Friday, April 24, 2009

Shock Therapy

Yesterday, I cleaned. And I cleaned, and cleaned, and cleaned. Soon I had a pain in my neck. It was then that I decided--cleaning really is a pain in the neck.

As the night wore on the pain got worse. I was alone with the kids--Rey is the head of the Compliance Committee of our neighborhood. I call him a Condo Commando (I know, we live in a house, but House Commando just isn't as catchy.) So he was at a meeting fining people for dead grass and dirty roofs, and I was on Hour 14 of solo baby wrangling. By bedtime, I could no longer turn my head to the right. Children will pounce when you are weak--they were particularly naughty last night, and somehow managed to take advantage of my disability and execute all of their naughtiness to the right of me. I was very happy to tuck those littler cherubs in for the night.

Fridays are my favorite day of the work week. There's the impending excitement of the weekend, the celebration of surviving another week, and my workout schedule calls for a yoga class. More than I hated the pain, I hated the idea of missing yoga class. I went to sleep last night, hoping, praying, yearning for a pain-free morning. At least perhaps the pain could subside a little, to a manageable amount. Wishful thinking.

At 3am, I awoke. What woke me up? I thought to myself. Was it the pain? A dream I was having? As the cloud of sleep lifted a bit and I became aware of my senses, I realized--there were birds outside in our oak tree. Chirping a full symphony of chirping. What kind of sadistic bird does this in the middle of the night?

I quietly curse the offending birds and take stock of my neck pain. It is still there, and worsening. For three hours I lay awake, drafting mental to-do lists and stressing about my neck. It seemed like as soon as I feel back asleep, I was awakened by the tiny knees of a four year old, kicking me in the back as he climbed along side me in bed.

"Excuse me, Mommy. Can you make breakfast?"

As I turned to answer him, I was practically paralyzed by the pain. I guess there will be no yoga.

Rey was about to leave for work and saw my crippled state, hunched over and angled off to one side. Leaning Tower of Ashley.

I would drop Mason to school and head to my good doctor, who happened to have a speciality in Sports Medicine Manipulation. So not only could he crack my weary bones and twist me into submission, he could prescribe me drugs.

As he initially examined me, he realized I was too tight and tense for him to adjust me straightaway.

Enter shock therapy.

He attached these little electrodes to the back of my neck and hooked me up to a tiny machine. When he powered it on, it felt like aliens were crawling on me. In a good way though, you'd be surprised how good a little jolt of electricity can feel. His nurse brought in a gigantic heating pad and they arranged me with pillows, shut the lights off, and left me there in the semi-dark to complete my 30 minute round of electric therapy. Me and my little humming shock machine.

I channeled my inner yogi, assumed shavasana position with my palms up and did my best to relax. But there were creepy crawlies going up my spine, so it was hard to detach my mind from my physical body. Again, my To-Do list reared its ugly head, this time of things I could do the rest of the day with my neck as I am now certain I will have limitations.

Schedule Lila's one year pictures.
Address her birthday party invitations.
Send thank you notes for Cole's birthday.
Balance the checkbook.

Eventually the humming of my little machine shuttered to an abrupt end. The nurse came in for Phase Three: Ultrasound waves to further relax the muscles. We chatted for a while about children, trying to raise them well, shield them from bad influences... we were just moving into a discussion about Oprah's show on child predators when the Good Doc came back in.

I was twisted, cracked, jumped upon, pulled across the table by my head (which feels magnificent). A shot of Motrin to ease my pain, a prescription for muscle relaxers, a follow-up appointment for next week, and I was on my way. I asked him if I could take muscle relaxers while caring for the kids.

His response: "I can't say for sure how it will affect you until you've had one or two doses." Then he jokes, "Just don't do important things like drive, use a chain saw, or balance the checkbook."

Okay, crossing 'Balance the checkbook' off of my mental To-Do list.

The pain is still there. Unlike this morning, I can move though, so I will call this a victory. I'm interested to see the effects of these muscle relaxers--anything with the word "relaxers" in it sounds rather appealing to me.

Upon returning home, the following occurred to me:

1. I am thankful for modern medicine and the combination of physical, chemical, and electrical therapy, as sick as twisted as that sounds.

2. Picking up Lila today hurt me more than it did to give birth to her. Won't be doing that again today.

3. My shock therapy burned me. (Check it out--it looks worse than it feels.)


Lucinda said...

Ouch! Hope you feel better soon!

I used one of those electro-muscle stimulator thingys while I was in Physical therapy for my knee. It was pretty cool. It made my leg muscles contract.

I hear ya about Fridays. My favorite day!

BrianG said...

Be careful with the muscle relaxers. The pills I was given make me useless for 18 hours.