Today I went through my first session of biofeedback! 🙂 I’m so thankful the pain psychologist that I saw today is down-to-earth and a “bread and butter, meat and potatoes kind of guy” as my pain dr. puts it. 🙂 He explained biofeedback and diaphragmatic breathing so well that we went right into trying the machine on me. It didn’t hurt at all! He stuck three electrodes on my left trapezius muscle and on my right because that is where the most muscle tension develops. Sitting down and using different relaxation techniques, I looked at a moving computer graph that recorded my muscle tension and temperature of my left pinkie finger.
Normal range of muscle tension: below 5 points
My muscle tension: over 22 points (this surprised all of us!!)
Normal hand temperature range: in the 90s
My hand temperature: around 77 degrees! :O
So for the next 45 minutes, I tried lowering those really high numbers in all kinds of different ways! My temperature went up to about 83 degrees, but my muscle tension number barely lowered one bit! I didn’t feel that tense, but from those biofeedback numbers, it gave all of us the picture that I have a lot of work to do about this!
Near the end of my appointment, I thought I’d turn off my spinal cord stimulator to see if that would change any of the numbers. Right when I brushed my magnet near the battery in my back to turn it off, the muscle tension numbers dropped DRAMATICALLY to a range of 3!!! I laughed out loud! This is what was causing the high numbers! I felt so relieved. 😀 With a chuckle, the dr. explained that the electrodes must have been taking in all the stimulation from the SCS device, thus causing the high numbers!
At home, I will still be working on these techniques that he taught me. He is SO booked up right now, that my next scheduled appointment with him is on August 15th!!
Right after seeing him, I rushed down to the first floor for my weekly session of physical therapy. It was SO painful! For some reason, my neck hasn’t been turning left or right very well at all, so my therapist has been trying everything he knows to fix this new problem. It’s hard work!
And this past Friday, I banged/nicked my left index finger on the sharp edge of a shelf while putting something away, so now it’s been hurting more. It had to be the left index finger of all places.. 🙁 My finger joints are stiff again and a little swollen, so next week, my physical therapist will probably take me to the hand therapy department so that I can again stick my arm in the “ground corn husks” machine to warm my hand up and try to loosen the stiff joints. Praying this will help! This new “injury” is just another reminder to me that I need to totally depend on Christ whether I’m doing well one day or back to “square one” the next day. He is sovereign! And I need to do my part by surrendering to His will and letting Him guide my circumstances. This is a learning process for sure. 🙂 But God is faithful! And He will help me through this small bump in the road!
Have a blessed weekend, my friends!