After over four months of experiencing some level of pain every day and an unhealthy ibuprofen consumption I decided to go back to the doctors. After a lengthy discussion with the hospital receptionist about where exactly my ass hurt I was referred to the spine center.
The doctor listened to me very briefly before feeling my spine while he bent me this way and that. He uttered thoroughly non-reassuring phrases such as ‘Oh, that’s terrible’ and ‘Why does your spine move like that?!’ before packing me off to X-ray.
The X-ray consultant seemed to be enjoying herself while trying to pretzel me into unnatural positions, failing to believe me when I told her my body just doesn’t move that way.
5 minutes later the Dr was showing me the X-ray (yes, UK dwellers, only 5 mins. The joys of private hospitals vs the NHS!) ‘See here in your lumbar region? Normally people have a curve here. Yours is gone. And here you can see the gap between your discs is too small. And here your spine is starting to curve when it shouldn’t. It’s not as bad as I thought because your ligaments are still intact. When they are not your spine will be able to move and that would be bad. But there’s nothing wrong with your tailbone.’
So I was put on a week-long regimen physiotherapy. First they electrocute the muscles in my back for 10 mins on each side. Then they
poke massage the sore parts, which I think is mostly a challenge for them to see how hard they can press before I cry. After that they do ‘exercises’, involving stretching my back and legs in weird ways while I try desperately to clench my butt cheeks together and not fart in their faces. Finally it’s ‘traction’, which is basically one of those old fashioned stretching torture devices. I think I’ll have grown an inch by the end of the week.
I also have to take a bunch of strong painkillers, meaning the end of breast feeding for me. I read online that lots of women get quite upset during the weaning process, feeling a loss of connection with their little one. Having never successfully breast fed Squirt and having not developed a connection with my pump, despite five months spending so many eye-watering hours having it stretch my nipples beyond what I believed possible, I wasn’t too distraught.
I was so keen to say good riddance, in fact that I decided to go cold turkey and stop pumping straight away. I had already stretched my pump schedule to every 8 hours but was still collecting 800mls a day so it was a bit of a shock to my poor boobs. Or I should say boob. One breast has been a persistent low performer since the beginning, lazily producing 50mls while the other grafter put up numbers like 200mls per session.
I slept quite well and woke up…uncomfortable. It was nasty. GBF, who is oddly fascinated by the gross side of baby making/raising asked what it looked like. Hmm. You know when you see a really crappy, over the top boob job? Imagine that but worse. Lumpy, rock solid, unmoving, very sore. But only on one side. The lazy boob took it in its stride and remained at a normal size, adding to my weirdly lopsided silhouette. Hot, huh? Thankfully the back pain meds worked two-fold and relieved some of the discomfort.
Disclaimer: not actually me :-), but no joke this is what I looked like.
After 3 days I caved and pumped 150mls from mega-boob. It worked brilliantly. I was no longer the stuff of nightmares and the milk wasn’t replaced so I don’t look like I’m going to tip over anymore. And adios to the nipple suckers. Hooray!
As for my back, not so good news. I’m over half way through the physiotherapy and if anything I’d say the pain has worsened with all the prodding and poking. I don’t think the doctor was very hopeful that many years of abuse it would be fixed so easily. The next step is an MRI and then, scarily surgery.
I haven’t gotten all the information yet. The surgery he thinks I would need involved screwing at least two of my discs together, maybe more. He mentioned a two month, painful recovery but I’m not sure yet if I’d be able to work/take care of Squirt/function.
Yuck. I’m stressed at the possibility of leaving poor WW to have to look after me and Squirt with no help. I’m worried at work’s reaction to me having more time off when I’ve just got back from maternity leave. I’m not sure how much of the procedure my insurance will cover. But this is a problem I’ve had since I was 18 and I would love to fix it, once and for all. At the moment I can’t walk for more than 10 minutes without having to sit down and take a break. This can’t go on. Aghhh! Any one out there with a magic wand???