I have 3 big vacations I want to take when my kids are a little older. First, I have wanted to see the beaches and wildlife in Australia since I was in high school. Second, I've dreamed of seeing a Hawian beach sunrise ever since my cousin showed my pictures from her vacation. Third, I’ve loved the idea of staying in an Ireland castle since a friend of mine told me you could rent one for a week!
Of course with COVID and a 2 year old traveling long distances doesn't sound relaxing at this time. But we did live 😬 through the 4 or 5 hour drive to Fredericksburg. We found a cute little cabin at a winery. Fredericksburg is a beautiful town with lots of trees and hills. We found places to hike with the kids and there is great window shopping on the main street in town. As I was talking about our little trip to Nancy she started to make weird faces as though she is in pain. So I stopped my story and asked her what was wrong. She apologized but she was just thinking about how painful all that walking would be for her.
I didn't know Nancy suffered for years with pain in the bottom of her feet. She was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis which got bad enough that she had cortisone shots in both of her feet. Thankfully the shots did stop her pain for a while but over time the pain slowly came back. She tried everything! She bought special shoes, she had every type of device that was supposed to stretch the bottom of her foot and rubbed her feet daily if not hourly. Unfortunately, nothing seems to stop the pain. So while I was talking about walking, hiking and shopping all Nancy could imagine was the pain she’d have during and after those things.
My family like many Houstonians had an impromptu camping trip. We finally got good use out of winter clothes since we wore all of them at one time. Our kids were having a great time on our mini winter vacation. We were without power for 48 hours then we lost our water on day 3 of this storm which resulted in a pipe bursting over our master bathroom. We were able to quickly turn off the main water supply and then my husband, thankfully, was able to get the parts he needed to fix the leak and get us up and running again.
But that kind of got me thinking that there are probably lots of Houstonians right now that are looking at either one or multiple busted pipes. Which could mean days or weeks of renovation that need to be done on their home. And in order to save money they might try to do the demolition themselves to prevent further damage to their home from having wet drywall.
I have a few tips that can help you stay healthy during this time. You don’t want to get sick or injured on top of all of that drama.
I got an interesting call from a nice woman named Lisa. Lisa is in her early 40s and I got permission to share her story. She called me after seeing one of my ads because she was worried about her shoulder. She just couldn’t move it normally. The straw that broke the camel's back was when her husband tossed a water bottle to her and she just couldn’t get her arm to lift high enough or fast enough to catch the bottle. She was so embarrassed when the bottle hit her, not to mention a little hurt.
Over the phone Lisa told me she had been dealing with her arm just not moving for months assuming eventually it would just work itself out. But after the water bottle incident she realized the wait and see approach wasn’t working. I told Lisa it was good she could move her arm and that it didn’t hurt but without seeing her I could tell her much else. I really had to move her arm and see how her joint felt before I could give her much information.
Have you ever rolled over in bed and thought “Did I just lift my entire body with my neck” because of the intense pain in your neck? Well I did. And right smack in the middle of the holiday season craziness.
That's right even therapists hurt themselves at inopportune times. I woke up with a severe neck spasm the week of several holiday parties. You know the week where both kids need to go shopping for party foods and presents. This was not the week to walk around like a robot (as my son kept telling me I was doing).
The good news is that I know how to stop this muscle spasm and restore my normal neck motion without having to make an appointment with someone.
Can you relate to Michelle? I was talking to Michelle the other day and she was disgusted with her back pain. She was ready to throw in the towel. She even asked me “Can’t you just get a back replacement? My back must be defective.”
She continues to explain why she was so disgusted with her back. “I understand why my back hurts when I carry my daughter who is 45 pounds now. I’ve found ways to deal with my back pain at the grocery store and after my work commute. BUT I’m completely confused by why my back would hurt while I brush my teeth!!”
I can only imagine how frustrating it must be to have to adjust every aspect of your life to avoid pain. And back pain does affect everything you do.
