I remember in June or July 2016 texting my mom an update about how my pregnancy was going and telling her about my ‘hip pain’.
Misdiagnosis #1 – My husband decided we should go see his osteopathic doctor since he could also use a session for his neck and shoulder pain. I was pregnant; and, I knew aches and pains were part of the process, so I didn’t expect a miracle.
As I showed the doctor where exactly my ‘hip pain’ originates, he and I both realized that it was more lower back/glute pain that it is hip pain. So he chalked it up to sciatica. This wasn’t really a diagnosis and he didn’t actually say whether he could help treat it. BUT, he named a potential condition. And, that stuck for awhile.
No, he didn’t get rid of my pain during our session. He did help move the baby up off of my pelvis as she was sitting pretty low that day. So, that was cool.
Misdiagnosis #2 – I didn’t seek out any more help during my pregnancy. And, let’s be honest, once baby was born, that wasn’t my main priority. I was hoping the pain would go away after giving birth. But it stuck around for the next 9 months before we moved back home. Once home, my dad said I should try acupuncture (since he swears it works so well for him). I think I had a total of two sessions. I felt slightly reduced pain for a few hours after each session, but ultimately didn’t feel like acupuncture was for me. Here is why…
The main doctor had me get an X-ray of my back. As we sat and looked over my X-rays together, I had this weird sense that she was making my spine out to be an absolute hash although I have never had any major back problems and it has done a pretty good job of supporting me my whole life. Something about “slight scoliosis – but not by western standards” and “could have better spacing in your neck vertebrae” and “you do have some spinal rotation…and after a few months of acupuncture to reduce inflammation… we can get out specialist to rotate it back”. I wasn’t convinced; and, I wrote of acupuncture shortly after this appointment.
Misdiagnosis #3 – I went to see my general practitioner in hopes that he would refer me to a great spine doctor. A part of me didn’t feel like I needed to waste a spine doctor’s time. It’s a SPINE doctor. My problem was pretty minor in comparison to actual spinal injuries. I ended up calling to make an appointment after convincing myself that I deserved to be pain free.
He had me do certain movements to test pain levels. I didn’t feel much pain with anything he had me do to test for back pain. I had a lot more pain when he tested piriformis strength. With the help of my previous back X-rays – which, for him, showed nothing alarming – he ruled it most likely piriformis syndrome (which is hard to prove and accurately diagnose) and prescribed 4-6 weeks of physical therapy 2-3 times per week.
After 18 physical therapy sessions, I went back to the same doctor and reported slightly improved levels of pain. I think my pain might have actually been reduced OR maybe I convinced myself that I was in less pain since that’s what was expected. Either way, I let the doctor know that although there may be slight improvement on the pain scale, I was still in pain. He told me to continue my physical therapy exercises at home. COOL, thanks. I felt like crying. Not only was I still in pain, but I felt like I wasn’t being taken seriously. AND, I could tell my physical therapist wasn’t happy with the progress I had made. Once again, I felt like I was back a square one…although with a lot more core strength 😛 By the way, I did continue my exercises at home and was still in pain after another month or so.
Misdiagnosis #4 – This diagnosis was not related to my back/glute pain. But, I had also gone to my GP for recurring (almost daily) headaches. He sent me to a neurologist. A BRAIN doctor. I was surely going to waste his time. And, he definitely made me feel that way. He gave me a prescription for a 3 month treatment – since “migraines run in your family” and sent me on my way. I never filled that prescription. That whole appointment didn’t sit well with me and knew it had to be something else. I think that was the first time it angered me to pay a doctor for his services…even if it was just a copay…