As Carrie pointed out in a comment to my last post, I may know the theory of listening to your body, but am occasionally somewhat slow to learn the practice.
It happened again. Out of the blue last Tuesday – well, maybe not completely out of the blue, as I’ve been somewhat busy - my right elbow started making noises uncomfortably close to those it made back in January and minute by minute, it crawled up my arm, immobilizing the entire area from hand to shoulder. Fast on the tail of that was half of my palm going numb and some time in the past week, it's occurred to me to be surprised about what you can get used to. Six months ago when all this first happened and parts of my palm started getting all tingly and numb-ish from a trapped nerve in either my elbow or shoulder - or, as I'm a bit of an overachiever, perhaps both! - I was utterly and completely freaked out. Just think of how many times you palm touches something in the course of your day and imagine every time it does that, being aware that the sensation isn't the same as the rest of your body. Continual freakout, I tell ya. Over time, things improved, but it has yet to get back to completely normal sensation. At least, I'm pretty sure that's what happened. Because unless it's aggravated and starts buzzing like an irritated beehive, I don't notice it anymore. But it is now. Buzzing like an irritated beehive, accompanied by random jolts of pain down the upper arm that feel like lightning strikes, as well as the usual intriguing pain levels all over… well, it’s hard to ignore.
So I sat very, very still and then I didn't, because I had shit to do and didn't have the patience to sit very, very still and yes, it has occurred to me that my lack of patience may - just may, y’unnerstand - have something to do with my repeated injuries. My body being fucked after 40 years of arthritis is also a likely contributor and it apparently requires me to live life like a 18th century lady, all reclined and slow (except with fewer changes of clothes and more baths). Who has time for that? Besides, my arm hurts too much to do needlepoint.
I meandered into my doctor’s office and got the nice woman at the reception to squeeze me into the schedule for a shot of local anesthetic. I get a steroid shot every now and again, but had one too recently for a refresher and the shot of freezing can be very helpful in sort of resetting the clock. My muscles don't tend to go into spasms, because that implies a cycle of them contracting and relaxing. Nope, my muscles are overachievers, too, and so they clench. And every time I get a shot of freezing, I've forgotten the bliss. After days and days of my shoulder being in a tight clench, once the anesthetic hits the right place, the cascade of relaxation from shoulder to shoulder blade to back muscles is almost orgasmic. My eyes close, a smile spreads on my face as all of me relaxes and at some point before I leave her office, I will tell my doctor that I love her. And it helps for a while. Or would, if I sat more still than I do. And I would, honestly, but the thing is, The List, the neverending effin’ List doesn’t stall out when I do. So it’s a bit of a see-saw around here.
When it's really bad, I distract myself from the computer calling my name all siren-like by watching TV. Not soaps, because that's just too surreal, but working my way through the last season of The Sopranos, watched Dial M for Murder and taping Craig Ferguson to watch with my breakfast. Starts my day with a laugh, often to the point of wheezing and that's never a bad thing. And on the days that are little slower, I’ve had time to notice that it's doing me some good. Things have been so busy for so long and it appears that I am seriously in need of a vacation. Not yet, but soon. I have plans for August. Which will no doubt get fucked up, but at least I’ll have had actual plans for a week off.