Milestones

Jan. 22nd, 2014 11:40 am
ladysprite: (steampunk)
So today is the two-month point after my spinal surgery. This is the point where, for most folks, recovery is mostly through. My surgeon wants me to take an extra month, since my job is fairly physically intense, but if I had a desk job I should be, theoretically, able to go back to at least part-time, low-impact work.

So, how am I feeling? Well, before the accident I was doing surprisingly well. I was making it through most days with no meds, other than a mild muscle relaxant at night to deal with any tension that built up during the day. I was able to start lifting things. I could take care of myself; my range of motion was back to almost normal; I was in less pain than I'd been in for most of a year. I could go dancing, and feel fine the next day. I had started running again.

Now? Now I'm back to how I felt a week or two after the surgery. It's not as bad as it was a week ago, but I'm still needing to take pain meds to get through the day. I'm more restricted in what I can do, and I'm not up to working out or running.

At the same time.... the pain is still there, in my neck and right shoulder, but it's still better than it was before the surgery. The muscles are tense, but they're not rigid - and I've been warned that the more athletic a person is before surgery, the longer it'll take the muscle tension and pain to fade afterwards. And I can still do things I couldn't before (do you know how amazing and liberating it can feel to pour yourself a mug of tea from a full pot?).

The setback is the hardest part - having been so close to full recovery, it's annoying as hell to have that yanked out from under my feet. At the same time, I know if I made it there once I can do it again. And either way, I'm still better than I was before I got cut.

One more month, and then I get to go back to work. Here's hoping that I'm back to healed by then, and that it survives my return to real life....
ladysprite: (steampunk)
It's almost surreal how decent I feel today, especially given just how invasive the surgery I had was. But I'm recovering from it more smoothly and easily than any of the other (significantly less aggressive) surgeries I've had.

I don't know if this is because they used a different anesthetic protocol, or whether I'm responding better to the new pain meds they prescribed me, or whether I just got unhealthily accustomed to pain in the time leading up to this, but I feel.... if not good, then at least decent.

The nerve problems in my mouth and throat are getting better. I'm still sticking to mostly-soft food, but I can drink water without having to go through ridiculous cautions to avoid drowning myself, and my voice is slowly coming back to normal.

My neck is still stiff, though that's at least in part due to the bandage that gets to come off tonight. And I haven't really had any shoulder pain since I got home. I'm sleeping comfortably, and as long as I'm careful with my posture and keep up with my pain meds, I'm in less pain now than I have been for months.

I can already predict that the biggest challenge for me, over the next few months, is going to be sticking to the restricted activity plan that will keep me healing well. I know it's necessary, but it doesn't feel like it. If I'm this much better now, in a week or two it's going to annoy the everloving daylights out of me to be told that I can't carry a Dutch oven full of beef stew around the kitchen, or start training with hand weights, or pick up my cat.

I'll be good. But it's going to be a struggle. That said, though, if there's a problem to have, there are a lot worse ones than 'feeling too much better too soon...'
ladysprite: (steampunk)
Home from surgery, in one piece (even if I'm held in that status by screws and bone plates), and doing my best to rest comfortably. Thankfully, everything went well.

Brigham & Women's, for all that I had trouble with one or two of their departments, is overall an amazing hospital. Everyone I worked with yesterday was thoughtful, friendly, and incredibly good at their jobs. Also, their surgery waiting lounge includes an enormous library and boxes of yarn and knitting and crochet supplies for anyone who wants to keep their hands busy.

My surgery was a couple hours late starting, since the procedure using the same room before me apparently had some complications and ran over, but that wasn't anybody's fault. So I waited and I waited and I chatted with the nurses about their dogs, and then it was my turn.

Once I was wheeled down to the OR, I started to feel like a racecar at a pit stop - suddenly a half-dozen or more people were bustling around me - buckling my legs down, putting a mask over my face, wrapping a BP cuff around one arm and putting an oxygenation probe on my other hand, and injecting meds into my IV.....

