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I feel crappy. I like to lead with the good stuff, ya know?

I feel nauseous and my stomach is unhappy and I’m exhausted and stuff hurts. Like, multiple parts of my body. All this is POST massage. TWO days post massage, no less.

When I finished with PT, I promised myself I would get in to see the massage therapist I had met a year ago through my PT group. I remember her as being kind and knowledgeable, and I knew she spent years as a PT, so she’d be good at working on my trigger points. I did remember that I came away from the appointment with a headache, but I thought it was because I didn’t hydrate. So I tried to be prepared this time…

I remember the good parts of the massage…it felt great while she was working on me. She found lots of trigger points and worked several of them out. Others she softened, but didn’t want to spend the whole hour on them, so she had to leave it at that. I felt good immediately after the massage as I was dealing with payment and chatting with her. But by the time I made it to my car and was on the road home, I felt foggy and blurry. I felt on the verge of tears and I really wanted to go lay down. I felt nauseated. I got home, let the dogs out, peed (which I had to do desperately) and then I drank half a glass (32 ounce up) of water. I ate lunch. I felt slightly better.

Since that point, I’ve felt like shit. The nausea has not subsided, I’ve had muscle pain and I’ve had anxiety. My stomach is still unhappy, no matter what I do or don’t eat. I didn’t sleep last night AT ALL because I felt so crappy and I was bordering on an anxiety attack. I laid in bed and listened to music all night, trying not to give in the anxiety, but I didn’t sleep. Which is just as bad as actually having an anxiety attack…maybe worse, because not sleeping heightens my anxiety. Nausea heightens my anxiety, and the fact that I had the chills, but was hot, but was cold, and felt flushed, also didn’t help. All of this activated my health anxiety (heart attack…) It stinks. I tried to fight it today, and I went out briefly with my mother, but gave in after lunch and went upstairs to try to lay down for a while. That made no difference, but after a short trip downstairs, I ended up back upstairs in bed. I don’t want to give in, but I’m tired and I just want to feel better, and my bed is my safe place. So I came up to sit in bed while hub heated up some leftovers for me to try to eat. And while I was waiting, I went hunting through my blog right around this time last year, which is when I saw the massage therapist the first time. I was almost positive that I had blogged about my experience, and I wanted to know how long it took before I felt better. A day, two? Four? Today is the 2nd full day post-massage.

I finally found it. And what is too funny, is that I was thinking about using that same title for today’s post…I’m nothing if not consistent. Anyway, I re-read the post, then checked the next couple of posts to see how long I felt poorly. It was a similar experience this time to the first time, with the exception that last time it was a headache but this time it was this nausea. I don’t know if the release of so many trigger points at once (and other muscles) released some toxins into my systems that is making me feel crappy, but who knows. Hopefully I’ll start to feel better tomorrow. In the meantime, I’m TRYING to be kind to myself, and remember that giving into the anxiety is not weakness, it’s a learning experience. And no matter if I do get anxious, there will be a new day to follow where I will be okay.

Meanwhile, anyone else have this kind of experience with massages? Or trigger point release? It sucks, because I KNOW I need to keep up with the trigger points, but dealing with this multiple day crappy feeling really stinks. I mean, who else but me would have an adverse reaction to a MASSAGE?!

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Physical therapy update

News on the PT front. For the last several weeks, E has been working on trigger points that affect my back. She’s been able to progressively go deeper on the trigger points, which is a good thing. It means the tp’s are getting worked out…it also means OW OW OW OW OW. Jeezus, that woman has tough hands.

But something has been working, because the bad knee that never wants to straighten has gotten one degree away from being straight. The other knee is almost back to being hyper-extended (which they both used to be waaaaay back before I first started abruptly having problems with them). We both kind of surmise that after all the work strengthening my muscles and then loosening up all my trigger points (varied and vast), I finally made progress. So after my appointment, E pronounced that she would see me in TWO WEEKS. It has only been about a month or six weeks since I’ve started seeing her only once a week instead of two…now I’m being moved to every two weeks. I suspicion I’ll be having withdrawal symptoms this week, since I won’t see E at all.  I can’t tell you how long I’ve been seeing her…I can’t remember anymore. It’s been probably close to 18 months altogether, considering how many different body parts I had to work on.

