Tag Archives: strength

Pain+Endorphins=Stupidity

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

Moving… breaking… playing

So we’re plugging along at moving. Thinning the herd again. Every time we move our load gets lighter and lighter. I’m happy for it, as at one point we had way more than 2 people should. Now we have what a normal family of 5 would, and we’re one step closer to living lighter.

In the process this time, I was working on lowering the massage table that had been be Ian’s “loft”, so that it could maximize space in the move and…. I sat it down on my foot. Initially I said ouch and kept moving. About an hour later my foot was still throbbing enough that I told Nathan I needed to look at it. As soon as my shoe came off, the pressure backed off, but I knew I would not be getting it back on. My foot had swelled immensely.

This is what it looked like initially.

It was hard to tell other than the intense swelling, but I went around showing everyone that it was what a freshly broken bone looks like. I explained I had broken a bone in my foot, probably hairline fracture as it was tolerable to walk on. Also, compared to the last time I broke a toe, this was actually less painful.

Now after I’ve had a few days of healing, having kept it wrapped in an ace bandage, the swelling is much less, but the bruise is much more noticeable. It has also reinforced my prior estimation of which bone I’d broken, based on the epicenter of pain. I had estimated it was my 2nd metatarsal, and the bruise has mostly settled into my 2nd and 3rd toes, which fits with that theory.

This is what it looks like now.

Really each morning I find that it feels better and better. However even with the ace bandage, each evening brings burning sensations in my toes from limping all day at work. This evening may be the worst so far as I spent nearly 12 hours in constant motion, mostly up on my feet. It was a rough day.

That being said I’m very grateful that I’m still able to work and help with the moving process. A little discomfort for a few weeks is far better than needing surgery or something worse.

__________________

Another thing I’m grateful for is my now fully mobile 5.5 month old baby. She’s so smart and so strong that she’s crawling, pulling herself up to standing and holding onto furniture to walk. She’s even getting the balance thing down enough to stand one-handed, and occasionally she lets go for a few seconds. She has enough confidence that if she makes it about 5 seconds hands free, she tries to take a step, though at this point every time that happens she falls. Yesterday she had a great time demonstrating that for me several times over, smiling and giggling the whole way.

This morning she played with shoes and one of Ian’s trucks, and Nathan had the sense to capture some video I can share. The other moments have been so enthralling that we’ve lapsed on videos a bit. Next time she gets moving I’ll do my best to capture a clip to share.

May you enjoy the zest for life and learning all babies bring to this world, and find your moments of less discomfort and hidden blessings. Aho.

Romantic Sailor

That’s me. On the outside I’m tough, strong, independent, and swear with the best of sailors. I’m not too worried about getting dirty when it’s necessary, and I can handle myself in most any situation, not to mention being able to wield power tools. I know how to stand up to hooligans and con artists; mostly because of a couple of encounters when I was younger; and even though those encounters were unfortunate, they did teach me exactly how to handle subsequent encounters. When I say I can handle myself I most definitely can.

Apparently this strength is so intense that I often scare off even the ones I’d rather not. I had a good friend from high-school confess years later that he was petrified of me at first. Nathan ran away twice and distanced himself a third time, supposedly because of other’s opinions, but he admitted that there was an element of being afraid of me. Now I’ve scared off another. Oh well, I suppose, if it’s meant to be, he’ll come back like Nathan did.

With that being said, I find myself saying “If only someone would just hold me and tell me it’s all going to be okay”. Nathan has always relied on my strength, and though he holds me, that sentiment hasn’t been his strength. He’s more of the gentle caring, expressing love IS his strength, but his love wouldn’t falter even if the world was crashing down around us. Sometimes I just need to KNOW that my brain has created the apocalypse and really everything is right as rain. That strength of another to say “no really its ok, you can rely on me for now”.

Today might be one of those days. I’ve been finding Sundays rough lately. They are actually my easiest work day, but it’s Sunday, and a lot that goes on involves GOD. I take people to church service, and sit and listen to hymns and sermons. I have gotten to the point that I can see the underlying Truths between my beliefs and others’ beliefs so I no longer take offense to services that at one time would have made me feel like vomiting. However, I find myself torn between feeling connected, and hopeful, but also feeling like I’m still stuck and missing things and people. It’s a difficult dichotomy.

It doesn’t help that my connection to the divine seems to amplify the missing people part. It seems nearly every day I’m getting messages, but for some reason Sunday’s are the worst/most intense. Today, I put on Johnny Cash Pandora Radio for exercise, and every song that played was a love song. The sermon was about gratitude for people in our lives, and I thought of family and friends both present and away, but then I thought of the missing man. Another song played later “You’ve realy got a hold on me”.

My heart burned.

Now I’m sitting writing this as I watch Grumpy Old Men, typing to keep myself awake so I can do my job (keeping an eye on residents). It’s a funny movie ultimately, but having seen it before, I know the sappy sentimental part is on its way. I’m just not sure my heart is up for it today. Every movie that has played at this new job has left me in tears, and I’m just not sure I can handle more tears today. I find myself saying that the sappy sentimental is only okay if there’s something heading into my reality right behind it.  I just want the words to be followed by actions, but it’s hard when the words are finding their way into my experience through repeated encounters in my visual and auditory experience, but aren’t actually coming from the people in my life.

Don’t get me wrong, Nathan tells me he loves me A LOT. He explains how much he loves me, but now I see him and the kids roughly 2 days a week. Even then, I spend way too much time up in my head. Even if I was home every day and every night, I’m not sure my brain would acknowledge the sentimental attempts from my family and husband. I think I must have a frayed connection on that one, and I have no idea how to fix it. I only know I wish I could. I want to feel the words they speak again. Yet, more than words I want the actions, the physical manifestations of those words, and for my brain to see and acknowledge them.

I think my problem is I am craving those romanticized moments from movies and novels. I want my night in shining armor to whisk me off my feet and solve all my problems while making mad love to me. Something that I hold out hope still exists, but I’m inching increasingly closer to complete disbelief. It doesn’t help that I’ve come to terms with the fact that I live a very alternative life to many people, have no real traditions, and have very different views than most. I’m not so sure that if my knight did exist, that he would even want to be in my paradigm. I hope my saving grace is my values in helping people and bettering the world.

Of Course, then I find myself thinking maybe there’s a prince and princess out there that would want to rescue me and Nathan both, our whole family. We could be one big happy family in much better circumstances. There’s still hope, which I’m reminded daily by my divine DJ playing “Keep Hope Alive” by Crystal Method.

So I will. Keep hope Alive. As long as I can. Hopefully it is a finite period with a definite end, of which I am just not privy. Only God knows, and I’m doing my best to trust the divine process. Trust and hope… believing would round out faith. May my faith be strong enough to get me through, especially for the rest of this day.