Monday, September 29, 2014

lessons from my vertebrae

The alarm went off. It's Sunday morning. My eyes are open. But I am in pain. An excruciating amount of pain. In my neck. Like the worst pain ever. Ow. Oh my gosh. Panic. Sore. Can't move. Can't flip the covers off and run into the world. What is happening? The thoughts are on overdrive. True panic setting in. Okay. Yes, I can feel my fingers and toes. But neck and head? Can't move. Ice pick pain in the back of my neck and the left side of my neck is like a bunch of glue and straw all piled together. Slowly but surely I use my arms to prop myself up on the mattress, my eyes closed tightly. My partner truly concerned. "How can I help? What do you need?" 

Hot shower. Tea. Slow movements. What I need is for all of this to go away. Today is our engagement photo shoot with my friend who is launching her freelance photography business. It was supposed to be perfect. My outfits, my hair, his outfits, his hair. All of it. Like newlyweds but not. And here I was, completely immobile, in tears, because my neck was locked up. 

Was it the yoga? Was it the shots I got last week at the travel clinic for my India trip? Did I flail in the night during a nightmare and whack myself? WHAT DID I DO?  

The funny part about this whole thing is twofold: 

1. I went to the natural place in my self-sabotaging way of blaming myself for something I did to cause this amount of bodily pain. I made it all about me/myself/I. I did something bad and got a bad result. Easy peezy. 

2. I was concerned about what I would look like in my engagement photos with a bad neck, Ha. 

Well, to wrap up this little moment, I ended up taking a scalding shower, started to feel better, put on my outfit, and we went to the photo shoot, which ended up being wonderful. truly, absolutely perfect in every way, shape and form. We then went to lunch with our friends and gobbled down delicious sandwiches, soup, lemonades, and chai lattes. And came home. My neck was still very stiff. I was still in a lot of pain. But I survived and I was OK. 

Today, I woke up to the same friggin scenario. Lots of pain, immobility, etc. I write an e-mail to work and completely surrendered to the fact that today, I was going to snuggle up close with my neck pain and hopefully learn a thing or two about my operating agreement with myself when things become uncomfortable in my body. 

Ask for help. I am not a super huge fan of chiropractic care, but this was an exception, I really had to tune into my intuitive self and ask, "Body, what do you need? What do you feel?' I felt stuck. Like something in my neck was actually physically stuck/turned around/tweaked. I called in, appointment for 2:30pm. Until then, rest.

PhotoFood good. Mmmm. A big bowl of pho is exactly what makes me feel so good when I am under the weather. Around 11;30am, I ventured out to grab some to bring back to my house. It's totally amazing how nourishment can take pain away, even if just for a moment. I think back to steaming bowls of pastene or Italian wedding soup when I was sick as a kid and it does do wonders. Even if bones are out of place.

Permission. My partner can attest that I hate to rest and embrace boredom. I very rarely take sick days and the idea of "do nothing," pushes me to my limit. This pain I was feeling converted me into a permission believer. Take the time to do nothing...surf Pinterest, play Candy Crush, watch the Biggest Loser & Master Chef Junior on hulu...whatever you do, just be lazy. 

Do the work...to heal. Tea, good food, water, even some ibuprofen, and ice as well as conscious breathing and relaxation are my remedies right now.  

After my visit to the chiropractor, my x-ray showed that the vertebrae in my neck are curving the wrong way. I have to undo some damage. Chin back, relax, breathe...it will all go back into place. I did have one little bugger though that was completely out and after some snap, crackle, pop, I do feel the relief. But there is still work to be done. I am still in pain. 

One of my yoga teachers says that our own injuries make us better practitioners, but make us the best teachers. It's like a big science experiment and the body is a laboratory. Hmmm...what am I learning where and now? Hmmm...this is an interesting place to be, both mind and body. What is my reaction to this? Where do I resist? What do I embrace?

So I march on, with pain in my neck and back and hope for healing because I know that healing is a practice in itself. 

3 comments:

Sam Wheatley said...

Hi Jen,
I hope your pain is lessening a little everyday. I'm sure your adventures in India will be wonderful to write about when you get back!

Mark Wallace said...

I really hope your neck is feeling better, Jen. It's very nice of you to share the lessons you learned from that experience with us. I agree that the best way to heal is to provide your body with what it needs the most, which is care, good food and a lot of hydration. Anyway, I'm glad that your visit to the chiropractor helped you get in the right track towards healing. Thanks for sharing that! All the best to you! :)

Mark Wallace @ Chiropractic Memphis

Ramona Walters said...

It’s good to know that you branched out to a lot of amenities to find the right remedy for the pain that you were experiencing. It's also great that you weren’t afraid to try each one out, including chiropractic therapy, which is something you've never considered trying before. I think it's only right to try everything out, especially if your health is on the line. Anyway, how are you feeling now? I hope you’re faring a lot better. Thanks for sharing that, Jen! Take care always!


Ramona Walters @ OMNI Health and Rehab Clinic