Starting tomorrow, it will be a week since I’ve had PT. That’s not entirely new, but we’ll see what happens in the days following. I haven’t gone without PT for more than about 7 or 8 days in all that time. Already my back and knee are tired today, but maybe by tomorrow they’ll be feeling better (I had to stand around for over an hour during training with Butthead, so….)

Anyway, the good news is, if I can keep things in good form, I can stop going to PT. While I will miss E a lot because I like her very much, I won’t miss having to go to PT once or twice a week every single week for …ever. However, I am thinking I will start going to get trigger point massage from a massage therapist (who used to share space with my PT office), maybe once a month to keep up with maintenance. Trigger points definitely come back, especially in someone like me who is not only prone to them, but has myofascial pain syndrome…kind of pre-disposing me to issues like this. On the down side, massage therapy isn’t covered by my insurance…but I’ve been paying co-pays for PT, so it will actually be less expensive for me to go to massage therapy once a month than what is cost in co-pays four times a month. And waaay less than it was costing me to go eight times a month!

So, one tentative step forward, and we shall see where it leads.

 

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Trigger point therapy

I have had trigger point therapy before. When I first got sick, I had a terrific massage therapist who used both East and West techniques for her clients. She was French, she did shiatsu, massage, physical therapy, accupuncture, accupressure, and probably more. I liked her a lot; she helped me very much over the course of eight months. But at the time, I was in so much pain overall and felt so crappy, I don’t recall how intense the trigger point release was. These last couple of weeks, E has been doing trigger point release for me, and it has hurt like hell.

I have two areas that E has been working on. E is incredibly adept at finding the trigger points, and every time she finds these particular ones, I end up clutching the table and attempting not to bawl (or scream). At least, not out loud. Today I had to wipe my eyes a couple of times because the pain was so intense. At one point, she was working hard on a trigger point that didn’t seem to want to give in (not a shocker for me, as my body is pretty stubborn), and she asked me how my weekend was. For once in our entire time working together, I was really only able to mutter that I couldn’t concentrate on our conversation because not only was the trigger point burning like a mo’fo, but the pain was referring up my back like smokey fingers burning pathways toward my neck. It was bad, ya’ll. E apologized, but didn’t let up, because the knot needed to be released. I just wish it didn’t hurt so damn much.

E went to a class over the weekend for a technique called “dry needling” for trigger points. She thought I might be a candidate for the technique, so she was excited to go to the training. However, when I saw her at my appointment today, she kind of nixed the idea. She told me that the technique was pretty painful…worse than the pain I was dealing with as we were talking (while she was releasing the trigger point in my thigh). She said she and her partner had to stop several times because it became so painful they couldn’t handle it. And they both have pretty good thresholds for pain. So I was just saying NO NO NO, keep those dry needles away from me! I couldn’t imagine the amount of pain they had gone through over a three day period of training. Yikes.

We aren’t even sure the knee pain I’m dealing with (on one side anyway) is from a trigger point or not. It actually came to me after she worked on the trigger point on my butt… I went to my big fancy book, The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook by Clair Davies, and went searching for the pages I had marked previously. One of them was for the exact spot where the pain had been bothering me. I think I had guessed in the past that maybe it was a trigger point and had tried to release the trigger point myself, but hadn’t been successful. But hey, why not bring it up to E! So I brought my book with me to one of my appointments and she started working on the specific trigger point I had marked in the book, and I’m partly hopeful that it’s working. The thing is, immediately after the release, the pain has subsided. But it doesn’t seem to last long…which is disappointing. I’m not sure if we can pin the pain on the trigger point or not… (there’s a birthday game for you! Pin the therapist’s hands on the trigger point?) Then again, the trigger point on my butt is taking some time to work, too. But the relief from that one lasts longer…

Who the hell knows, right? And yet we persist…

Tomorrow? MRI of both of my knees. Two hours in the MRI = so much fun. NOT.

 

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