....and then I was in a quiet, dark room and someone was gently telling me it was time to wake up. Seriously, it was that smooth. And after a couple of post-op x-rays I was set up in my overnight room. [livejournal.com profile] umbran was there for a few hours, until I was morphined back to sleep.

I passed all my tests today, mostly making sure that all of the parts that worked when I came in still worked this morning, and now I'm home with orders to rest as much as I can. The worst problem I'm dealing with is actually an anesthetic reaction - apparently extended use of sevoflurane, combined with having to yank my breathing tube to one side to get at my spine, left me with a ridiculous sore throat and some loss of function in the nerves in my mouth and epiglottis, making eating and drinking a challenge. But the doctors say this is common and temporary, and they've got me on some meds to help. And in the meantime, I live off tiny sips and mushy food.

It's hard to tell if the pain is any better, since I'm currently dealing with the similar pain of the surgery itself, but all in all I'm really hopeful. And, ultimately, the scariest part of all this is over....
ladysprite: (steampunk)
Okay. The insurance company finally came through and agreed to cover the surgery, the surgeon's office called to confirm the time and the procedure, and everything seems to be ready to go. Tomorrow at 9:45am I report to the hospital, to have the vertebrae in my neck fused in two places.

I'm as prepared as I can be. I have directions, and medications, and books and shows lined up for my recovery. I've taken all the preparatory steps I can. I just have to pack an overnight bag, take off my jewelry, and take out my contact lenses. Now all that's left for me to do is fidget and fret.

It's fascinating how much preparing for surgery is like preparing for a major religious or magical ritual. I have to cleanse myself, and anoint myself with ritual liquids (chlorhexidine instead of holy water, but still....). I have to purify myself and avoid certain herbs, drugs, and foods for varying periods of time, and there are certain other things I need to take or eat at specific times. I just hope that I have prepared myself adequately, and that the gods of medicine are pleased....

I'll be spending Friday night in the hospital recovering, but if all goes well I should be home and feeling significantly better by Saturday. Here's hoping....
ladysprite: (steampunk)
I just finished my last day of work, at least until sometime next spring.

I'm not quite sure how to feel about this. I haven't had this much downtime since I was fourteen years old. On my 15th birthday I got my working papers and started my part-time job at the Ocean County Library, and since then I've either been working, in school, or both. I think the longest break I had was the 3 weeks of winter break my sophomore year of vet school.

I know I need this downtime. I need to rest and heal, but it's hard not to feel lazy. I think about the money I should be earning, the chores I should be doing, the space I'm taking up and the resources I'm using, and it's hard not to fidget and fret. I feel like I'm forgetting something, like there's something I'm supposed to be doing, obviously, because it's not normal to have this much free time.

I have people who are helping me. [livejournal.com profile] ubran and [livejournal.com profile] metaphysick are taking care of me and going out of their way to make sure that, when I'm supposed to be resting, I'm actually resting. Friends are lending me books and DVDs and planning low-key social time. And I'm doing my best to think of this as an opportunity and not a punishment.

Still, I think the hardest part about this is going to be changing my mindset. For as long as I remember, I've defined myself by what I do. I'm a veterinarian. I'm a dancer. I'm an exercise junkie. And now I've had that all taken away from me - it's hard to avoid feeling like I'm a non-person; like I'm not myself anymore. I need to learn to define myself by who I am. At least I'll have plenty of time to work on that....

In other news, the insurance company apparently still hasn't authorized my procedure. The one I'm supposed to be having in four days. I'm doing my best not to freak the hell out, but after all of the previous screw-ups, I'm not too comfortable with this....

Status Quo

Nov. 6th, 2013 08:23 am
ladysprite: (steampunk)
I feel like my life has become rather one-note lately, and that one note has been my health problems. On the other hand, with me mostly not-working (about to become completely not-working) and most of my hobbies taken away by said health problems, I'm having a hard time having much of anything else in my life.

