Monday, November 16, 2009

Back, Out

It's the closest thing I'll ever have to a sports injury.

At least, it feels how I imagine a sports injury feels. And I can picture myself old and gray, leaning on a cane, hand on my hip, grimace on my face, grumbling, "The old football injury's acting up again." Except that I never played football. (I still don't really understand football, and being married to a sports-loathing man, I suspect I never will.) The most athletic event I have ever participated in was my son's birth, and I'm certain that that's where my "sports" injury came from.

Westley was occiput posterior, and didn't turn; he was born facing up, the way monkeys are born (I'm told). My back pain in labor was unbelievably excruciating. I'd never heard of "back labor" or babies being born "sunny-side-up" at the time, but now it's the only thing I can think to point to as the source of the persistent lower back pain I've been dealing with for almost two years.

Generally speaking, the pain is manageable. But this morning, as soon as my feet hit the floor, it was clear that something was wrong. And then I discovered that it hurt to walk. It hurt to move.

Oh my God. It hurts to move. And I have a child to take care of!

Fortunately, I also have a mother and a husband who put their work on hold, stepped in to care for Westley and even track down a number for my doctor on her day off, when all I could do was sit and cry from the pain.

Several hours, a doctor's evaluation, my first acupuncture treatment, and some anti-inflammatory medicine later, I'm feeling slightly better...physically. I'm still a bit of an emotional wreck. "Random muscle spasm" was the verdict, which does not make me hopeful for the future. I have been to more doctor appointments in the past two years than I went to in eight years prior to that! And I'm following all of the recommendations from my health-care professionals, and still--still!--I wake up in the morning and can't move? How am I supposed to feel good about this?

It's all very scary, and it means having to explain to Westley that it's okay, Mommy is crying because her back hurts. And that no, he can't come "up" for a hug, because Mommy can't lift him today.

I'm not trying to be a professional athlete. I don't plan to run a marathon, or even a 5K. Picking up my child when he needs comfort is not an athletic event, but right now, I can't do that. I was worried about getting my body back after childbirth, but now I'd just settle for getting my back back.



Allison the Meep said...

Sorry your back is hurting! Hope it feels better soon.

I just wanted to comment that we are somehow the luckiest women alive to be married to sports-loathing men. I always feel like I hit the jackpot on that, because he thinks it's just as meatheaded as I do, and I never have to sit through hours of being ignored for a football game.

Also, my cousin's baby was born face up, and all I remember about her story is that she was really upset at the time because he was born looking at her "junk."

emily bilbrey said...

poor dear! that must be unbelievably frustrating. one of my biggest anxieties is the idea of being injured and unable to physically take care of my baby. i actually have a recurring dream that my arms don't work right and i have to keep kneeling down and putting poppy on the ground so i don't drop her - not being able to hold my girl is bad enough even in a dream! so having that as a reality is a terrible thought!

hang in there. it's good that you have a supportive mama and hub to help you out. i hope that you're able tp heal quickly and get back to feeling normal. good luck! cheers!

Jessica said...

I hurt my back a few weeks after Hollis was born and a couple of times since and most recently (September) I've had 16 chiro, 2 orthopedic visits, 2 xrays, and an MRI all to tell me I have 2 bulging discs that basically no one can do anything about.

If I could manage to NOT pick up 33 lbs of dead weight for, say, a month or so, I bet I'd feel a lot better :) hahaha

Good luck to you! I'm hoping you're all healed soon.

Amber, The Unlikely Mama said...

This makes me think about how I felt after my c-section. I was actually kinda grateful that I didn't have Alexa home with me when I came back from the hospital...because HOW DO MOMS CARRY THEIR BABIES AFTER THEY'VE BEEN CUT OPEN??? I could barely carry myself for a couple of weeks.

BTW, to both you and Allison...LOVE LOVE LOVE living in a sports free home :-)

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