Archive for the 'Lower Back Pain' Category

Eleven-Eleven-Eleven


November 11th, 2011

full moon
11/11/11. An auspicious day. With a full moon. This is supposed to be the day when everything reboots. It definitely feels that way for me. Lots of big changes going down this week. According to my horoscope, I’m supposed to start coming up with some big revelations. I’m not sure if that’s really happening yet. I’m not sure if reality has fully sunk in. I haven’t really processed it all.

necklace
Check out this necklace I made for my physical therapist. I had my last session this week. It seemed so surreal. I’ve been going for almost a year and a half. Ever since my BIG CRASH. I’ve come a long way.

walker
From using a walker…to being able to flip myself over…to standing…and walking…and rebuilding muscles…fixing my alignment…and headaches…and nerve damage…and MRIs…and neurosurgeons. It’s been an interesting journey. My physical therapist has seen me through a lot. So, it was kind of sad in a way. It’s sad to say goodbye. It’s also a little scary. Physical therapy is like the warm, fuzzy, security blanket where you can work out issues.

My neurosurgery appointment was good. Good and bad. It was good because I was not really FEELING THE SURGERY idea. (I was having a pretty strong intuition against it, in fact). And luckily, neither was the neurosurgeon. He said I probably do have nerve damage in my neck and shoulder. But they can’t fix it with surgery because I have arthritis! Who knew? I guess I have spondylosis in my spine. Apparently, people who have that respond really badly to surgery. Well, I tell you what…I have never been so happy to be told I have arthritis. :)

century
In another bizarre twist of fate/harbinger of change, I was invited to speak to a class of college students about raw food/healthcare. I took one picture. And I think I had the camera on a really low light setting in a really high tungsten kind of lighting. It looks kind of cool. The students were great. I was really surprised at their questions. They were really on the ball. And curious about what I ate the day before. And what I ate when I was in the HOSPITAL. And they asked really smart questions. Good vibes.

charlie brownAnd in case that isn’t enough evidence that things are starting to shift, the weather changed this week. We’ve been flirting with the colder weather. But this week was the first real freeze. Time to bring in the plants. Look at this little habanero plant. It’s so cute. It looks just like CHARLIE BROWN’S CHRISTMAS. Winter is definitely on the way. So here we go. Head first into an uncertain future. But one with limitless possibilities. And good karma. Wish me luck! I’m not necessarily seeing the answer right at this moment. But I trust that it’s there.

nettle latte
Oh and PS! I posted a new video this week featuring my dear friend, HEIDI (who I never would have made it through this health debacle without). We made a NETTLE LATTE. Check it out…

date
 

Rock Bottom


August 4th, 2011

inspired window
I feel like I’m bottoming out. Things aren’t looking too good. At least on paper. But somehow, I have this sort of delusional perception of reality that says otherwise. I absolutely do not see it right now. The solution. But miracles happen every day. Right? Is that crazy? I got some more bad news this week. My MRI RESULTS. Maybe they didn’t TELL ME ALL AT ONCE so I wouldn’t get depressed. Basically, they were as bad as they thought. Worse even. My back is a mess. I have a bunch of damaged discs. I don’t even remember how many. Five or six. Two are torn, and the rest are just bulging into my spine. Thus, the nerve problems. I’ve had three different doctors tell me I might have to get back surgery. Not exactly what I wanted to hear.

mosquito bite
The stress is making my body do lots of weird things. Like really bad MYOCLONIC JERKING. And this. It’s a mosquito bite. And some days, it feels like I’m losing the function of my right hand. I actually feel like I’m doing lots of positive things for my health. (In case you haven’t noticed). It’s just mainly the stress that I haven’t gotten a handle on. But sometimes, stressful things just happen. Or a strings of them. And you do the best you can.

kitty
Kitty has been really protective of me lately. It’s pretty cute. She follows me around wherever I go. And when I leave, she waits by the door for me. Other people’s pets have been acting weird too. The other day, I went to a friend’s house (when I had the above blister). And as soon as I walked in the door, their dog freaked out. She honed in on the blister right away and started licking it like crazy. And after that, she just calmed down and went and sat in the corner. It was very strange. So, even though things look bad on paper, I get the feeling that there are larger forces at work looking after me. I’d like to think so anyway…

date
 

Purple Haze


July 11th, 2011

purple haze
The sky outside my CHEF’S WINDOW has been pretty ominous and volatile lately. This was a beautifully intense storm that happened around sunset the other day. I think this is a good sign. There’s plenty of musical evidence out there that says so.


Jimi saw it. And he was flowing with the pulse. That’s for sure.


