Tag Archives: Chiropractor

Needles and cups and Activators, oh my!

Baby D isn’t gonna just roll over and do what they are told evidently.  This morning I have been poked, prodded, adjusted and meddled with inside and out.

In a rare moment of good taste I didn’t snap a lot of pictures,  but allow me to take you back to the morning.  For the first time in a few days I had somewhere to be at a certain time. And that time was not anywhere close to lunch.  So, it seemed to wise to awaken somewhere between 3:30 and 4 am.  By the time I hopped in the shower at six am my email was cleaned out, online banking reconciled and RSS feeds fully reviewed.  Thank you, iPhone for giving the insomniac something to do instead of count sheep and stare at the ceiling.

The mini-me  got off to school safe and sound and MQD and I headed out to the first of our appointments.  I have always been an outspoken believer in alternative Eastern medicine.  But I have also been a largely healthy and largely cash poor person.  Neither of these states of being lends you to trying out new Wellness techniques.  However, add a healthy dose of desperation to an over funded Flexible Spending Health Account and you have a recipe for Sign Me Up For Anything.

This morning’s agenda?  Acupuncture and cupping.  Both are ancient techniques designed to stimulate the body and achieve desired results.  I invite you to overlook the obligatory tramp stamp and instead focus on the needles and the cups.  Needless to say if the chi and blood in my lower sacral area were lazy before, it is wide awake and moving now.  Fingers crossed it gets some labor started.

I cropped out a teeny bit of butt crack. Because I found I DO actually have boundaries.

Once the cups had cooled and those pressure points were no longer active I had a little break.  A break just long enough to pop next door and see my chiropractor.  I have long since drank the chiropractic kool-aid and I was not shocked when my midwives suggested I resume chiropractic treatment late in pregnancy.  Makes a fair amount of sense.  If baby is to descend more easily, why not have those hips in a straight line?  And if Mom is to get out of bed without colorful language every morning, why not have that back lined up, too?  Pregnant trips to the chiropractor have introduced me to the Activator.  It is a nifty little tool that allows for adjustment more gently.  And it has a neat name.  The Activator.

Popped out of the chiro’s office and back in to the open arms of the acupuncturist.  Needles to the hands, shoulders, feet and elbows.  MQD had his own acupuncture treatment started while I was with my chiropractor so he was blissed out in the back room while I got to have girl talk in the front.

Could our morning get better?  Yes.  It really could.  Because I started this morning with my membranes intact.

Membranes in order, totally capable of sitting, driving, not peeing my pants for fifteen minutes at a stretch

The membrane that  connects the amniotic sac to the wall of the uterus, of course.   Now my membranes and I are bros, but it was time for them to go, sweep those bad boys outta here.  So to the midwives we went to have them “swept,” a term that really doesn’t do justice to a gloved hand elbow deep in your vagina for the sole purpose of scraping part of your innards out of the way.  But it is known to occasionally kick-start labor.  And at this point, I’m game for anything.

And lo and behold what did I find at the midwives’ office?  I am still only three centimeters dilated.  Which means the hours I have spent squatting and sitting on my ball in the last few days have done nothing but amuse those with whom I watch television.  And Baby D?  S/he continues to rage against the dying of the light… the little bugger has flipped back over face up.  Perhaps only temporarily in order to see what the hell was going on back there this morning… but what is the solution to that?  Binding, ladies and gents (though at this point I suspect I have lost the gents.)  If you guessed abdominal binding you are correct!!  Lift Baby D upwards and backwards, so they can rotate and descend again.  Music to my pelvic bones ears, but the bladder is not so thrilled.

Sans membranes, the ability to drive, hold urine for greater than fifteen minutes or not resemble a sumo wrestler from the back

So, off I go…. to roam around my neighborhood some more.

Dear New Neighbors,

If I knock on your door and seem out of breath and crazy eyed it is only because I need to use your facilities.  Please, take pity on my hunch-backed self.

Love, Kelly, 40 weeks and 3 days pregnant

Day 81: Celebrate nature

Day 81: Celebrate Nature :Lure a fly on to this page and swat it here.

