Friday, February 26, 2010


I've always had trouble with my pelvis, but it has not been quite the same since well before giving birth. Until Will was about 3 or 4 months old, I constantly felt like my pelvis was about to snap in two. I suppose it didn't help matters that Will required being carried some 12 hours a day, or that his carseat weighs some 300 pounds, or that I tried to start running again 8 days after he was born.

I kind of just kept going, because really, what else can you do? I tried to build up my mileage to start marathon training, but nothing in my body felt like it was put together right. I started feeling pain in my IT band area, so I got a new pair of shoes (the ones I had been running on were quite old and worn out) and kept running. Things didn't get any better, and I realized that the pain was not in my IT band but more in my (very) lower back. I tried to run on Wednesday evening and just couldn't do it.

In desperation, I decided to try getting a "sports massage." Rob had good luck with one of these after his last marathon. I didn't really know what to do, so I just randomly called a place, they had a time for me that same day, and they said it was okay if I brought Will, so I went.

When I got there, the massage therapist turned out to be a guy-- a very young guy. He had a fair amount of piercings and his hair color was probably not natural. I felt like I was old enough to be his mother. It was kind of awkward.

He started massaging my aching lower back and couldn't hide his amazement at how messed up my pelvis was. Muscles, ligaments, and bones were apparently not where they were supposed to be. I always, always, always hold Will on my left side-- this is partially because my hips are crooked (and always have been) and I can actually balance him on my left hip, but cannot on my right. It is also because I'm right handed, and holding him on my left side frees my right hand. At any rate, Massage Boy said that my pelvis was definitely messed up from the way that I always hold the baby. The muscles on my left side were hyper-developed, whereas the muscles on my right side (the side that hurt) were practically atrophied in comparison. Such a huge imbalance had messed up my sacro-iliac joint and apparently everything else in the region.

The massage experience became more awkward when Massage Boy informed me that he did not have a client scheduled for the next session and that he would like to keep working on my gluteal region some more. No extra charge.

Will was being a trooper, but he was having trouble hanging in there by the end. Blue Seahorse ran out of batteries all of a sudden and was no longer playing music. It was time to go.

So I go out to the front desk to pay, and on the receipt there was a place to add a tip. Like when you use a credit/debit card to pay at a restaurant. I was like, oh crap, am I supposed to tip the guy? Never having had a sports massage before, I did not know what the etiquette was. I stood there, awkwardly, wondering if I could somehow quickly call somebody who was more experienced in these matters and ask them if I was supposed to tip and if so, how much.

I ended up leaving a tip, hoping it was the right thing to do. The guy did spend 45 minutes on me (continuing to work my gluteal region) instead of the half hour I was being charged for.

I am still in a fair amount of pain. It is really hard to pick up or hold Will, which is unfortunate for everyone. In fact, I think the sports massage actually made it worse. But worse in a way that seems like "this is going to get worse before it gets better" way, hopefully.

I am paranoid that I'm not going to make it to the marathon. Now I've got to delicately balance taking time off to heal versus continuing to build up my miles. If I take too much time off, I won't be prepared for the marathon. If I take too little time off, I will make the injury worse and not be able to run at all.

I'm trying not to be in a bad mood about this, but it isn't working so well.


amypfan said...

Maybe you could see a physical therapist? Or a chiropractor? I had to see both when my back got all messed up from having the girls (PT with Bryn, chiro with Shay). Sounds VERY painful. Good luck!!!

Cathy said...

I have crappy back, hips and shoulders too. Long Story. Can't carry more than 10 pounds on the right for any stretch of time either. So the boys are always on the left. Have you tried a chiropractor? I have had good luck in the past. And I'll pray for healthy recovery so you can do Boston!

epon said...

I highly recommend

She's wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Hang in there, Melissa! I hope you feel better soon.

Unknown said...

I still need to go to a chiropractor for my back. It's been a mess since my pregnancy with Michael. I hope you feel better soon!