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"And there I was, sitting paralyzed."

Sciatica Back Pain Chiropractic Swimming

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With both my kids, during the pregnancies, I had severe Sciatica. It took almost a year after the first delivery for the Sciatic pain to go away, it used to be terrible. There would be times when I couldn't even move and I had to stand in one place, because the pain was so bad. But with the second one, I learned to look for the pain, and I had to learn to kind of adjust the way I move and walk, to control the pain. And in about 6 to 7 months post delivery, it went away. Everything was fine. I mean, if I have some Sciatic pain here and there because I did something stupid, it would go away in, like, you know, an hour or so. It was fine. I didn't generally consider myself a person with a back problem. Then suddenly [it happened] about a couple of years back, and it had been at that time, three years since my daughter's delivery in December 2017 or early 2018. I had sent everybody off. My husband had left to work. My kids had gone to school. I was all alone and I just sat down in front of the television on the couch, with my breakfast and finished eating. And I was trying to get up to, you know, put away my plate and I realized I couldn't move.

I couldn't move. There was nothing I could do. My back wouldn't move. I was paralyzed and I was in shock, because my phone was not next to me and I had nobody at home. And there I was, sitting paralyzed. When I tried to get up, the pain in my back was unbearable, and that's it. And I didn't know what to do. And I thought, "Oh my God, it's 9 O'clock in the morning and nobody's coming. Kids are due at 3:30 [in the afternoon]. I won't be able to open the door for them. My husband doesn't come home before six. What the hell am I going to do? I can't even call anybody here to ask for anything. I have no way to do anything. I'm stuck in this chair!" Thankfully, ten minutes later, I was able to get up again, and later on I was told that when your disc slips, the body puts you in a state of paralysis because it's in shock. It's a way for the body to process the shock, and it tries to get you to not move, so that other wrong things don't happen. At the same time, you don't end up, you know, shifting too many other things around while it's adjusting to whatever it is that it needs to adjust to. But ten minutes later, thankfully, I was able to get up and then I called my husband and I went and laid down and I said, "You're gonna have to come. I can't move. I can't do anything." This was, I think on a Wednesday. I have other people in my home [family], my brother has a back problem and I thought "Ok, usually the right thing to do is to go lie down, lie down flat." So all of Wednesday I lay down. Thursday, I lay down too. But by the time Thursday afternoon came about, I was at my wits end. This pain was, you know, unbearable and I can't move. It's not Sciatica anymore. I know it is no longer Sciatica.

So then I got myself, you know, Urgent Care. I go to Urgent Care at Stanford. And as I walk into the department, right there on the television, they say, "We will not recommend an M.R.I or an X-ray for anybody with a back problem for 30 days." They have it out there. And I am like, "What? And I have gone through teeth-pulling pain, to just walk the few steps to the car, sit down, then drive all the way (my husband has taken me to Urgent Care), and then over there [climb] the steps that I have to take, to get to the Clinic from the car park." And I'm like, "Why am I doing all this, if you're not going to do anything about it?" Like I'm already irritated by that sign. And then, I meet the Doctor and she says, "Look, we don't know that it's a slipped disc" and I'm telling her,"Look, I've had Sciatic pain. I know what is Sciatic pain and this is more than that. I am immobile. You can see that I cannot move here." She says, "Look, unless you do physiotherapy for 30 days, I cannot, you know, recommend anything else for you. I'm not allowed to recommend, and you need to come back to me saying you have tried physiotherapy and only then can I, recommend the second step." Then I'm like, "What's the second step?" But she said, "Look, even if I do an M.R.I. and I find out it's a slipped disc, there's nothing else I'm going to do, other than tell you to go to physiotherapy. So all that M.R.I. is going to do is confirm that you have a slipped disc, but its not going to help me cure your slipped disc in any form or fashion and there's no medication I can give you. I will still only recommend physiotherapy. So just go for physiotherapy." And that's that. I understand where she's coming from, right? So then I go back. This was on Friday night. On Saturday, I'm on 'Yelp' looking for therapists. And everywhere around me, there's no physiotherapy clinic that I can find that is open or is willing to take a Saturday appointment at short notice.

And so out of desperation, because 'Yelp' recommended Chiropractor as part of its recommendations, I found this Chiropractic clinic that was open and willing to take me on Saturday. And I'm like, "I'm giving this a shot. I don't care. I'm in such pain." So I go to the Chiro and you won't believe it. It was like magic. My husband is with me. They do this, for lack of a better word, I'm gonna say 'bone setting'. So he goes "Tck,Tck,Tck," and he pulls me in and you can hear the click. You can hear the sound when he does it, it just fell back in place. And the next thing I know I'm able to stand and I'm able to move. If you come from a world that has read Asterix comics, there is an exact depiction of this in one of the Asterix comics, where people walk into some doctor, crouched and come back standing straight. It's like that, right? So, it was miraculous. And then, of course, I went back for follow up sessions and all that. But that first session of putting my bone back in place, like resetting it back in place, was 90% of everything I needed. Then the second thing and this I learnt over time, I also did the physiotherapy that he recommended and what-not. But then I knew that I had to make my muscles strong so that this doesn't happen again. And what I found through experimentation–I tried walking, I do a lot of things–is swimming the backstroke was the best form of muscle building for my back. And I started doing that about 6 - 7 months, after I got the Chiro to realign the back. And ever since I started swimming, I swam continuously for about eight months, after that. Every day I would go and do a 40 minute swim and I built my back muscle. And since then I've had a very good back. So that's my story.