Thursday, August 27, 2015

My Medical Mystery

I hate going to the doctors. Like H-A-T-E! I try and avoid them like the plague (and even if I had the plague, I would probably still avoid them for as long as humanly possible). Maybe it is because I am a bit of a medical mystery.

Let me give you a little background - when I was in 9th grade, I fractured a vertebrae in my back. I had to wear a back brace for a while and it was supposed to take care of the issue. Well, after the healing happened, the pain still remained. I went to a myriad of doctors, getting tons of tests (MRIs, CAT Scans, Ultrasounds, etc), taking just about every medication under the sun, going to physical therapy, getting acupuncture (they even hooked up electrodes to some of the needles and had them pulsate - talk about VOMIT!), you name it, I probably tried it.


After months and months of different appointments, a chiropractor actually asked my mom if she had heard of Fibromyalgia. Of course she had, she had been diagnosed with (as had her uncle, my grandma's youngest brother), but didn't want to mention it to my doctors for a few reasons (First, at that time a lot of doctors still didn't "believe" in fibro. They thought it was "all in the mind", something the patient just made up. Next, she wanted the doctors to come to their own conclusions. And, finally, there were/ are no tests for it, so it wasn't like they could technically do anything to say YES or NO. Fibro is sort of a "catch all", like if you can't figure it out, you just call it fibromyalgia because of the symptoms. (Sort of like my stomach issues that they figured was Irritable Bowel Syndrome because they couldn't find anything else more specific wrong.).)

Well, at least we had a name to the issue (and I wasn't as crazy as all the doctors made me out to seem), but that didn't fix the issues. A lot of the medications for fibro are just treating the smorgasbord of symptoms (whether they are for sleep, fatigue, depression, pain, etc) and many of them, once you get on them, you are on them for life. Since I was still young when I was diagnosed, the general consensus was "stay active, eat healthy, and you'll be fine".


Ha, if it wasn't so painful it might actually be funny. Let me tell you, I am active, I try and eat as healthy as possible, and I am NOT fine. I am living with constant pain and just having to manage life around it. After so many doctors visits and so few answers, you start to get discouraged and just decide to throw up your hands.


Lately, I have tried a couple alternative options. Even though massage is NOT my jam (my hubby loves it), I tried to give it a go. I have gotten a couple Living Social deals and have gone to a few appointments. Sure, they can be relaxing (mostly due to the calming music, unplugging and not looking at your phone or computer for the hour, etc), but I wouldn't say they helped my body feel better, so for me - not worth the money (lets be real, I'd rather put that money towards new running shoes or a race registration).

Today I tried a chiropractor again for the first time in probably 15 years. I have NOTHING against the practice, I just have a hard time spending money on myself HOPING for a fix/ cure to yet again walk hobble away disappointed. Like the massages, I saw a deal on Living Social for this chiropractor and they were right up the street so I figured I'd give it a go.

This first appointment was more of an exam. The chiropractor looked at my posture (to which he mentioned my right hip was at least a third of an inch higher than my left... totally makes sense as to why my right hip flexor is always tighter than my left) (oh yeah, and although my shoulders are aligned correctly over my hips, my necks jets out funny apparently...), took some X-rays and did a decent amount of chatting. 


He asked me, "If you were Bill Gates and money wasn't an issue, and I was a magic genie, what would you want?". Well, besides to run faster, find someone to pay me to blog, take pictures and run, and oh yeah, some world peace, I thought a decrease in general pain and a quicker recovery time from running would be a great place start and something maybe he could help me with!

I have to go back on Tuesday for my next appointment. At that point we will go over my X-rays and see what is what, along with an adjustment, if needed. He said he will lay out a course of action (if he believes chiropractic care can help any of my issues), where we will work as a team. 

To be completely honest, I have to say I have little faith in it. I would LOVE to say I am optimistic or at least hopeful, but at this point, that is not the truth. It does not have anything to do with the method, it has to do with that fact that after so many years of NOT finding anything to help I don't let my hopes get up too high only to have them crushed again.


So, there it is. A tiny bit of my wacky medical history... But the main take away is that I am stepping out of MY box, trying something new, and attempting to put me and my body as a priority.

Have you ever been to a chiropractor before?


Unknown said...

I do see a chiro and I really think it helps. I hope this helps you. :). Being in pain is no fun. I've been dealing with the some health issues for two years and I'm FED UP! I feel like screaming " I'm not lying about all these symptoms so find something wrong with me!!" Like you, I loathe the dr. I'm trying to be better though and I've gone a few times recently and have some tests to do because ����FED UP! I hope you find some relief Carlee!!! Hugs!!

Jodi said...

I have an aunt with fibro and she struggles all the time to manage it. I have never tried a chiropractor but have been told by many it is a good idea as a runner. Maybe some fat day I'll listen ;)

Anonymous said...

i absolutely LOVE my chiropractor, but she has a physical therapy and holistic approach in addtion to traditional adjustment. She's also a professional wakeboarder, so she is great at helping me balance healing with wanting to keep moving forward as an athlete. I feel really lucky to have her.