Merry Two Days After Christmas!
As I mentioned on Facebook, a few weeks ago, just a couple days after I broke my toe, I woke up with a shoulder muscle completely seized up. It was clenched so tight, I couldn't lower it to a normal position and it hurt like a motherfucker so I had to keep my left arm curled up against my chest to keep the weight of it from pulling on the injured muscle. Thus, for several days, I was a limping hunchback, gallumping around the house muttering, "Yes, master...."
I lived with it for almost two weeks and then finally broke down and went to see my doctor about it. She put me on steroids and muscle relaxers and said if I wasn't seeing improvement in 3 or 4 days then we would talk about physical therapy or chiropractic.
I'm sure many of you have been or are currently under the care of a chiropractor and think they are wonderful, and I am honestly glad that you have found relief in their care, but I have yet to meet one that did me any good. On the advice of real, seemingly competent medical professionals, I have sought the help of chiropractors three times and all three times I ended up no better than when I started and in one case probably worse.
My favorite of the three was Dr. Wagner, a youngish, Jon Denver-y looking man, who was very earnest and enthusiastic about all the money he was about to get out of me, and he tried hard to be the kind of practitioner who would educate his patients as well as treat them. Except he didn't take into account that one of those patients might be an over-educated skeptic who requires peer-reviewed articles from major medical journals and years-long, double-blind studies before she might be convinced of anything.
So on my second visit—the one where he showed me the results of my x-rays—he wanted to explain all about "subluxation" and had a small model of a spinal column as a visual aid. The model had not only the vertebrae but also the spinal cord within it and nerves branching out from that. The nerves ended in tiny LEDs. So as he spoke about "displacement" and "dysfunctional segments," he surreptitiously pressed a button to make all the little LEDs flash red, indicating, I assumed, pain and general Bad Feelings. Then, as he extolled the wonders of cracking my neck repeatedly, he secretly pushed another button, which made all the little lights glow green. Green for Go! Green for Yay, Spine! He then sat back, looking rather satisfied with himself, and awaited my response to his elegant proof. Which was essentially, "You're shitting me, right?"
Despite this, I let him crack my neck and other parts of my spine many times over the next several months, and while I kind of liked how my back felt immediately afterwards, it did nothing to improve my chronic back pain or my migraines and I eventually stopped going, indicating to him, I suppose, that the Red Lights of Evil had won. Several years later I went to another quack - I mean chiropractor (I know they prefer Doctor of Chiropractic, but they can bite me) - when I was pregnant with Devon. My hip joints were so loose that they would often collapse as I walked, which was extremely painful. It was bad enough that I left my job a few months before I intended to, because the office was up a long flight of steps and we had no parking nearby. I even bought a cane. The doctors I consulted all insisted that a chiropractor was my only option, so I went and this one was a lovely young woman who happened to be pregnant and was due around the same time as me. She proceeded to take some medeval looking device and hammer my hip with it, then some electrical doohickey, and by the time she was done, I was in a hell of a lot more pain than when I started. And I went back! More than once. Not because I believed she could do anything for me, but because I wanted to at least be able to say that I had tried it when I decided to make someone listen to my complaints about how goddamn much my hips hurt.
So, suffice to say I wasn't keen on pursuing that option. I have become even more blunt from years of self-employment and the consequent lack of socializing, and I'd probably get myself kicked out. AREA WOMAN ARRESTED IN CHIROPRACTIC MELEE. "She kept screaming something about green and red lights," said terrified onlookers.
So, after 3 or 4 days, it wasn't much better, but I decided to wait until after Christmas to do anything about it. The things that hurt most were working at the computer, driving, and pushing a shopping cart. Naturally, I spend most of my time typing and driving, with occasional pauses to pick up stuff at the grocery store. Thus, my lack of posting and the sorry state of the snack shelf in our pantry.
Then - a Christmas miracle! Saturday morning was the first time I awoke without having to immediately take a megadose of Advil and apply alternate rounds of heat and cold. As suddenly as it had come, it went away. There's still a bit of stiffness, and a twinge now and then, but otherwise it's all better. Chiropractors across the Maryland capital area can all breathe easier now.
Strangely, the one thing that didn't hurt was quilting. Which I suppose I should take as some sign that I should just be sewing instead of writing, but no one's gonna pay me to make crappy quilts (at least no one's offered to - yet). I finished the table runner and got that mailed off, so I got the crazy idea that I might try to complete one of the quilt tops stacked up in my closet. Back in 2009, I made this for my youngest child:
Sometime after I finished it, I added a dark purple border and made my first attempt at free motion quilting an entire quilt. I bought the gloves and the silicone thingy and made a good effort, but only got about a quarter of the way done before I gave up.
What I was missing was a table to the left of my sewing table to hold up the weight of the quilt. I got my husband to help with a wee bit of furniture rearranging last week, and I dragged out the quarter-done quilt and gave it a go.
It took me several days to complete the work I had done on it back in 2009. I finished the rest of it in one afternoon.
I used a lavender thread and stippled the living crap out of it. Found a slightly different purple fabric for the binding, and by Christmas Eve, my youngest daughter had a new quilt, one that her mother made entirely herself, without having to resort to paying someone else to quilt it. I'm not sure what to make of the fact that I was able to do that, when so many other tasks were incredibly painful, but I'm sure someone could make a model with red and green lights to help explain it.