can’t imagine my future without it.
I also found a place nearby to get those IVs I relied on so heavily, but I couldn’t get in for six months so the energy therapies had a chance to prove their effectiveness, and did they ever! By November, I was sustaining stable physical and emotional health. Turns out, the practitioners that I see have unique techniques that I wouldn’t have been blessed to find in Florida or anywhere else. An intricate web of divine intervention.
I have always been open-minded about holistic healing, as traditional Western medicine has rarely worked well for me (though at times it has). I’ve discovered many valid forms of treatment, and just as Chinese medicine, herbs and “medicine women” have existed since the beginning of time, there is real science behind our energetic universe (thank you, Albert Einstein). For example, Stress. What is it? It’s negative energy. What does it do? Contributes to and causes major illness and cancer. Then there’s the healing power of Prayer/Meditation/Optimism…positive energy and faith, all proven to miraculously heal. Energy.
In future blogs, I will share some of my energy-healing experiences, backed by science and faith, and let you form your own opinions.
“We still do not know one-thousandth of one percent of what nature has revealed to us.” Albert Einstein