I’ve had back and neck problems, due to my military service, since 2002. Now that I think about it, almost everyone I know in the military suffers from some kind of back and neck problem. My neck problems are the result of 8 years of looking down for 8-15 hours of day. That is very common in Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. You are constantly looking down at the medication you are dispensing, filling, making. The neck problem isn’t that bad though; I am used to it.
The back problems are a little worse. Those were caused from months upon months of wearing all my deployment gear, carrying my mobility bags and wearing a heavy ass helmet while deployed and during exercises. I am happy that I get compensated for this pain in the form of disability payments, but I would definitely give up the money for no pain at all!
So, last January, I let my doctor know that we were trying to conceive. She recommended I stopped taking my back medication, and gave me some stretches to do to try and alleviate the pain. She also warned me that chronic back pain in women gets worse in pregnancy, because the ligaments and tendons become softer, start to stretch, and obviously the extra weight gain does not help.
So I quit taking my medication. I was only on one medication, and it was Baclofen. I liked Baclofen, because unlike Flexeril or narcotic pain analgesics, the Baclofen caused me no drowsiness and gave me mild pain relief. I would rather deal with some pain then feel constantly medicated. Also, I actually preferred to use exercise to keep my back strong, and stretches to keep the inflammation down then the constant use of medication.
So…I figured it would be no big deal, because in my opinion, my back pain was more annoying than painful. I only took my medication as needed, anyhow.
Well, I was wrong! When I was around 8 weeks pregnant, I started having sciatica pain! It was intensely painful, and extremely annoying! My midwife said my uterus could have been pressing down on my sciatic nerve. I had the sciatica pain up until my 12th week, when it suddenly disappeared..thank GOD!
Right around the 15th week, my normal back pain caused from military service, began to get worse. No amount of exercise or stretching seemed to help, and they still don’t. Since then, its progressively getting worse and worse. It seems like I will have one, possibly 2 good weeks, and then one week of intense pain. During those weeks, I can barely walk up the stairs, getting out of bed to pee at night hurts more than ever, and sitting down hurts more than walking. Its really annoying !!!
To make matters worse, living in an environment where it snows and ices all the time makes it worse. Around 23 weeks, I was getting out of the SUV, slipped while trying to get out, and fell out of the SUV! (: I can only reason that there must have been ice on the bottom of my shoes. Anyhow, I got out my little pregnancy binder my midwife gave me, and it said to call if you fall down. So, of course I call, and they scare the crap out of me by telling me to come up to Labor and Delivery ASAP. So, we go, and they check the heartbeat and contractions, and everything is perfectly fine, except for my back of course.
To make matters worse, everywhere I go is covered with ice. There is just simply no way to get rid of it when temps are constantly below zero. Yesterday I slipped 3 times just walking out of the SUV into someone’s house! Normally, slipping or falling wouldn’t affect me. Being pregnant, your back is so vulnerable to being hurt-that is why they don’t advise lifting or moving heavy things. Its not because it will hurt the baby…its because its gonna hurt your back and cause you a crazy amount of misery.
So, anyhow, those 3 slips yesterday really messed me up. They were tiny slips, but each time, I could feel my back give. By the time we got home, I couldn’t walk…I could only shuffle around. Laying down hurts more than anything, sitting is a close 2nd, and walking hurts too.
I know I am complaining, and its annoying, yes. I just hate feeling so fragile and so vulnerable to getting hurt. I get nervous everytime I walk to get the mail, because I know if I slip or fall I won’t be able to control it. Also, falling at this point could rupture the placenta, which really really scares me. I am just ready for all this snow and ice to melt!!!