Arthrosis

Last week was kind of hectic, health-wise. I went to see a different masseuse because the Ayurvedic therapist is abroad to study for half a year and gain more professional knowledge. The new masseuse is very good and I had a nice though painful massage. She treated muscles that I thought were ok but the moment she touched them I could feel the tension. There were tiny little knots all over my back, mostly the shoulders and lower back and along the spine which she treated with care. Yes it was painful but I could also feel the tension slowly release with each stroke and applied pressure.

The following days I could hardly move again because my whole back felt extremely sensitive. I also had a cold so I decided to stay in bed most of the weekend to stay warm, sleep and relax as much as possible as I’d had a few bad nights where I fell asleep around four in the morning. Of course I had to work again on Monday and carrying a bag full with computer equipment, weighing about 5 kilo isn’t helping much either. When Wednesday came around I was in pain again, not as bad as the previous weeks but still. That day I had to visit my GP to discuss the results of the x-rays.

I’d had the x-rays done on Thursday but my GP doesn’t work on Fridays so I had to visit her the next week. Whilst there she told me that I have arthrosis which affects my spine between the shoulderblades and the lower back. It wasn’t clear that this was actually caused by the accident I had in 2005 whilst snowboarding as it had been some time ago when it happened and the x-rays didn’t clearly show. Though my GP suspected I’ve had a vertebral fracture at the time based on what I’d told her. Right after it happened I couldn’t breath for a while, couldn’t stand straight and was in excrusiating pain.

So what it comes down to is that I’ll have to live with this pain for the rest of my life… It made me wonder about a lot of things and got me into deep thinking again. My GP wanted to give me painkillers as I’m allowed to take 4 times a day two paracetamol tablets, but I’m only willing to take those when the pain is really bad. Over the last four weeks I’ve taken two tablets twice because I prefer not to take them daily if I can get thru the day without. Yes I will experience pain but I don’t want to run the risk of getting dependent on painkillers for the next 30 years eventhough the pain will come and go.

As I mentioned deep thinking earlier, I’m very aware that I might have to make some drastic changes and decide what I’ll do job-wise. Carrying that heavy bag each day isn’t gonna help. Having a two hour commute door-to-door either. And that’s just two work related facts. Others are related to household issues and having to climb lots of stairs because I live in an old fire tower with six floors and a bedroom at the top floor whilst a kitchen is at the second floor. Just not very practical situations that I’ll have to think about along with more life-changing issues that I have to take into consideration as well.

Today I went to see the masseuse again and she used the ‘cupping’ method this time where she puts cups on your back to create a vacuum. The blood is drawn to the surface of the skin in specific parts of the body that need healing. It was like a giant octopus got stuck on my back. After the treatment and massage I walked home in the rain, enjoying the day which was quite relaxing. I’ll have to see what kind of affect this treatment will have over the next couple of days but hopefully it will work out fine. I’ll keep my fingers crossed and try to refrain from injuring my back, whilst thinking about my future.

Back Pain

I’ve experienced two extremely painful weeks where I couldn’t sleep, sit, bend, squat or lift heavy stuff. I guess these weeks have been the worst ever as far as I can remember… nah I shouldn’t exaggerate as it happened before, a couple of years ago. I went snowboarding once -a long time ago- and at the time I got stuck using the lift and was dragged along for a couple of meters before I realised that I had to let go instead of holding on. Yes I know, kinda dumb thing to do but trust me it was my instant reaction, tho not a very clever one. My snowboard was stuck in the snow and my upper body did a 180 on me resulting in excruciating pain and not being able to breath or stand straight.

I cancelled each snowboarding appointment and stayed at the hotel room for a couple of days until it was time to go back home. Home was the South of France and driving there from the French Alpes took a couple of hours. I felt each and every bump in the road as I was still very much in pain. Luckily I didn’t have to drive and even if I wanted to, it would’ve been impossible. Back in the Provence I visisted a doctor who had a look at my spine and decided to give me morphine. In hindsight I think it would’ve been wiser to visit a hospital instead and ask for x-rays. I honestly can’t remember why that didn’t happen. I do remember having to drive another 1200km to get back to Amsterdam.

I believe I’ve damaged a couple of vertebrae right between my shoulderblades when the incident happened. Ever since, I can tell when some get stuck causing everything else to compensate which makes it worse. It starts right at that spot and slowly creeps up to my shoulders, then neck and arms, then my head. If I ignore it and forget to do some exercises to try to loosen the tight muscles it will go down all the way to my legs and all these muscles tend to lock up and freeze my extremities. I’ll get very very bad back pain and headaches which is what my current condition is like for the past couple of weeks causing sleepless nights and frustrating days because I am and feel totally helpless.

Of course the perfectionist in me is having a hard time trying to let go of things and take it slow instead. Thou shall not fail! ;) I’m making fun of it but really it isn’t that funny. I’m my worst enemy when it comes to situations like these where I feel useless and depending on others. I’m home alone though and totally relying on myself at the moment as the other half is away on vacation with the twins. I don’t mind normally, I love having time for myself and not having to take others into consideration when it comes to daily rituals like getting up, having dinner etc. I can plan my own agenda and do things whenever it suits me which is absolutely fantastic! Just not whilst this condition is present.

So over the past two weeks I booked an Ayurvedic masseuse twice to help deal with the pain. Yesterday was the second time I went there and right after I felt totally relaxed and in Zen mode. Today I feel somewhat stiff but there is almost no pain except for the pressure points which were really really sensitive and painful yesterday. So today whilst I should’ve been taking things slow, I ended up sorting out clothes that I was supposed to do months ago. I’d planned this over the last two weeks and was unable to because of the pain. So yes stubborn as I am -it’s the Capricorn in me- I went ahead, lifted a heavy crate and carried it two stairs up to the third floor where I sorted it and put away in containers.

Today is a good day… but let’s see what will happen tomorrow and yes, I only have myself to blame if it turns out to be a bad one again. I promised myself to relax tomorrow and work on my jewellery and the design of my logo so I’m going to do just that and leave everything else for what it is. Fingers crossed.