Thank you all so much for the kind wishes and healing thoughts you've been sending my way. Today is the fourteenth straight day of this pinched-nerve thingy, and I'd hate to imagine what a miserable human being I'd have been without all the good vibes.
I spent most of last week in one of two modes: fighting back tears or under the influence. This week is better. Since Monday I've been able to go to work. My neck and shoulder have been very stiff and painful each morning, but moving around seems to loosen everything up so the afternoons haven't been too uncomfortable.
Evenings are worse. I haven't figured out yet how to get my blog fix while standing and moving around, and I'm now convinced that my computer set-up is the least ergonomically correct position in the entire house. I'm not even finished with the third paragraph of this post, and already my neck is tightening up.
Sitting still to watch TV is asking for trouble, so I've been going to bed early--yet sleep has been next to impossible. If you'd see the condition of my bedclothes each morning, you'd think there'd been some hot and heavy activity going on in that bed. You'd be right about the heavy and the activity, but there hasn't been anything hot about it. It's just been me, all by myself, rolling from right to left, tucking pillows first on this side, then on that, trying to find some position in which I could close my eyes and sleep for more than ten minutes at a stretch.
I have an appointment to go back to the doctor tomorrow. This will be the first time I've been able to see my regular doctor, and I'm hoping she'll have a trick up her sleeve or a magical potion that the others didn't think of. Right now I'm not too optimistic.
To keep you from feeling totally sorry that you came here only to be bombarded by all this negative crap, let me end by telling you about my visit to the after-hours clinic at the beginning of this entire episode. After a long wait (is that what "after hours" really means?), I got to move from the lobby to the tiny exam room, where I sat on their paper-covered table with my arms and legs wrapped around their big wastebasket. The pain pill I'd taken the night before wasn't supposed to contain opiates, but I was on the verge of vomiting to prove otherwise.
Finally, the doctor came in. He was snappily dressed, his bleached-blond hair spiked just so, and I'd bet money he hadn't celebrated his 25th birthday yet. He introduced himself by his first name and added, "I'm one of the new docs" in the same tone he must have used to work his way through med school: "Hi, I'm Steve, and I'll be your server tonight."
I'll have to give him credit for being thorough. He was clearly puzzled, but he checked all the important things to be sure I'd neither broken my neck nor had a stroke, then he seemed to settle on a muscle spasm. "Sometimes a muscle can just spasm for no reason," he explained, "like I got one once from carrying my laptop, and I carried my laptop all the time." He gave a go-figure shrug and continued, "Most of the time you can just stretch your way through it." He peeked at my chart again, then turned and looked me in the eye, screwing his face up into the most sympathetic and apologetic expression he could muster. "Unfortunately," he said, "you are sixty-four."
Thanks again for caring, folks. I appreciate all of you and will try not to grumble so much next time.
UPDATE 6/24/07: Thanks, everybody. I'm doing much better, just a little stiff and sore in the mornings now. Best of all, I'm finally sleeping again, which makes me a WHOLE lot happier.
I did get in to see my regular doctor. Based on the fact that my x-rays showed zero natural curvature to my neck--just one straight line from skull to shoulder--she's convinced the problem is all muscular. She recommended physical therapy until she remembered I don't have insurance, then she recommended a good massage therapist. I haven't done that yet, but I will soon.
As far as the young Dr. Glib is concerned, I just thought his remark was really funny in its cluelessness. I well remember being young enough to think I already knew everything I'd ever need to know. Real life will kick the baby doc in the head every now and then, just like it's done for the rest of us.