My sciatica has been a problem for 8 years. I like to make sure its really a problem before running off to the doctor (ask my kids how they ended up with Scarlet Fever when they were little). OK, so I have done lots of massage and yoga to help it out and I have mentioned it to three doctors. They all give me the same tips- ice, heat, stretch and exercise. And they are all right. Except for the part that its really a lot more agonizing than I let on. I don't like to be a cry baby so I let things go on too long. I have a follow up appt the end of June and I probably would have just run through Ragnar with my sciatica flamed up except for the plantar fascitis that came on suddenly last month. It more acute and painful so I thought I better deal.
I consulted all knowing Google and got a lot of mixed information. I asked people who have had it what worked for them- pretty consistently the sleeping sock and ice. And I had one of the nurses tell me to get it injected the day before the run. So last week at the fun run, I sat next to my friend G who is a podiatrist. As we were talking about running I managed to slip in my fascitis to see what she would say. She said " I could inject you but you run the risk of a rupture." Rupture and my foot do not go together since the "Great Kitchen Remodel of 2012" will occur the day after Ragnar. So we both agreed that no, that's not the way to go. She suggested lidocain. It wears off but can be reapplied and I will be in the van with all nurses. But I still don't love that idea.
So my Pilate's instructor mentioned acupuncture and I thought "hmmmm" So I made an appointment. Now before you all think I just opened the phone book and look up acupuncture and when to the first little shop I could find, I didn't. We refer our patients to a woman who is an MD and a Chinese physician. She is awesome for induction and turning a breech baby. Her husband is a Chinese physician who deals with non-reproductive health. So I called them.
Her is the low down. Its a combo of needles being stuck in your back, legs and foot (I only felt one or two and it wasn't bad). Then some kind of electric stimulation (like a TENS machine) and then lying face down for 30 minutes. The music was relaxing and the stimulation mainly felt good. Part way through I felt like I was getting a lot of energy in my legs and feet so I started wiggling my toes. That kind of made the needles in my heel hurt so I quit. Finally he came back and took them out. Then he did a massage with a vibrating massage tool. That felt great. Next came "cupping" it is some kind of suction cup that he places all over the the same places the needles were to increase stimulation. Then another massage and some counter pressure.
All in all, it felt great. After I was tired but good- just like having a massage. And honestly for pain issues I think I like this better than massage. No need to change my name to Moon Beam, I am not going to start consulting my horoscope for decision making. But I am going back for another session. I want to give it the ol college try before I decide if its really working or not.
On another note, something kind of weird happened last night. Weird in a good way and maybe a coincidence but maybe not. I really tried to convince myself that I didn't want to run. I gave lots of really good excuses. Then I told D that I was too cold and tired to run. Mr. Logic that he is, said "you know, the mere act of exercising increases your metabolic rate and the energy converts to heat and you will be warmer. Then you will be exerting energy which will wake you up and you won't be tired." Yes, Spock, I know. So I donned the ol running clothes and begrudgingly headed out. Why does it take 20 minutes before I love my run?! I stretched and realized it had warmed up (how can you be 42 and not realize that means rain?) I started up Creek. I made it half way up the hill before I had to slow to a walk. Unless you live here and can see Creek Hill you can't understand. If you live here you say, "You run up Creek?!" I walked to the top and then ran across until I hit the downhill which I love.
By then it was hot. Not really but D was right on the whole metabolism thing. I debated taking off my jacket but just then it started to rain. I nice warm, gentle rain that smell like heaven. I continued running, feeling awesome despite my sciatica and fascitis. As I got to the last big hill I started thinking about Ragnar. When I decided to do it, I "dedicated" it to day. I run for people a lot and they don't know it. Maybe its like praying for someone. But I digress. I remember running last fall and thinking about how Dad couldn't even walk a mile at my age due to his cardio myopathy much less run a mile or 16 for that matter. I was running for me because I could and running for him because he lost half his life to illness.
As my thought were flowing I thought, "I am going to end up crying at Ragnar because its going to be intense and I'm doing it for dad." I better warn my team that I might end up emotional. Just as all that was going on, "Dad's song" came on my ipod. Its the song I chose for his DVD collage at the funeral, Bye Bye Miss American Pie. I really think it was him. I have 17 hours of music on my ipod what is the statistical probability that his song came on at that exact minute?! (I don't really want to know because its probably not that unlikely but I like to think it is) So I continued my run with more energy and life. Then I thought, if "Uncle Joe's song" comes on I am going to pass out from shock. The next song was not his but the one after was. Again, what are the chances. I think that Pa Steve and Uncle Joe (who died three weeks to the day before dad) where there watching out for me, telling me that I am strong and that I can do it.