Thursday, November 10, 2005

Are You Ready for a New Sensation?

Yesterday my husband and I went to our weekly chiropractic appointment. We've been going for about 5+ years now. We also had Sweetie adjusted yesterday. She goes about once a month (what she's allowed per year through our health insurance). She's gone enough that she now knows how to lie down on the examination table properly (putting her face in the hole and looking down at Daddy, who gets down on the floor to play peek-a-boo with her) and she knows what exactly our doctor is going to do to her ("push on my bum." she says)

Sweetie's been adjusted, on a non-regulated schedule (basically, whenever my husband and I feel she needs it) since she was just a couple months old. Chiropractic visits have helped her with everything from recovering from toddler tumbles to bouts of constipation and uneven sleep patterns. We see her benefit from chiropractic care and we're happy that she's learning about this still-considered-alternative, yet very effective form of healthcare.

Chiropractic visits have also done a world of good for me. For instance, without regular weekly adjustments, I truly believe that I would not have been able to walk throughout my entire pregnancy. Our chiropractor helped to keep my back strong and straight, enabling me to carry my ever-growing, hormone-crazed body. Before my pregnancy, she straightened my spine so successfully that I no longer stood with my belly poked out and my knees deeply bent. Rather, I stood as straight and tall as anyone else. Now, almost three years post-pregnancy, my posture is practically straight again. And, while I have had chronic lower back pain ever since giving birth, our chiropractor has helped me to manage my pain and to strengthen my back as much as possible. Most recently, she's successfully reversed the numbed feeling I've had in my upper left leg since having Sweetie. I can now confidently walk through the grocery store or mall without fear of my left leg giving out and/or weakening - all thanks to regular adjustments.

But the absolute coolest thing that chiropractic care has done for me is that it seems to have regenerated some of the nerves in my lower legs. That's right - you heard me correctly. Regenerate. For my entire life I've not been able to feel much more than very weak, very spotty sensation below my knees. So imagine my surprise when, oh, say a year ago or so, I all of a sudden was feeling what can only be described as a pins and needles sensation first in one lower leg, then in the other. Totally weird, and not all together pleasant, I might add.

This sensation (what I imagine it must feel like to have your leg fall asleep on you) has come and gone ever since, but every time it comes back, it comes back stronger and with more "symptoms". I don't think that's the right word - what I mean to say is that, each time the feeling comes back to my legs, it comes back stronger and somewhat different. At one point I could start to feel pain whenever I pinched myself anywhere below my knees. But I still could not detect temperature at all. But now, I am starting to feel differences in temperature - however, not completely accurately. I'll step into a nice, hot bath, first with my right foot, which will sense that the water feels cool, then with the other foot, which still doesn't feel a change in temperature at all.

Lying in bed one night a couple months ago, my husband climbed in next to me and cuddled up around me. We shocked each other, though, when he draped his legs on top of mine and I, without having time to even realize this was out of the ordinary, yelled at him to get his cold legs off of me. He instantly did, but it took us both a few seconds more to understand what I was saying - I could feel his ice-cold legs on top of my own lower legs! Totally "cool" (pun intended).

In talking with my chiropractor about all the new sensations I've been experiencing, we are both learning so much about what the human body is capable of. It seems that in my case, perhaps my lower leg nerves were never completely dead - just "kinked" or blocked in some way. Through proper chiropractic adjustments, these blockages have been relieved and I'm starting to gain feeling where I've never had it before.

It is a slow process, but I'm excited to see what continued chiropractic care can do for me in the months and years to come.

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