Originally written on 9/22/16, 7:49 PM
So I saw Dr. Jeff today. He’s been working with Dr. Brent since a 2005 and he was great as well. The visceral manipulation was really the same as what Dr. Brent has been doing. Exactly the same areas that we’ve been addressing.
Dr. Jeff clarified my injury even further and I now have an even clearer understanding of my current condition and pain. It feels great just actually having a diagnosis that feel accurate to the pain I’ve been dealing with for the past 2 years. I don’t want to spend forever on it, but I thought today’s post should at least shed more light on this thing since it could be what others are struggling with and need more answers. Let’s step back for a bit.
So back in October 2014 I took a hard fall playing outdoor basketball. I went up to block a shot, moving quickly across the court to stop a fast break to the basket. I jumped, high, up near the rim high, and another player running fast under the basket went under my legs, clipped me, and I came down straight onto the concrete on my upper back with a WHACK! I had no way of bracing myself so the impact was intense. I even dislocated a rib that later had to be shoved back into place at the doctor’s office. It was extremely painful, I was out for several weeks and overall the last bit of pain from this fall didn’t really leave me for at least 2 months following the accident. There was a brief period from January to June of 2015 that things were on the up. I was feeling better, playing ball again, running, and exercising. Then, suddenly in early June, a deep ache crept in, and just about took over my life. This ache spread to my shoulders and into my ribs, crept up my neck and into my head. None of the pain was really sharp or zingy, just extremely achey. This didn’t go away so I had to go back to chiropractors. When they didn’t help I began seeking every alternative known to man. I tried acupuncture, deep tissue work, physical therapy, NUCCA chiropractic, cranial sacral therapy, dry needling, Rolfing, some crazy bleed out thing behind my right knee (ouch!), personal trainers for muscle rebuilding in my back, yoga, meditation, detoxing from gluten, caffeine, sugar, and dairy, juicing, fasting, and taking a slew of herbal remedies and supplements including Magnesium oil, turmeric, apple cider vinegar, coconut oils, fish oils, vitamins, Chinese herbs, you name it I tried it.
Nothing truly seemed to work. Intensive treatment plans (that were costly) had me going to various of the aforementioned docs and I’d feel some relief that would last merely a couple days to a week at most. Then the pain was back and full force. I felt like the pain was toying with me. I’d start to feel better then it’d all come back even worse than before. It was emotionally and physically devastating. Not only did I have intense chronic pain I was gaining weight that was hard to do anything about while also struggling to fight through the pain to continue working as a creative artist. The pain was just taking over all my thoughts and I soon realized it was not worth the fight to try to continue writing and making films because the pain was not allowing me to bring all of myself to my work. Meaning my work felt half-assed, interrupted, and just not me. When I work on something I give it my all dammit. I’ve got that kind of drive and passion in me. Well this pain came in and took a sledge hammer to me. My passion and drive are still here, that didn’t go away, but my ability to give my all, to focus, and to allow my full creative self to flourish was being suffocated by the pain. I realized I couldn’t breath life into my work because of this.
Jump ahead 2 years to today, I honestly feel like Dr. Brent and Jeff know what they are talking about and actually have enlightened me on what is really wrong with me and how it can be fixed. Here’s Dr. Jeff’s simplified explanation:
I basically sprained, like you would sprain your ankle, several of my organs. My liver, my gallbladder, my lungs, and even my stomach were slammed upward and backward against my back rib cage. But much like most of our body, when something gets bounced, the force will make it bounce back and fourth until it rattles back into place. Same thing happens in a concussion with our brains. It bounces around in our skull a bit then settles back in place, but the damage begins to show. With my organs however, there are soft tissues and fascia that encase them, keeping them suspended in place with enough elasticity for natural movement (and some unnatural impacts to a degree). With my impact, however, it was such a hard impact it sprained those tissues badly. So now, imagine this. You sprain your ankle. Hurts like hell. Now imagine you put that sprained ankle in a boot that keeps it from bending or twisting in any direction. Zero movement. You keep this boot on for 2 years. What do you think that ankle would feel like when you pulled that boot off and tried to walk on it?
Completely rigid. Tight. Immobile right? Exactly. When you have trauma to your muscles, ligaments and tissues, you must give them a period of immobility to heal, but then you have to start moving them once the pain has ended so you can bring movement and elasticity back to those tissues and ligaments.
Well, with my injury, my organs were basically in a boot for 2 years. They are completely locked. My liver, gallbladder, lungs and stomach are stuck! The tissues completely tight around them and these tissues connect to the ribs and chest which also connect to the spine. This is what has led to my chronic condition I’m facing. My organs don’t really hurt, but their immobility paired with the tightness and restrictive nature of the tissues surrounding them have contributed to my problems.
Dr. Brent and Dr. Jeff are manually stretching and bringing elasticity back to these said tissues. This is called Visceral Manipulation. This will ultimately allow my organs to have the space and mobility necessary for their optimum health and functionality. Doing this will also allow my ribs and back to release the improper positions they might have shifted into to compensate for my tight fascia and organ tissues. The docs don’t know how long it’s going to take for my injury to completely heal, but they have assured me it will. I will have my life back. I won’t have anymore pain. To this, I raise my future glass of celebratory wine and say “Cheers!”