Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction affects about 15% of pregnancies to varying degrees, so there are plenty of women out there who have felt bits of the discomfort of overly relaxed pelvic ligaments which no longer support you. However, it is a very rare thing for the effects to last after women have their babies. According to the information I’ve been given, only about 7% of that 15% of women have long-lasting effects of it afterwards. I’m one of that tiny percentile, and my box is even smaller for the severity of it. SPD left me with osteitis pubis and SI joint dysfunction. Basically, my pelvic ligaments are too lax, so my pelvic joints have no stability. They shift out of control, causing grinding and inflammation of the bones, arthritis, and severe pain. After trying physical therapy, injections, manipulation, rest, the works; I do not have a good prognosis for recovery.
At this point, I have good days and bad days, I have learned my limits in order to keep my pain under control (often with the aid of ibuprofen), and I can walk short distances around my house as long as I rest often in between. In fact, I’ve reached a point where I can take an average of 3,000 steps every day, from morning to night (never all at once). I do my physical therapy exercises every morning which strengthen my muscles to compensate for the ligaments as best as they can, so that I can be as mobile as possible. I need my wheelchair every day in order for me to keep up with life and parenting, and to keep me going when the pain is too strong. I have learned to see my chair as an enormous blessing, rather than a burden; for it is my tool to keep living life. I cannot leave the house without it, and so I am immensely grateful for it.
I worked hard towards recovery, I struggled through the ups and downs, and I grieved the loss of my ability to walk. But then I got to a point where I wasn’t willing to put life on hold anymore, waiting to get better. I made a choice to keep living life the best I can, pelvic pain, wheelchair and all.
You can read my story here in 4 separate parts, each documented as my journey unfolded after the birth of my son. It’s been an emotional ride, slowly realizing that my condition is not getting better the way we all thought it would. However, the things I have learned along this road are irreplaceable. I’m determined to make the best of the life I am blessed to live.