Applying for disability is a fascinating exploration of paperwork at its most complex and gratuitous. I'm not sure why they need to know how much I earned hourly as an official school tutor in 1998, or why they had to ask me three times if I'm blind, or why I could choose American Sign Language as my preferred written language, but if I have to jump through these hoops to stay solvent during my recovery I will.

I'm doing my best not to panic about work. Most of the clinics I work at have been fairly understanding about my extended unavailability, but I can't help but worry that by the time I can work again they will have found other relief vets and won't need me anymore.

Most of all, I'm just trying to come to terms with decreased expectations. I have a strong inner voice yammering that, since I'm not working, I should be able to keep the house clean and do the dishes and get lots of errands run and pick up a few new hobbies and spend lots of time out doing stuff with friends and learn a new language and just generally Do Stuff, and that if I spend a day napping and reading and watching TV that I am somehow failing at making good use of my time.

And this is at odds with the fact that, ultimately, I am in fairly crappy shape, and that on days like today I need to spend my first three hours of consciousness negotiating the war between my head (which is desperately clamoring for liquids to help with the dehydration headache pounding away there) and my stomach (which is asserting that any attempt to ingest anything will be met with refusal and/or violent rebellion).

I want off these meds. I want to feel better. I want to be a person again, not a passive vector for various discomforts....

Finally

Nov. 1st, 2013 09:36 am
ladysprite: (steampunk)
As of this morning, I am officially insured. For real. Really. No last-minute hiccups, no lost paperwork at the insurance company, no failure for the employer to file, no oops-we-gave-you-the-wrong-number. I have health insurance again.

I have a PCP, who is awesome and who agreed to see me *today* as a new patient. He has referred me back to my own neurosurgeon instead of demanding that I restart the process with the office's Preferred Provider. He has also agreed to support my disability claim, and has made some suggestions for ways that I can eat and sleep while waiting for the procedure (two things that I really haven't been doing for the past few weeks).

It seems like there's a chance this might all work out. I've worked so hard at not getting my hopes up, but... fingers crossed, knock wood, I might maybe actually have a chance to get better....
ladysprite: (steampunk)
Apparently it is much harder to deny and/or ignore a stern-voiced male than it is a young-sounding female, especially when that female is doing her best to be as conciliatory as possible after past negative experiences.

After my week of calling and begging and nagging my health providers, [livejournal.com profile] umbran took on the task of calling the Pain Management Center for me today. And he pushed and prodded and was stern and persistent at the receptionists until he got them to actually look through my record. And admit that, actually, the doctor *had* answered my question. On Tuesday. And that no one had bothered to relay the message to me, and that apparently the person I had talked to on Wednesday hadn't actually checked before telling me that it hadn't been answered.

(For the record, the support staff at Brigham & Women's Pain Management Clinic are, in my experience, nigh universally.... ungood. I have no idea whether this stems from lack of skill, lack of give-a-damn, or lack of enough bodies to do the work, but ALL of my problems so far have been due to support staff actions.)

And anyway, my doctor there has granted me a referral to a neurosurgeon. Sing hallelujah, praise all the Powers That Be, and let my gratitude be known to all the world.

It's not the finish line - I still need to actually schedule an appointment with said surgeon, which I can't do until I'm officially insured next Tuesday. And the surgeon needs to agree that I'm a valid candidate for surgery, and we need to schedule the procedure. But it's a hell of a lot more than I had yesterday, and a lot faster than I feared, and for that I can't express in words how glad and grateful I am.
ladysprite: (steampunk)
So today I got to add something new to my list of Things I've Experienced In My Life - I had my first epidural injection (in my neck; slightly different from the caudal epidural anesthesia that people think of when they talk about women in labor).

After most of a year of dealing with fairly severe pain and weakness from two partially herniated discs in my neck, today was my first round of actual treatment. I've performed epidurals before, but this was my first turn being on the receiving end of the needle, and I'll admit it was rather surreal.

