Thursday, April 23, 2009

Ice Cream Fun

As some of you know, Erik and I work in the Salt Lake Temple on Friday nights for a few hours. One of the girls that works with us is getting married in two weeks, so we all decided to go out after our shift and celebrate. Here are the pictures from Ice cream last Friday.

Erik and I getting Cozy while waiting for our food

It was a big bannana split. It sure was tasty!

All the Ladies I work in the babtistry with. They are all such sweethearts.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Erik, the most wonderful and patient husband ever.

I just wanted to tell the world how wonderful Erik is. He really takes good care of me and I am lucky to have him. He has had to endure a lot lately, as I have been kind of grumpy about some of the trials life has given me.

The last month has been kind of rough for me. My back started acting up again, and for the first time in like a year I have had trouble sleeping through the night because of the pain. I have been kind of grumpy, since having pain shoot down your leg, and then having your leg go numb isn't the funnest, and kind of hard to ignore. It also made me realize I am going to have to put my triathlon on hold, which is kind of a let down, since I have been training so hard for it. I also got a nasty sinus infection that lasted about a week and a half. Well when that went away, my back pain got worse. Well my back pain finally resolved itself Saturday night, and I woke up sick Sunday morning with a different strain of sinus garbage, I caught from a friend. Well, needless to say, I have been really miffed about being sick again, and having to miss more work. I have felt like the universe just wants to watch me suffer this month.

Erik has been a real sport through all of this. He doesn't complain, he will go out at all hours of the night to get medications for me, he holds me and lets me cry when I am discouraged about my back, and then makes feel better and helps me to look at the positive side of things. He drove all the way down to Provo by himself to get the rubber band ball we accidentally left at his parents house. Why did he do that you may ask, because for some reason it is the perfect density, and only thing that can seem to get my muscles to relax when my disk is bothering me (my foam roller doesn't quite work as well anymore). He has done the majority of the housework, since I haven't felt very well, and hasn't complained about it. He makes me laugh all the time with his funny sense of humor. He has made me dinner a lot lately, scheduled my MRI and gotten off work early to take me. He has been willing to shell out whatever money it takes to get my back better (which has been a lot). He makes me feel loved and appreciated, by all his acts of kindness. Anything I ask him, he will do for me. He is fun to talk to about life, and I can talk to him for hours and often do. He is good at solving problems, and making everything better, no matter who's problems they are. He gives really good advice, and I have learned the value of listening to it, because he always ends up being right. He is a really hard worker and a good provider, protector, husband, and my best friend.He has so many talents, I could go on and on.

I just wanted to let you know Erik, that I love you, and appreciate all you do. It is not hard to know you love me. You show me every minute of every day. Thank you!

Your Wifey

Erik at his favorite place in the whole world, The Wally-Mart

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Spine Update

I am very excited to share that I have found a solution that will fix my back permanently, and it doesn't involve surgery. So I have decided to do a weekly post about the progress of my back called "The Spine Update". I am a big huge nerd I know. But I love learning about the human body and it's abnormalities so just can't help myself.

For any who don't know, I herniated a disk in my back about 2 years ago as a result of previous car accidents. For those of you who like specifics it is between L5 and S1 and pinching the S1 nerve root, which innervates all my hip extensors and hamstrings as well as other muscles. It has caused me great problems, and often causes a lot of pain. Sometimes the pain is very debilitating.

Being in the field of rehab, I have worked very hard to "fix myself" and avoid the death sentence called back surgery. I have a core routine that I do to take the pressure off my back, I worked with a personal trainer for a year, to get my muscles strong enough to take most of the load and take the pressure off my back I stretch my quads and hamstrings and hip extensors diligently in order to get rid of my anterior pelvic tilt which puts more pressure on my disk, I use a foam roller for myofascial release of the muscles, I have gotten massages, etc. I even started training for a triathlon when I started feeling strong enough. Well everything was starting to go well and I hadn't had any symptoms for about 5 months and I was able to tolerate two hours of intense cardio classes a night. I was stoked, cause I thought I was better. But then about a month ago I did a trail run with my triathlon group. Dumbest idea ever! It jarred my back and now my disk is consistently acting up again.

Well luckily for me, my institute of Religion professor also happens to be a chiropractor. He is a very brilliant man and is good at whatever he does. He found out about my back and told me about this non surgical spinal decompression therapy that will heal my disk back to 95% of it's original strength. He referred me to his son, since seeing students is a conflict of interest.

It turns out I have no curve in my cervical or lumbar spine along with the herniated disk. My chiropractor and I are working to put the curve back in my spine through spinal molding and exercises along with the spinal decompression therapy for my disk. So it should be better permanently within 6 months or so. Yeah! It is already feeling better after just a few sessions.

Here are the pictures of my spine currently. I am happy to report that my disk looks a lot better than on my MRI two years ago, but it still has issues.

Here you can see an L bend in my spine instead of a natural curve. This puts way more pressure on my disk between L5 and S1. You can also see the white circles. Those are the nucleus pulposis or the jelly filled nucleus in my disk. As you can see, the disk right at the L bend doesnt have one, as it has spilled out through the outer fibrous layer called the anulous fibrosis. You can see where the blackened disk is spilling out into my spinal column and pinching my nerve. That is the disk that is herniated.

Here, you can also see how my facet joints are locked and the the spinous processes of my vertebrae around the L bend are jammed into each other. This expains why it has hurt to sit for more than 10 minutes, during last month. The spinal decompression therapy is helping unjam them.

This is what a healthy spine is supposed to look like. you can see the natural curvature that evenly distributes force and pressure, the disks encased and having equal thickness, and the spinous processes evenly spread out.

FYI: My chiropractor is really good! He uses evidenced based research to support his treatments, he measures progress through reliable methods such as x-rays and MRI's etc, and really knows his stuff. I have grilled him extensively, made him show me research articles etc, since I am not going to trust just anyone. He is helping me a lot, so if you need a good chiropractor I would go see Dr. Michael Frogley