Back last year in early spring I injured my back. Or at least that’s what all the doctors thought. The real problem with getting help was nothing had happened. I didn’t slip and fall, I didn’t pull something during a workout, I didn’t bend over wrong while gardening (this was the one most professionals assumed) and I was in the best shape of my life (considering my health complications), so it wasn’t simply weak muscles and starting up too strong. I over the course of two or three weeks went from pain free (in my back/pelvic joints) to barely being able to sit, stand, walk, bend etc.
It sent me to the emergency room more than once, a sports injury clinic and eventually at my request to a physio therapist. This is where I got the diagnosis of SI Dysfunction (sacroiliac joint dysfunction). I didn’t have answers as to why it started or what I did, but at least we had a good guess as to what the problem was and along with my amazing PT I was able to slowly get back to somewhat normal, even if it is painful, I am still able to move and function again and on good days I can pretty much move it like before.
It started out very simple, slowly strengthening the muscles that support my pelvis and spine and staying away from any heavy lifting and high impact movements. Over the rest of last spring and summer we slowly added more and more exercises or substituted harder versions. My physio routine turned in to quite the well rounded core, glute and hip flexor workout.
This fall unfortunately extreme fatigue started to sink in again, this time severe enough that even doing a warm up and my physio a few times a week was just too much to handle. Not to mention the fact that my knees, feet, wrists and hands started having trouble so many of the exercises may have been good for my back but would put out of commission other parts of my body. I slowly stopped doing my routine to the point that I’ve been lucky to get it in only once or twice a month.
That all stops today.
My hip/back has been really painful the last week, close to what it was last spring. While this could be simply a lupus flare starting to wreak havoc in a different way than last time, which lets face it, it’s always different. That’s one of the messed up thing about such a broad chronic illness like SLE. I do still think that going back to the beginning of the physio and having it back in my daily schedule will help again, just like last time. At the very least the Planquenil seems to be helping with the over all fatigue so I have that little bit of extra energy that was missing last fall.
This morning I really did start at the beginning. It felt a little silly…. like being a marathon runner and all of a sudden having to only start with walking a couple blocks…. slowly. It’s how it has to be done though. I’ve already learned my lesson in the past, trying to do too much too fast and paying for it.
Every week I hope to be able to again add more reps, more sets and more difficult exercises until I’m back to the old routine. I’ll also be going back to my PT after the ok from my rheumatologist to still get the manual adjustments.
One day at a time, I’m going to do what I can. There is only so much that the medical community can do. If I have even just a little bit of power over my symptoms and pain, its still more than enough to be worth it to try.