When you describe it, it's a fairly simple procedure. A needle is passed through skin and connective tissue into the space around the spinal cord, and local anesthetics and anti-inflammatories are dripped in. No fuss, no muss, right?

In reality, while they numb your skin, there's something incredibly disturbing about lying face-down on a table, doing your best to stay perfectly still, and listening as two doctors grunt and shove, trying to push said needle one layer at a time through ligaments and fascial layers, pausing every few minutes to take an X-ray and see how close they are to the target. It's even more creepy to know that each little pop and creak is another step closer to your spine, and no matter how much they reassure you that the pressure you're feeling is normal, you can't help but worry that that's an AWFUL lot of pressure and force directed towards your spinal cord.

But it's done, and I'm home, and under orders to "take it easy" today (whatever that means). It'll probably hurt more before it hurts less, but I've been told that's normal, and that I should keep a pain diary for the next week or so, in order to let them know how I responded when I go back - apparently most people wind up needing two or more injections. The worst part right now is just the psychological conviction that if I move my neck too much my head will fall off.

I really hope this works....
ladysprite: (Default)
First things first - thank you all so much for your support, good wishes, and for reinforcing the fact that the problems I'm going through are neither imaginary nor atypical.

Necondly - I need to sing the praises of both Harvard-Pilgrim Health Care, who got me in with a primary care physician on 48 hours notice and then spent most of the work day hunting down a neurologist outside their network who could see me on an emergency basis when theirs were all overbooked, and Brigham & Women's Hospital, who managed to find me an appointment with a neurologist within 24 hours of being asked.

After meeting with the neurologist today, I feel worlds better, intellectually if not physically. He agrees that, at the moment, the most egregious signs are all medication side effects, and that the best thing for me is just to discontinue all drugs and go back to ibuprofen for pain and inflammation.

The best guess is that my pain and neurological signs stem from a hideous synergism of carpal tunnel syndrome and spinal nerve compression at my C6 vertebra. Unfortunately, without extensive and painful diagnostics, it's impossible to tell what percentage of the signs are from which problem. Current plan is for NSAIDs, wrist brace, and a few months of aggressive PT. If things aren't getting better, or get worse, next step is an MRI, and possible epidural steroid injections.

On the one hand, I'd like an instant cure. On the other hand, this is worlds better than either spinal surgery or staying on these drugs. And at the moment, all I need to do is hang tight until the rest of these poisons are out of my system....
ladysprite: (WorldSoBig)
So, since Friday I've been dealing with a diagnosis of spinal injury and nerve compression to my right arm. I've been put on meds, and I've got an appointment to see a neurologist today.

Unfortunately, my body doesn't deal well with drugs. I tend to live pretty cleanly, all things told. I don't smoke, I don't drink, and the most aggressive indulgence I have is occasional low-dose ibuprofen. So when I do get slammed with meds, they tend to hit me pretty hard.

I started out on vicodin and flexeril, which left me semiconscious all weekend. When the pain didn't get better, they added prednisone, which then made me drink like a fish, while still leaving me thirsty and dry-mouthed enough that I lost most of my voice.

When I had to go back to work Wednesday, I had to stop everything but the pred. So at my pre-referral appointment with my doctor yesterday, she prescribed me tramadol and a different muscle relaxant, that I started last night.

I haven't taken anything yet today, but I am a shambling wreck. Shaking, cold, uncoordinated, dizzy, stumbling, emotionally volatile like nothing I've ever experienced before, nauseated, weak.... I tried to go to work for the morning, at least, but was sent home after just two hours, when the staff realized I could barely hold a pen to write my notes, and was on the brink of tears

If it's a choice between this and a non-functional right arm.... I'm really not sure which is worse. But at the moment I'm strongly leaning towards the drugs being the greater evil.

