06 March 2008

Whether or not you believe

Last week part of my "unwell" season was complicated by some major shoulder and neck pain. I love sleep. Nothing disturbs it too much. In my Mansion years I slept so soundly that students couldn't wake me. I went through periods of sleep deprivation, however, such that I would fall asleep mid-sentence, mid-prayer, etc. It was bad and embarrassing, even, like the time I feel asleep as I was interviewing someone (but that's another post). But I'm a recovered sleep-deprived individual and don't sacrifice sleep for much (an occasional conversation is well well worth it, but not on a regular basis).

I say all of that to say, this pain was soooooo bad I couldn't sleep.
In fact, I woke up one particular night in such pain
I could only beg, "Oh Jesus, please, please, help me."

I am unfamiliar with such excruciating pain. For those that experience such pain on a continual basis, I am so sorry.

The pain subsided enough to go to work, but even there I was completely aware of it. I recall one other time of pain like this about three years ago. Finally someone suggested I go to a chiropractor. Have you had this conversation?

"A chiropractor?"
"Um, right.
Yeah, but, aren't they the people who are not "real" doctors
and just get you trapped into seeing them
so that you're quasi-addicted and
"need" to see them the rest of your life?
That chiropractor?"

The same.

Let me tell you. I went. I faithfully attended the suggested appointments. My pain subsided. I was done. Sufficiently satisfied that I had avoided that whole addiction trap. so there! But it helped. I overcame my skepticism and previous stereotype and moved to advocacy.

I didn't need much encouragement this time, you see, to return to the chiropractor. Only I have different insurance and yada yada. Thus, I visited a new doctor on the recommendation of my coworkers.

The intake procedure includes cataloging some history of pain, and charting the intensity of current pain, as well as a computerized scan of the spinal cord (very impressive!!), and xrays. As the chiropractor asked me to do certain movements (did u know for instance, that a person should be able to bend their head to their shoulder--not moving the shoulder--so that the ear about touches the shoulder?), it was obvious that I was in much pain and had limited movement. He asked whether or not I heard clicking noises, whether or not I had frequent headaches, frequent sinus issues, etc.
I gratefully replied "no!" to most questions. I feel healthy most of the time.
"I need an occasional back massage from a friend b/c I carry stress in my shoulder blades," I mentioned, "but other than that I'm good."

Then we took a look at my posture in the mirror. And saw a bit of a drooping on my right side. Then he had me do some shoulder rotations, again, on the right side. As the bones clicked and cracked he asked, "do you hear that?"
"yes," I smiled. (Hoping THAT was the right answer.)

"See those noises," he said, "those aren't supposed to happen. Those aren't normal."

"Oh," I responded, rather sheepishly, "so I should say I do hear clicking and cracking all the time then. Because those noises are very normal to me."

We proceeded to look at the xrays. And he showed me how in two places in my neck, the space for my nerve is reduced because of the growth of bone spurs.

And then he asked whether I had experienced any traumatic events or accidents as a child.

"Well," I chuckled, confident I did have this answer right, "anyone who knows me knows that I fall all the time. I did trip over a tree root when I was nearly five and broke my leg, just for starters."

"This would be a traumatic thing, like, you lost consciousness or something."


I thought for a bit longer and remembered the whole fall on my head story that my family loves to tell. And it's true. When I was a very small baby, like three months or so, my just older sister Carmen needed to go to the doctor. My Mom had me in the carseat and when she set me on the counter at the hospital, I fell over, car seat and all, on my head. The doctor quickly examined me and determined I was okay. My poor Mom has really never quite recovered. But it's worked as a great excuse to explain things my whole life.
so I told that story in hopes that it would qualify. Certainly it was traumatic!!

"No," he said, "this would have occurred in your late teens, say at 15 or 16 based on the development of your bones."

I confess, I'm at a loss. I don't know when this traumatic experience happened, really. I've invited my parents to think about it with me. They of course remembered the whole fall on my head as a baby thing. But that's it. We can't explain it.

But, my pain is getting better.
I'm doing my "therapy" exercises at home. I'm seeing the chiropractor a bit these next few weeks. I'm sleeping through the night again almost normally. And I'm so thankful for the relief.

Where you could help, however, if you feel so inclined, is to pray that the bone spurs heal completely. See, the chiropractor can't make those go away. But God can. So if this comes to your heart and mind while u're talking to Abba, I'd appreciate the request.



Jewels said...

Hey Gracie- I'll pray for ya! :) I had the same thing a couple of weeks ago and it is NOT FUN. I thought about going to a chiropracotor which I never had done but I opted to ride it out. I will be interested to see how it all turns out for you!

Sabrina said...

Oh my! I hope you feel better and that the bone spurs disapear! I grew up going to the chiropractor so its normal for me... but i can see where the mystery of it all comes in and the whole is it QUACK QUACK! but really a good chiropractor knows their stuff!
heal well!

Dan said...

Whoa. I just had a flashback. True confession time. Way back in 1st grade, or thereabouts (could have been 2nd) I was hanging out with Bobby and Paul, and I picked up a rock and innocently chucked it through the air. And it hit you in the head. And you began crying and went to our teacher, who called me over and gave me a stern talking-to. I think I was more embarrassed than anything, so I probably never apologized.

So I now formally apologize for hitting you in the head with a rock when we were all little kids. And I hope that's not the cause of your problems. . .

Gracie said...

J-thanks lady. U should go to "my" chiropractor. Seriously fabulous.
Course he's on vacay this week. How r u doing??

Thanks super girl! Remind me to talk to you about March 5 sometime!!

Dan! Hilarious. I can't stop laughing. Except for the fact that this apology is long overdue! :-)

Jewels said...

Hey, i'm doing fine now for a decrepid in the cold. Will we see you this Sunday?

hildred said...

a rock on the head ... hmmmm ... if only it were as simple as that!!! love you dear sister!