[Tripping On…] Physical Therapy Thyroid, Part 22

I had a new physical therapist this time, so I explained that last time, I was wiped out for two days after the last session had received a bad headache. It was refreshing to have someone be empathetic. It’s not like I want overly-emotional sympathy. I want a solution. I want to go back to work with my energy levels back to where they were before, if not better. I received questions I can ask.

I explained that the appointment with the physiatrist felt more like a vanity meeting.

I said that although the spinal doctor had recommended I get X-rays and bloodwork, there was no action on the office’s part to actually do anything. The doctor had told me that the office would call me or reach out. They did not. The physical therapist said that in situations like this, as I had surmised over the past week, I have to hold them accountable for these actions. I will call them after I wrap up this essay to clarify whether that meeting will be another vanity meeting where nothing will get done or whether I’ll need to go in separately so the doctor can have the results of those prior to our meeting.

The physical therapist had noted that my thyroid muscles felt somewhat inflamed.

There was nothing significant about my upper back X-rays back earlier this year, so it might not be anything severe, but it could be enough to point to a developing issue. A thyroid issue could be my issue because I have noticed increased muscle fatigue, increased muscle pain, decreased overall energy, and increased fatigue with daily activities. What I’ve also learned whenever I talk with any professional is to ask them to print or write any suspicions they have so I can relay them along. Even with best intentions, what someone says may not transfer over to another care provider.

I’m happy, too, that the physical therapy today didn’t wipe me out.

The main focus wasn’t a deep-tissue massage with a high-energy workout, but rather, practicing moving my hip and pelvic muscles to practice better spinal posture. Currently, I am sitting in a suboptimal position, but that’s just because I’m exhausted. As I was taught, my back’s posture should be closer to a S-shape, which means that I would sit with my butt sticking backward, then I would stick my chest up to bring it back, then tuck in my chin to complete the S-shape. If it’s closer to a C-shape or a \-shape, the wrong muscles are firing, I suppose.

After I’m finished writing, I should practice this better posture.

It’s just interesting to me that I am so exhausted after not doing much of anything, so although the physical therapy has been giving me some good results, I almost wonder if it was providing “too good” of results, which is to say, stepping forward one foot but then stumbling back one or two steps. Over this process of decreased health, first starting with the upper-spinal headaches and continuing to these lower-spinal body-aches, I’ve learned to be more patient with myself. I don’t have limitless energy, so I shouldn’t be endlessly difficult on myself.

If I’m trying the best I can, I should trust that I am, and forgive my shortcomings.

I have my list of doctors I need to call today. First, I’ll need to call the current spine doctor’s office to see about the X-rays and bloodwork. If they balk, then I’ll reach out to my primary care physician’s office to let him know. Although my PCP was going to drop me off with the spine doctor, when I explained that my health was decreasing to the office administrator, they said they might look to see if there’s another option that might be able to help faster. They agreed that a spine doctor meeting with the patient remotely wasn’t helpful. I also need to ask about the pain specialist.

I’ve been sedentary this weekend so my pain levels have been overall minimal.

I wouldn’t even complain, except that my pain tolerance must be in terrible shape. The scar on my arm from a few months ago has healed enough to where although I see it daily, it’s barely noticeable to others, and it reminds me of how I reacted to burning my arm with hot water: an obligatory “ouch” with only mild stinging over the next few weeks. That arm pain was nothing overwhelming. This back pain has been a persistent annoyance at best to inconvenience at worse.

Currently, I feel wiped out.

I’m glad we didn’t burn me out as I was thinking I would have been because then I wouldn’t have the energy to call these offices to get status updates. I didn’t have the energy to go up to the grocery store, even though I don’t have any groceries I need to buy, nor did I have the energy to drive up to my mailbox to check for any mail. If that level of fatigue from waking up, doing the lightest stretches and exercises at PT, and returning home exhausted points to a thyroid issue, well, at least there will be a name to the problem so the doctors can work toward figuring out a long-term solution.

If the issue is my posture, I can work on that.

The physical therapist said that when I sat upright without back support, my spine curved in a C-shape, which was a common position for spines to move into, but unfortunately could cause the issue I’m in. I guess at least it’s good that I had bloodwork from January to compare with this upcoming bloodwork to see if it is a thyroid issue, which would be detectable via blood paneling. If not, then we can rule that out. I will, meanwhile, do the best I can to work on my spinal posture.

I’ll also respect that sometimes my energy and pain levels just won’t let me do extensive spinal re-posturing practice.

Quotes: None.
Sources: My personal experiences.
Inspirations: Writing about PT is an on-going thing. I forgot to mention that for headaches, I was taught an exercise where I would essentially lift the base of my skull up from my spine for about ten seconds to relieve tension. That’ll be another tool in my toolkit to try for my next headache.
Related: Sober Living essays and Tripping On [The American Healthcare System] chapters.
Picture: Template
Written On: 2020 June 08 [11:11111111am to 11:43am]
Last Edited: 2020 June 08 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]
My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.