The end of the first week of back to work after our Christmas break (yes Christmas, not winter break) could not come soon enough. Huge sigh of relief.
On Tuesday of this week I felt the muscles on the left side of my back, at the spot just about where my bra would sit, if I wore a bra, tighten into a bit of a knot. I thought nothing of it. Until Wednesday morning when I awoke to a pain in my back, a literal pain as opposed to the neighbour down the road who is a figurative pain in the back. It was very uncomfortable.
Now I am a believer in not making eye contact with things I do not want to believe exist. For example, if I do not acknowledge your presence, you do not exist and I do not have to worry about you. That is until you run a burning hot, jagged edged sword through my back, thereby crippling me and making every move one of exquisite agony. That was Wednesday afternoon.
When I cannot kneel in front of the tub and bathe my sweet children, I admit defeat. I called home and asked Wifey to call Betty. Book me in. I need help. Betty Bai is an Acupuncturist who can work miracles.
My appointment was for 5:00pm. She sized me up, asked me a bunch of questions, assured me that in fact I was not having a heart attack, and then went to work on my back. She had me lie on my stomach and she massaged the offending muscles. It felt great. The muscles loosened up, I relaxed and breathed a tad more easily. Then she said sit up.
I then felt as though the sword was now had the girth of the devil’s right hand as it shot through my back. Pain? Shit. That was painful. And when Wifey says, “Well now you know what child birth is like…” I reply, you had an epidural and you pumped so much of that painkiller juice into yourself that you were ready to operate on your own gallbladder to get those pesky gallstones out. Shit, Blonde Bear was born while Wifey was reading a magazine. (I might have to delete this part later…or sleep in the shed again.)
Anyway, so back to my back. I sit up, she has me reach up with my arms, clasp my hands together over my head. Betty then pulls my arms back…and it feels like Mike Tyson has landed one of his classic chops to my spine. And then, it feels good…well, it feels like I can breathe anyway. And I do. I breathe gently, without significant pain.
Then sitting up as I was, Betty sticks a few acupuncture needles in my back. My only concern was that I was still wearing my shirt and she kept pushing it up to my neck, where it would stay for about 10 seconds. I was concerned that it was going to slip down and knock all those needles all helter-skelter and cause me a new pain. It didn’t.
And then she was done with the needle thing. But a quick one about the needles. It is funny that there is no pain…absolutely no pain when the needles are used. I know that some people are scared to have acupuncture because of anxiety about needles, no need. Freaking amazing.
I was told to breathe now. “Go ahead and breathe deeply. Stretch, move side to side…”
I could and I did! The pain was about 75% gone. It was still uncomfortable but I felt liberated. I then realized that I had been panting little short breaths for the last 24 hours or so. I breathed deeply and felt my lungs fill with air. Such liberation.
Friday morning I arose, yes, a very faint twinge of discomfort still lurked there in my back. But I could pick up the Bears easily and without pain. I could sit and watch them play. And I could breathe deeply.
Now, at the end of Friday, I once again feel fabulous. Thank you Betty. Call her if you have a pain in the back or neck. Not the neighbourly type of pain, the literal pain. She can help. She will.