Chiropractor Appointment

Went to a chiro recommended to me last night and got some pretty amazing news.. I found out that there’s a bulge on my MRI that NO-ONE has paid attention to, which is the actual source of my pain and not the degenerated disc, and it CAN be fixed! It’s a long term injury that wore down the disc and then a blunt force injury a few years ago that led to an annular tear and also to the disc bulging eventually on to my sciatic nerve when I started correcting my deadlift form. I went in unable to lift my leg higher than a 45degree angle and came out with it at 90degrees – even higher than my better leg! He said he thinks he’ll have me fixed up and back lifting by Xmas :)

I’m trying to be realistic just in case it doesn’t work, but it’s the best news I’ve had in years.

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Dealing with Chronic Sciatica and PTSD

ThisGirl:

A blog post I wrote earlier about chronic pain management and PTSD.

Originally posted on Echoes of Words:

Dealing with Chronic Pain on top of PTSD isn’t easy. It’s hard, it’s so damn hard that some days I want to cut off my legs as much as my trauma has cut up my heart.

Sometimes I think that I tell too much of how hard this is and how little of the ways I’ve got through it, but the truth is that I really don’t know how it is that I have. All I know is that every single day, I wake up in pain, and every single night I lie awake wishing that just for a few minutes…all of it would go away.

When dealing with mental illness, you’re told to ‘exercise’, ‘do the things you love’, but what do you do when you can’t do those things any longer? I loved lifting weights, it pretty much became a part of my identity for 7 years…but now it’s…

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Pain and more pain

I’m in a great deal of pain daily at the moment. Getting back to any kind of training hasn’t even been an option. On top of that, my anxiety/PTSD issues are really bad right now so even the idea of going to the gym is too much. At the moment, I do my work at home, go to the childminding gig 3 days a week, and that’s it. My boyf lives with me and has been a massive help, but he’s the only person I see lately. Even walking into the town fills me with anxiety.

I hate that I can’t train. It was the one thing that made me feel good about myself and now I’ve lost it too. I hate this body and what its become. I used to be strong, fit, lean.. Now I disgust myself.

I don’t see a way out. The only thing I can do it upper body work which doesn’t make sense as I’ll be creating imbalances and it wouldn’t be much use anyway. Even the crosstrainer makes my leg go numb so it’s not an option either. Everyone says ‘go swimming’, well I would if I thought it would work but it’s actually the least decent form of cardio there is and it has little strength benefits at all. Also, I’d rather not have my scars on display in a public pool.

When I hated my body as a teenager, the gym was the thing that changed me. It made me like myself. It gave me confidence. Now I’ve lost that. I’ve lost so much, and now this too.

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Goodbye squat rack, hello orthopaedic surgeon

To say that last session was a bad idea, would be an understatement.

I wound up in serious pain, to the point where my leg actually locked out so much one night that I couldn’t move it for about 5minutes.  So I decided ‘fuck that neuroscience shit, fuck the physio bullshit’ and I went to my GP.  My GP is amazing and was astounded I had left it over a year to tell him about my back and my scan results; I guess I’d been pulled into the ‘physios are always best’ opinions that had been thrown at me and hadn’t thought to myself ‘who is best qualified to refer me for the best treatment?’.  My GP straightaway referred me to an orthopaedic surgeon and told me I could be a candidate for surgery, but that there are also options such as nerve block injections that may help me.  As I didn’t have health insurance, it was going to take a few months to get my appointment – even though he put it through as ‘urgent’, but thankfully my (amazing) boyfriend came to the rescue and added me to his company insurance so I can go private.

So I’m not too sure what to do training wise now.  For once, I’m actually going to listen and not do any lower body training – mainly because I can hardly walk so it wouldn’t be possible even if I tried.  That said, I can still do upper body conditioning sessions and when the pain eases up I should be able to use the crosstrainer again.

It’s shit that I have to quit doing what I love, but what’s the point in deadlifting 100kg one day if you can’t walk the next?

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Chronic Pain Management

I’m really having a bit of a hard time pain wise at the moment. Been looking into the neuroscience of pain quite alot, but when 3 days after training you’re still avoiding walking at all costs, and having your boyfriend knead the fuck out of your leg to regain any actual movement (which is in no way sensual, FYI), you start to question just how much it’s worth it.

But then I remind myself of how few things there are in this world that make me feel the way I do with a barbell in my grip; that make me feel powerful, invincible even – for just a few hours… And then ‘worthwhile’ becomes a whole new ballgame and tells the pain to go FUCK ITSELF

I’ve recently re-added some pull work and things like rowing back into my training which I’m determined to follow through with, because I really don’t believe they’re worsening my ‘injury’ as such; yes they’re worsening the pain level but that’s a result of my body’s interpretation of what it should be feeling and not a direct result of an increased injury. I hope that makes sense, it makes sense in my head anyway!  I feel like my mind is cheating me right now, I’m stressed so it’s telling me not to train; my leg hurts so it’s telling me not to train or it will get worse – so in turn, my body is listening and reacting in the same way. Almost as if to penalise me for not adhering to this warped cognitive process. i.e. ‘this is going to hurt, so I’m going to tense up and protect myself’, when in reality it’s the muscle tension that’s leading to escalate the pain further.

Despite believing all of that with regards to the origins of the pain though, it certainly doesn’t help when it’s as bad as its been the past few days. So here’s hoping tomorrow is a better day and I can get back to the gym and teach it who’s boss.

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Strength (2) Session

This was my first session back training after a really bad few weeks with PTSD issues kicking my ass, and if I’m honest, I nearly turned back about 5 times on the way there.  But I made it, and I got through it.  My legs felt shaky, so the squats went nowhere fast, and everything just felt ‘off’, but I was determined to finish out the session.

It’s now 3 days later and I’m in a great deal of pain, which it’s very hard not to sink into.  Some of it was the normal DOMS, but now on Day 3, I’m still dealing with the nerve issue that causes this constant pain to sear up and down my leg, no matter what I do to try to ease it.  I wish I could say it’s no worse than it usually is, but it’s much worse.  Training exacerbates it, that’s clear. What I need to figure out over the next while, is whether I can do anything about that.

Lower body Mobility – Lots.

Strength Work 

Front Squats

20kgx5

30kgx5

30kgx5

35kgx5

35kgx5

35kgx5

Step ups with 10kg plate: 4×8 e/s

Plank: 60sec,60sec,30sec

DB Incline Press, Alternate:

7.5kgx8

7.5kgx8

10kgx5x5

Single Arm Rows:22.5kg 4×8

Side Bridging: 3x30sec e/s

DB Bicep Curls 10kg: 5×10

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