Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Crinkles and crackles

I did something to my back this past Thursday when I was getting up from my office desk chair and my lower back started to kill. KILL! I could barely lean forward without pain while sitting or standing, I couldn’t lean back farther than a few inches, I couldn’t sit straight, and just plain sitting for more than ten minutes was really painful. Using the bathroom was no picnic either. So while I was at the office, I used an air-activated heating pad I had bought for my neck which evidently was a cheap one because there wasn’t enough sticky stuff on it and in order to have it not slip around I had to use the closest tape at hand, which was… wait for it…packing tape. So I sounded like I was smuggling candy in my back pockets for most of the day. That was fun! Sigh…

Between that and the waiting two weeks for my chiropractor to return from vacation and the numbness and tingling on my left side that resulted from my last adjustment (apparently it’s a good thing and it means my nerves and muscles are closer to being straightened out and in the right places) I was not a happy camper. So I was thrilled when the next day came and I saw her again (she is a genius, by the way – Laurie MacKinnon in Haverhill). She took one look at me and got me on the stimulus machine right away. What this machine does is overstimulate the muscle in question thereby fatiguing it so it releases. After some follow-up massage she snaps your neck or back or both, back into place. Or, closer to being back into place. She pooked a bone in my back into the right place with her hands (the first time I was so nervous that I was sweating and sniveling so she used a mechanism that looked like a very thick, very short iv needle without the needle) and that felt great (or more accurately, that took away the pain). She said there would be more, but not today. She suggested seeing how I felt on Monday.

But then I had to get up from the bench and I couldn’t. Although my neck felt great, my lower back was so inflamed and sore and unable to bend that I was stuck! I was on my stomach and had to ever so gently maneuver myself perpendicularly to the bench, then bend my knees and slide off the bench. I was on my knees and relieved, but then I had to get up. Remember that commercial? “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”? Just like that. She pushed some button and the bench lifted me up, and then I was only halfway hunched, but I then had to get on my back on the evil bench. At this point I was giggling because it was so absurd. And it’s a good thing, otherwise I would have cried from exhaustion and the feeling of uselessness that had come over me.

I was holding onto the bench for dear life and then she lowered it and I let go and it felt like it was three feet away, even though it was probably only six inches. I managed to lay down and my back already felt slightly better. Then she adjusted my neck with her hands and it was awesome. (This was the first time she used her hands to fix my neck, too. I got a nice loud cr-rack!) And then I had to get up from the bench. Again. Cripes criminy. If it had been a movie, I would have been hysterical.

This was not an easy appointment, but I was sooo grateful. She had been helping me the whole time of course, and she said, Ok, now I need you to apply lots of heat to your back, maybe take an OTC pain reliever, and WALK AROUND. Walk to your car and walk around your house and that will help. DO IT! (She didn’t actually shout, but at that point my senses were so heightened that it felt like I could actually see the words coming toward me. Sheesh. That day was the first, and absolute last, day I take a muscle relaxant at the office.)

Anyway, I walked. (If she told me that hanging upside down with a bag on my head with bow ties at my ankles while listening to Yanni would make me feel better, I would do that, too.) And it did feel better. I even bought a special thing to help me!

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