Mar 23, 2008

NQR--Not Quite Right...

I don't think there's anything magical about the age of 30, but there is something in me that, sometime in the past couple years, has "crossed over." Maybe it's having my own kiddo, I dunno. I used to think of myself as "one down" to pretty much everyone. Meaning I would defer to them because I thought of myself as younger, less experienced, or less-something. My pattern was to default to their judgement on pretty much everything, whether I asked for direction/advice or not.

But these days I am more my own person, and can think of myself as equal to most people. I'm better at distinguishing between a person having more knowledge/experience/wisdom in a given area(s) of life, rather than a person being "better" than I am in general. Consequently I'm that much braver when it comes to sticking up for myself.

It might be that I've known enough people in high positions to realize that most everyone is indeed just a regular person, but it also has to do with gaining some experience of my own and finding myself in a few situations over the years where I was the expert. Truth be told, it can be a little uncomfortable knowing that I'm in charge, weaknesses and all. But the really unnerving part is realizing that everyone I've ever looked to has also had limitations and weaknesses. Kinda puts a new perspective on...a lot of things.

The one on my mind lately--which I've realized before but somehow I always try to deny it—is knowing that no matter how much experience any sort of doctor or health professional has, I am the one who knows my own body the best. I am in charge, weaknesses and all. During the years when I didn't know what was wrong with my back I was sent thru numerous tests to find whatever it is that was wrong. X-rays, bone scans, MRI's, the works; and each time the verdict was that there was nothing wrong with me beyond some common quirks that shouldn't cause as much discomfort as I was having. So then there was the underlying burden of wondering if I was making it out to be more than it was or, worse, if I was a plain old hypochondriac.

The doc who eventually diagnosed the sacral shear said it best—there’s a fundamental difference between "there's nothing wrong" and "I can't find what’s wrong." I knew something wasn't right; I just didn't know what it was. And it turns out that SI Joint Dysfunction can be very subtle—usually not detectable by any of the standard diagnostic tests. All the previous docs did what they knew to do from their experience; but it took someone who had a specific expertise to know what was going on behind my symptoms.

That’s all to say that this week it was only slightly alarming when I saw the doctor for my SI Joint Dysfunction and--after explaining what was wrong with me, and that I've been dealing with it for years, and his doing his darnedest to help me out and give me good advice--coming to the conclusion that he did not know how to fix the problem.

I was highly annoyed at first. I thought "why can't you just listen to my description and do what needs to be done!" I had to remind myself that it took many, many doctors and over 9 years before I found one who knew how to help me. I also had to remind myself that I still get pretty fearful because, while I know what's wrong and what needs to be done about it, I am unable to fix it myself. And it’s scary when you have to start the search all over again, not knowing when you’ll find yet another person who can help in this very specific way. So a lot of my annoyance was actually frustration and fear that it will never. get. fixed.

Plus I pretty much suck at explaining it in the proper terminology, so God bless him for trying as much as he did.

To my credit, I didn't defer and go home to "wait & see;" I said something to the effect of “it still doesn’t feel right.” And to his credit, he very willingly referred me out for some PT, explaining that he deals with spinal/manipulation stuff maybe a few times per day, as opposed to someone who works with it day in & day out, and will have many more things in his/her bag of tricks. I really appreciated that.

And I hope he’s right, ‘cuz this is a royal (and literal) pain in the arse…

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