Progress

Apr. 29th, 2012 03:16 pm
ladysprite: (Default)
December 3, 2011 - I did my first day of Couch to 5K training. It involved jogging in one-minute intervals, with 90-second breaks in between. I managed it, just barely, and had a crazy stitch in my side by the time I got to the last (9th) interval, and had to walk through a few seconds of it. Total running time: 9 minutes. I felt like I had been beaten with sticks by the end of it.

In between, training was thrown off by gym closures, Norovirus, vacation, and my own nigh-compulsive level of both caution and fear of failure, which led me to go through the training program excruciatingly slowly, ramping up every two weeks instead of every week. I never actually believed at any point that I could make it through, and each time the intensity increased I faced the new challenge with at least some degree of certainty that I would fail, but I was stubborn enough to at least try.

Today? Week 7, Day 1 - I jogged for 25 minutes, no breaks. I know it's been more than seven weeks since December, but still. I can't believe I did this. I can still remember when increasing from 3 minute to 5 minute intervals felt like an insurmountable block. And today? I jogged for almost 25 minutes straight, my only obstacle being the boredom I felt from going around and around and around the same track over and over again. I admit my pace isn't going to set any records, but I did it.

The Run For Your Life is next weekend; I won't be done with the program (and its ultimate goal of 30 minutes running), but I can at least feel like I should be able to make it through - while the course is a full 5K, there are breaks to confront obstacles. And I've made it this far; I'll keep on until I've made it all the way through the 9-week course and can run for a half hour.

Me. Running. I think I spent more time and energy in high school coming up with excuses to not run in gym class than I did on any other one subject.

Huh. Who knew?
ladysprite: (Default)
I've always worked under the assumption that different types of exercise are just right for different people - that some people and some bodies are just made for yoga, for instance, and others do better with endurance work, or speed. It just seemed to make sense to me, though I'll admit I was working with an extremely limited amount of data.

The more I practice running, the more I believe that this is true. I took on the challenge of running a 5K mostly just to see if I could - to see if I could get over my asthmatic fat-kid past and do something that intimidated the heck out of me. And I was torn between equally strong and conflicting beliefs, both that I was in darn good shape and could probably do it easily, and that running was Holy Cow Scary Bad Hard and that there was no way in heck that I could ever do something like that.

I'm halfway through the training program now; I've been taking it slowly both because of occasional illnesses leading to backsliding and because I've learned that slow progress is better than pushing, injuring, and backsliding. And I've realized that neither one of my beliefs were quite right.

Running is harder than any exercise I've ever done before. I can do it, but it just seems... not quite alien, but not natural to my body. It's tiring and it leaves me worn out and short of breath and it pushes me to the edge of my ability and endurance more than anything else I've ever done. And that's an odd feeling, because on the one hand it feels good to challenge myself, but on the other hand it's frustrating as heck to feel that years of consistent working out have done nothing to improve my actual condition, and that something this simple should be this hard.

I'm going to stick with it, mostly because I'm stubborn and I refuse to give up, and because the Run For Your Life still sounds like crazy fun. But I'm pretty sure that, when it's done, I'll be happy to sit content in my knowledge that I did it once, and go back to yoga and circuit-training, and never run again....

Reminders

Dec. 26th, 2011 07:16 pm
ladysprite: (MoonSun)
Dear Self,

You would do well to remember that, no matter what other form or forms of exercise you may be getting, yoga is still a goodness.

No, it may not burn the most calories, or raise your heart rate or make you sweat, but it is still good for you in more ways than you can count. Especially when you're tense and stressed, and haven't been remembering to stretch as much as you should. Double-especially when you're dealing with panic and nightmares and insomnia.

And don't try to cheat with one of the intense cardio-yoga or power-yoga workouts, either. Stick with the low-key, relaxation and stretching yoga DVD's. It may not feel like exercise, but it will feel GOOD in a way nothing else does, and you will sleep better that night than you have in weeks. Seriously worth it.

Love,
Me
ladysprite: (MoarCat)
So today - about half an hour ago, actually - I did my first day of Couch to 5K training. Because I am a stubborn wench, and because I have gotten my head stuck on the idea of participating in the Boston Run For Your Life, and because I'm not going to let a stupid thing like winter weather, a history of exercise-induced asthma, and a complete lack of anything like experience get in my way. And... it's weird.

I've been working out steadily for over two years now, and - all body image issues aside - I have to admit I'm in pretty decent shape, physically. I'm strong, and I'm toned, and I'm flexible, and there's precious little that intimidates me.... except running. I'm not afraid of yoga classes or pull-up bars or the P90X DVD's that a friend brought me or anything else that I've found until now, but the thought of running gives me the screaming heebie-jeebies.

It's taken me over a month to get off my backside and find a gym nearby where I can actually run on a track (luckily, Tufts campus has a decent gym and affordable alumni rates), and then to make it down there and register. And I did that, and I felt fine about it, until this morning when I had promised myself I'd just start the program, darnit. At which point, suddenly, I was 16 years old again, the fat kid in gym class, failing to run the mile while all the other kids laughed at me and called me Beached Whale and generally made my life miserable. And I sulked and I fretted and I lay in bed and I explained to my ever-patient husband that I could not do this thing, and that I gave up, and quit, and that I didn't want to run after all.

And then, because I am a stubborn wench, I got up out of bed and I did it anyway. Except, because Tufts gym is obnoxious, it turns out they don't open the track that early. So I went back this afternoon, this time with said husband in tow, and we ran (and walked) together.

Now I am slowly catching my breath, and my calves are a bit achy (I have a very bad habit of running on my toes that I am going to have to break) and I'm not sure how my body feels about this 'dinner' thing, but... I did it. And no one pointed, or laughed, or called me names, though I did have to dodge a couple of stray basketballs.

Maybe I can do this.....

Love/Hate

Nov. 3rd, 2011 06:20 pm
ladysprite: (Default)
The biggest problem I have to deal with when it comes to my body, in all honesty, is my respiratory system. For all my little (and not-so-little) gripes and grumbles about aesthetics, physically, I'm mostly in decent shape. But a history of allergic bronchitis and a rather foolish incident with walking pneumonia while I was in college have left me with nearly no resistance to any respiratory problems. Whatever illness may be going around any gathering of folks, when it comes to me, I *will* catch it and it *will* turn into bronchitis. It may turn into flu-and-bronchitis, or laryngitis-and-bronchitis, or, as last winter spectacularly demonstrated, flu-and-laryngitis-and-bronchitis, but coughing and wheezing and gasping will always be part of it. And it will almost always take me a month or more to fully recover.

The end result of this is that, whenever I get sick, I wind up spending a month or more unable to exert myself beyond walking across a room without feeling kind of weak and short of breath. And this is beyond a royal nuisance to someone for whom exercise is a vital part of their sanity maintenance program.

When I can't work out, I don't cope as well with the day-to-day stresses of life and the crises that the world loves to throw at me. And when I don't cope well, my basic background levels of worry and panic start to build up. And when those start to grow, old demons suddenly get their claws into my psyche again. Like my body image problems. Which then latch onto the fact that I can't work out.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

And then there are the problems that re-emerge as I start slowly trying to be active again, only to realize that, while I may be feeling better, I'm nowhere near 100% - my lung capacity is still diminished, and a month without practice means at least some lost condition. And I get frustrated, and feel like a failure, and just want to quit. Which is, of course, the stupidest decision possible, but frustration isn't smart.

That's about where I am right now. After a month off the wagon, I've finally, within the past week or so, started to slowly be able to exercise again. And I love it, and I hate it. I love the feeling in my muscles that my body is working. I love getting up off my backside and being mobile. I love the second wind and the sense of accomplishment.

But I hate where I am right now. I hate the fact that the workouts that used to be my easy cop-outs are now challenging, and at the limit of my endurance. I hate the fact that I've had to wimp out and drop back down to my lighter set of weights for strength training. I hate feeling weak and out of shape and lazy and unhealthy and unfit.

I know that if I keep pushing, I'll get back to where I was before. Eventually. But I can't help but feel ashamed of having backslid, and annoyed at having to work back up. Damnit.

(And on a related note, does anybody know of a local-ish gym with an indoor track? If I'm serious about the 5K Run For Your Life I should start practicing, and running outdoors in the winter when I have sensitive airways is a recipe for disaster....)

Balance

Jul. 6th, 2011 04:54 pm
ladysprite: (Default)
Oh, New York City Ballet Workout, where have you been all my life?

For the past year or more, I have been on the hunt for the Perfect Workout. One that's challenging but not grueling, that's enjoyable, that doesn't feel like candy-coated toxic medicine or phony garbage, that I feel *good* about doing. And while I've ultimately found about a half-dozen or so that fit this bill, I've found a heck of a lot more that fail spectacularly and in many ways. Today, I think I added another one to the Good list.

No neon costumes. No plastic smiles and perky exhortations to zip up my inner girdle or cutesy references to 'tummy toners' or 'fanny busters' or forced artificial fun; no suggestions that this is a party or a game or anything else that it isn't. No indication at all that I have any sort of relationship with the disembodied voice explaining to me what a grand plie is, or how to do a front attitude. Which is perfectly fine by me.

There was enough stretching - this in and of itself is nothing short of a miracle. The dance steps were actual dance steps, and yet there was no suggestion (as there is on most of the utterly dork-tastic hip hop workouts I've tried) that I could take these moves to the club and stun the opposite sex with my faboo maneuvers. And most of all, the exercises were actually in time to the background music, a rarity that makes my teeth and brain ache whenever it's missing.

I know I'm not a ballet dancer. I know I'm light years away from looking anything like the models in the video. And yet I feel so much better, and more graceful, and happier, after doing this... it's not the sweating, quivering, delicious full-body ache I get from an hour of circuit training, but it's an entirely different flavor of goodness. Like lemonade, instead of Jolt cola. I think I need to buy a copy....

(And as an aside, a world of gratitude to the Minuteman Library System and its interlibrary loan policies, its enormous collection, and its branch less than three blocks from my house. I don't know how I'd survive without all of that....)
ladysprite: (MoonSun)
The most frustrating thing about getting over a hangup, or a fear or anxiety, is the embarrassment and general feeling of foolishness that comes when you realize, in retrospect, just how ungrounded your issues actually were.

That said, I honestly think that the best thing I've done in the past several years, in terms of my physical health, is get over my objections to massage therapy. I'm still grudging in my acceptance of it, but I can no longer deny that it helps, and I'm willing to accept that it's not quite the selfish waste of money I thought it was.

After nearly two weeks of nigh-constant headaches bad enough to leave me in tears, I broke down and scheduled myself another massage at the local parlor. This is the second time I've resorted to that as headache therapy, and... as much as I hate to admit it, it works. Better than anything else I've tried, from hot and cold packs to Tylenol and ibuprofen to backrubs-from-friends. It may not be an instant cure-all, but it takes the pain away for a little while, and makes it a lot easier for everything else to be effective.

And... I like this place, and the people who work there. It doesn't make me feel uncomfortable, or creepy, or needlessly decadent. It just feels like another way to help fight headaches and the nightmares that come when I fall asleep in pain.

So I went, and it helped, and I've even swallowed my pride and my objections and signed up for a monthly plan. With any luck this will help beat the tension down to a level where I might be able to feel my shoulders again, and the headaches will become a thing of the past.

And yeah, all of you guys who told me to get over myself and just accept this as appropriate can now say that you told me so. It still bugs me, and I still feel like a wastrel spendthrift, but... it's working.

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