So after my cute little "I'm going to get my attitude right" post on Monday, I proceeded to be in a foul, cranky mood. I wasn't feeling any relief. At my appointment with the chiropractor that afternoon, I told her I was feeling the same, if not worse, and they made me an appointment for an MRI on Tuesday evening. I wasn't exactly happy about that but I was interested in getting some answers. I have this knot to the right of my lumbar spine and I've been thinking since July, when I started feeling the pain, that it was cancerous or something awful. I am my mother's daughter, "worst case scenario" might as well be one of my middle names.
And the MRI itself, those things suck. Why did no one tell me? The form that I had to fill out had me all upset and nervous because I have a permanent retainer and I was afraid the magnets would pull my face into the machine. And the machine itself is GIGANTOR and crazy looking. When I saw the tiny chute that I had to fit into, it did freak me out a little bit. I'm not claustrophobic, but it was freaky. How do obese people get in those things? Once I got in and we got going with the loud picture taking, it almost started sounding musical to me and I would zone out into a very savasana-like state. Before I knew it, the tech came over the speaker and said we only had one more picture to take and that it would be two minutes. Adam said I was back in the room for over 30 minutes but luckily it didn't feel that way.
When I got to the chiro yesterday, she said she had my MRI reports in (a day early, when does that happen?) and that she was going to call another doctor quickly and then we'd talk about it (so OBVIOUSLY my mind went to OH MY GOD she's calling the ONCOLOGIST and I'm going to die). She was just double checking with the doctor that made the report to make sure she was understanding it all. I am an idiot.
We talked about the report, I have two bulging discs, just as she originally suspected, that are becoming more inflamed/aggravated when I do forward folding in yoga. I have some options for recovery but my first choice is to try her decompression table, which basically involves me strapping in, face down on a table that uses pulleys and the dropping of the ends of the tables to pull me apart while my back is in extension (a slight backbend). It sounds dramatic but it actually felt FABULOUS. Of course, the table work isn't covered by insurance (but steroid shots into my spine are partially covered, because THIS is what is wrong with our health care system and America loves to treat things the most invasive way possible instead of allowing the body to heal itself with some assistance and a little bit of work on my part, WTH). But this is not the time or place for my 8,000 word diatribe about all the things wrong with health care in America.
So, long story short, I did my treatments yesterday, spent the evening walking around at the State Fair (instead of sitting down, which is more painful for me) and felt better than I have in a LONG time. I taught a class of VERY beginning students today so I did more yoga than I have in weeks (but taking it extremely slow and very easy on myself) and it felt good for the first time in a long time. I'm not supposed to do yoga right now and I plan to take that seriously, but it did feel good mentally to know that I am slowly working on this healing process and that one day, I'll be able to enjoy my practice again.
This whole thing is, unfortunately, very much my fault. I put a ton of pressure on myself to finish my certification in 8.5 weeks and put pressure on myself to take poses more extremely than my body needs. One of my favorite instructors in Chicago always said "Go where you go" when we were in particularly tough postures and I need to remember that and go where my body wants to go, not putting my face on my shins just because I think that will make me a better yoga teacher and better person. I'm not as good as a teacher now because I am limited, but even that challenge is teaching me to hone my words and describe more vividly what I want my students to do. I will grow from this mostly because I'll learn what yoga really is; it is not competition with myself or anyone else. It's just "going where I go" and learning to accept that for what it is. Now that I know I don't have some flesh eating blob living inside of me (the knot is nothing to worry about and lots of people have them- the pain I feel more so on that side of my body is because one of the discs is bulging toward the right), it's much easier to feel comfortable about where I'm headed. I am looking forward to learning how to take care of my spine. I'll be a better teacher to others when this is all over because I know now just how infinitely precious my mobility is!