I first pinched my sciatic nerve when I was nineteen years old. It was summer and I was going to summer school in the mornings (getting my language requirement out of the way), working at a Linens ‘n’ Things Monday-Thursday after school, and working at a day care Fridays and Saturdays. WHAT I was thinking doing all that on my summer vacation, I have no idea. I DO remember that one of my monthly paychecks from Linens ‘n’ Things was for $840 and I thought I was RICH.
Anyway. I worked the cash register at LNT and because of the way the register was set up, I would always be leaning down to my right to bag customers’ purchases. I would balance on my right leg and tilt, and one day I just felt something *pop*. But I just ignored it and kept up with my crazy schedule, until finally the pain got bad enough that I saw a doctor. And he said, “you pinched your sciatic. There’s nothing you can do.” (I wish I’d had Dr. Looove then.) So for the rest of the summer I suffered through that damn pinched nerve. I didn’t want to let my Spanish teacher or my bosses down. Perhaps because of that, my sciatic nerve hasn’t been the same since.
Now that I have smart and awesome doctors, when I have something that’s bothering me they say, “hmm, let’s figure out a way to make that NOT bother you.” When I was pregnant with Maddie my bed rest completely aggravated my sciatic, but my OB at the time arranged for physical therapy to come to my hospital room to help me manage the pain. After Maddie was born, I told Dr. Looove about my aching back, hips, and sciatic, and she prescribed me physical therapy. I went to PT not really believing it could help me, but I finished my three month course and became a firm believer.
When I was on restricted activity earlier in this pregnancy, my sciatic immediately started bothering me. It’s like it knows or something. I knew that any exercise would help it, but Dr. Risky didn’t want me doing ANYTHING high impact and she really wanted my exercise to be monitored. I discovered a place across the street from our PO Box that specializes in pre and post-natal exercise – Yoga, Pilates, etc. I went by the place one afternoon to get their class schedule and was told all new pregnant patients have to have a physical evaluation before they are cleared for any classes. I knew I wouldn’t pass, and sure enough, I didn’t, but it’s worked out even better. Now I have one on one sessions with a Physical Therapist. I am monitored VERY closely during the entire appointment. The best part is that they are in contact with Dr. Risky and give her weekly reports on my physical progress, and she can tell him things like, “no high impact exercises” or, “patient is sometimes a little crazy-go-nuts.” I like it when everyone works together.
I had another session yesterday morning. I wasn’t sure if I should keep it or not thanks to the Sinus Infection of Doom. But my body has just been SO out of whack thanks to all the vomiting and laying in bed that I knew it would benefit me. And physically, it was great. My hip and sciatic feel better, and my lower back’s screaming is now a muted shout. However, the Sinus Infection of Doom DID NOT APPRECIATE PHYSICAL THERAPY. It did not like being out of bed, it did not like having the body elevated higher than the head, it did not like green eggs and ham. My face and head are still pounding and I think it’s safe to say I overdid it. As usual. I still have a hard time figuring out when I should power through things, and when I should take it easy. I just never want to let anyone down, including myself.