What can we learn from constant pain? I'd like to know. Is it patience? Is it tolerance? Is it how to grit your teeth and bear it? I've been in constant pain for 14 years. Hard to believe. They say lack of sleep makes you more creative. I wonder what pain does over time?
When I was 20 I was in the UGA Karate Club - matter of fact I was the student president of the organization. It's still going and is one of the longest running student organizations. Our instructor used to brag that no one had ever been hurt in class. Little did he know that I'd be the first. When the accident first happened, I really was sore but I recovered and didn't think too much of it. I mean, when you practice martial arts for 5 plus hours a week, you're pretty used to being roughed up and black and blue. It was a belt test night and I was finished with my test and serving as a dummy for another guy's test. He threw me hard to the mat to demonstrate his throwing technique. I landed on my upper back and neck...really hard. I remember one of the black belts, Matt, asking me if I was okay and could get up. Then he proceded to tell Stephen that his technique was off and he needed to do the throw again. So again, boom. I fell hard on the mat. The rubber mat and my neck strength saved me from getting a concussion, but what I wound up with that night was something far worse - a straight neck.
You see, the neck is supposed to have a nice curve in it. It's called the lordotic curve. Only for the last 14 years, my curve has been straight. This has caused all sorts of problems, the worst manifesting itself as constant and painful neck and shoulder spasms. Hurts like a mother. I saw the x-ray way back when but didn't know what to do about it. Several different doctors asked me if I'd ever been injured. I told them no. They all tried different things. I've tried physical therapy, massage therapy, stretching and strengthening exercises, and I even had surgery 6 years ago to remove a big bone spur on my right clavicle. But the pain remained. It was only last year when a chiropractor saw a new x-ray - and asked the right type of question - did I realize that I indeed had been injured. I have a new doctor now since the move to Maryland. I went to her and gave her the same schpiel - my shoulders are killing me and I can't even think straight some days because of the pain. She quickly whittled off a referral to a pain management doctor. Um. No. I asked her for a referral to a chiropractor. She hesitated and re-stated her intention to have me visit the pain doctor. I asked again for a chiropractor. She gave me a name and added, "he's ethical." I've had three treatments and let me tell you it hurts. It's not like going to the spa. This poor man is trying to put the curve back in my neck after 14 years of stoic straightness. I'm trying to be patient. I'm trying to grit my teeth for a little while longer to get through the pain. It hurts like hell. Right now, as I type, it hurts. Tonight it will probably wake me up again. I barely sleep through the night because the pain wakes me up. And I blame my forgetfulness on my child. For a while I even thought I might have ADD. Couldn't concentrate, kept forgetting details. All this time, it's lack of sleep and constant, over-arching pain. I try to be positive. I try not to be irritable. But it's hard to do either. So if I'm crabby to you, or you haven't heard from me in a while, you know why! :)
Monday, April 6, 2009
My friend Dawn, who works at McDaniel with me, is a ghost hunter by night. This weekend she drove the short distance up to Gettysburg College (about 30 minutes). Check out this photo. She was showing me all the "orbs" in her pictures - she has them all up on her myspace page - and when we got to this picture I said, hey, you do see the soldier down in the left hand corner there don't you? She leaned in close to the monitor and immediately left the room to go smoke a cigarette!
This pic is NOT a fake. Pretty cool huh?
This pic is NOT a fake. Pretty cool huh?
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Last night was girls night at my house...just the kid and me because her daddy was at work. So after a nap she wakes up and asks to go to "lallmart" but I talk her into Starbucks instead. So, we go to Starbucks and we hang out for a while. This man comes in and orders a grande cup of Pike's Place coffee with about 2 inches of water and another 2 inches of milk. This is odd, so I strike up a conversation with him about coffee...which leads to him eventually asking me if I work there (even though I'm in sweats and my NKOTB jacket). I tell him that I used to work at Starbucks down in Georgia - he gets a puzzled look - I tell him that's where I'm originally from. This is where it gets strange. The man then literally reels back a little bit and says, "NO WAY!" Yep I'm from Georgia, I swear. He tells me that I do not have a Southern accent. What!? That's just wild to me, that this guy doesn't think I'm from the South. I mean he believes what I'm saying but he tells me that I sound like I have no accent and that if I'd told him I was from the Midwest he would have believed me. Word. That's all I can say.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Apparently, the writers at Days of Our Lives are killing off all the older, traditional, historical characters. This makes me mad. I've been watching this show, on and off, since I was 3 and bargained with my grandmother to be quiet rather than take a nap during the 1 PM show. Why would you fire Marlena, John, Steve, Kayla, Tony, & Anna? They are killing off the show. Ratings will drop like hot potatoes. Granny would be mad if she knew about this...