So I managed to tweak my hip at the beginning of the week. Good thing I have my final pain clinic appointment tomorrow (right after the doctors conference on me, Dr. House style) where they will come up with my multi-disciplinary treatment plan.
Aside from feeling lots of pain (not to mention very old), I can only lay in one position–flat on my back–and haven’t slept much in the past 3 days. Needless to day, the combo of not moving and minimal sleep have limited my ability to be very productive. So, while I have a few blog updates & essays percolating, I thought I’d just do a quick update.
A few weeks ago, I had my second & third visits to the Stanford Pain Clinic. These appointments were part of the six pillared approach they talked about in the first visit: Physical Therapy & Pain Psychology.
This was my first visit ever with a physical therapist (which does seem a little odd as I have had so many diagnoses and surgeries and procedures) so I wasn’t sure what to expect and my mind went where it always goes when I encounter something new: a state of absolute anxiety and dread.
My nervousness was not helped by the horror stories from others about the pain and soreness that accompanied their own PT appointments. So I came ready to suffer, instead I walked out with no complaints and quite a few recommendations. The physical therapist was very kind and offered some helpful tips to help ease some of my secondary pain problems.
What I found very interesting happened after he had me do a whole variety of movements and poses (which incidentally resembled more than one yoga class I had attempted in LA). He isolated the burning in my lower back as being partially caused by the movement of my right hip. So, I have hip problems. Well, they say knowing is half the battle, so I must be 50% closer to solving this altogether.
All in all not a bad doctor encounter, and I got some new exercises to try if I am able to find a local aqua therapy provided.
My final appointment at the clinic before conference was with the pain psychologist. Growing up with a psychotherapist mother has made me very comfortable with integrating therapy into normal routine. As she taught us early on, therapy is just another form of taking care of your health. “If you broke your leg, you’d go to the doctor to fix it. If something is going on in your head you go to the doctor for that.” Wise words from Mama Oddity.
So I approached the appointment as just another tool to combat pain. Nothing in the evaluation struck me as anything I hadn’t looked into or tried before, and I left the appointment feeling fine. I thing it took me a while to process the entire appointment and the list of things that the doctor recommended. It was suggested that I attend two types of therapy (with a pain psychologist and a regular counselor), look into biofeedback and meditation, attend a few weekend lectures and possible a six week course.
After a few days of absorbing these recommendations, I started to freak out and start experiencing appointment fatigue. Too many appointments and specialists have a tendency to make me slowly shut down and avoid any type of medical interaction. Eventually I came around to starting with one thing on the list and I chose meditation. I’ve tried it a few times and it’s never really helped, but on the doctor’r recommendation I started an app called Headspace. I love it! I think it may be a winner, but that is a discussion for another post.
So that’s the update from here. More to come after tomorrow’s treatment plan meeting. And I have some great guest posts coming up that I’m really excited about.