Wednesday, August 23, 2006

ETC: A Tall Glass of Rage with a Vitriol Chaser

I just got back from my doctor's office. I've been having weird, painful muscle spasms in my neck, and every so often I'll do something extravagently taxing, such as flip my hair out of my eyes, which will cause my entire neck to seize up, rendering me temporarily blind. When I come to, I'll find myself on the floor and speaking in tongues. (I am somewhat exaggerating for comedic effect. Is it working?)

So thanks to the power of advanced 21st-century medicine, here's what I've learned:
  • I've strained a neck muscle. Surprise!
  • There are muscle relaxants that could help, but I can't take them because I'm still nursing Sam, and I have no desire to add the stress of cold-turkey weaning to either of our lives.
  • I could try massage therapy, but it won't yield results before Sam and I are scheduled to fly across the country this Saturday.
One thing my doctor adamantly advised: Absolutely no lifting or carrying heavy objects. At this point in the visit, I started laughing hysterically, then went blind, fell to ground, spoke in tongues, etcetera etcetera. But after that I went through the motions of pretending that this had been a fruitful medical appointment and not an utter waste of both of our time, because there was no need for BOTH of us to feel bad.

Then I went out to the reception area, picked up my 28-lb toddler, who had rendered himself temporarily weightless for my benefit (he's thoughtful that way), and who certainly DIDN'T kick and writhe and arch his back in fury when I tried to strap him into the stroller, resulting in me carrying him and our tote bag and pushing the stroller out the door. (Oh, and memo to the sour-faced dink who sat stonily in her seat and didn't offer to help because the blank spot on the wall she was staring at was clearly so fucking fascinating that she didn't want to miss a minute of it: THANK YOU. I hope that, someday, someone extends the same courtesy to you, toots. And while I'm dictating memos, here's one to the guy who almost mowed over me and Sam as we were heading to my appointment: I'm sure the glare coming off the hood of your shiny new Hummer must've temporarily blinded you, causing you to not even SLOW DOWN as you careened past the stop sign and into the pedestrian walkway, and I'm SO SORRY I startled you when I yelled just in time for you to come to a screeching stop a mere foot away from my baby. I sure hope the rest of your day has been swell. But seriously... a Hummer? You've got to be fucking kidding me. I really want to stop ascribing stereotypes to people, but why do people make it so hard?)

The only shining spot in my day so far was when Rusty, who is often mysteriously attuned to my moods even if he doesn't understand that any dish with the word "carbonara" in it contains loathesome bacon, called me from work and asked if I wanted a ride home from the doctor's office. Why, yes. Yes, I did.

So now I'm back home, too grouchy and consternated to write about books. I can see how misanthropes are created. If it weren't for all you nice people who live inside the internet, my faith in humanity would be, if not shattered, then at least tattered and vaguely mildewy. Give yourselves a pat on the back from me, okay?

P.S. I was searching for a visual metaphor to describe the the little bundles of pain scattered beneath my skin, and this was the closest I could find:

10 comments:

landismom said...

Ugh. I hope that Sam someday appreciates your sacrifice. I like to remind my kids every once in a while of all the painkillers and allery medicine I didn't take while nursing them, to make them really appreciate it. So not fun.

laura in victoria said...

Get a massage therapy treatment tomorrow if you can. A good RMT can help you with a neck muscle strain right away. I know because that's what I do for a living.

tuckova said...

This post makes me want to tell you so many things!!

1. I try very hard to believe that people who do not help people who are flailing are trying to communicate confidence in the flailer's ability to do it themselves.

2. I got hit by a car once, and I slammed my hand down on the hood, and the guy came out screaming at me about the dent on his hood.

3. I am sorry about your neck. I wish you all the best luck with that and second the opinion that massage therapy is worth trying because even a little less pain would be better than this, right?

bicyclefish said...

Ouch, those sea urchins look terrible. I would take this as a perfect excuse to lie on the hammock reading and having nubile boy-slaves bring you delicious frosted drinks with umbrellas.

TheDivingBelle said...

Oh dear, what a day!

For your neck -- until you can luxuriate in a massage or muscle relaxant -- wrap a towel around your neck (like a scarf) and secure with a safety pin. Trapping your body heat will help loosen up the muscles. You can also moisten the towel and pop it into the microwave for a few seconds to speed up the process.

Baby smooches are also very healing!

Gina said...

I hear you, I feel you, I want to weep for you--I'm pregnant and can't take anything strong enough to deal with my chronic back pain. Makes you want to curse the day you were born. And I'm not exaggerating for effect.

May I suggest ThermaCare heat wraps/pads? They're self-heating (8 hrs +) dealies that you stick to the affected area, and they've done wonders for me. I put one on when I go to bed, and I can actually move when I wake up the next morning. I'm not sure they have them on your side of the border, but it's worth a look. They come in a red box and are usually stocked near the pain killers.

Good luck with the neck, the trip, and avoiding a$$holes with tiny penises in all of the nearby crosswalks.

... said...

man, i hate hummers (the automobile!). you poor thing. if i'd read this earlier i would NOT have sent that email.

i used to be eaten up with guilt over not nursing. but now, when i think of the drugs i would have had to turn down - why, i feel much better.

see? now you can rest easy - this story has a happy ending!

(p.s. i can send finn over. she has little hands but they're strong hands. for a couple bits of a mars bar - she'll massage you for hours)

BabelBabe said...

ow ow ow. the thermacare thingeys are great but be careful - i have a very good friend who developed a very strange rash by using them too much, too often. she gets killer periods, but couldn't decide which hurt more, the cramps or the ridiculous rash.

I hate people. in general. but especially hummer-driving people and people who don't help struggling mamas with strollers.

Aunty Bertha said...

Ouch!

As a sufferer of chronic neck problems, I have found the following very helpful:

Take an old clean sock and fill it 2/3 full of raw rice and tie a knot in the end.

Put in the microwave on high for a couple of minutes and wrap around the back of your neck. It will stay warm for quite a long time.


I hope this helps.

When the twins were still in the stroller (a front and back one), I had no shortage of people who would watch me struggle to negotiate doors.

I'm a firm believer in what goes around, comes around.

GAB

Stacy, trapped in MN said...

Oooooh sugar. Get thee to a massage therapist tomorrow. Also (wierd but true) eat about three bananas and take three ibuprofen. The potassium in the bananas goes a looong way to helping muscle pain lessen and the ibuprofen will help it calm down to a dull roar. I've got chronic back crap and it works for me.

I was saved by a RMT last monday when I got off the plane and had my sciatica (what, am I 80 already?) hit. It's great to have to ask your therapist to stick his elbow in your butt.

Spent two amazing days in YVR. I'll send a private post. Good god, I love Canada. Headlines in USA when we left: IRAQ! Afghanistan! Be Afraid!!
Headlines in Vancouver: Our drug addicts don't have enough clean needles since you're closing down the free clinic. Refreshing.