Every once in awhile it is nice to see evidence that your hard work is paying off. It happens when you least expect it - like when you take your kids out to dinner and a lady at the neighbouring table complements how well behaved your kids are; or going down to the freezer to see that it is still full of strawberries laboriously picked the summer before; or getting your 10 km run time below that of the time you ran it when you were 16; my friends who do crossfit are now thinking about their latest pb clean-and-jerk. Life is sometimes satisfying that way.
Because I have the same physio routine each week, I don't see the infinitesimally small changes that occur in my body - like increases in the strength of my core muscles. Yesterday, I got to see the evidence - loud and clear. I have not been on the Lokomat since December - four months ago. Back then, as I hung in the harness over the treadmill and "walked", I had to hold myself up on the armrests of the machine. Yesterday, as I started walking I realized that I was not holding myself up, I could actually swing my arms! I was so surprised that I didn't even realize it straight away. Look Mom - no hands! So what this means is that my core strength (especially the muscle in my back) has improved enough that I can hold my shoulders and head up - this machine used to make me fall forward. No more. And it only took four months!
This past week I have been making some changes to my medications, specifically those that are used to target nerve pain. I have been reducing one drug (gabba) over the course of a week before starting the new one. I know that it is not as serious as going cold turkey (I know someone at Parkwood who did that), no skin crawling or night sweats, but still major fatigue and much more pain in my back. I started the new drug (lyrica) yesterday, it comes highly recommended by my peers so I hope that it will help.
Nerve pain is more common in the general population than I thought. Those of you who have had it before already know, but those of you who don't - think of it this way. You know how your feet feel after you have gotten frost bite and the feeling is starting to come back to your feet? Kind of like they are on fire? That is how my feet and legs feel three days out of seven. There is no explanation as to why it comes and goes; but the pain around my injury line is my real target. That pain feels like a hot knife cutting through the soft tissue around my chest. It never goes away. If this new drug does not work, I have something else to try - Dr recommended - more on that later.