Of course the internet makes everyone a licensed doctor, right? Once I got home, I started google-ing if constipation can cause back pain. Come to find out, it can. If this was right, I could have been constipated for months. I would use the bathroom, but I must admit, it wasn’t like it was before I got pregnant. Its just one of those joys some women go through with the pregnancy/breastfeeding process.
I read that pain medication can contribute to it and I did take pain medication for my c-section for a little while. Also, with breastfeeding, I figured all of my water was going to my milk. I justified how I could have come to this point.
Long story short, that night I took some Metamucil. I wasn’t comfortable with doing an enema so instead I took some Milk of Magnesia. Needless to say, I went. I didn’t go as much as I think I should have considering how backed up the ER doctor said I was, but I went.
I did not think that constipation was the root of the problem so the next day I went to my family doctor. I told him what happened with the passing out while getting out of bed and the back pain I had been having and what the ER doctor concluded. We did some more x-rays so I could prove to my husband I wasn’t full of shit (sorry I couldn’t help myself there).
According to these new x-rays, I did have stuff in there but he said it wasn’t anything he would be worried about. (Again, I did “use it” the previous night but nothing extreme).
He thought my back pain was being caused by inflammation and weak muscles from being pregnant. He prescribed me some anti-inflammatory medication and muscle relaxers. We discussed physical therapy briefly but that was about it.
About a week later, the pain wasn’t subsiding. The medication I was prescribed wasn’t doing anything for me. So I decided to go back to my family doctor.
We decided to go on with physical therapy. Apparently I was supposed to have been going for that week, but someone dropped the ball and did not do my referral.
My first physical therapy appointment was March 23rd. This was 1 week after my first fall. I really liked my therapist. He was very relate-able. He concluded that my core muscles and my back muscles were weak from not using them during pregnancy. He said essentially my bones were moving and my back muscles were tensing up trying to support them. He also figured my breastfeeding posture was poor. His wife recently had a baby and experienced all of this also, so I figured that was it. I would do some physical therapy for a few weeks and strengthen my muscles back up and the pain would go away and everything would be normal.
So I went to physical therapy for probably about a week. I think I went a total of 3 times or so (It wasn’t an everyday thing). I was really hopeful it would help.
I still had a lot of back pain. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to or not, but nevertheless, it was still there and I was trying to go on with my life since all of this was normal for someone who had recently had a baby.
Then, on the morning of April 4th, I want to say was the day of my 4th physical therapy appointment; I fell, once again, getting out of bed. This time my husband wasn’t home to catch me.
My grandmother had slept over the previous night to help me with the baby. She was sleeping on the couch. I was getting out of bed and the pain started again. I screamed for help as I was starting to black out and make my way down to the floor again. This time I hit my back on my bed frame and slid down it. I think I heard and felt popping and I was thinking, “this doesn’t seem like it will end well”. I feel like this may have contributed to my fractures, but according to my doctors, in a normal person, this wouldn’t cause the damage that they found in me.
After a few seconds my grandmother comes into the room. After the fact she said she didn’t know if it was me crying or the baby. At this point I was almost completely passed out. I could hear the fear in her voice similar to what I heard in my husband’s voice. I couldn’t open my eyes but I could still speak and communicate this time.
I laid on the floor for a few minutes trying to figure out what had happened. My grandmother handed me my phone and I called my mother for help. In total I spent about an hour on the floor this time.
With my experience in the ER last time, I knew it was pointless to call for an ambulance to come help me get off the floor or to seek medical attention at the hospital.
Again this time, anytime I would move my hips or try to sit up, I would get intense pain and start to black out again. From my previous experience, I figured once I got to a certain point in the sitting up process, I should be ok and the pain would subside enough to stand up.
After a lot of negotiating (my mom threatened to call other family members to come get me off the floor and I refused to interrupt their day and my mom had to get to work soon), I agreed to let my mother and grandmother pull me up and put me in a sitting position.
As they were doing this, the pain came back and I almost blacked out again, but eventually I was sitting up. After sitting up for a few minutes I was able to get to my knees. After being on my knees for a few minutes I was able to stand. This whole ordeal took much longer than I would have cared for but it was all I could do.
Once up, I called the doctor to tell him I fell again. They told me to come in and we would try to figure it out. This is when the doctor started to realize this wasn’t normal back pain.