I can’t find anything celebratory about killing a fly.  And I think this is actually the second time in this book they have asked you to kill an insect. Hrrmph.

In an effort to “celebrate nature” today I did snap  a quick picture out my office door.  But a picture can’t capture the sound of the  thunderstorm that is rolling through Chapel Hill right now, or the way the thunder claps combine with Simon & Garfunkel’s 59th Street Bridge Song to make for a beautiful morning.

I put a fair amount of effort in to enjoying an average rainy day.  Rainy days are not my favorite.  I am a sunshine fan, but without the rainy days you can’t appreciate the days with the sun on your face quite the same way.

But a thunderstorm?  I have no trouble enjoying a thunderstorm.  The way the air is warmer and cooler all at once.  Early to mid 1980s – Sitting in the trunk of our car, the seats folded down,  the scent of sleeping bags and popcorn combine with the smell of the rain.  My parents would pull the car up to the very edge of our garage, our steep driveway allowing it to feel like we would fall off the edge of the universe if we jumped from the car’s warm, dry trunk in to the rain.

I learned to appreciate a thunderstorm on those summer evenings. More often than not by the time we got our sleeping bags arranged just so, our stuffed animals lined up, our pillows fluffed up, our popcorn popped… the storm would be nearly passing.  But we enjoyed the process, the process of getting ready to enjoy the storm that pulled us in from the back yard, or off of our bicycles early that evening.  Similarly, anyone with small children knows that if the lights go out, simply bring in wood for the fireplace, gather around the hearth and get ready to roast marshmallows with a favorite book.  Your power will come back on as soon as you get settled.  I think I learned a lot about embracing the unexpected, finding the joy in the small moments, from those evenings sitting in the trunk of that shitty station wagon.

Like so much of my adult life… it’s balance.  I’ll take a rainy day.  Because the sunshine is always right around the corner.

You say I am repeating
Something I have said before. I shall say it again.
Shall I say it again? In order to arrive there,
To arrive where you are, to get from where you are not,
You must go by a way wherein there is no ecstasy.
In order to arrive at what you do not know
You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance.
In order to possess what you do not possess
You must go by the way of dispossession.
In order to arrive at what you are not
You must go through the way in which you are not.
And what you do not know is the only thing you know
And what you own is what you do not own
And where you are is where you are not.

~T.S. Eliot

Day 62: Rock me, mama, like a wagon wheel…

Day 62 asks you to “prepare convenient circles everywhere you habitually go.”  The circle in this case is meant to invoke a protective spirit.  In the morning I had a chiropractor appointment and it seemed like as good a place as any to cast a circle of protection.  I thought about this for the rest of the day.  About the pleasant sense of peace I had this morning as I walked in the door, on my way for my fourth visit.  “They” say you only need to do something three times in order for it to become a habit.

And as I got out of the car this morning and drew a circle around my feet I giggled as the receptionist walked by and lifted my head and said “Good morning,” dropped my chalk in to my purse and locked my car.

Right or wrong.  I have made a decision.  I have a Plan.  Six more weeks of adjustments.  A detox and cleanse of my organs.  (Incidentally if you see me mid February please be sure to compliment my respiratory system, my gastrointestinal system and my urinary tract.  They should all be sparkling clean by then.)  A plan… it feels good.

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler. ~ Henry David Thoreau

I don’t have the confidence part down just yet…. but I am goin’… and I’m dreamin’…

The Kool-Aid

I never imagined I would understand what it felt like to be an evangelist.  But I drank the chiropractic Kool Aid.  And now I want to spread the good word!!  I believe!!  And now I will make it my mission on this Earth to spread the word….

Last week was a big week.  I was equal parts worried about both appointments. And now that they are both behind me I feel a tremendous sense of relief.  The quick and dirty run down – the chiropractor on Tuesday morning thought I had a bulging disc in my lower back.  He adjusted me and gave me a brace (which, let me tell you is s.e.x.y.) and took an x-ray.  We discussed a treatment plan and I felt at ease enough to be frank.  I told him that this was not the only appointment I had that day.  He told me that his wife is a chiropractor and practices a wide assortment of psychotherapies grounded in  chiropractic care if I was interested. (On the off chance it was ye olde head making ye olde back a hot mess.)

