Over the past few years since my yoga and chiropractic injuries, my life has felt like a senseless and unpredictable game of Shoots and Ladders. Over days, weeks, and months, I slowly and precariously climb increasingly tall ladders, making painfully slow progress with my exercises, walks, and ability to complete daily tasks of living. And every single time, my progress is interrupted by an unexpected and instantaneous shoot that sucks me back into the abyss of uncontrollable pain and severe limitation.
Slow but steady progress gained over three, four, or six months lost in an instant at the hands of small and seemingly insignificant incidents.
Lately, I find myself tracking these past years of my life based on the progress and setbacks I have experienced since the original chiropractic injury. Severe setbacks have resulted from moving small boxes from one apartment to another, vacuuming, walking too far, exercising too much, exercising too little, tripping, bending and cleaning, something popping while I do my daily stretches, etc… and so on. Activities I can do one day may cause a major setback the next day, so I am continually second guessing my capabilities. One month I may be capable of being up and about for most of the day, and then with a wrong step off the curb, I am bedridden for weeks on end.
The official diagnosis finally given to me by my orthopedic doctor is sacroiliac joint dysfunction (SIJD). My sacroiliac (SI) ligaments – the ligaments that join the sacrum and the ilium of the pelvis – were literally stretched and sprained by the acute injury and subsequent chronic assailments my chiropractor inflicted on me as she pounded on my sacrum. For lack of a better personal understanding, these ligaments are now looser than normal (hypermobile), and unable to stabilize my pelvis. My pelvis is continually rotating out of place, pressing on nerves, and causing severe pain. And my chiropractor has informed me that once a ligament is stretched, it does not tighten back into its former state.
I am able to make progress through gentle core stabilizing exercises and a slow graded walking program in which I add on about a minute of time to my walk every two weeks. But progress is excruciatingly slow, and I live in constant fear of another setback in which all of my energy and progress over the past few months will be lost.
My physical therapist is unsure why I experience such sudden and severe setbacks from seemingly innocuous events after making significant progress. Does anyone else experience this?
Anyone else out there with sacroiliac joint dysfunction? What has been most helpful for you in making progress?
Stay tuned for Part 3 coming up soon!