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SPD (Pt. 3) – Where I Am Now…

I’m 26 (almost 27) weeks pregnant now and have been suffering with SPD/PGP/PGD for about fourteen weeks.

As I’ve said before, the pain has mostly been in the right-hand side of the back of my pelvis, but in the past few weeks I’ve regularly felt it in both sides. I’ve also experienced some pretty sharp pains in the ligaments at the front of my pelvis too. Some days I’ve gotten up and I’ve not even been able to bend over the sink without being in agony and work, with all of the bending and stretching that my job entails, has been getting unbearable.

My colleagues have been great at making me take things easy most of the time but some things are unavoidable when you work in a busy shop. My workmates might know what I’m going through and make allowances for me, but the customers don’t give me the same concessions.

It was all making me feel thoroughly miserable, and after a chat with my midwife and GP I was signed off work for a fortnight.

During the time off my boss rang me for a chat and discussed different options with me but ultimately felt that my job wasn’t helping my condition and any other work he could offer me (office-based, with lots of sitting) was only going to make things worse. Reduced hours was another way we could have gone, but I usually found that I was in pain within 30 minutes of getting to work, so that didn’t seem like a viable option either. He suggested that I speak with the doctor to get her honest opinion of how I should proceed, and reassured me that he just wanted me to do the best thing for me and my baby.

I spoke to the doctor again a couple of days ago and told her my options…she said she thought it’d be best to sign me off for the duration of my pregnancy.

So here I am, at home, being taken care of by my incredibly patient husband. I feel terribly guilt that I am not at work and that I’m letting my colleagues down, but my boss has been awesome and I can’t fault his support.

As for taking care of myself…I’m still doing the prescribed stretches, and I’ve started antenatal yoga in a bid to loosen myself up a bit more (whilst also getting stronger). I’m also waiting to go back to see Jane the physiotherapist at the hospital for some more massage.

I just want to make sure that I am capable of giving birth to our baby. It’s going to be hard enough as it is without the pelvic girdle pain. I know that life isn’t perfect and that I might not get the natural labour that I’m planning but I want to do everything I can to make sure that pelvic girdle pain (of all things) doesn’t get in the way of my birth plan.

I’ll do my best to keep you updated…

 
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Posted by on June 7, 2015 in Life, Pregnancy

 

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Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction!…Pt. 2…

So! In my last post I said a bit more about my referral to the Pelvic Girdle Pain clinic at our local hospital…

When I realised that I was attending a clinic for women with PGP I started to panic that the midwife had gotten it all wrong and that I’d be thrown out. The doctor had told me I didn’t have it (silly girl that I am)…my pelvis wasn’t clicking, I wasn’t in pain most of the time. All I needed was physio and I was convinced that he was right and that they wouldn’t be able to help me, but I went along to the clinic anyway…

So there I was, thirteen weeks pregnant and sat in a room with seven other women…seven other women with very noticeable bumps. They were FAR further along in their pregnancies than I was (cue yet more worry that I would be outed as a faker) and, after we each gave a little background about our lives and how our pain was affecting us, I discovered that I was the only one still in the first trimester, and the only one to have no other children to run around after (panic worry panic panic).

One by one, we were all taken aside to be assessed and shown how to best support our pelvises (pelvi?) with a tubigrip bandage. I was asked to lean with my palms against the wall of the cubicle and raise my legs while the nice physio lady checked my pelvis for movement. Twice. Then a third time.  Then she said she’d be referring me to the consultant physiotherapist because she didn’t think that I had the movement I should have had.

Of the eight of us, I was the only one who was asked to stay to make an appointment…perhaps this was my punishment for my fakery?

In the week between my appointments I wore my tubigrip with varying degrees of success. It’s a pretty huge piece of bandaging and we were told to wear it doubled/quadrupled up (as we needed) over our pelvis and hips, like a little bodycon miniskirt, and under/over our clothes as necessary (for example…put it on UNDER your dress or top, but OVER your tights/trousers/leggings). We were only supposed to wear it during the day OR at night (never both in the same day), and were warned to cease wearing it if we noticed their baby’s movements slow or lessen (although this was just for the others – and my future reference – as they were all WELL past feeling their babies move and I was barely past my 12 week scan).

It felt amazing to have my pelvis supported by the bandage, for a while…but as time wore on I just felt utterly squashed, and it not only seemed to cause my tummy to ache, it also made me suffer more regular attacks of round ligament pain (note: this link is a good description of RLP as well as SPD) which is a completely undesirable trait in an item that’s meant to ease discomfort.

