Monday, March 28, 2011

I'm not very responsible...

So I've had lower back pain on and off for like...5+ years. Mostly I just ignore it, and occasionally complain. Sometimes I stick Salonpas on there, and I used to take lots and lots of ibuprofen (until I realized that that's probably not the best idea). Yoga helps, not stretching makes it worse...being active helps, driving long distances is the worst thing ever for it, etc. etc.

I've made a couple of attempts to get it checked out- one Dr. told me to take lots of ibuprofen, the other told me to go to an orthopedist (which I totally didn't do -my bad- because the it got better for awhile), but I'd pretty much kept it under control with stretching, yoga, and ignoring it.

However, it's been bugging me for awhile lately, and I actually have good insurance (yay job!), so I decided that if there's something horribly wrong, like a tumor or spine fusion or bone spurs (all suggested by the first Dr.) now might be a good time to find that out. So I made an appointment with the one GP that my insurance covers in the wilderness.

Luckily, he's awesome. He examined me, took some x-rays, and he determined....dun dun dun...that my spine is curved, and my pelvis is crooked, which is making my back hurt, and possibly my knee.

My prescription- chiropractor and yoga for 6 weeks, then he'll recheck me. If I'm still having pain, he'll prescribe physical therapy (hopefully this will involve massages!)

As much as it sucks that my spine and pelvis are all jacked up, at least this is a diagnosis. I am so glad that it's not mystery pain, and it's something that can be fixed by a chiropractor or with PT. I don't even have to stop being active! I'm so thankful for my good fortune in this regard!

But here's the really strange part...I used to have really really bad Exercise Induced Asthma. At the end of high school-beginning of college, I "outgrew" it and didn't need my 4 inhalers anymore. My respiratory capacity has never been that great compared to how much I work out, but I figured that was just how my body worked.

During my intake, my doctor noticed that I'd had asthma, and that I wasn't being treated. He asked me some questions (Do I get out of breath easily? Yes. Do I cough a lot? Yes.), and said that as long as I was there, he wanted to evaluate me for asthma.

I had to reacquaint myself my nemesis the Peak Flow Meter to measure my peak expiratory flow and some other stuff. While my peak flow is better than what it was when I first was diagnosed with asthma, it is still only 57% of what it should be.

The doctor explained that my asthma had probably just gone dormant when I moved away to college, because I'd moved away from whatever irritants were making it really bad, but it's been underlying my shortness of breath this whole time. He also said that leaving asthma untreated for years and years and years could contribute to making me more susceptible to lung problems when I'm older.

So I left with a prescription for an inhaler. I'll use it once or twice a day for the next six weeks, and he'll reevaluate and see if the inhaler has helped when I go back to get my back checked.

While I'm a little bummed that I did not, in fact, outgrow my asthma...I am excited to see how starting an inhaler might help me. There have definitely been some times recently (when I went biking last and this weekend on the mountain) where I was way more out of breath than I felt I should be for how much cardio I do.

To recap: I'm bummed that I have a curved spine and asthma...but I'm excited to get them fixed and not have them nagging at me. Plus, insurance covered massages! What's not to love?

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