Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Is this as good as it gets?

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.


  1. Glad you're on the mend. I hope you're 100% soon.

  2. I am so sorry you have been suffering so! I have been busy with things the past few weeks and haven't had time to check in. I hate to contradict a medical doctor - and I am not one - but as a trained yoga instructor I can tell you that age is no bar to stretching something out! I am glad you are slowly being able to resume life and am send prayers for healing and pain relief your way.

  3. so what in the heck does being 64 have to with it??? that young whipper-snapper ought to get his ears boxed!!!

    seriously, what an insolent pup! 64 doesn't mean you are crippled! We hope your regular Dr is more knowledgable in delivering good bedside manners.

    wishing you good health, quickly!!


  4. Velvet, You grumble any time to need to. I just hate you aren't feeling better. Crossing fingers and toes your regular doc can get the job done!

    Hope you are better soon!


  5. Well.... I am speechless! Yes, we all get aches and pains of some sort or another, and they do seem to get more frequent as we age... no, wrong word.... MATURE... but giving you the 64 speech is definitely over the top. Can't you get a little bleached-blond doc doll and stick pins in it? It would probably make you feel heaps better.

  6. Geeezzz! Talk about adding insult to injury!
    Hope you feel better real soon!

  7. i hope you are better soon. God bless.

  8. Glad to see you back, and I hope that someone figures out what to do for you! It won't be that wet-behind-the-ears pup, I bet. They need to offer charm courses in medical school.

  9. No Velvet, this is not as good as it gets. You are your own best advocate when it comes to your health. Please keep pushing for answers.
    Wishing you the best ;)

  10. Well, obviously, that explains it - 64 years old - indeed. I hope you smacked Doogie upside the head - or at least had a few choice words for him. Oh. Man. That makes me mad!

    Keep getting better. I've missed you!

  11. Unfortunately, the doctor sounds a bit of an idiot. Loved the comparison to him serving as a waiter. I laughed a lot.

    Age is only a number anyway!

    I hope the pain eases a bit. Have they suggested massage/manipulation at all? Not that I know much about it, but maybe it could be an option. Maybe I'm thinking of muscualr pain.

    I hope you soon feel even better.

    Take care.

  12. Oh, groan! Doctors you need to diaper before you let them near you, ugh, drives me crazy! But even in pain your after hour's story was funny. Feel better soon.

  13. I'm with maxngabbie - when you have a problem that is off the beaten path for the docs, sometimes you must be very persistent. Do not let them dismiss you. Pain like this is not a result of age, but it should be the result of that vapid, inept baby doc's thoughtless comment.

    What's his phone number? The little a**hole!

  14. Well, not much we can do about the 64 part...hope a cure comes.
    sis 3

  15. Glad you are starting to mend. Nerve pain is just the worst! I have a ruptured disc, low back, that pinches my sciatic nerve every now and then...the pain can be so bad you'd sell out your best friend to make it stop! Ice and rest are my recommendations, followed by lots of movement and stretches. Take care of yourself -

  16. So sorry you have been in so much pain!

    Shame on that young doctor to say that. I'll bet he wouldn't like it if a doctor said something like that to his mom. That really irks me!


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