Posted in Baby Girl

New Mom Injury – What a Pain In The Neck

Parenthood is filled with all sorts of new movements that were definitely not in my repertoire before having our little girl.  Daily lunges, for example, and trying to make sure I’m alternating legs when I go to change her diaper at the coffee table.  Don’t judge–it’s a 2 story house and I don’t always want to lug a soiled baby up the stairs.  Then there’s the lifting and twisting to get her out of her cradle and comfort her when I’m lying in bed more asleep than awake but willing my sluggish limbs to just move.  Then there’s the bouncing, cradling, constant hand washing, limbs-falling-asleep-snuggling, and must-sleep-on-your-back-because-otherwise-the-baby-won’t-sleep type moves.
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I’m good with all of them.  I’ve been doing really well at this whole “stay-at-home-mom” thing.  Until this morning..

It’s been usual and customary for me to hold our little Elfkin against my shoulder while I carry her around.  She’s not quite big enough to sit on my ample, child-bearing, hips–and she seems heavier when I cradle her with my whole arm, so I let her perch on my forearm and look at the world over my shoulder while I get things set and we go about our day.  This is how she sits when I’m getting things started for the day, when I’m consoling her in the afternoon, and when we’re heading up to bed.  Basically–I’ve had 11 weeks of holding her in this position and thought I had it down pat. So it’s not unusual that I was holding her that way this morning.  I had her clothes picked out and clutched in the hand that held her, her pacifier in my teeth, and was just about to go downstairs to get her bottle ready when I remembered my cell phone.  It was under my pillow because we had one of those nights where she slept on my chest… [Sidebar: she slept there for half the night because she fell asleep in a cloth diaper that completely failed to keep her wetness contained and I need to wash her cradle.]

MOVING ON.

I leaned over the bed, holding the Elfkin with my chin/cheek–as I had learned to do–when suddenly CRACK! ooooohhhhhh something was wrong.  Something was very very wrong.  Apparently the small, rather delicate vertebrae that hold up my head are not meant to also support this growing girl now that she’s 12+ lbs!  Thankfully, it was the pain of acute injury and not the burning pain of broken bones. 😉

Now, I haven’t been to the chiropractor in over a year.  There’s nothing, though, more motivating in finding a doctor or chiropractor than your body screaming at you “you done f****d up.”  After giving Evelyn her bottle, and realizing just how badly it hurt to look down, left, right, or really anywhere but straight ahead, I started seeking a new chiropractor.

This brought back all sorts of nostalgia for my old chiropractor.  I miss him all the time and wish he were around.  I could just imagine him admonishing me for being so careless with myself.  This is a completely avoidable injury.
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The new Chiropractor seems effective.  He saw me right away this morning and the girls at the reception desk took care of my little girl.  She rewarded them with all sorts of smiles and I came back to find her asleep in the woman’s arms. Meanwhile, I got an x-ray and scans, had an adjustment–my bones were all too ready to move! They were cracking just by breathing–then they did even MORE.  I was treated to a massage, electromuscular stimulation, and vibration therapy.
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The DC had another adjustment and some home exercises that he wanted to recommend, but I was in too much pain and he didn’t want to do too much too soon.  I’ll be going back on Friday, so hopefully, fingers crossed, I start feeling better.

Lesson learned, though: when moving with the little one, have a care and move with intent! I’ll be keeping my core engaged and using my legs to lift her.  I’ll be using proper squatting form/technique to lift her car seat in and out of the vehicle, and I’ll be downing much more water…

Posted in Life + Living

Chiropractor – 1 year update

A week or so ago, I had an updated exam with my Chiropractor.  This week marks a year since I started seeing a chiropractor.  The first time I wrote about it was back in February of 2013 and I observed:

 I was able to get in on Friday and they did some pretty fancy scans to figure out what the problem is, where it might be, and what might be causing it.  I had to wait through the weekend to find out what the problem was, but when I got the results, they were a bit staggering

The C1 vertebrae in my neck, for example, is being pulled to the left 175% more than the right because those muscles are activated and compensating

A year ago, I was going to physical therapy, building standing stations, swearing off gaming, picking up swimming… basically anything I could to try to figure out the back pain.  I was driven to the Chiropractor when I had extreme pain in the form of spasms that were interrupting my ability to do my job effectively.

On the 24th, I had an updated scan, and I’ve got good things to report:

Chiropractor EMG Asymmetry

Changes.  Last year, there was a >25lb difference in weight distribution.  At this latest scan, it’s down to ~10lb difference.  The mid-thoracic is no longer having spasms and most of my days, my back feels good.  I’m no longer taking advil and tylenol multiple times a day, or even daily any more.  The rest of the scans were great, too:

Chiropractor NCM Scan

This chart (above) is showing that the muscles that were being over worked are no longer being overworked to the extremes that they were in the past.  The T11,T12 and L1 areas are still problematic, but it’s come a long way since then.  I certainly FEEL better.

Chiropractor EMG Thermal

What these charts are showing is that in Feb 2013, there was a pretty significant problem with muscle asymmetry/fatigue.  My newest scans are so much closer to the  normal scan.  I was really happy to see this.

