The results are in! At long last I had an appointment with a real doctor to figure out the extent of injuries I sustained when I fell hiking last summer and then crashed off my bike. For anyone new to my blog, it was the excruciating pain I was in (like writhing and silently screaming all night because I couldn’t fall asleep for months kind of pain) coupled with my awesome lack of health insurance that led me to do a forty-day juice fast and subsequently start this blog.
At the time I was a wee bit desperate for any sort of relief and I was very interested to know if my body could heal itself, since my empty bank account, oh-so-green chiropractor, massage therapist and community acupuncturist were not able to help me at all. The results of the juice fast were phenomenal. I didn’t get to the point of curing my sciatica issues or eliminating my hip pain entirely, but I was able to make leaps and bounds in my progress and essentially get myself back on track without the aid of doctors or medicine. It was really fucking cool.
I would recommend a ten-day master cleanse to ANYone who is even vaguely interested in it. Forty days is a stretch, but ten days can be life changing on all levels. But I digress…
I now have health insurance and my podiatrist (because I also have plantar fasciitis, ugh) recommended an excellent chiropractor with X-ray equipment and physical therapists right there at his rehab facility. The dude is awesome. He very much comes from a whole body/whole health perspective and he knows his shit. We talked about all of my run-ins with sciatica over the years, my dad’s issues with the same problem, the specifics of my falls and the repercussions of seeking therapy so late in the game. (I first fell on July 15th so it’s been almost a year!) He did a muscle activity test, which showed my left side continuing to overcompensate for my weakened right side, and he took X-rays of my lower back and right hip.
The results aren’t tremendously exciting which is a good thing, really. There is no obvious permanent damage from either of my falls (hiking or biking). So while I may have sustained a hairline fracture from the latter, everything healed properly.
I almost laughed out loud when I went back the next day for my full diagnosis report. Remember my friend Sang, the physical therapist? The doctor pretty much agrees with him. I have too much movement in my hips and a slight curvature to my spine that rotates my pelvis and affects my nerve. Lifelong structural issues continually causing the same problem.
His prescription is very similar to Sang’s as well: hip stabilizing and strength training with a tiny bit of stretching. This week I start physical therapy and chiropractic adjustments. He suspects by the end of the summer I will be back to my “old” normal self.
It’s a really interesting lesson about how you can’t rely on stretching alone. For too many years I focused on the stretching aspects of yoga and let my core strength kind of dissolve. One could say I did that on more than a physical level, bending my principals over backwards to stay in a situation that wasn’t right for me.
It’s the combination of flexibility and strength that get us through to a healthier place, not just one alone. There’s compromise and there’s resolve. Ebb and flow like the universal water Lao Tsu is always talking about. Physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually – every aspect of our lives needs to have a balance of sticking by what we know is right, being true to ourselves and staying open to whatever may help us stretch to new levels.
Sometimes the path we choose is the long way round, but eventually the universe always helps us get exactly where we need to be, making us stronger, smarter, happier in the process.