November so far

It has been an interesting week so far, marked by lower back pain, eeeaarly mornings, and anticipating Remembrance Day by playing the trumpet and intermittently being stabbed by my poppy.

I am very excited to be playing the Last Post for the church’s Remembrance Day service this year. I sold my trumpet in the Spring because I never played it and it needed a professional cleaning, but I didn’t want to spend the money on that knowing that it probably wouldn’t be played anyways. I haven’t regretted selling it, and I only occasionally miss playing it (which I also did when I still owned it in its not-playable condition), but I am having a lot of fun this week on a borrowed trumpet getting my face back into shape to play for this Sunday. Rumour has it the borrowed trumpet may actually be donated to the church, in which case I could play it for future special events and also have access to it at the church for those random trumpet hankerings I get sometimes.

So far this week has also been marked by waking up at 4:30am (one hour earlier than my alarm is set for, thanks for that Daylight Savings) with spectacular leg cramps; if it weren’t for my shin bones, I’m pretty sure I’d wake up with my ankles bent up neatly to their respective knees. I have not been doing much walking or taking the stairs for the last few weeks thanks to a wicked cough (or mild bronchitis?), so I wonder if this is my body’s way of keeping up my muscle strength – super flexing in my sleep. I’m able to settle the cramps if I can get my feet flat on the floor to stretch my feet and legs back into a right angle vs the straight line it seems they’re aiming for, but that’s a mission in itself depending what position I wake up in and how far I am from the edge of the bed.

I think these leg cramps are connected to a condition in my back that I learned about over the weekend – lumbar instability! Part way through last week I noticed that my lower back and legs were getting very tight and achy and that sometimes when I cough that pain would intensify. I had some nerve pain in my lower back on the right side earlier in the pregnancy that was very similar to what I’ve been experiencing with the coughing, so on Saturday I decided to visit the chiropractic college (hello experts I can afford!) and see if I had coughed anything out of place. It turns out that some of the ligaments in my lumbar spine (low back) have gotten a little too loosey-goosey from the pregnancy hormones floating around, so in order to keep me stable, the ligaments and muscles above and below there are overcompensating by being super tense. It’s hard to treat an instability because adjustments don’t “stick,” but they can work on relieving the surrounding tension that is causing me pain, and I’ll have exercises to strengthen the overall area.

I really enjoyed my appointment on Saturday. It was 3 hours long, which I was prepared for because it was my initial appointment and because other times I’ve gone to this clinic I have always found my treatment to be very thorough. It’s a teaching clinic, with pods of student interns overseen by teaching staff of the college. Sometimes the process takes a bit of time because the intern has to go back and forth between assessing the patient and figuring out what treatment is needed to then going through the case with their supervisor to make sure they haven’t missed anything before they proceed. I really like my intern and her pod supervisor, and I’m glad I didn’t wait any longer to see a chiropractor than I did because not only did I have this instability, but my pelvis was twisty! They don’t do manual adjustments on pregnant ladies for that, but they got me to lie on my back with some wedge blocks under my hips, and it was amazing what a difference it made. When I first lay down, my left hip bone was probably two inches higher than my right, but after the blocks my hips were level. When I was telling my parents about this appointment my Dad said it was good that I went so the baby doesn’t come out looking like a curly fry! Having a properly aligned pelvis is definitely a priority for me as I enter my third trimester so that the Truck has all the room it needs to grow and get in a good position for being born, AND so that I don’t have to waddle around like a wooden-legged duck.

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