Tag Archives: strength

Tough girl.

I’m realizing this week that my tough façade is cracking. Life is challenging me in all the ways, and I’m doing my best as always to stay afloat, but my emotions are beginning to show the strain.

On one hand I finally let some of it out today. Like a kettle boiling over, I simply couldn’t hold it in. The amazing J did needles for my arm again, and I think she added one for emotional release and one for sleep because that was the most palpable results, though the sleep hit me like a freight train about 15 minutes after getting up off the table. It ensured I didn’t accomplish anything else involving labor for the rest of my day. The emotions, well they were like little damns crumbling in my body. I’d feel energy turn loose in my arm and then tears would just start running. There were some in other parts of my body, but it was like my right arm was holding the vast majority. Some of the damns were so strong that when they turned loose I’d know what was causing it, and it was intense. At this point the treatment was successful, but it seems some of them have already been retriggered because I have a twinge in my wrist and thumb again. It is also amazing to me that I can tolerate strained muscles being worked on (a fairly brutally painful experience), but in a quiet room with superfine needles in me, I am sensitive enough to feel energy move when science barely has equipment sensitive enough to even register it. It seems in some ways I’ve practiced the tough routine enough it actually counts.

Everything is a work in progress.

So then on the other hand, post treatment and emotional releases I’m processing what that means.

My tough girl façade is just that. I never wanted to be that, I didn’t set out aiming for it. It happened because I learned to do it from all the boys in my family. Be tough, suck it up, and keep moving like nothing happened. It was expected, and in middle school I learned it was the only way I would survive. I was the new girl again, and fat because of the previous school’s bullies plus my then unknown disease, so I grew tougher. I sucked it up and moved on like nothing happened. Over and over again, dealing with more of the same bullying. My brother escaped through football, but there was no such thing as that for me, I was already too fat for anything girls were supposed to play or do. So, I never let the world see my weaknesses again, making sure I ran circles around weak spots to avoid detection by others. A blessing and curse because the extra efforts improved the weaknesses, but also created mountains of self induced work. At the end of the day and the end of the week I would cry myself to sleep. The rest of middle school, all of high school, and a massive chunk of college, were all tough girl right up until I was alone. I even hid in closets in my dorm to avoid detection. It was exhausting, it still is. Even with Nathan I have difficulty when tears fall against my will. I can’t even talk once emotions hit a certain level. He calls me brutally honest, and says I have a lack of tact, because my communication skills suck when it comes to trying to convey my inner world in the midst of turmoil. I know what triggers things emotionally, but when I try to tell him he thinks I’m beating up on him, when most of the time I’m just trying to let it out honestly. Because of that I am always afraid to be fully honest with others n regards to my emotions, it is literally the only way I’m ever dishonest, though usually I’m just evasive. Truth is I need someone that I can be fully open and honest with. I need help and it’s a dark forest in my mind sometimes. I’ve left negative marks on people’s psyche’s and it’s not because I meant to, every time it’s been because I was struggling myself.

So now, that has become the negative weakness that I run circles around doing my level best to keep it undetectable. This tough girl can’t ask for help because the only thing I’ve been able to formulate is too scary to ask the people I care about most. It’s scary because the words might hurt feelings or become misunderstood. I’d rather battle alone than hurt more people.

So instead I ordered that electric bike I have been thinking about for a while now. It’s much more than I have, and I’ll spend months paying for it, but it’ll help me solve part of the bigger picture. I’ll start the first clear-weather day-off I have after it gets here. I need to ride my route to work on a day off to know how long it will take me for actually commuting. Then, weather permitting I will do that as often as possible, even through winter.

As for the emotions, exercise definitely helps, but at some point I still have to let them out. It is a type of energy, and holding that energy will always prevent the energy I do want, from flowing. I’ll keep practicing, and hopefully I can find a way to release enough for my arm to completely return to normal and stay that way.

May you have emotional support and release when you need it. May you understand your injuries in all the ways and find an easy path to healing them. May you have all the tools and people you need and find a way to communicate safely even in turmoil. May you know everything is okay, and above all may you know that the divine loves and supports you in all that you do.

Om Shanti

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.