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Thread: The New Normal

  1. #1
    Senior Member SiouzQ.'s Avatar
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    The New Normal

    When did you realize that all your aches and pains were not a temporary setback, but a "new normal?" I think it is finally starting to hit me that this is where I am at and there's probably no going back to the way things were physically even just a few years ago.

    I seem to have hit a dead end regarding my low back and hip/glut issue. After 12 PT appointments and doing the PT exercises almost everyday for the last six months, plus countless trials and errors with various remedies, I decided it was time to at least get a back x-ray and an MRI. Neither test showed anything terribly out of the ordinary for a woman of my age, just the usual slight degenerations of the hip joints and lumbar vertebrae. So the problems I have been having seem to be all about dysfunctional muscles. My primary care practitioner has no good solutions other than massage therapy and acupuncture. She won't give me a referral to the pain and spine clinic up in Santa Fe because they are primarily dealing with people that have orthopedic and neurological problems.

    Meanwhile, I wake up every night around 3:30-ish because I can't lie on either side due to my buttock, outer hip and thigh muscles screaming in some kind of crampy muscle pain. Getting out of bed and getting to the bathroom in the morning is an exercise in misery. Basically the first two hours of the day are spent trying to loosen up all the tight things and get them to stop hurting. I spend a good 45 minutes on the floor stretching and strengthening. I have been doing some internet research and have diagnosed myself with myofascial pain syndrome. Now to find someone who knows how to deal with it! Of course my insurance won't cover massage therapy but I think I need to find someone who is familiar with this buttock and hip problem. That is my task for the new year, along with trying to get myself back on track with exercise, eating better (doing pretty good on that front, but because of the holidays I am eating more than usual). I should probably should try to wean myself off caffeine and the occasional 800 mg tabs. of Ibuprofen, the occasional opioid pain killers and muscle relaxers, Ambien or Benadryl for sleep - yet sometimes I just don't care and take whatever I have on hand to try to not feel this physical pain all the time. I also want to add that the grieving process probably also plays a big role in how I perceive physical pain. I have started one-on-one therapy recently, and also plan to go back to a grief group I had been going to once my schedule changes in January.

    When did you find your "new normal" and how do you deal with it?

    I am trying to do all the "right" things but I am starting to realize (and trying to accept) this is what aging bodies do - they store up a lot of aches and pains. I just wasn't expecting to deal with this kind of stuff for another ten years!
    Last edited by SiouzQ.; 12-16-18 at 12:53am.

  2. #2
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    So sorry that you are struggling with this right now. Are you getting more comfortable playing your guitar? Frustration with unplanned limitation of loved activities like playing your guitar or creating your designs doesn't help much but I hope that is getting better each week that passes.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  3. #3
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    Yes I have many aches and pain st 64. My good friend lost her 19 yo daughter 7 years ago due to a rare disease. She really suffers on her birthday and death day.

  4. #4
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    I had very similar hip buttock thigh pain upon waking when I was in my mid to late fifties. It went away entirely after menopause. I have lived long enough to know that what seems like it won't ever end or change, very often does so there is always hope it will get better with time. I also have a personal theory that we sometimes experience pain and/or illness as a kind of distraction. There has to be some psychological component to yours though after all you have been through.

  5. #5
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    Good for taking care of the emotional part too, i can see my body was a wreck (for me) during my high stress times. I had just gotten used to my new normal of weight when it finally shifted. So although all this stuff is impermanent it is still encouraging to think it could get better.



    I just remember my friend who had 3 back surgeries. They told her that a year after the last one she would be as good as she would get.she went through a real difficult time then emotionally. She meditates a lot however still deals with a slightly better physical state. Therapy and some good friends to talk to have been important, and a really good pain management system. When the pain gets really bad she just stops and takes care of that first. She has also become a better friend through this, more empathetic.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Gardenarian's Avatar
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    I just stubbornly refuse to accept that pain is going to be chronic.

    I think it's healthy to get out of crisis mode (constant googling of condition, seeing lots of doctors, etc.) but without a plan to heal myself, I would feel lost. No, pain all the time is not the new normal - I won't accept that.

    I have a healing exercise and nutrition plan that I created through trial and error, and I'm just plowing through. I'm trying to exercise all my muscles, tendons, & ligaments with everything from hiking to isometrics to dancing, weights, feldenkrais, yoga, Zumba, pilates - I'm taking a shotgun approach, and I AM getting stronger. Mind over matter. And all that exercise helps knock me out at night.

    The night pain is the hardest; if you can learn to sleep on your back (put a bolster under your knees and on either side) you might get some relief. Sleeping on the floor is often best for muscle pain.

    If I wake up from pain, I just get out of bed and start cleaning or something. Sometimes take a bath. In the summer, I got up and rode my bike around in the middle of the night. Crazy, but better than lying there feeling the pain build.

    I've met a lot of women who USED to have sacroiliac joint/hip paint. It eventually went away for all of them. All of them!

    Therapy sounds like a great idea. I can't imagine dealing with this pain and coping with grief at the same time. I really hope you get some relief soon.

  7. #7
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    I sleep on my side and pain wakes me up so I turn on the other side. Rinse and repeat. I am also stiff upon getting up but it goes away. I do a lot of walking which helps.

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