The end of this past cycling season was rough after a pretty nasty injury. In time, my ailments graduated from headaches to numbness in my arm, then to pain and loss of strength in my hand. Sure, I've stayed off the bike since November, thinking my lack of riding would help my healing, but to no avail.
I got ski lessons for Christmas, but have been finding it frustrating when I lose feeling in my left arm in the middle of a lesson or practice on a Saturday afternoon. It's been difficult learning proper placement of my left hand and pole when I can't feel where it is. Luckily, it is the off season, so I've got time to get fixed up.
After 2 months of treatments by my insurance provider's chiropractor and no progress, my frustration and pain has me to a new doc. I went to see Dr. Pat Obrien, a fellow bicycle racer, at Health Architects. For the first time, someone actually sat me down and asked me about each and every symptom, how my injury has progressed, and past injuries that may be escalating my situation. We sat and discussed my health and habits, and worked out a plan of treatment. Dr. Pat stayed far away from adjusting my neck and looked solely at my arm and shoulder to better understand what was going on with the nerves inside. After a 1/2 hour or so of treatments, and some stretches prescribed, I left his office with my first sense of comfort.
Unfortunately, I might have a bulging disk in my neck. Feeling my own frailty and limitations, I can't say I was far from sad. It's hard to look into this next year questioning my ability to race, but Dr. Pat sounded pretty optimistic that we've caught it early. The amazing thing is that, only 24 hours later, I've felt a miraculous change in my ability to feel and grasp!!! The tingling and numbness has significantly decreased after only one treatment! I truly hope this is boldly indicative of what is yet to come.
I'll keep ya posted, but I can say right now that Dr. Pat is phenomenal. He focuses on finding out the root of the problem - not what can make the symptoms go away - which is a major relief to know that we're actually going to try to eliminate the injury and find a way to let my body finally HEAL. With his background and focus, he is an amazing person to treat any sports ailments or injuries, and I would recommend him to anyone!
Until my treatments are over, I am going to be laying low and taking it easy. I even get to get out of changing light bulbs! (good thing Jay's tall!)