I got a high-five and stickers, though, for a new scan that they performed:

PhysicalFitness

I’m fit as a fiddle when it comes to my heart and athletic aerobic abilities.  They were saying that the blue areas were for super-athletes like Olympians or whatnot.

🙂  Considering the type of blog I’m trying to keep here, I’m very happy to report that I am (for all intents and purposes) healthy. Special thanks go to Dr. Gary and the team at my local Chiropractor for all of their assistance in getting me functioning this well.  Especially to Brittany and Jess for fitting me in where they can, and for constantly tolerating all of my needs to reschedule appointments.

In the next year, I hope to continue seeing improvements in my overall health and wellness.  Specifically, I would like to see a reduction in stiffness in my back, and to address the pain in my hip.

In a nutshell, though, I’m happy just to be able to work out again 🙂  Now it’s a matter of getting back into a great routine now that it’s been a year and a half since really being into it.

Posted in Fitness, Life + Living

No, sir, I don’t like it!

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In an effort to improve my “professional image” at work, I decided to dress in business attire and clean up my desk. Both of these pursuits have led to the demise of my standing station. I figured I could just walk on my breaks, but it’s only two days in, and it sucks. Although I was more productive today, that’s just because I was busy and had deadlines. My back and hips ache. Of course, that could be from wearing high heels all of a sudden…

No, sir, I don’t like it!!

The standing station is coming back today! Even if I walk on all of my breaks, it doesn’t make up for sitting for 8+ hours per day, especially since ice gotten so used to not sitting down so much.

Posted in Life + Living, Self-Reflection, Uncategorized, Wedding Planning

Back rant [edited]

You know those exercises you’re supposed to do to get rid of your muffin top? “Trunk twisters” I think they’re called.  Yeah. I can’t do them. My back hurts so badly that I can’t even WIPE properly… And maybe that’s TMI for the internet, but when I have to pop my shoulder in an effort to clean up, well, I guess I’d rather vent top the anonymous crowd that is “the internet” than actually confess this problem to anyone I really know.

My mid/upper back hurts like I got half way through cracking it and never finished. It’s like the pieces aren’t aligned properly and the weight of me is TRYING to force them into place but they just won’t go.  Getting out of bed was an accomplishment. Breathing is another. Getting dressed will be a feat. And driving myself to the chiropractor in pot hole season… Well gee, I’m so looking forward to THAT.

I wish this were fixed already. I’m so very tired of mornings like this. I’m afraid that they might last forever. On a smaller scale, I’m afraid I’ll have a day like this on my wedding day. And I’ll have to pop pain killers just to smile.

[edit]: I got an adjustment and feel loads better already. I even brushed my hair and put lip gloss on…booyah.

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Posted in Fitness, Gaming

It’s a bad-back day.

Checking in on my K.I.S.S. Goals, as you already know, I’ve kind of slacked off on the exercise front.  Packing meals has been going well, though.  Today–not so much because we never went grocery shopping.  I *did* plan out meals and snacks for the entire week, though.  I have every intention of joining the fitness center (didn’t do that, either), so I planned out breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, snack, dinner.   If you’re wondering why there are two snacks in the afternoon, it’s because I planned everything to be pretty light/even.  Lunch, for example, is going to be an open-faced sandwich with an apple.  That’s only about 200 calories and so two snacks spaced further apart will be required to get me the 8 hrs from lunch until dinner.  The third goal, to be better at my job, has been going well.  I took more training last week and I’m going strong in Toastmasters.  The speech I’m going to present next week is about keeping it simple and having a meal plan.

chocolate

My impromptu goal of eating no chocolate has been going alright.  Last week was *really* difficult and I found myself thinking about chocolate quite frequently.  I tallied it up and determined that I have 5 sources of free chocolate, 2 sources of obnoxiously cheap chocolate, and 3 sources of paid chocolate at work–without seeking it out.  Add that to the multitude of places I see it throughout the day and it’s just asking for trouble.  I did *really* well, though, in that I resisted temptation the whole week through.  Last night, I had a small (dark) chocolate bar because I was getting to the point where if I did not make a conscious decision to have just a little bit, then I was going to backfire and binge on a whole lot.  Today, I feel great and I’m ready to go another week without.

I met one of my goals that I set last week, and that’s to set pre-requisites for gaming.  I made a post in my guild’s forums and basically asked for support in meeting my goals, which are as follows:

I have to get back into the routine of exercising daily and taking bio breaks every hour to two hours (max). I could do this behind the scenes but I wanted to throw it out there so that you know ahead of time and can give me a bit of a break, or maybe set similar goals. If we’re running WvWvW or back to back dungeons, maybe we could all take a fiver and save ourselves some of the back aches.

Personal Pre-requisites for gaming:

– 30 minutes exercise
– 10 minutes stretching
– pets taken care of (clean water, full food, ’empty’ litter box, snuggles for them)

Precautions during gaming:

– bio breaks every hour to two hours (max)
– curfew (weeknights) 10:30pm CST

If anyone else has anything similar that they’re doing, I’d like to hear it. Thanks for ‘listening’ such that it is.

gw567