Another Injury Means Strike 3, and I’m Out!

Karen Del Vecchio avatar

by Karen Del Vecchio |

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I really need to stop doing stupid things and hurting myself. Sheesh.

Last September, I badly broke my finger and had to have surgery. I now sport a plate and six screws in my right ring finger. Then, just a few weeks ago, I tripped and fell backward off my porch. That left me with huge bruises on my arm, hip, and knee. This week, I caught my foot climbing through a fence and fell flat on my face in the mud. Other than hurting my pride, it wouldn’t have been so bad, except I also pulled my inguinal ligament.

Now I’ve pulled, sprained, and strained a lot of different things in my life, but this was a new one for me. The closest thing I’ve ever done was tear my hip flexor, and let me tell you — that wasn’t fun.

I quickly realized the inguinal ligament was connected to my back. Thus, within a day or two, not only did I feel pain in my upper leg and lower abdomen, but it was wrapping around my hip and deep into my back.

Thankfully, I receive massages every other week and had one scheduled for just a few days after the injury. At that point, I knew I’d hurt something, but I didn’t have a name for it. As soon as I showed Kim, my massage therapist, she knew exactly what it was and had a few ideas about how to work on it.

Kim has found that it’s best to start on an area of my body that’s relatively pain-free before she works on the areas that are inflamed or reactive. Usually, the overall relaxation and body-calming that comes from a massage causes those areas to react more positively when she starts to work on them. Not this time. Although it was only moderately painful when she began working on the ligament and my hip, it was so reactive that she could barely touch it. 

One thing that’s odd about my Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is that I can have highly reactive muscles during a massage that aren’t actually painful. Kim says she’s never seen another person whose body reacts like mine. Neither of us understands why this might be the case, but it’s definitely a pattern that we’ve noticed. Thankfully, with a lot of gentle work, starting by calming the related back muscles and then working her way toward the main issue, Kim was able to make some progress.

While I can certainly still feel it when I walk, especially if it’s slick or muddy, it does feel much better after my massage. One of the toughest parts of having EDS is that it’s so much easier to injure myself, and it takes a lot longer than the average person to heal. I suspect that someone without EDS might have been sore for a few days, maybe taken a pain reliever, and then been fine. If history is any indication, Kim and I will be working on this for weeks or months to come.

I’m so thankful to have an amazing bodyworker who’s so integral to my EDS management and well-being. And let’s hope that this is “three strikes and I’m out” for silly accidents!

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