I woke up this morning to horrible pain in my neck and shoulders.
I immediately called out to J, who had to take yet another day off from work due to my health problems, and phoned my mother to see if she could come watch the girls while J took me to the doctor.
I had actually been meaning to go to a chiropractor for some time now because my back, neck, and shoulders are constantly in pain and have been ever since I was pregnant with Claire (so that’s over 2 years). As luck would have it, I had managed to find one nearby with good reviews just the other day and called him as soon as his office opened. He would be able to see me that same day.
He knew almost right away what the problem was: a herniated disc in my neck. After an examination, the diagnosis was confirmed.
The scariest part of the examination was when he was checking my reflexes. Because as it turns out, my nerves are so damaged that I NO LONGER HAVE REFLEXES IN MY ENTIRE RIGHT ARM.
I know that this isn’t that big a deal; after all, I still have full motility and sensation in all parts of my body, including my right arm. And according to the doc, the damage to my nerves did not happen overnight — he estimates that it’s been at least a year since I first developed the herniated disc (I had just written off the pain as normal aches and pains from having a baby to take care of) — so I had been living with this minor damage this entire time and hadn’t even noticed!
But it was pretty scary to see your left arm twitch and jump just as it should be, only to have the doctor perform the same exact tests on my right arm and see it lie lifeless and still.
I received some physical therapy today, and will be returning to continue receiving therapy for however long it takes for the pain to go away. (Luckily, the burning OHMIGAWD MY NECK AND SHOULDERS ARE ON FIRE sensation only lasted through this morning.)
The doctor told me that if the pain does not lessen soon, he would like to send me for an MRI. He said that while most insurance companies will deny MRI coverage for herniated discs, they will approve them in cases like mine where there is nerve damage. (Hearing this scared the crap of me too.)
The worst part about this entire ordeal is that I still have Claire and Aerin at home.
After some arguing and even a couple of tears on my part, we have decided to send Claire to my parents’ for the rest of the week. And depending on how I am doing, we — meaning me, Claire, and Aerin — may stay at my parents’ for a little over month, until J’s parents return from Hong Kong late next month. J will stay at our home, visiting and sleeping overnight occasionally, but the commute from my parents’ home to NYC is almost an hour each way and it will be too difficult for him, especially since his work hours do not fall during rush hour when trains run often.
And although my mother would love to stay at our place to help out, she still has her store to manage and the frequent drives here — 45 minutes without traffic — are becoming too difficult. At my parents’ house, Claire will be watched by my sister and mother and father, each able to cover for the others when they have to work.
I will still need to watch Aerin by myself until the end of the week, but having one baby to watch is exponentially easier than two.
I had to fight back tears as I packed Claire’s things, and I started bawling as soon as she was out the door. I may enjoy occasional breaks from my children, but I have never spent a night away from Claire since she was born (aside from hospital stays), and I know that I will miss her horribly.
(The original plan was for me and the girls to all go to my parents’ today, but there was already so much stuff to pack and bring just with Claire…we simply did not have the time, space, or energy to do so today.)
I have recently started to get acupuncture and have been taking Asian herbal medicine for my failing health too. I hope that this, in addition to the chiropractic therapy, will help me get in better shape asap so that I will be able to take care of my girls the way they deserve.