… and yet ultimately, Freedom. Let me explain.
Since going through an excessively busy time in November last year, I’ve felt increasing back pain in my lower back. Around the same time (and what brilliant timing that was, seeing we were starting to conceive), my semi-regular cycles suddenly disappeared. From November to January I had what was likely an anovulatory cycle lasting 75 days (!) and then despite having a strong luteal surge (that usually signals ovulation), fourteen days later I had one day of spotting… and then nothing.
The lower back pain continued to persist, the bloating made me look about fourteen weeks pregnant and all the home pregnancy tests I did came back negative. A couple of spells of light-headness and consistent fatigue sent me to my doctor. Recall how there have been very few posts lately? It was all I could do to get through the day. The doctor performed a multitude of blood tests and surprisingly, most of them came back normal. Things that had historically been issues for me were fine, largely thanks to greater focus on paleo eating. Hormone levels were completely normal (no PCOS issues), B12 was normal, no anaemia or anything! The only elevated test was C-Reactive Protein, which shows inflammation in the body. The doctor said that I may have had a slight cold or something when I did the test and that would have caused it. I begged for Provera (a progesterone supplement that will bring on a bleed, sometimes this helps to reset the body) and he gave me a Day 21 Progesterone test, saying this was all he could do for me before referring me on to a fertility specialist.
This kind of scared the crap out of me. I don’t like the thought of pumping my body full of drugs. It was around this time that I started seeing chiropractors being referred to A LOT on online forums I followed. Papa M and I discussed that we would throw everything natural that we could at our next couple of cycles as neither of us particularly wanted to pursue the highly technical road if we didn’t have to. And hey, if worst comes to worst, at least it would resolve that lower back pain, right? I’m extremely lucky to work across the road from a medical centre that houses a chiropractor’s office so I made the appointment and went last Thursday.
Seriously, no jokes whatsoever, I think the visit may have changed my life. It was evident even from her inspection of me standing (before running an arm fossa test) that I have a Category 2 – a sprain of the pelvis leading to sacro-iliac separation. I have may have had it for up to nine years, following an accident I had at 19. Coincidentally, this is about how long I have been diagnosed with PCOS.
As you can see in the picture above, the muscles are not holding the left side of my pelvis as close as they should – you can see this in the abdominal x-ray I had about five months after the accident. As a result, my left hip struggles to hold itself up against gravity. To rectify this, my shoulders have been tilting in the opposite direction. As your eyes always try to maintain their level against the horizon, my neck then tilts back slightly the other way. I’ve been walking around shaped mildly like an S for years without ever even knowing it.
Of course, doing this for years and years doesn’t help. The consistent tightness and pain in my shoulders and neck can be directly pinned to this. The speed in which I get fatigued (faster it seems than many) can be attributed to the fact that my brain is expending a huge amount of nervous energy on keeping me upright. The increase of symptoms last November is likely to do with the sprain increasing and inflammation in the region becoming worse – the muscles in that region are so close to bowels and ovaries that inflammation of anything in that area can influence other organs. Remember that C-Reactive Protein blood test I mentioned before? Starting to make sense isn’t it?
The manipulation of the muscle back into place? Oh boy, let’s just say that I am glad to have a high pain threshold. I felt light-headed as anything when the chiropractor helped lift me up off the table! It hasn’t been a pleasant couple of days feeling the complaint of the muscle as it being forced to do the job it should be doing. Work was an absolute nightmare and it probably will be the day after each manipulation – but it is necessary. I can’t even explain how odd it feels to stand equally on both feet. My chiropractor believes that this definitely the reason behind my weird-ass cycles and that fixing this should make it extremely likely that we’ll get pregnant. Yay! And the people rejoice.
Aside from the pain, are there any other issues? I’m limited to gentle exercise for the next eight weeks (walking, yoga, swimming) and I have to avoid heavy lifting. I also have to avoid bending (and it’s super-uncomfortable to do so anyway) which is making doing some things around the house interesting. Vacuuming in particular is ruled out – oh darn! Papa M is being an absolute star about picking up the slack there! It’s very hard to get any administration work done at work because I can’t sit in an office chair for a long period of time – I’m typing this to you from the recliner at home where I will endeavour to get through some admin later today. If the muscle insists on slipping between visits, I may end up having to wear a sexy support belt; let’s hope it doesn’t come to that!
I know that chiropractors have their fair share of skeptics – and you may be one of them – but I hope that my story can help encourage some people to seek chiropractic help. I hold nothing against my GP – as the chiropractor said, he’s a disease doctor, looking for biochemical issues, of which I have none. I’m really glad that I chose to get a second opinion from someone with a different outlook and I will keep you posted as to how I feel when the treatment has finished, eight weeks from now.