Saturday, March 05, 2011

Saturday - off again, on again (181.4)

It's not been a great couple of weeks. Nothing horrible, just the usual.

I had a bad bout of PMS--very moody, didn't want to do anything or see anyone, ate too much for comfort. That lasted a couple of days, then I pulled out of it and felt like I was getting back on track.

Then I injured my upper back (between my shoulder and neck) and I've been in pretty serious pain for this past week. It started as a simple pain when I'd turn my head wrong. It hurt a little, and I thought I'd work it out with a shiatsu massage pillow.

Well, apparently I just made it much, much worse, because the next day (Sunday) my pain was constant and deep and severe. Enough that Monday & Tuesday at work I cried at my desk. Wednesday I took the whole day off. I went to a chiropractor-ish guy and got adjusted, & he said my chest muscles are tight so my back in compensating and I slump forward too much and it's making my back muscles a mess.

I felt better after I left--for about 30 minutes, then the pain was back. I went to the after hours clinic to get some pain meds, and the doctor gave me a muscle relaxer, a steroid pack, tylenol 3, and 800 mg ibuprofen (which I was already taking on my own---200mg x 4 pills, duh dude!). The pain was almost gone this morning, but it came back this afternoon, although it's not as bad as it was. If it's not better by Monday or Tuesday, I'm going to my real doctor.

Anyway, I let it derail me. Mostly because my energy has been directed at just surviving my pain-filled days without crumpling into a ball of helplessness. I will never, ever doubt or question someone who has chronic pain (like, my husband) again.

And I of course gained weight. A stupid amount of weight. 5 pounds worth. I don't even know HOW I ate enough to gain 5 pounds. On Thursday, I weighed my heaviest since 2007 - 183.6. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

So, I'm back at it. I started a new tracking spreadsheet again at the end of January. My old one was lost when my hard drive died. I keep track of workouts, weight, mood, night eating, TTOM, and whether or not I've taken my vitamins. It's invaluable information, to look back and see "OH THAT'S WHY" the scale went up (or down). I also started earnestly following my LAWL plan on Friday....again. Today I've done well. I'm planning on the same tomorrow. 2 or 3 days strung together isn't going to cut it, though. I've got to get consistent, and get consistent NOW, before I weigh 200 pounds again.

I've decided I am going to see a therapist, but I need to shop around the city to see who does eating disorders treatment. I wasn't crazy about my last therapist, who is in my psychiatrist's office, and I don't want to go back to her. I don't want to put off seeing someone much longer. My PMS will return in 3 weeks and I'll be right back to being a weepy, sugar-filled mess before I know it. I don't want that to happen again.

Despite the rain and despite my back pain, mentally I feel pretty good today. Heck, I'll take an "up" mood any day. Doesn't matter why or how. I'm just enjoying my family time and gearing up for a good day tomorrow.


Laura I. (G.G.) said...

Sad to hear you've been in pain!

I have upper and lower back degenerative issues--NOT FUN. I get tendonitis complete with icy shivers and tingly numbness in my fingers when things are messed up.

Two things: large doses of ibuprofen and steroids will make you retain water. Anti-inflammatory steroids also have a reputation as "porker pills"--don't know what you're taking, but they can totally send appetite into overdrive. A lot of different factors could be causing that 5 lbs.

Upper body strength training is the BEST thing I've done for my back--pain is a whole lot less than it used to be.

Hope you feel all better soon!

Vickie said...

first, tell your yoga instructor you need help with chest openers.
Say you are in severe pain and must start very slowly.

On your own you can -

Lie flat on the floor on your back.

Your head should be straight extension off your spine, so you will need to use pillows or large stack of bath towels under your head. Make sure you chin is not jutting up to celing nor down on your chest.

You start with a firmly rolled hand towel. You place it parallel to your spine, on your spine. The bottom edge of roll should be at your bra line. Lie for 20-30 minutes.

Work on moving your buns toward your feet (you can shift to one side and then the other and actually push, adjust your buns).

work on putting your shoulder blades 'in your back pocket' this means adjusting your shoulders back and then down.

Work on opening your chest by moving the four corners of your upper back toward the floor.

You increase the size of the towel roll as your chest opens. I do not mean increase the size of the roll in the same session. I mean slowly over many days/weeks.

Tennis balls in a sock can be used after you have worked up to a large towel roll. With the tennis balls, you can experiement and put them parallel to your spine or perpendicular (so the space between two balls is right at your spine).

Eventually you can work up to a yoga block, flat on the floor. Again can have it with the long endge parallel or perpendicular. In the perpendicular position your shoulder blades are sort of melting over the top of the block.

Remember tennis balls and yoga block will not be nearly as squishy as your towel. So you have to work up to a BIG towel roll before you move on to the firmer resistance items so you don't hurt yourself.

Don't skip ahead - start with a hand towel. And stay down a full 20-30 minutes each day.

At work, you can do the same thing be standing against a wall and simply pressing shoulders back and then down. The wall will give you information about where 'all the way back' really is.

backwards over a stability ball or large foot stool is a final step, after you have progressed far beyond towels and are firmly in tennis balls and yoga blocks.

Vickie said...

obviously not big stack of towels under head on first day with rolled handtowel, but size of stack under head increases as item under back increases. As I said - paying attention to direction of your chin is key.

Vickie said...

I have been writing about therapist/therapy a bit lately. there is one up today, another up tomorrow and several in the last couple weeks.

Vickie said...

it has been a week already - how are you feeling and therefore doing?

Vickie said...

thought of you, was at the dentist and one of the hygienists wanted to talk about posture, positions and chest openers. I was there with one of my kids. She came out in waiting room to find me and ask. I stripped off all my layers (down to knit shirt) so she could SEE and answered her questions. this actually happens with/to me a lot with various topics . . .

Vickie said...

laura you are two whole weeks MIA now