And let’s not forget about the most amazing super bowl half-time performance ever. Prince was looking at the same purple sky. (He’s from here, you know.)

fireworks
Lots of WILD THINGS going on in my world these days. Check out the fireworks from my friend Mark’s boat. We enjoyed the 4th on the MISSISSIPPI RIVER. It’s amazing how not crowded it was.

freedom chia
Here’s my 4th of July inspired breakfast pudding: chia seeds, almond milk, strawberries, blueberries, banana. It’s healthy and it matches my calendar. My boyfriend just bought a ton of chia seeds for me to experiment with.

me on the fourth
In other news, I’ve run into another setback of sorts. As they say, bad news comes in threes. So I should be good after this. The last few weeks have been brutal. First, I found out of have some RARE DISEASE inspired by my toxic exposure (not surprising if you’ve been following this blog for a while). Then, I found out that the person who KNOWINGLY EXPOSED ME is getting away with it because of some legal technicalities. This basically means that I must shoulder the cost on my own (this has been an extremely expensive setback). Frustrating (more for the injustice than anything), but injustice happens every day. Now, I am running into a road block related to my CRASH. Is it just me? Or is this starting to sound like boot camp for superheroes? It’s kind of a long story. Where to start?

trigger pointsA couple months ago, I found out I have a DISC INJURY in my lower back. This is causing complications like not being able to stand at times and my leg going numb. I have been having trouble with my arm too, but that was seemingly a muscle problem. So, I went in for some trigger point injections (in pretty much the spots shown here). I was reluctant to try this for a long time. I wanted to try the natural methods first. But after a year of trying REALLY HARD, I was not seeing much progress. And I got to thinking…in an ideal world, I could heal this naturally.

side view
But then again…in an ideal world, I would not be absorbing this kind of impact. I think the body has the capacity to heal from a lot. But I also think that this type of injury was not built into the original plan. Perhaps, an unnatural injury deserves an unnatural response. So I decided to try the trigger point injections. Basically, they inject a needle into the spasming muscle and this causes it to relax. Typically, they also inject a steroid. But I opted to do my treatment sans steroid. And I think this was a good choice for me (given my LIVER issues). I actually feel like the injections released a lot of energy. There were big muscle spasms that happened. And the area feels less dense. But unfortunately, the pain in my shoulder is still flaring up. Apparently, this means that I might have a damaged nerve root. And that I likely have a disc injury in my upper back as well.

croutons.
Oy vey! If it’s not one thing, it’s another. The universe is really sending me a message loud and clear. Though I’m not sure if I’ve fully absorbed it yet. I trust that this is going to inspire some really unique and creative solution. That it will send me on a path that I never would have come up with on my own. But I’m not sure if I’ve figured out what that is yet. I can say with certainty that I probably won’t be entering any gymnastics competitions, running any marathons, or breeding anytime soon. But I am eating really well. And coming up with some wild ideas. So, I will keep you posted on my progress…

date
 

Head In The Clouds


June 2nd, 2011

clouds
Well, I think it’s fair to say that I’ve had my head in the clouds lately while I contemplate my next move. If you’re just tuning in, I found out last week that I have a ‘FISSURE’ IN A DISC in my lower back. I just had a follow up with my doctor and learned some interesting things. It could be that there is just a rip in the disc OR it could be that it’s actually ruptured and the goo is leaking out. They can’t tell for sure until they do a discogram. Needless to say, my head is spinning with possibilities. Like, what does this mean for my nascent CHEF BUSINESS? Do I have time for this? Can’t they see that my business is taking off? I mean, don’t they know that I’m HUGE IN NEW YORK? :) (Kind of like the Tom Waits song. BIG IN JAPAN). Admittedly, this is not exactly how I planned things would go. But really, none of this has gone ACCORDING TO PLAN, and it hasn’t stopped me yet. It’s just a matter of unlocking the key to the silver lining. Right now, I’m still a bit puzzled…trying to make some sense of it. I just have to remember to stay open to the answers.

kale bed
In the meantime, gardening is a great way to keep your feet on the ground while you contemplate possibilities. This is my up and coming kale forest. I had one LAST YEAR too. Though last year, I didn’t get to tend to my garden as well as I would have liked because of the ACCIDENT. Actually, last year my garden was kind of a chaotic mess. This year is going to be better. I can tell. The weather is already being much more cooperative.

tomatos herbs lettuce
This bed is a little more heterogeneous than the kale forest. It’s got tomatoes, herbs, peppers, and several varieties of lettuce/greens. Have I mentioned how much I LOVE GARDENING? I filmed a video of me setting up my garden this year for PUNK RAWK LABS TV. It’s going to be a good one…

arugula sprouts
These cute little arugula sprouts that are just starting to see the light of day. This year, I think I timed things better. So that everything won’t come due at the same time. Hopefully this will help me eat things more efficiently.

wild spinach
This little guy is a wild spinach seedling sprouted from the BLACKBIRD NATURALS seeds I GOT IN THE MAIL recently. They are purple! The swiss chard behind it is also looking lovely. It’s just starting to perk up.

strawberries
The strawberry plant is starting to flower too. Soon, I will be enjoying the best strawberries I will have all year. I can’t wait.

straw lemonadeThis is a glass of raspberry lemonade I made for myself right before I took my bike ride to the garden. I just threw a couple raspberries in at the end and did a pulse. Mmm…so good! I highly recommend this. A very refreshing pre-bike ride delight for a hot summer day. Summer comes in short spurts up here in the NORTH COUNTRY. So you’ve got to appreciate it while you can.
.
.

mississippi
Here is me riding my bike over the mighty Mississippi on my way home from the garden. I try to ride my bike there a few times a week as part of my physical therapy. I love having a reason to check in with her (the river). She has inspired so many great works of art.


