For the past 3 weeks I have been dealing with a pinched nerve in my neck. I have never experienced anything like this in my whole life. All I know is that I went to bed completely fine and woke up unable to move my head from side to side, my thumb on my left hand numb, loss of strength in my arm and hand on my left side and pain that ranged from burning to shooting.
I have never — I repeat — NEVER experienced a pain quite like this. It was scary. It is scary. I went to the ER, where they loaded me up with two prescriptions — one script was for Tramadol and the other for Valium. The Tramadol made me feel sick and woozie. I was a walking zombie on this stuff. The Valium didn’t even touch the pain or make me forget about it. I couldn’t sleep the first night. I woke up crying. And then, because I couldn’t sleep, I started Googling. Don’t ever Google when you are in a panic about your health. It will only make you panic more, trust me.
Not satisfied with the diagnosis from the ER, I visited my doctor. He took some x-rays and confirmed that it is a strained muscle – aka a pinched nerve. He signed me up for 6 weeks of physical therapy. Which, I learned later on — would not start until the following week. According to my insurance, I have to jump through the physical therapy hoop in order to get an MRI. Let’s hope I don’t need an MRI.
Taking matters into my own hand, I found a reputable chiropractor as recommended to me by a friend and co-worker. At this point, I was “sleeping” on the couch at night. I say “sleeping” because during all of those nights I woke up several times during the night. In pain.
The week after New Year’s, I had celebrated a 2.6lb loss. More than ever, I was feeling energized and motivated to continue on my journey. More determined than ever to lose weight and stay on the healthy track in life. Then, the pinched nerve happened, and i’m too scared at this point not to get healthy. It’s motivated me… but I am also very scared about my health right now. Physically, I am babying myself and i’m not quite sure that is what I need.
I experienced (I felt) a loss of control over my body. A loss of control over my health and well-being. All of these “could have beens” and “should have beens” raced through my mind. All of the sudden, in my 34 years of existence, I felt close once again to my mortality. My fingers bristled along the porcupine pinch of the knowledge that someday I will have to leave my family, my babies, my husband, my friends — behind. At first, I didn’t know it was a pinched nerve. I thought I was having a heart attack or a mini-stroke. Even when I visited the ER and they told me that I had a strained muscle and sent me on my merry way with pain pills, I didn’t trust it.
I have endured an emotional few weeks. Not only because of the pain… but also because of the thought that if I don’t do something now to change my health, then I may experience other things — more serious things in my coming years. A pinched nerve probably isn’t a big deal in the long run. My physical therapist seems to think that because this is the first time something like this has happened to me, i’ll be able to make a full recovery. However, I know that if I don’t start conditioning my body. If I don’t start stretching my muscles, getting in daily exercise, eating better food, etc. This could be the start of an uphill battle for me.
Ways that I have changed since the Pinched Nerve incident:
- I Stopped drinking diet soda. Cold turkey. Just stopped. My chiropractor has done studies on the effects of aspartame on the body. It’s not good. He also mentioned that aspartame contains neurotoxins. Don’t believe me? Read up about the side affects of Aspartame. I have opted instead for unsweetened tea — with ice or hot. Of course, I drink lots of ice water too. I love ice water!
- We got an xBox One for fitness. I started with Just Dance 2015 & Dance Central Spotlight along with Zumba. Dancing and exercising in my living room is now something my whole family participates in and enjoys.
- I stopped eating fast food. Mostly. I do have the occasional Chicken Apple Pecan salad at Wendy’s and we did have pizza for a sleepover treat for the kiddos. Small steps though, right?
I go to physical therapy twice a week. I also see my chiropractor once a week. I am very determined to recover fully.
Have you ever experienced a health scare that made you change your life?