Oh, My Aching Back.

16 Mar


This was taken in January 2011 after a sudden onset of intense leg pain. I have a lousy back. Lousy bones, lousy discs. And thanks to the pregnancy, lousy muscle tone now, too.

All the carrying, bouncing, and carseat wrangling has taken its toll now and if you follow me on twitter you know I’ve been unable to sleep at night without taking narcotics. And while I can nurse on them temporarily, it’s not a long term solution for anyone. Last week, hubs have baby bottles of clean milk from the fridge when I was drugged. With so many bottles, she started refusing to nurse. So to preserve our nursing relationship which I have fought tooth and nail for, we’ve limited bottles to one a day. Baby is getting way more medication than I’d like. She’s fine – showing no symptoms. But again, it’s not a long-term solution.

Yesterday I had a chiropractic adjustment in the hopes it would help. And it did – for a few hours. It’s now 4am and the pain is unbearable unless I walk around (which I am currently doing as I type on my phone). Not exactly optimal for sleeping. And now my left thumb twitched in controllable, which can’t be good.

So tomorrow its back to the doctor for a referral to a neurologist or orthopedic surgeon. At this point, I’m considering a steroid injection, which actually terrifies me, but I’m tired of worrying about nursing on the meds. Tired of having to pace the house every three hours at night waiting for relief. Tired of not being able to snuggle and carry my baby, and tired of hubs having to take care of all three of us, neglecting work and school to do so. You know what? I’m just tired.

I’m certain the chiropractor and my PCP will say to give it more time. But I feel like 10 days of narcotics is enough time. I hope no one will dare to suggest I just give the baby formula while I’m on the drugs. It has been 11 weeks of breastfeeding boot camp and things are just starting to feel easy(ish). I will *not* jeopardize all that work.

So. A traditional medical doctor tomorrow or bust… Because I have to trust my gut and be my own advocate. And this? Just ain’t working for me.

10 Responses to “Oh, My Aching Back.”

  1. talkingismyprimaryfunction March 16, 2012 at 5:49 am #

    I’m so sorry my friend; I agree that it’s time for another solution. I 100% understand your not wanting to give up the breastfeeding. I remember helping you stick with it! 😉

    My mom had the steroid injections, and they provided good relief. Just know to watch out for the side effects and be prepared with a plan to deal with them. I know you’re good at that. 🙂

    Good luck and let us all know how it goes.

  2. addyeB March 16, 2012 at 8:49 am #

    OUCH. I thought my back injury was bad. I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this on top of trying to adjust to life as a mama of two.

    I agree with you you’ve gotta trust your guy and do what you know is best for both you and no2….and what’s in your comfort level. Praying for you and hoping you get a more permanent solution ASAP

    • addyeB March 16, 2012 at 8:50 am #

      Trust your gut, not guy. Stupid phone and too fast fingers 😉

  3. Sarah (Smldada) March 16, 2012 at 9:28 am #

    Hugs mama. You are working so hard here to follow your heart. You know yourself, your baby, and your comfort level – whatever you decide will be best for all involved.

    Have you checked the Lactmed app (free) and looked inside Hale’s book “medications and Mothers milk” (for free logged into an amazon account with search inside feature) for information on drug interactions with nursing? They may provide some reassurance. There are some pretty serious narcotics handed out after csections and traumatic births. I think I got Perc after dd1 was born.

    Are you maintaining a constant level of meds in your system to manage pain or are you touching it out and only taking it when you can’t function any more. I alternated Tylenol and ibuprofen every 3 hrs after dd2 was born to be functional. That way each med was only taken every 6 hrs, but I always had something in my system to take the edge off.

    What about getting an amber necklace? Raw Baltic amber can help reduce pain and inflammation. There are multiple places to get it online, from premade pieces to loose beads and chips. I have a measurable improvement on hours wen wearing it and wore it 24 hrs per day during my pregnancy from 19 weeks on.

    I have so much admiration for the strength and commitment you are sharing. And I know that you will provide inspiration to others who need to know that nursing isn’t always rainbows and unicorns. You are doing the best you can, wherever tat journey takes you 🙂

    • learnedhappiness March 16, 2012 at 8:59 pm #

      I’m only taking the narcotics at night and ibuprofen during the day as needed. The amount of meds that I’m taking each day gets smaller and smaller. So it’s not too bad. And Hale’s info has been really reassuring.

      I’ve heard of the Amber necklaces before but am quite the skeptic. It’s really interesting that it helped you – maybe it’d be worth a try.

      Thanks for the admiration. That helps so much, actually. Cheerleading is always welcome. =)

      • Smldada March 16, 2012 at 10:08 pm #

        I was a skeptic about amber too. Couldn’t bring myself to invest in it. Borrowed an adult necklace from a crunchy friend. I wore it for about 5 hrs the first night, took it off to sleep and went from feeling good at night to creaky and achy again by morning. Talked to friend and she said do not take it off. Shower and sleep in it. And I did. I broke my right leg (both lower bones) in jr high and it was set improperly. I broke my back horseback riding. The pregnancy hormones that loosen stuff up wreak havoc on my pelvis. I was barely walking when I started wearing amber. Amber alone was enough to controll the spd until about 32weeks. Then btw the baby and me we put my pelvis out for about 36 hours. Brutal. Brutal. Brutal. Chiro helps, but with the underlying mechanical misalignment, it is a very temporary fix for me.

        I have been using the adult necklace on C as an anklet under tights 24/7. She was just gifted a youth necklace for teething (4 teeth at once. 3 through the gums and 1 partial. Just noticed 2 more bulging yesterday.). I have been wearing the adult necklace during the day while she wears the youth, but I don’t let her sleep in it at night.

  4. Emily March 16, 2012 at 9:56 am #

    Oh yuck. I’m sorry you’re in so much pain. Steroid injections aren’t fun, but they help and are nothing to be terrified of. I hope the doctor can help you today.

  5. tranquilamama March 16, 2012 at 4:31 pm #

    Susan, I am hoping that your back feels better soon. Sending you healing vibes. LactMed is a great resource like Sarah mentioned. You have shown such a dedication to nursing. I am amazed daily by how you manage to tackle this transition from one to two with such grace and humor. You are your own best advocate. I love this advice to “trust your gut”. I spent so much of the first few years of motherhood doubting myself. After the hell of PPD and PPA this past year, I realize that I should just trust my gut. It hasn’t led me astray when I listen to it. Huge hugs.

    • learnedhappiness March 16, 2012 at 8:54 pm #

      I have LactMed’s iPhone app and LOVE it. It’s awesome. I’m using the Percocet sparingly so I’m not worried about it in the short term, but narcotics aren’t really a long term solution for me, either.

      Thank you for your kind words. I don’t feel like I’m handling this with grace, but you have to have humor. Without it, you lose hope.

      It’s hard not to doubt yourself with the PPD/PPA. I consider it one of the symptoms. It’s taken a LONG time for me to trust my gut, but like you said, it hasn’t led me astray. And as I see that more and more, it gets easier to trust.


  1. Mother’s Pride « - March 18, 2012

    […]  I’ve come through the PPD, the anxiety, the antenatal depression, the baby’s birth, two herniated disc episodes, and the death of two grandparents with composure and introspection.  I’ve asked for help, […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: