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Friday, June 17, 2011

Back in the Saddle Again!

And the rest of my ABCs...(condensed, of course...)

Picture it: Atlanta, Georgia, April 15, 2011...

I’m sitting innocently at my desk, a stack of paperwork in front of me. I long for the paperwork to be over. For the day, Friday, to be over. I am methodically going through the stack while wondering how I can write a blog on my chosen M word, excited that I have been keeping up with the ABC Challenge, and that, half-way through, my desire to write has really been rejuvenated by this blogfest.

I sneeze.

My right arm goes numb. My hand, the dominate one, is twitching and suddenly goes limp and numb as well. My neck, well, there's no numbness there. It's screeching, seething, agonizing pain. I wish for numbness, but it never comes.

And so it began. The last two months of my life have been chiropractor visits, massage sessions, bikram yoga, and finally doctors and surgeon consultations. I have a bulging disk in my C6.

This is nothing new. Two years ago, I had the same thing happen to me on my left side. That time, it was caused by running. Uber-stressed in my last semester of school (summer, no less), I took up running. I was so caffeinated, that I could not go to sleep at night. Once I was ready to sleep, I would put on my running shoes and go. Problem: I have flat feet and was running on pavement. Solution to sleep, but not my body. One week after I graduated (stopped running), I woke up in the middle of the night with this exact same pain and numbness, just on the left side.

What the sneeze did, in essence, is reactivate this injury. Apparently, a sneeze has a speed of up to 100mph. That's a lot of movement in that short period of time. One side of the nerve controls the left side of your body, the other side controls the right. When I sneezed, the side that controls the right gave in and dropped, after two years of supporting both ends.

I've been in bed. I was in bed for nearly two weeks. Then I slowly started to get up and out. Every movement was deliberate. Every action pre-planned. Living this way is a great teacher. Patience is not something I come by honestly, and I had to be patient, both with myself and my surroundings. I had to not get frustrated.

Chiropractic helped. Massages helped. Bikram Yoga helps. But nothing was fast enough. So I went to the doctor. They took an MRI and sent me for a consultation with a surgeon. I’m not excited about that. I am thinking I will not get surgery. So, my next step is an acupuncturist. I am going to get an appointment to go see one for next week.

The worst part of all of this was that I could not do my two favorite things: write or read. I could not (and still have trouble) writing because my hand was numb. My thumb and index finger are still numb, so it is difficult to hold a pen. Typing was annoying because I could not really support my laptop and my fingers were not doing what my brain told them to. More frustrating than anything, really. Reading was difficult because holding a book was a little much. It is still an interesting feat, however, I do a little everyday. 

There are lessons in everything. I am still realizing the ones I have learned in the last two months. Maybe I will write about them someday soon. I do not want this time to go unfounded, and lessons have always been a growing point for me.

I had a list written out of the subjects I wanted to write about for the ABC blogfest. I'd like to share the rest of it, beginning with the letter M, where I would have been on taxday 2011, when all hell broke loose. I am only going to write a few sentences about them, since we are covering half the alphabet in one sitting. 

Meatloaf. and Mashed potatoes. and Macaroni and cheese.
These are my favorite foods. I crave them often.

New York City.
This is my place. It is where I feel safe. I long for it when I’m not there.

The month of my birth. It is a breathable month, the trees changing colors, the cool and crisp feeling of the air, the wind. It reminds me that I am alive. I was actually due in November, but I was meant to be an October baby.

I love prepositions. I am obsessed with them, the way they change and interchange, or completely change the meaning of a statement.

Being quiet is something that I had to learn. Be quiet and listen. To myself, to others, to the god of my understanding.

I love to read. I always have. It inspires me and takes me to a whole other place.

Shickley, Nebraska, population 376.
This is my hometown. I’m going to write an entire blog about it someday, since I didn't get the chance during the blogfest.

I have them. I’m getting more. I'll post pictures soon.

Underwear. My secret girly obsession.
I am not girly. But I love girly underwear.

Virginia Woolf.
My favorite author. I have been reading Virginia since I was in middle school. There's something about her style that encourages and drives me.

Walking is my favorite activity. I feel alive when I actually take the time to get there slowly, observing, watching, looking. It is one of the best things about New York City.

Xanthrippe Richmond. my original pseudonym.
In seventh grade, I developed this name as a way of writing from the outside. Xanthrippe even had a signature very different than my own. S/he always wrote in green ink.

Yoga – My biggest fight turned into my biggest need.
I did not want to do bikram yoga, I thought it was a little nutty.  But, it has turned into the 90 minutes of my life when I am able to shut down my head, and focus on my body, mind, and spirit. I go to solve problems, both physical and mental. And usually walk out of there with a solution.

Zealots - they scare me.
Living in the bible belt, I have seen my fair share of zealots. They are crazy and creepy. One of them told me I needed a hug a couple months ago and I screamed like I was a human rape whistle.


That is the Reader's Digest version of the rest of my alphabet. It's good to be back writing. Even though this took longer to type than it should have, it sure is worth it.