Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What Next?

Tuesday morning at 4am I woke up, feeling wave upon wave of excruciating pain in my left shoulder.

I sat up to ease it, and oh, no, that didn't work at all; the waves just turned into a stabbing, burning encampment. Wondering what the hell I had done in my sleep, I found a more or less comfortable position, and fell back into the nightmares that have been bugging me lately. By 7:15 I was out of bed, hugging my left side, trying to find any position that didn't scream of profound personal injury. I thought that moving around would ease it; I was wrong. By 8, I was watching the clock to see it turn to 9am, at which point I was going to call the chiropractor and beg to be seen.

A hot shower helped not at all. At 9:01, I called Dr. Jack's office ... only to find that they open at 11am on Tuesdays. At the least provocation, I knew I would break down and cry from the pain. Fortunately, no one else was around. I prepped stuff for lunch, caught up on blogs to distract myself. At 11 o'clock, I was dialing and re-dialing Dr. Jack's number, until I got through and his lovely wife answered the phone. They had an opening at 12:40 and I took it.

The pain radiated not only across my left shoulder blade, but into my ribs on both sides below the shoulder blade. Oh, and onto my upper arm and top of my lower arm. I considered briefly that arm pain can mean a heart attack, but the source of the pain was clearly spine. Dr. Jack began to straighten out the kinks in my spine, setting off muscle spasms here and there as nerves reconnected properly, and when he was done for the day, told me to come back Thursday -- he'd done as much as he could in one day.

"Your body is going to tell you to 'stop' -- when you've pushed past your limit to heal, you will have to stop doing what you were doing," he told me. "Looks like you're spending too many hours at the computer."

When I left his office, the pain was far less, and confined to the muscles at the top of my shoulder and various places on my left arm. The rib pain was completely gone. Thank you, Dr. Jack.

Today, in spite of gulping ibuprofen all day, the pain was relentless. Then, at 7pm, I remembered that I had a tube of arnica gel in the medicine cabinet. I smacked myself figuratively on the forehead, and put the stuff on all the spots that hurt. Like magic, within moments, the pain receded to a tolerable level. Arnica won't heal something that's out of place, but by golly, it does more for me than Flexall ever did.

I'm hoping that tomorrow, Dr. Jack will be able to put my shoulder to rights. But I keep wondering, what is going to break down next?

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