Thursday, January 17, 2013

Our Bodies, Ourselves

Being pregnant... natural childbirth... breastfeeding...  I knew that my body was going to change.  Some things would get bigger, others would start their journey south, colors would change, new marks would appear... I saw it all coming and have dealt with it.  But what I DIDN'T see coming, and what I wasn't prepared for, was the stress and strain to my muscles and joints. 

I have been in near constant pain since I started going back to work (at least, that's when I first really noticed it).  My back, my neck... hurt.  It's gotten so bad that I can only really sit at my computer in the office for about 20 minutes before I feel the need to crack my neck, twist my back and/or get up and take a lap around the office.  (I think it's gotten even worse since I stopped breastfeeding... no longer biologically required to take a break every couple of hours).

At first I blamed all of the pain on the horrible (non)ergonomics of my work station.  I requested a keyboard tray and suddenly it's become a 3-month long process to get the whole office assessed, get the ok from the higher ups to buy equipment, and then specific items found, ordered and installed (I am still waiting on that keyboard tray).

I've tried massage and acupuncture to relieve some of the tension.  Massage feels great at the time and immediately after, but has had no long-term effects... same with acupuncture.. but it didn't feel nearly as good during the process, so I stopped wasting my sick time for those appointments.  My colleague and husband FINALLY convinced me to go to a chiropractor (I admit, I was pretty petrified... the thought of someone cracking my neck scares the shit out of me), but I went... and am soo glad that I did!

Apparently the root of the problem was likely not my office space (though, it definitely is exacerbating the problem), but rather... breastfeeding.  The strain from the position has caused some unwanted side effects that my chiro is now trying to correct with twice-a-week appointments, cracking, ultrasound, soft tissue work, and, most recently, tape.  Yes, you heard me right.  My back/shoulders/neck have been covered in K Tape (as seen on the Olympics) since Monday.  Super weird.  I've been wearing a lot of scarves. lol  But, here's the funny thing, I am starting to feel better.

On Tuesday, the day after my last appointment, my boss brought me a lumbar support pillow to try... and I don't know if it was the pillow, the most recent round of adjustments, or the tape holding my back/neck together... but I felt WONDERFUL.  I felt like my old self.  I had forgotten what that felt like.  On Wednesday I was a little tender/sore from the chiro on Monday (I seem to skip a day before I get sore) but otherwise it was another good day.  Today I was home with a sick baby, so I can't compare for a third day, but still, those last two days have given me all kinds of hope that maybe, someday soon, I won't have to make sure that I have a bottle of pain pills in my desk drawer at all times.  I can't wait!

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