Thursday, August 26, 2010

The pain in your neck

Ten years ago the pain in my neck was a great problem to me.  Whenever I was trying to sit still, as when  sitting with a group or just conversing with someone, the pain set up within 90 seconds, and I had an irresistable desire to move my head around and ease the stiffness.  But that didn't . . .
[interrupted by a phone call - it wasn't the transplant center]
moving didn't work for long.  In another 90 seconds, the neck was stiff and painful again, and I wanted to move again.  But shrugging or circling my head around didn't work for long.

When I started taking private tai-chi lessons, Nathan asked me what my physical problems were.  I told him about my neck, how moving the neck just didn't ease it.

He replied, "That's because the pain in your neck isn't really in your neck."

"Where is it?" I asked, surprised.

"Down here." He indicated my lower back. . .
[interrupt to search for neck wrap and put a load in the wash since I'm downstairs. heat neck wrap in microwave.  aah.  it lands on shoulders just right.]

Nathan could see in tai chi class how stiffly I held my back, not moving from the core.  For our first private lessons all he did was work on pressure points to relieve my stiffness, and at the same time release my energy.  Everyone cries.  He uses a lot of pressure.

The tai chi was a good thing for me, uniting my body with its parts and with my mind.  It seemed more effective than the reiki treatments I'd had - but who was I to lie flat while half a dozen strangers almost touched me?

Today the pain in my right shoulder and neck is partly, I suppose, about waiting for that phone call - are we Yes on the transplant and head into a new life, or No - start over?  But it is also partly that two nights ago Tom wrapped my lymphedemic arm with compression bandages before bed.  When the wrap is really tight, so I can't bend my elbow, it can lead to this.  And then, my dull headache is the usual these days, uremia it's called, basic poisoning from waste the kidneys are not able to remove from the blood.

And then I do have fibromyalgia, confirmed by two doctors who know all about it.  You get these miscellaneous aches and pains.  When I was first diagnosed with that back then - complaining about the chronic pain in my lower back - I thought it was a big deal.  Now it is just unpleasant background noise. 
[image:  a neck wrap stuffed with healing herbs, so maybe better than mine, which is filled with just plain buckwheat, but also microwavable.  Mine is shaped like an enso, and is better for shoulder pain.]

1 comment:

  1. Jeanne, I thought from the name of the blog link, may be it is about Dalai Lama's Grandma as I was browsing a film series on Tibetan featuring Dalai Lama's mom. And then I see your jolly face with third eye taped on. My daughter's nickname for me is "hobo" because I talk and dress like one. You might enjoy my blog as a feminist Buddhist.