Friday, August 7, 2009

Putting my head back in alignment with my spine where it belongs and other midlife issues

Canon Beach, Oregon

I remember my Godmother Win as a very religious woman that would introduce any missive with a bible verse. Her favorite verse was, "This is the day the Lord hath made, let us rejoice and be glad in it." Most of the time I can do this. But, lately "rejoicing" has not been in the cards due to an almost constant pain in my neck.

I thought that this pain in my neck was from sitting at the computer too long and progressed from multiple Ibuprofen a day, to Naproxin and in the last few weeks to narcotics. My doctor thought the neck pain was from muscle spasms and ordered a muscle relaxant and a wicked (on my stomach) arthritis medication. The whole multiple pill regimen had bummed me out because, hey, I'm the healthy jointed and muscled person in the family, and have been relatively pain free for most of my life, other than a headache here and there. The only up-side was that I was losing weight. When you're in pain you aren't hungry.

Long story short: I requested physical therapy, have gone twice, and have been diagnosed with a dowagers hump, which is the classic hump back profile you see on very old women from Eastern Europe, which is caused by a disruption in the C 5, 6 and 7 vertebrae. Mine is caused by my unnatural slumping posture and probable degenerative disk disease in the C 5 and 6 vertebrae. The "treatment" for this hump is a head exercise to force me to bring my head back in alignment with my spine. I am very motivated because 1) I do not like to hurt despite the meds they give me, and 2) I am too young to be a dowager.

I might be exercising too much because I'm very sore and home from work for the second day today, but at least I'm rejoicing because this can be "fixed," I'm told, with hard work. And that I can do, hard work that is.

I now find out that the guys in my house have noticed this "hump" for years (which is at present a huge size due to being filled with fluid) and have never told me about it because they said I'd be insulted and cry, which was probably right.

So, damn my sensitivity and vanity. I really have to get rid of those things, along with the extra pounds I'm dropping.

Orange Beach, AL

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