Monday, 20 February 2012

All these changes!

Ok, just a brief back story here to bring you up to speed on this. Last June, Hazel (my housemate and fairy godmother) wanted to go Le Mont St. Michel, France for her birthday trip. So, me, my wife Jem, and Hazel all went off to France for the weekend. It was one of the most breathtaking places I have ever seen.

I took a SLIGHT trip (I say slight because my ass never hit the ground!) down 4 of the 200 ancient steps of this narrow stone staircase and felt instant pain in both shoulders, but ignored it and carried on with the weekend, eating food I couldn't pronounce, smelling crepes 24/7, buying magnets and shot glasses and wondering how on earth those monks got supplies to the church atop of this unbelievable structure back then.

Cut to present time.

I had unconsciously (maybe) babied my shoulders, and ignored (for the most part- ok, I whined a little here and there) the pains, thereby limiting my range of motion, to the point of wincing every time I picked up a mug of coffee or put on/took off a jacket. So, Jem and Hazel suggested I go see an Osteopath who works at a Wellness Center based in a gym where they were brief members, on a whim to swim and try zumba.

I'm used to the usual State-side way of addressing a medical problem:  see your GP, get a referral, have a specialist tell you that your near death, need 10 tests, including an MRI, possible surgery and a HOST of drugs from anti inflammatories, muscle relaxers, pain pills, to Gobstoppers and 8 weeks of physical therapy. So, this Osteo approach- soft tissue and muscle manipulation- was all new to me. He was thorough in his assessment, I'll say that much. We covered my medical history, my parents medical history, my youth, my day to day routine, etc. Then, let's call him "Alec", in case I get way bitchy about this, I wouldn't want to offend him or his business- so Alec begins doing a few "light" range of motion manipulations with my arms, a few back & forth motions, loosening things up, and I'm thinking "This is okay.."  He was very good about laying off when I said something hurt, making notes, and being gentle. He said I may be sore the next day, and I could ice up as necessary. Which was NO lie, I'll tell you that much.


So, here we are 2 months later, and Alec has worked his ass off on me, from my shoulders, biceps, elbows, and wrists to my neck, where the problem seems to really be, along with some CTS issues. This is usually on a Friday, which totally ruins my weekends, I might add, but I'm trying to stay positive. He's had me in "Twister"- like positions, to interlacing my fingers on top of my head, winding his own arms through mine to lift and relieve disc pressures in my neck, he's nearly climbed on the table to get some serious push pressure on certain points. Alec was like a doctor and a monkey at the same time. I'm not saying his approach or services are bullshit or anything, and for the first time in a LONG time, I actually feel pretty good today. It's just a big change for me to feel WORSE after a Dr visit, ya know? I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm not the biggest fan of change. (Shut up, those of you who know me well) I'll even say, for the record- this is NOT a gateway to drum circles, smudgings or meditation, although I did have ear candles done since I've been here in the U.K. I just wonder, in calendar days, would it have been any faster to feel the improvement, and would I not have wasted as many weekends laid up the old State-side way? I don't know. But, I guess.. when in Rome...

Along the same lines, with this whole "change" subject, my wife has gone from inhaling drive thru Burger King whopper juniors, to becoming a vegetarian this year. Her choice, no fan fare or parades about it, just very subtle, first eliminating pork, then beef, then chicken...which is FINE. Anywhere you go now a day, they have (v) marked items on the menu, even fast food places. Lovely. Seriously. For her. It's not happening for me, though, and I'll tell you why. Even just trying to be supportive of her healthy lifestyle and eating dinners that consist of tofu, vegetarian "fake steak", 70% fresh vegetables on the plate, gluten free breads, wheat pastas, & nutloaf - my body is not used to processing the insane amounts of protein in one meal, let alone three. Within 2 hours, my stomach feels like I've ingested every balloon from the movie "Up!", and I could fart my way to the corner store and back home, my feet never touching the ground. Within 5 hours, I'm hungry again, which I know makes no sense, and I'm convinced it's mental, but nonetheless, I'm still grabbing handfuls of peanut butter filled pretzels from Costco in an effort to get through the night without my stomach growling or my ass tooting songs from "Glee".

Change is always happening, some big, some little. Some obvious, some subtle. I get that. I do. BUT-
There are few things I just can't change and it's not up for discussion. I have to stand firm. It balances the other "little" changes. So. Here they are. I don't and won't like tea. I feel awful saying it outloud living here in England now, but it's the truth. It's always going to be coffee for me. I don't like fat free cheese, especially Philadelphia Cream Cheese. I won't drink Skim Milk because it reminds me of dirty dishwater. So, with regards to you, Mr. Change- I may eat a few more veggies and a bit of tofu, I may let Alec crawl all over and twist me like a WWF wrestler, I may puff on a VaporStick in an effort to quit smoking, I may drink more water, but by God, I'm not giving up coffee, Philly cream cheese, whole milk, pizza (like how I slipped that in?) or peanut butter filled pretzels! I hope we have a deal.

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