Michelle was obviously at her wits end. She was tired of having to find ways to accommodate her back which alway resulted in her missing out on important things in her life not to mention making her errand take longer. As I started to ask her about the history of her back pain it became obvious that Michelle had been dealing with her back pain for over 5 years. The first time she could remember having back pain she helped a friend move, she was sore for a week. But a few months later she picked something light up off the floor and she had to see her doctor for muscle relaxers. She has sense just been changing how she moves to avoid the possible reinjuring her back.
“I'm in my early 40s and I feel like I’m in my 60s! I'm scared about what that will mean going forward. And not being able to brush my teeth is the last straw. I have to do something.”
My son was so excited the other day when he got a remote control car. He drove that car over everything! He tried to climb the wall which really didn’t go far. Then he got the idea to launch the car off the table thinking it would be a cool stunt like they have on movies. He cleared off the kitchen table and ran the car off the edge. Unfortunately the landing was not as smooth as it was going to be in his mind. His car crashed causing the tires to fly off. He was devastated thinking his car was broken. Thankfully we were able to get the tires back on but I did talk to him about how to take care of his toys.
Over the last 10 - 15 years it has become more common to see younger and younger patients with hip replacements. Their stories are very similar. They started to have mild pain in their hip while sitting too long. Then the pain started to have pain if they walked too long. Eventually they are thinking about their hip all the time. They have gone to the doctor who told them its arthritis. Perhaps they suggested a cortisone shot to help with the pain; but they ultimately tell you that eventually the arthritis will get bad enough that you’ll need a hip replacement.
It is not your fault! Your body is not defective and you didn't do anything wrong.
Those are the first few sentences I’ve said to countless women who have come to see me with injuries that don’t seem to heal. But what were they supposed to think? Especially after they went to a doctor, chiropractor and a physical therapist and they still have pain or limitations in their knee. Many of my clients had a doctor tell them matter factly that in 10 years they’d need a joint replacement. Of course they think something is wrong with their bodies.
I received this DM from a sweet concerned woman.
I was walking in the grocery store parking lot towards where I thought my car was when I realized I was walking the wrong direction. Naturally I turned around to go towards my car. Unfortunately, I wasn't paying any attention to where I was walking and I turned around right after walking over a road hump. So when I turned around my foot landed awkwardly on the side/top of the road hump. I was able to ungracefully stop my fall however, my ankle is killing me now. I most certainly rolled my ankle. What do I do right now to stop it from getting really bad ie ugly and swollen?
I told her that the answer was a little long so I asked if I could call her. After talking with her I thought I would share a summary of the information I told her.
We all have that friend that has the cutest shoe collection. That person that has a different shoe for each outfit. What would that person do if they were stuck in a walking boot for 6-8 weeks. I think they would go pretty crazy just like Alicia. Alicia was no wimp when it came to hurt feet, remember she loves cute shoes. Over time she developed a bunion on her big toe, which she ignored for years. It wasn't until she started to have pain on her pinky toe that she finally went to the doctor. The pinky toe pain was just too much to ignore any longer. The foot doctor told her the only way to stop the pain is with a bunionectomy. Alicia agreed to the surgery. Then while she was still in the walking boot she started physical therapy. She was ready to do anything to get back to her cute shoes and her normal active lifestyle.
Who hasn’t rolled out of bed at least once in their life? I remember making jokes in college about why my bed was just a mattress on the floor, “You can’t fall from the floor”. Of course now that I'm a mom falling from a bed doesn't seem so funny. I still remember how my heart sank the first time my son rolled off the bed when he was a baby. He was fine and I just added that memory to a pile of other memories labeled “more traumatic for mom than baby”.
Unfortunately falling out of bed can be very traumatic for the person that falls. Take for instance Trish’s fall. Recently, I met Trish because she couldn’t move her shoulder. About 5 months before I met her, she rolled off her bed during the night landing on her shoulder hard. Which would've been embarrassing enough but to add insult to injury she seriously hurt her right shoulder. After about 2 weeks of her arm hurting every time she moved her arm in any direction without any sign of it getting better.
WE HELP ACTIVE ADULTS OVERCOME THEIR ACHES AND PAINS TO GET THEM BACK TO THEIR FAVORITE ACTIVITIES WITHOUT MEDICATION, INJECTIONS OR SURGERIES.
Dr. Molly McDonald