Unsteady Uproot – “Down in the Trenches” (Thursday, February 20th)

I’m laying on a table with my knees up like I’m about to get a pelvic exam as my physical therapist says (not quietly enough), “Now. Close your vagina. Contract your lower abdominals, and squeeze your butt cheeks.”

I must have blushed as she’s got her fingers on my stomach to ensure that I’m activating the right muscles. We’re out in the rehab area of the gym surrounded by exam tables of every height and size. A few feet from me is a handsome patient with a brace from his hips to his knees.

I’m on my hands and knees now as she repeats, “Close your vagina! Now…breathe…” I’m internally giggling like a 5 year old as this hot guy is working out his knee next to me and my closed vagina.

I love everything about physical therapy – even the embarrassment. Haha.

I cannot even express to you how blessed I feel right now. I feel as if I need to word vomit but I will try to not ramble on about how excited I am about all of this.

I finally finally finally have solid insurance instead of just a catastrophe plan. Not only is this plan cheaper than what I was paying before, but it also has no out-of-pocket maximum, which is insane. So once I hit my deductible I’m home free for care.

I’m not sure if cost transparency is something that is interesting to you all, but I often like to see real numbers. And while we are on the subject of money I was kinda wondering if any of you would like to see real numbers for what it’s like for me to be paying cash for out of state tuition and how I am able to afford this. There will probably be a post soon about my tuition and schools costs so you can at least have an idea what this looks like in “real life”. Maybe it’s TMI, but I’m trying to be honest over here about what this kind of life change actually involves monetarily. I feel like people often leave those details out and they are vital components.

So I’m currently on a twice-a-week schedule with my physical therapists. I have a copay of $100 for each visit. And all of my visits are from 7am-8am. So I leave the house about 6:45am, go to therapy, then get to the office about 8:15. I bring a tote bag of dress clothes and I change out of my workout gear once I get to the office. Right now I am in therapy for long term relief of back pain and also to help stabilize my hypermobile joints to see if getting stronger will help relieve some of my chronic pain. I rotate between an injury PT specialist and a female health/pelvic floor specialist (the one chanting about my vagina, HA). And we are working from the midline out so that I can be as stable as possible in all of my movements.

Unfortunately I have been banned (temporarily) from extra exercises like classes and yoga and the like until I can prove that I have the muscular integrity to move safely on my joints. The doctors said to expect to be back in exercise classes (they ok’d light pilates) by the middle of next month so… Woot!

Also! My PT would like me to explore genetic testing and he wants to know for sure for sure whether I have a genetic condition called Ehlers-Danlos. I have all the markers for it but he said it would be best to know for my long term health exactly what we are dealing with since I have already had a gradual decline in wellbeing and I’m only in my late 20s.

So that’s where I’m at right now with PT! Another blessing is that this doctor is a Christian and when you fill out his paperwork you can give him permission to pray with you about your care and speak freely about God’s role in your healing and wellbeing.

He’s wonderful. Super upbeat. Looks like he could jump up and run a couple marathons at any moment. Explains things thoroughly. Keeps me from perseverating on stuff we can’t change at the moment (cuz we all know that I want to fix ALL the things right now). Extremely patient with me when I’m getting frustrated and being difficult.

And I get to work with a student PT too, which is fun because I love getting to see stages in the learning process, you know? It’s encouraging to see other people doing well and in a phase that you look forward to reaching.

Anyway, just wanted to share that with you all. I truly know what it’s like to struggle with mysterious health issues. So I mean it when I say – Don’t give up. Keep searching. Keep reaching out to trained professionals. There are brilliant people out there who are willing to get right down in the trenches with you to figure this stuff out. You just gotta keep trying and keep being open.

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