Page the Second


A fronte praecipitium a tergo lupi. (In front of you, a precipice. Behind you, wolves.)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Over the Falls in a Barrel

Well THAT was a week I never want back again. Wednesday I spent much of the day doing chores (nothing special) and weeding the back yard (negligible effort). I also spent some time working on my book, A Terrible Majesty. I'm having such a blast writing it, that I tend to sit too long in one place. Yes, I know. It's a bad thing.

By bedtime that night my left arm was stiff. By the next day I couldn't lift my arm without searing pain. This was off the charts agony. I personally hate taking pain meds. I rarely take anything for a migraine, which I used to have frequently. So that should tell you how my tolerance for pain stacks up. By Saturday I was ready to be tossed in a barrel and sent over Niagra Falls. Wait. Forget the barrel. I'd have gladly flung myself over without it.

About twelve years ago I slipped on a book in my living room and dislocated my shoulder and broke off the part of the bone that attaches to the ligament. THAT was PAIN. I had to sit there for two hours while they had a misunderstanding with the paperwork. People would wander by and ask nonchalantly if I was in pain. I wanted to kick them in the...uh...leg. Yeah. At long last they finally got the doctor in there to ask if my paperwork was done yet. Then the agonizing wait behind sleeping old people for the X-ray room.

Then finally that blissful moment. The doc came back and gave me that blessed pain shot which sent me into orbit around Jupiter somewhere. One shot had me joking with the doctor while he tried eight times to yank my arm back into place. I was feelin' no pain at all.

This week it felt like the muscle on the point of my shoulder re-detached. And it swelled up like a puffer fish. Lower down my arm started to feel as if I had gotten repeatedly slugged in the arm, say fifty times. I'm starting to wonder, by then, whether I have some serious chatting to do with my husband about what he does in his sleep. (Actually he only snores.)

Long about Saturday I was trying not to come out of my comatose state and move anywhere because the resulting pain made me want to ask for a grenade and then toss the pin out the window (except that's too much moving). I was certain that I'd be going NOWHERE the next day.

So I woke up Sunday to the miniscule sound of these words in my head: "If you go to church, you'll be blessed."
"You've got to be joking," I said to myself.
"No, not really."
"What about the part where I can't sit upright without moaning?" I said to that little voice.
It didn't care. "Just go to church."
So I did. I looked like a hobbling little old lady with a stroke arm. People commented on how awful I looked. I'm hoping I look about fifty years younger next Sunday.

So I was hanging out in the library and the other librarians got talking about me and told me there was another chiropractor there that day (my favorite one and half a dozen others were all out of town for Labor Day). The upshot of the matter was that he came and adjusted my neck.

Normally when you think of someone hauling on your neck hard enough to make it crack like hundred-year-old plaster, you'd think it would be a horrible thing. For me, it was an answer to my prayers. By the end of the day I could actually lift part of my hand. My fever went away (At least I think I had a fever. It's often hard to tell when you live somewhere that's normally hot enough to fry eggs on your car seat.) and I could feel some of the swelling had gone down.

Today I finally saw a chiropractor. The cracking sounds rang throughout the room. It was a good thing. The un-funny thing is that he couldn't supply me with an answer to my question. "How can I make sure that NEVER happens again?" I asked.
He just laughed. "You can't. You could sneeze or bend wrong and suddenly there you are."
I shuddered. It's possible that week could have a repeat? Say it ain't so!

There's got to be something I can do about that. These are my suggestions to myself:
1. I'm going to set a timer for an hour. Every hour I'm going to spend ten or so minutes doing something active.
2. I'm going to do more stretches.
3. I'm going to work on my posture, especially while I'm writing.
4. I'm going to dance more. I love to dance anyway.
5. I'm going over to my friend's house for a massage more often. She's a student and welcomes the practice. I welcome the luscious massage...:o) (She's also FANTASTICALLY GOOD at what she does.)

So I'm not out of the woods. There is still some residual pain and swelling. My friend Christine says it's so inflamed that she couldn't do much massaging in the area. I'm hoping it won't be too destroyed to come back to full usage. We'll see.


  1. I'm impressed that you can sit that long. I'd suggest drinking a LOT more water, get a jug and put it by your desk. That'll make it a lot harder to stay sitting for long periods of time, and you get a bit of a walk every now and then. Everyone needs more water anyway.

  2. Your chiro isn't very encouraging. At least if it happens again you'll know what to do IMMEDIATELY.
    *hugs* I have back issues and I've thrown it out putting on mascara. Go figure.

  3. I have to admit that I was very intrigued in how you solved your problem because I have trouble as well with my back. Snap, crackle pop my husband tells me!

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