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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!
mood: sore
music: The Beatles—I Wanna Hold Your Hand


Ouch, the pain sounds horrible and draining. I had something similar 6-7 years ago, when my dad was in hospital. In my case it was a pinched nerve and two vertebrae sitting a little wrong. A naprapat did fix it for me, but i wasn't myself for a good 2 weeks.

I hope you get help fast!

I couldn't believe how bad the pain was whenever I wasn't actually taking ibuprofin. Now I've got some really good drugs, and am seeing the naprapat again next week.

Here's hoping they get you in tomorrow!

So where did you end up going in Maine? I'm sorry our schedules kept not aligning on these last two trips (mine and yours) but there's always so much to do and such a finite amount of time.

We went to Ogunquit and Wells (thank you for the recommendations!) and then we had an hour in Kittery at the outlets. Good day :)

Wow, you tried all the remedies *I* would have recommended. Ouch. I love the way you talk about living in another country and coming home. Where do you go, if you're going to the Berkshires? I used to live in that part of the world.

We were in Great Barrington this time...met my aunt and uncle for lunch and then antiqued for several hours. It's lovely there!

Natasha went to Simon's Rock, an early college in Great Barrington. You're right. It's one of the nicest towns in Berkshire County.


I hope you get some relief soon! (And I love your kids' sayings - they sound like such awesome people!)


They ARE awesome people :) They crack me up regularly.


OH! You forgot to mention the Mad River Glass Gallery in Vermont. My mouth still drops open whenever I think about it! I can't wait until we can make another stop there. And, I also can't wait until I hear those same words from Martin or any of my Loves in Europe. Love, Lizardmom

haha! Hopefully sooner rather than later!!

Thank you for the birthday wishes! I've never heard of a naprapat before. I'm Czech and I can see that it comes from a word that means to work out or fix. I wonder if Toronto has any practising naprapats? Nonetheless I hope you find the source and relief to your pain. I'm dying to hear about Squam! It's on my life list to attend one day and so I'm so envious of your chance to attend. :D

Apparently the naprapat movement (or whatever you want to call it) actually started in America, but it's not very well known there, ironically.

I'm writing the Squam post in my head, just haven't had a chance to pin it down's coming soon!

From Megsie

Oh, back pain sucks. When my twins were babies I was putting Nicholas into his crib and suddenly I couldn't move. I couldn't bend at. all. I think it scared me more than anything because I had two babies (heavy babies that were 6 months old) and a two-and-a-half-year-old. Not moving was not an option. I called my mom. Mom's are good like that. It ended up being about 9 months before the pain was all gone, but I think that was because I was still nursing and I still had to carry those kids around, it wasn't like I could put my feet up and stop! So, I feel your pain. I really hope you get into see your naprapat tomorrow.

On the other note, your trip sounds fantastic. I love seeing being here through your eyes. I take a lot for granted and you always give me more to be thankful for. But, I am glad you are back. I missed you.


Re: From Megsie

Saw the naprapat Thursday and the doctor yesterday, got some good drugs, thank goodness. I'm going back on Wednesday for more treatment. :)

9 months of back pain with babies...EEK. How awful!!

Oh dear. Sorry to read about your chronic pain, although I'm sure the Swedes will have something effective and natural for your relief.

I, too, am always in shock and surprise when returning to the States and finding myself in a bath of English.

Oh OW! I hope that stops soon because OUCH. When I broke my elbow I had pain for ages, but only when I bumped it. I can't imagine having it all the time. OWWWW.
I am feeling pain for you and hoping you get better QUICK!

Drugs are helping for sure!! Thank you for the sympathy ouches!

I have one word for you!!!!!


Re: I have one word for you!!!!!

EEK. Sorry, no.


Oh, you poor thing. I am a wuss about back pain, shoulder pain...anything like that. I am thankful that Beaux has some mad shoulder/back rubbing skills if I get a knot. But your adventures! Liz! I am seriously drooling over the thought of the Eric Carle museum AND Emily Dickinson and Louisa May Alcott and then SQUAM! Woman, you didn't just go went to HEAVEN! Can't wait to hear more about it...even though this year, it was fun to see my friends Instagram some real-time Squam moments. Hope you get your body all realigned SOON!

:) Sam

Oh! I didn't do all those things this time! I've done them over the past 5 years :)

i really, really hope u get in to see someone who can figure it out quickly! that sounds just AWFUL.

your trip, on the other hand, sounds amazing. 2 weeks of doing whatever YOU want to do (weekends and evenings) Wherever YOU want to do it and tasting whatever YOU want to and shopping for as long as wherever YOU want to and just plain YOU time. wow... bliss. :)

The naprapat and the doctor both said pinched nerve...going back on Wednesday for a second treatment and got some good drugs, so that really helps!

And the trip IS amazing. I feel blessed to be able to do it every year so far.

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I can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.

Abraham Lincoln

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