The Science of Sciatica (and the Day I Cried Over a Pair of Boots)

on Friday, 15 May 2015. Posted in Pooky, Story of my Life

The Science of Sciatica (and the Day I Cried Over a Pair of Boots)

The second trimester is known to be the favourite, and this certainly isn't unfounded; You've past the nausea and tiredness of first trimester, and you're yet to reach the uncomfortable and exhaustiveness of third trimester. And up until 3-4 weeks ago, I was certainly in agreement. 

Feeling wonderfully happy, surprisingly energetic, and as close to normal as one can be, I then discovered the science of sciatica. 

It was about a month ago, I woke up one morning feeling pretty good, as I had been feeling for the majority of second trimester, blissfully unaware of the excrutiating pain to come. It started off with just a slight twinge in my leg. Given I am still exercising, I assumed I must've tweaked it slightly - it certainly didn't impede any activity at this point, just a slight niggle. The following couple of days got progressively worse, but that's fairly common with an exercise injury too, so I continued to think I had just hurt myself and was going through the recovery stage. Within about three days of first feeling anything, I was walk with a bit of a limp and after explaining to someone that I thought I must've pulled something, they suggested it could be pregnancy related. I wasn't sure how, then the more I thought about it, the more it occurred to me that I couldn't actually feel any muscular discomfort at all. In fact, I couldn't even pinpoint where I was feeling the pain. Low and behold, I did what anyone would do in my situation... I googled. And almost immediately I came across the term Sciatica.

Relating to the sciatic nerves which runs down the lower back/spine, bottom and upper leg, pregnancy-related sciatica is thought to be caused by baby's head pushing on these nerves "Women with sciatica often experience shooting pains or paralyzing numbness in the lower back or buttocks area and sometimes down the backs of the thighs. The pain can be severe enough to limit a person's mobility almost entirely, and because it is caused by the position of the baby inside the womb, there's very little that can be done to relieve the situation entirely until the baby is born."

You can imagine exactly my expression when I read about there pretty much being nothing you can do until baby is born. I rang my obstetrician and pretty much as soon as I cited my symptoms, he confirmed it was likely sciatica. He also confirmed... there wasn't much I could do! D'oh! Within the next two days, my sciatica became totally crippling! I couldn't stand up or sit down without excrutiating shooting/stabbing pain down my lower back, bum and back of my thigh, I was limping really bad - essentially I felt like I was operating at about 25% of my normal mobility. Hey I'm pregnant... I'm allowed to complain!

Anyway, it was during this week where it was at it's worst that I ordered two pairs of boots online - sciatica does not impact shopping abilities! Unfortunately, I hadn't updated my courier company of where to leave my parcels since we got our Labradoodle, Cookie, and while I was at work, my boots arrived and were left in the backyard with Cookie. I came home to find cardboard strewn everywhere throughout the backyard, and one pair of boots completely destroyed - to the extent of the entire toe having been eaten. Needless to say, with hormone levels already running high, having almost passed out after a bloodtest that morning, and my sciatica at its worst, I was feeling particularly vulnerable. And that is the day... I cried over a pair of boots. 

But we can't finish things there, where are the silver linings:

  • The day before my next Dr's appt., my sciatica started to feel drastically better. That was four days ago, and today, while it isn't completely gone, it feels sooooo much better! 
  • There were two pairs of boots in the box, Cookie only ate one
  • I ordered a new pair of the boots she ate and got a 'buy one get one free' special
  • My hubby has been amazing and very sympathetic - love you babe!

The Aftermath:

Boots1 

Feeling:

Having past the worst stage of my sciatica, I am feeling super positive that I am on the mend and even more excited that I am now in third trimester! Eeeeek!

Cravings:

Salted Caramel Trumpet: Okay this is totally due to the proliferation of advertisements, but apparently it is really yummy - and come on, salted caramel!!

Waffles: Mmmm - I don't need to justify this.  

Exercise:        

Workouts have been super challenging due to my sciatica. I actually found doing something felt better than doing nothing so tried to maintain my x5 days of cardio a week, and x4-5 days of weights, but to be honest everything reduced in both time and intensity. Finally getting back to normal over the last few days and it feels fantastic.

Weight Gain:                            Haven't done another check since last time, so still sitting on (at least) 6kgs (That's 13 pounds for you non-metric folk).

Week by Week: 

Weeks 27 - 28. The end of second trimester and start of third!

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