…AND it made trips to the loo a spectacularly massive effort…

It didn’t really help. Sure, the compression felt good, but it just wasn’t supportive enough to really do anything for me. I was still feeling like a fraud at this point as I obviously didn’t have SPD…no wonder the bandage wasn’t working for me…

At my second appointment I met Jane, the consultant physiotherapist.

We had a chat about how I was feeling and my past history of injury and pain (I had a pretty heinous fall to my right knee while skating that put an end to me playing roller derby and seems to have squiffed my whole body up), and then she checked the movement of my pelvis and legs. It didn’t take long for her to decide that my pelvis was blocked (tight/rigid) on the right hand side and she then set about trying to free it up a little, which ended in a massage (the best bit by far).

She also showed me how I could free my pelvis myself at home by lying on my back on the floor, bending my right knee up (foot flat on the floor) and relaxing my left leg over the top of it, using the weight of my left leg (and the firmness of the floor) to stretch out my right-hand sacroiliac joint. After doing this I can also try to give that side of my pelvis a firm massage to help it relax even more.

At the end of the session I still felt like a big fat phoney, but Jane assured me that my doctor was wrong and that I am suffering from SPD. As well as doing the exercises she gave me I was also supposed to go back for another session, but work commitments got in the way and, over 10 weeks later, I still haven’t managed to go back…

…more about that another time…

 
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Posted by on June 3, 2015 in Life, Pregnancy

 

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Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction?…Pt 1…

Or: A more detailed account of why the GP I saw is an idiot…

(Or: I like to repeat myself for the sake of clarity…)

I was around 13 weeks pregnant and just starting to get over morning sickness (or constant “I feel like I’m on a boat” nausea with hardly any puking, as it was in my case) when I started to feel a pain in my pelvis.

It started off as a twinge in my butt cheek…a little biting sensation when I put my weight on my right leg that felt a LOT like sciatica. I’d notice it more when I was doing a lot of walking around, and it started to really affect me when I was climbing the stairs. Sometimes I’d be fine, but other times the sudden pain would cause me to yell out (which was quite worrying for my family and co-workers!) and sometimes my leg wouldn’t take my weight and it made me stumble.

At its absolute worst it was so intense and painful  that I couldn’t pick my leg up, let alone put it down again. Unfortunately, I happened to be in the middle of Redditch town centre and a five-minute walk from the car when I got to feel this extreme of pain. Luckily my sister was there to act as a crutch…

Looking back I also had a terrible “seperatey” pain in the right side of my pelvis when I propped myself up in bed that was (obviously, in hindsight) completely related, but that I’d chosen to ignore and put down to a crappy mattress. I was feeling a lot of random internal shooting pains in my pelvic area too.

It didn’t hurt all the time, but it began to hurt more and more often, and was always got worse the more I did. Eventually it got to the point where I couldn’t face another day of dragging myself around work, so I booked myself in for an emergency appointment with a doctor to try and get some physiotherapy sorted.  After disagreeing with me that I was suffering from sciatica or PGP, he did agree that I needed physiotherapy, but he refused to refer me until I had spoken to my midwife to see if she could refer me quicker. For reference, he handed me a list of phone numbers for physiotherapy centres in my town and suggested I call them to see how quickly they could fit me in.

If he’d have referred me as an emergency I’d have been seen by a physiotherapist in three days (which the first clinic I rang told me that the doctor should have known, what with it being his JOB and everything) so I decided to forego his “help” and put my faith in the midwives instead.

As it went, I had to wait a day for the community midwives to call me back and tell me that I’d been referred to the hospital. They said that I’d get a letter through the post to book myself into a clinic, but that I should call the hospital straight away (before the letter arrived) to make sure that I got onto a session that same week. I got booked into a clinic a week after my initial appointment with the GP and felt confident that I’d be feeling better soon…

…and then the letter arrived…

…and then I started to panic…

I obviously hadn’t listened properly to the hospital receptionist on the phone as I thought I was going to be seeing a physio about my worsening sciatica, but the letter told me that I had been referred to a Pelvic Girdle Pain clinic.

Now, although I thought the doctor had gotten it wrong about my sciatica, I thought he was right in saying that  I wasn’t suffering from SPD…and so, in my hormonal-pregnant-mental state I decided that I had been referred for the wrong sort of therapy…that I was going to end up being thrown out of the clinic…that a group of pregnant women would scorn and mock me for being where I wasn’t supposed to be…

Most of all I panicked that was going to be weeks before I got the help I needed.


…coming next…The Clinic…

 
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Posted by on June 1, 2015 in Life, Pregnancy

 

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