08 April 2009

A Right Royal Pain In The ...

Now I try not to go on about this, but I have mentioned it once.

There is a slight issue that has been complicating the pregnancy, move, work, managing Sonny and Smoochy, housework, shopping, walking, sleeping, and sitting down minding my own business. This has been a problem for me since I was about 20 weeks pregnant with Sonny, and it tends not to get completely better in between pregnancies.

Here it is.

There is a joint at the back of the bony pelvis called the sacro-iliac joint. It's called that because it joins the sacrum (triangular bit at the bottom of the spine) to the ilium (the uppermost part of each hip bone). The joint is like two plates of bone sitting perfectly together, held tightly by their own sandpapery faces and strong ligaments strapping it all up.

This is a picture of a normal sacro-iliac joint (complete with incorrect spelling of "iliac"):



And this is a picture of mine:


Spot the difference?

Being naturally low-tone, when the pregnancy hormones sweep through and make everything a little bit more floppy and lax than usual, the ligaments loosen and allow this joint to slide around, causing all manner of pain and not a little bit of gasping and yelling.

Most of the time it's just background pain that reminds me not to do things that make it worse like standing on one leg to wash my feet, shave my legs or put pants on, using a breaststroke kick when swimming, attempting to roll over in bed without slippery boxer shorts on, go up stairs two at a time or put all my weight on one leg when getting into the car. And I will never even think of sitting on a bike ever again.

But sometimes, the joint gets so far out of alignment that it's really a literal pain in the ass! The slightest move can have me gasping in pain, unable to move. Sometimes I am in the middle of rolling over in bed and I get stuck. Sometimes I am standing on one leg and find that I can't put any weight on the other leg otherwise pains shoot through my lower body, so I'm left standing there like a flamingo, breathing deeply and clenching my fists.

Anyone who thinks of suggesting pelvic floor exercises is out of their mind. I've done trillions of them. Do not leave a comment about it. Doing pelvic floor exercises against such sacro-iliac instability is about as effective as thrashing a convicted felon with a wet lettuce.

Now here is the whole point of my post: up until now, packers and removalists hav been doing a lot of the work for me (and now I guess you know why I said, "No Packers: No Moving!!") But tomorrow we move in to our new home, and something tells me that the removalists won't be hanging around to help me unpack!

Spare a thought for me and my Personal Pain In The Ass. It might be a tricky few weeks! (But I'm looking forward to it - seriously I am!)

14 comments:

♥ bfs~"Mimi" ♥ said...

Oh, horrors! I'm sorry to read this! The fact that I can't respond about pelvic floor exercises -- or hey! How 'bout pelvic floor manipulation by a physical therapist -- just disturbs me.

No, seriously, I have no answers! Pillow between the knees at night and all that other stuff sounds a bit lacking in substance!

Hippomanic Jen said...

Unfortunately I can't help but think that thrashing a convicted felon with a wet lettice might be more effective than some of the sentences actually being handed out... but I'll still trust you on the (in)effectiveness of the pelvic floor exercises (after all, it occurs to me that they wouldn't help this particular joint at all!)

I hope the unpacking goes well - they will move the heavy furniture though, won't they?

Tracy P. said...

Wow, I wish I would have known about the slippery boxers when I was pregnant! You are so smart.

Behave yourself. Seriously. I will pray for Mr. deElba most, so that he will take your whims as his personal charge and not make you do anything drastic in order to feather your nest as we mothers MUST before babies arrive. (I shudder in recollection.)

Sassy Britches said...

I am in consistent awe of motherhood-related pain. Seriously, I cannot fathom half of what you go through, and it makes me scared that I will never be as superhuman as women who choose to have children! You go!

Swift Jan said...

I will certainly be thinking of you....
I will try & come during the school holidays to help you unpack (provided the pain in my butt doesn't get too bad either)...

Much love my friend xx

Hippomanic Jen said...

It occurs to me that it is much better to have a friend who HAS a pain in the butt than a friend who IS a pain in the butt.

And as friends go, you are defintely the former, not the latter.

Adrian's Crazy Life said...

I had that same problem with my first pregnancy. Doesn't sound like it was as severe as yours, mostly I had problems if I would lay flat on my back or put unusual stress on the joint.

They gave me massage therapy for it. As I remember, it helped a lot. Of course, it got pretty awkward, trying to do a lower back massage on a girl who was pregnant with a nearly 10 lb. baby, but they just rolled my on my side and kept at it. Maybe that would help you.

Crazy Sister said...

Does yelling a lot help? I enjoy a good theraputic yell from time to time. I prescribe frequent outbursts of, "Aaargh! My ass! My ass!"

It's making me feel better thinking about you yelling that in public.

Stranded in Stepford said...

I agree with Crazy Sister. In fact, I'd recommend doing it even when you're not in pain. We all need a good laugh sometimes.
Best of luck with the unpacking. Thanks for the reminder so that we'll all know to negotiate help on both ends next time any of your bloggies are facing a move :)

GreenJello said...

Oooooohhhhhh, SI Joint pain HURTS!!!

I found if it was really bad, I cinched a belt under my belly and around my hips. It kept things a little more stable.

Massage helps, especially if the therapist can pop that sucker back into place for you.

Brenda said...

That pain-in-the-ass thing? Hit me in the second pregnancy and sorry to tell you but she's 21 years old and I still have the pain (the ass, not the kid, although....). As for the Black Blog that never was, we all have that soundtrack in our head. When you have time (I know, haha) read some of Anne Lamott's stuff. She's an excellent author who manages to voice all our scary paranoid little thoughts.

Anonymous said...

My daughter's sister-in-law is wearing a special belt during her pregnancy ........so that she can walk!!!! same problem as yours!Haaaa mine was fine during each pregnancy.....my problems started as things began to 'tighten' up again. go figure!!

Anonymous said...

P.S. good luck with the move and everything else.
Anne

Dee from Downunder said...

I had that problem, (not as bad as you)in my second pregnancy - the physio had me tie a wide belt firmly round my hips, it did help a little.