Sunday, October 23, 2011

Feel the Burn!

As soon as I had finished stretching, feeling the invigoration that comes from a well-rested body being revved back into action, every muscle in my arms and legs began to ache and burn like I had never experienced before.

"Well, that wasn't normal," I said as if I had added too much salt to the broccoli.

And for some reason, unknown to me at the time, this phenomenon continued to happen faithfully, each and every time I contracted a muscle in any extremity. Not many days later, this sensation was accompanied by exhausting fatigue, horrible knee pain, and an embarrassing gait that included the occasional buckling knee.

I was also introduced to muscle tenderness to a crazy degree. Anytime my cats would step onto my lap was reason for banishment to the basement... And let's not even get into the fact that I have three young children under the age of 10 when this all happens... Yes, kids don't take directions too well when they are seemingly absurd: "Please don't kiss mommy's arm; it really hurts when you put pressure on it." Or "please don't push on me to sit yourself up, your elbow is killing me!" Like they could believe that someone as small and dainty as they are could damage their normally tough-as-nails mommy.

As I began to think about these things that I had been afflicted with–truly–overnight, I also thought about the sharp, skin-tearing sensation of pain that began happening in my left big toe whenever I bent it–like kneeling on the floor would allow for: the feet/toes point and the real fun begins! This pain had begun little by little in August, right around the time I had a whopper of a bladder infection. As the days wore on, this pain increased until it was pretty much unbearable. I taught myself, a southpaw, to not kneel onto my left knee when helping my toddler get dressed in the morning. Not an easy task. But the pain was an excellent reinforcer. This pain was enough to freeze my moment into an excruciating agony that seemed to last decades until I was able to breathe again. [Spoiler alert:] Eventually I lost the feeling in the right side of my left big toe. It has never returned.

The only other major thing (I might add) that I had been through in the recent past was back in the spring of 2009 I was diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis by a "really smart" gynecologist. With one prodding of my bladder during his physical exam, I about flew into the ceiling. He decided that I had IC; gave me–you guessed it–pills; sent me on my way... Oh, but not without the extra-long list of newly prohibited fodder: no tomatoes, onions, vinegar (including all condiments), citrus, and pickled herring. Not making this up... that was on the list! There was oh, so much more, but you get the point... Now, back to the future...

After a few weeks, I decided to check in with my chiropractor, who also is into "whole body" treatment... you know, not your typical "back-cracker." He ordered blood work to check vitamin levels and other things like inflammatory responses, rheumatoid factors, and major indicators of vital organ problems–which would mean instant referral to an MD. Everything came back within normal limits, except for a few things, but nothing that would lead us any closer to a diagnosis. Sadly, he thought it time for me to check in with my internist.

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