Tuesday, May 7, 2019

My love affair with PT

It is maybe an unusual way for a love affair to start. Last week I woke up with a horrible pain in my neck. I took some Tylenol and thought I had just slept on it wrong.

By the end of the day I had a crippling headache and felt nausea from the pain. I took anti-nausea meds from my personal pharmacy and informed my daughters that dinner was leftovers and not to stay up too late, I had to go to sleep. I woke up in the night and the pain was really bad and knew I needed to get to the doctor. The muscles were clearly all seized up so I knew it was not something that required the ER and freaking out my children (and dog).

Luckily I was able to get help with rides to school for the girls and walking the dog. My doctor got me in early and quickly diagnosed me with a bulging disc in my neck. Not what I expected but was glad to hear that muscle relaxers and physical therapy (PT) were the prescription.

The next two days were a bit of a haze thanks to the muscle relaxers. They did their job but they took the rest of me down with them. PT started just two days after the pain and my therapist was like a miracle worker. The first session was pretty much a joint and muscle massage that helped my muscles release and my joints to remember what to do. I am going twice a week now and the first half hour is a massage and the second is exercises like I usually pay a trainer to make me do - all covered by insurance!

Now, I don't recommend giving yourself a bulging disc, but if you are ever offered PT say yes!!! My new worry now is that I am going to "graduate" from PT before the 6 weeks I was prescribed at the outset are up. Prescribed PT makes me feel like I have to go and make time, and while I love massages and my trainer, too often these activities fall lower on the list. So I may be crossing my legs while I sit to keep my body just out of alignment enough to need PT a few weeks longer!!!

Realize I have been terrible blogging. I started back to work in January. Not because I was feeling better but because the treatment drugs stopped working and they still made me feel bad so we decided to stop. It took me another month to get off the steroids. I've been left with osteopenia from the steroids, so weaker bones but not all the way to osteoporosis.

I've still being getting blood work done every month.  In April my counts dropped across the board. I've been holding above re-treat levels but see more treatment in my future sooner versus later so next week am starting a leave of absence from work to have summer with the girls (hopefully) before treatment ramps up again.

As to what the next round will look like that is still TBD. I could be back at the NIH but would be travelling their every 2 weeks for 6 months for some big dog chemo which I know will make me feel miserable, or I could do treatment here. We are still weighing options.

For now, I am tired, and my neck is sore, but otherwise life is busy but good.