So my dad has been gone for a week now. There is much relief on the stress front there.
I also talked to the acupuncturist and she helped me see another adjustment needing to happen with my supplement regimen. That took a couple days to take effect, but it has also helped with stress reduction.
Then on Thursday, the supplement adjustment had not started to shift yet, and I had a heavy day of massage work. It was my second heavy day in a row, and my next to last client that day was my heaviest work to be had.
That client is a 6’5″ 350-ish pound guy. Tall and stocky, and his left leg had locked up weeks ago. I’ve been slowly chipping at loosening his pelvic girdle for 2 months now and feel like I’m chipping at a brick wall. His quads have shrunk, hamstrings are weak and spasm, and his TFL, obturator muscles, and piraformis are solid inflexible masses. It’s a difficult combination on a small person, let alone a big guy- I know because it is a fairly common combination.
So, I literally stand or kneel on his hip as I’m able. The one side of my table I can hold onto the window frame to balance myself to accomplish that. However, the other side of my table has nothing stable enough within reach to stand on him. So when I turn him over the only safe option is my elbow.
I had it in my mind, that like my own mess, I should have accomplished more for him by now. I was determined to make more progress.
I wailed on him and felt like I didn’t even dent anything. Finally, I was trying to stretch his TFL out and had his knee raised. I was pushing his raised left knee towards his right knee with my left hand, while putting as much of my full body weight as possible into my right elbow perched on his TFL. There was only an inch or two of movement, paultry results.
I decided to try and up the pressure on both ends of the stretch and pushed with all my might, engaging my core to really focus the directional force. 3 seconds into the push I felt a very uncomfortable crunch at the front of my right shoulder. Ouch.
My time was almost up with the session, so I lowered his knee and proceeded to finish working, just using my left elbow to my best ability.
Afterwards, I put Biofreeze on my shoulder immediately and proceeded to impale it on the one hand rail just outside my office. I winced and the office manager noticed. She kept saying I needed to utilize others available in the office, finally telling me to go get the one chiropractor. He has more soft tissue experience and she was confident he could help.
When I got his attention he asked what I wanted him to do. At that point I was definitely in pain and endorphins were kicking in. I said “I don’t fucking know, we both have clients in 5 minutes and it hurts. I just need to finish my day.”
He said he would do some soft tissue and told me to lie face up. I started to position myself and realized my normal way to do that involved the hurt shoulder, so I sort of fell onto the table, at which point he and the office manager teased me for being a bull in a china shop.
As he worked on my arm there was a steady stream of explatives. He tested strength to make sure I hadn’t fully torn anything. Then he checked attachments and positions to glean that I had injured my right bicep, and irritated my pectorals. Inflammation was already significant and as he worked it only got worse, it’s the normal side effect of working on impacted muscles. Inflammation aside, my response was cussing and more cussing with apologies sprinkled about.
I did my last massage that day while wearing an ice pack. Friday was lighter, but I again worked under ice, and both he and the acupuncturist worked on my arm in-between clients.
At home, I iced and soaked in Epsom salts. Friday evening I did cups- Everywhere! See:
This is after receiving a 90 min deep tissue about a week and half prior, and my husband working on my shoulders 4 days prior.
Needless to say even though I can handle the heavy load of the last two months, it pisses my muscles off in a big way.
I suspect I will need 2 more salt baths and another round of cups before I am able to return to normal functionality with my right shoulder.
I have also learned a valuable lesson.
Sometimes it doesn’t matter how strong you are, some things will still be outside of your abilities. I was trying to be the miracle for someone that let something get too far out of control. Even the chiropractor reminded me that the guy is a mess, his phrase to help me feel better was “he’s even much for me, it’s like 2 bears wrestling in the forest”. I understood that there was no expectation that I could solve it quickly, and perhaps even at all. I need to be more mindful of my own limitations and not push myself so damn hard.
It’s a hard lesson when you grew up knowing you were never good enough, that no matter how hard you tried your father wanted better, different, stronger, smarter. I’m obviously still working on kicking my dad out of my head. And this physical experience was reminder that the biggest most important thing is to heal the emotional damage of my childhood that keeps creating these situations.
My trying harder is simply not the answer. If something is beyond my control or outside my abilities there is nothing I can do to change that.
My client likely needs manipulation under anesthesia or even full surgery to correct the level of damage present. but I can not make that decision for him. I can only do my best, without injuring myself, to help for now. Then make suggestions for other options moving forward. So next time I see him, I will go easier on myself and just do as much as is possible.
As for my own abilities, I am pretty damn strong. To push with all my might, every muscle in my body working, and only strain my bicep is huge. Others might have really seriously injured themselves. As it is, I’ll be fully healed in a couple of weeks and even stronger than before. This was merely a reminder to give myself a break and back off a little.
It was also a reminder that I work with good people that really do care about me as a person. They were genuinely concerned about my welfare and helping me correct and make it through. They continue to be concerned that the healing process is progressing properly. That is exactly the kind of clinic I have always wanted. It makes me hope that one day soon I’ll be able to help build the clinic even more in other ways. Only time will tell if my thoughts and daydreaming on that subject will matter.
For now I am going to do exactly what the good doctor ordered. Back off on the schedule and take care of myself so it’s days instead of weeks of healing. I’m keeping ice on it as much as possible, and he said by tomorrow it should be safe to incorporate some heat. More cups and epsom salts as necessary. At this point the constant pain has subsided and I only feel it burn after use, which is totally normal. I will be healed quickly if I stay on top of my homework.
May you have gentle reminders for self care and going easy on yourself. May you always know your limits and keep yourself safe. May you heal quickly when your limits are tested. May you heal your emotional traumas so that your life gets easier and easier. May you know your worth and that others value you. May you see that others care and support you even when you have stupid moments. May you know that you are valuable and that God wants the best for you. May you find ways to express your gratitude for those that help you. May you know exactly how to repay kindness received. May you have more good days than bad and may all your lessons be gentle. May you know you are loved and supported by God and those in your life.
Siva Hir Su