One of my favorite songs about her is BIG RIVER by JOHNNY CASH. I love how he talks about meeting her accidentally in St. Paul, MN. Just like me. I live in St. Paul, but my garden is in Minneapolis (just across the river).

mpls skyline
Here’s a pic of the Minneapolis skyline from the Mississippi River bridge the other day. Part stormy. Part inspired. That’s pretty much me right now in a nutshell. :)

date
 

The Mind-Body Connection


May 26th, 2011

window
It’s amazing at times how things come together. Things which are seemingly unrelated coincide uncannily with other things that your conscious mind sees as separate. It makes you realize who’s really running the show sometimes. This is a pic from my continuing window series, THE VIEW FROM MY CHEF’S TABLE.

wakingThis week, the recurring theme in my subconscious is the mind-body connection. It all started innocently enough. I got a message from my boyfriend’s sister, Julie. She started yoga this week. She needed a ride, and I offered to take her. Normally, it would be a bit of a trek, but this week in particular it was meant to be. I was scheduled to get my MRI close by at around the time she needed to go. PLUS, this was a very special yoga class. An adaptive yoga class taught by MATTHEW SANFORD. After my CAR CRASH, I came across his truly inspiring story. He was paralyzed in a horrible crash at the age of 13. This story chronicles his healing journey. He is now an expert on the mind-body connection, and he teaches adaptive yoga for people with disabilities. Julie has spina bifida. I had mentioned the book to her at the time, and she had heard of Matthew Sanford.  That little seed sprouted into her signing up for his class.  Monday just so happened to be the day of her first class and my MRI. An interesting coincidence (as you’ll come to see).

matthew sanford
Matthew Sanford was fascinating. I was too shy to go talk to him, but I was very impressed with him. He had very radiant energy. Limitless. That’s the first thing you notice about him when he comes into the room. This is a topic which he touched on in his book and the class. That yoga helped him to become conscious of this energy and how it moved through his body. He also talks a lot about the mind-body connection (which I find fascinating).

crash
After the CRASH, an interesting thing happened to me (which Matthew Sanford describes in his book). Many survivors of these types of accidents speak of this phenomenon. I became very euphoric. I giggled a lot. People would ask me why I was so giddy after being in a crash. Things that were supposed to hurt..didn’t. I just didn’t feel anything. Because of my LIVER ISSUES, I wasn’t really able to take any of the pain medications that were prescribed. And I think this only heightened a sort of natural endorphin response. I felt very connected to something otherworldly. I had the sense that there were guardian angels watching over me.

chair
The mechanics of the crash were truly awe inspiring to me. The door that received the impact of the crash came to the middle of the steering wheel. I was sitting in the driver’s seat. In this seat. It was hard for me to fathom how I survived this crash short of a miracle.

aura
Not long after this happened, I had a picture of my aura taken on a whim. I’m generally kind of skeptical about this kind of thing. But the outcome was interesting. The girl asked me if I was healing from some major illness, and I said ‘Yes. Why do you ask?’ She said my aura was all white which usually means the body is in a major healing crisis. They also had designation for how much of you manifested as body, mind, and spirit. I was 0% body, 1% mind, and 99% spirit. Matthew Sanford speaks a lot in his book of disconnecting from his body when things became too painful. That much of his healing journey involved him figuring out how to reconnect with his broken body on a conscious level. That you separate from your body as a protective mechanism. And that in going back to it, you reconnect with the pain and memories of what happened to it. I feel like I have been going through a process of this ever since the crash. And it has been hitting me over the head this week.

fissure
Yesterday, I went in to get the results of my MRI. This isn’t actually mine, but this is what it looked like. What I found out was that I have a ‘fissure’. I’ve never heard of this. Apparently, this means that one of the discs between my L4/L5 vertebrae (the one picture here) is ripped. The gelatin-like stuff inside is leaking out and bulging into my spinal cord. This is causing some nerve problems where my leg goes numb, etc. What’s interesting is that I believe that this natural endorphin response/disconnect from my body has allowed me to tolerate the pain of this injury really well. I’m not even consciously aware that I am doing it. But I think the stress of doing this all the time is causing me to have headaches. I should qualify this statement with the fact that I have no scientific basis for saying this. It’s just my instinct. I am reconnecting with my body little by little! And it is teaching me some very important lessons. I’ll keep you posted on my progress…

date