September 21st, 2011

turned back


You know how when you hit your funny bone a good one, it radiates that spasm up and down your limb to the exclusion of every other sensory input possible in that moment? How you just have to stand statue-still, with your other hand clamped around the screaming bend in your arm, and WILL the pain to fan out from your fingertips? What would you do if it didn't stop? For. Two. Whole. Weeks.

I called our healthcare insurance company today and asked for an appointment with a naprapat which I wasn't even sure of the definition of until about 20 seconds ago when I googled it in search of a translation. The word comes from Czech and it means "to correct". They are not chiropractors, though the practice evolved from there and many people think they are synonymous. A naprapat diagnoses, treats and rehabilitates pain and functional issues with the back, joints and muscles.

I'm actually not sure exactly where the pain I'm experiencing is coming from, since it's affecting my entire left shoulder, up into my neck and all the way down my left arm. Mostly it hurts in the back but occasionally the front of my shoulder is smarting, too, which stresses me out because I keep thinking about left-side heart attack symptoms. It vacillates between a dull ache and sharp pain, and it's constant. I don't know if it's a pinched nerve or strained muscles or what, but GAH.

In the past 2 weeks, I have self-medicated with copious amounts of ibuprofin, all-night heating pad parties, hot & cold pack timeshares, stretching exercises, IcyHot salve and manual manipulation of the muscles in my arm and what I can reach of my shoulder. I've had THREE massages, and a patient mom who has shoved her own elbow into my shoulder and practiced acupressure on the sore spots. Nothing has given me more than a few hours of relief. The 7-hour plane ride home was really unfun.

The clinic didn't call me back before I left work today with an appointment time, and if they haven't called by lunch tomorrow, I'll probably resort to whacking my arm off with whatever sharp-edged office supplies are at hand.

Apart from that, Mr. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?

Spending these 2 weeks in the States on a work trip each year is something I count as a definite business blessing. I get face time with the US marketing team and their joyously exuberant attitudes. I get to share my experience and knowledge holding trainings and meetings that are well-received and I get to feel like I'm giving that little bit of extra help that is so rewarding.

I get quality time with my mom, something I can never get enough of, even when I had her to visit for 3 weeks just a few short weeks before this trip. I get time to immerse myself in English; something that sounds rather silly, but is absolutely essential for someone who spends a good chunk of each day thinking & talking in another language, but must still be able to edit, translate and write in her native tongue. (The thing about the English that always amuses me is my startle-reaction every time I hear it around me. Most of the time, English isn't the language that surrounds me, so when I hear English, I always perk up my ears. When I'm in the States, my ears are on high-alert perk all the time.)

I get time to browse all-English bookstores, and shop for clothes that actually fit me and food that I miss and only get to eat once a year. I get to spend time with family and friends and colleagues that I would otherwise rarely, if ever, see face-to-face.

I get to go new places and see new things. Some of the things that we've seen & done in the five (!) years I've been getting to take this business trip (on the weekends in between work) include: the homes/museums of Norman Rockwell, Louisa May Alcott, Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain; antiquing in the Berkshires, Ben & Jerry's Factory, the Eric Carle Picture Book Art Museum, a weekend in Vermont, a day on the Maine seacoast, peaceful interludes in the New Hampshire wilderness, the arty goodness of the Squam Art Workshops (more on that later, promise!), sightseeing in Boston, Gloucester, Newbury Port, Rockport, and more.

And I get to give my family a break from me. I know that I appreciate my husband even more than usual when he returns from one of his too-frequent business trips. I hope my family appreciates my return the same way! :)

Aside: Just now, when I went in to Martin's room to say goodnight, he said, in a movie-star growl, "We meet again." Um yes, yes we do, now sleep tight.

Squashy End-of-Summery Belated Birthday Wishes to lady_findel, orangepoppy, e11en and elemmennope!