I’m pretty sure I’ve blogged about my mysterious side pain before but I can’t seem to find an actual post to link back to. I probably mentioned in another post about something completely different. In any case, let me give you the skinny, abbreviated version.
I’ve had this horrible, burning, squeezing pain in my left hand side (occasionally spanning into my back and tummy) since April or May of 2012. I thought it was due to training so I eased up for a while and it seemed to dissipate over time. I powered through it and got on with things. And then it came back with a vengeance. Instead of the occasional flare up, from July the pain became constant… I would wake up with it in the morning and fall asleep with it at night. I finally broke down and went to the GP who suspected a kidney infection. One pee test and round of antibiotics later, no dice. The pain was just as bad and my wee came back clear. Then she thought it was kidney stones. I had an x-ray and that came back clear. She still suspected stones so I had a CT scan which also came back clear. (For the record, from day one I never thought it was stones) All of this GP malarkey took place from July all the way through to Christmas. That’s a long time.
The pain made it hard to do much of anything beyond lay around. In September, I gave up the gym and running to the pain and the weight began to pile on. I became irritable and difficult to be around; the pain was getting to the point of not being able to bear. I began to have really dark, horrible thoughts that I won’t go into here on the blog. It just seemed endless. The doctor couldn’t figure out what was wrong and all of the worst case scenarios were at the front of my brain 24/7. That’s a lot of stress and pressure to be under in addition to physical pain.
I went home for Christmas and while there, I had a manicure and pedicure with my bestie R. They sat us down in these amazingly awesome shiatsu massage chairs and went to work beautifying our toesies. The chair was weird and slightly painful at first but then enjoyable. The day after the mani-pedi, I realised my side hadn’t been hurting. Another day went by, no pain. A third and there was a dull ache but nothing even comparable to what it was before. The massage chair had mysteriously cured me! Sort of. I thought it might be useful to sell the couch and buy one of those chairs but N put the kibosh on that straight away as he’d have to lounge on the floor while I got my bliss on.
Fast forward to last night, after the Starbuck fiasco and toot-gate, to my first ever appointment with a chiropractor. I was petrified. See, I have a list of totally irrational fears that stress me out (I’ll post them some day) and one of them is breaking my back. Seriously. I’m scared to death of breaking my back and having someone crack my spine in a bajillion places just seems like a recipe for lifelong paralysis. As I sat in the waiting area filling out my forms, all I could think of was Eddie Izzard’s sketch about going to the chiropractor:
So I went in and had a chat with the chiropractor, Emma, who took a full and detailed history of my pain and was very interested in how it had diminished significantly since my shiatsu chair experience. She examined my back, shoulders and neck thoroughly, checking everything you could think of right down to the length of my legs.
And therein lay the problem: my left leg was slightly shorter than my right. Curious.
After further poking and manipulating around, Emma found that my pelvis was twisted on the left hand side, causing both my leg to be slightly shorter and for a lot of unnecessary strain on my QL muscle on the left side, where my pain was emanating from… And guess where the kidneys are located? Yup. Right under that muscle.
So she laid me out on a table and dropped my pelvis back into place (weird) and then proceeded to readjust parts of my spine that were out of line with my newly placed pelvic bone (even weirder). It was like she was practicing voodoo or dark arts on my back and bum. The sounds that came out of my back when she popped it were terrifying but as soon as I left the office I felt a million times better.
Today I’m sore… really sore… which she did tell me to expect. I can’t wait to soak in a hot bath later. The soreness/stiffness should only last a day or so. I’ve got a follow-up on Tuesday just to make sure everything is still in place where it should be and then I guess I’ll need to go every so often just to get it checked on? No idea.
I’m still reserving judgement about my side pain. I personally think it’s too soon to tell whether or not I’m “cured”. Months of pain, worry and wishful thinking have made me a bit jaded so we’ll see. I really, really hope this is over, though. I’m tired.