I also discovered that lower back pain, anxiety and depression can be a result of a copper toxicity from my IUD.  Interesting to note.

Years ago when I started seeing a midwife I felt a dynamic shift in my thinking.  A holistic approach to my health suddenly seemed the ONLY way to approach it.  And I felt like the previous care I had received had actually been neglectful.  When is the last time your dentist asked you about your marriage?  Or your general practitioner really analyzed your diet?  But shouldn’t they if you, for example,  present with pain in your jaw or weight gain?  I had that same feeling when I left his office.  Like I had been bonked on the head by the “hand of chiropractic care” and had been saved.  Someone was really looking at my symptoms and trying to treat them all, from the inside out.

I resisted the temptation to google my little heart out all day.  Wait and see the results of my x-ray.  And see what the therapist had to say.  Tuesday evening I had a really excellent appointment with an LCSW in Carrboro that is a retired doula and childbirth educator.  I picked her so I could skip past the “you breastfed for HOW long?” and “your daughter slept in your bed until WHEN?” questions, not defend my AP parenting and get to the meat of what was going on in my head.  And I was not disappointed.  While I felt reasonably secure in my answer to Karen’s question the other day regarding depression I was pleased after she ran through a series of questions regarding both anxiety and depression that I failed (?) or passed (?) them both.  When she suggested medication as a quick fix for my blues I resisted with the explanation that it is not an ever-present feeling but a passing one.  And it is not unbearable, I am wholly unwilling to trade my extreme highs (and the accompanying lows)  for a constant neutral.   Once we started talking about my menstrual cycle and  I showed her my charts (not a link to my actual charts, c’mon, I will spare you that, but a link to the sahweeet app I use to keep them) it became really clear that I experience extreme lows twice a month.  I had written off my emotional lows as PMS oriented previously because I was failing to take in to account the fluxuations in my hormone levels during ovulation.  Once I was seeing ovulation as a factor, too, it became remarkably clear that my mood swings were in line with my menstrual cycles.

And then I saw the light for the second time that day.  I left her office feeling better than I have felt in months.  I had TWO different practitioners come to the same conclusion.  I wasn’t a mess.  Or nervous about my coming marriage.  Or not over my divorce.  Or a bad mother.  Or a lousy partner.  I had a jacked up back, aggravated by my IUD very likely, and probably was suffering from some hormone imbalance.  While that might not sound like the best news to some it sure sounded good to me.

I had another appointment with the chiropractor the following morning and didn’t mention how things had turned out at the therapist.  Reviewing my x-rays I can see the spot where my vertebrae are crunching together in my lower back. Again, seeing it with my eyes helped me to disassociate the pain in my back from me, from who I am, and I started to feel better instantly.  If I wasn’t already flying high –  when he told me that I was retaining anywhere from twelve to sixteen pounds of water (assessed with some magical machine that figures out your intracellular water retention and a bunch of other numbers that seemed totally relevant when he told them to me) well, I could have jumped for joy, bad back and all.  “You mean if I get this all in check I will magically lose ten pounds?  I have to tell you, that is all I just heard from what you just said.”  He laughed.

When we started to discuss the possible reasons for this water retention and overall swelling his first suggestion was estrogen dominance.  Which is… you may have already guessed…. the same suspicion the therapist had the night before.  So, there you have it.  My back is a wreck, in a manner that can take up to ten years to develop in to this kind of pain.  My hormones are out of whack.  Making me angry and sad and irritable.  And I am pursuing treatment for both.  Making myself and my health a priority.  I feel like I have answers.  Answers to why I have been feeling worse and worse in the last several years, even though I have been taking increasingly better care of myself.

I’m thinking with continued chiropractic care, assessment of my diet, balancing of my hormones through natural therapies or supplements…. I’m gonna be looking at this face a lot in the coming months.  And that’s good news.