I can actually turn my head again! I’ve been going to PT and doing my exercises in between appointments, and I’m happy to report I can now safely operate a motor vehicle! It’s wonderful to be able to actually check those blind spots instead of doing hail Mary maneuvers on the road.
Before I began treatment, it was excruciating to sit at the computer for more than 2-3 minutes at a time. I’m blerging nao! I’m thrilled to see the differences coming from the physical therapy work.
The first thing I do upon arriving there is lie down with a heated gel pad wrapped around the back and sides of m’neck. It’s like a tea cosy only better. Because it’s super toasty. And totally not knitted by your granny. Sweet Jeebus, it. is. the. best. It’s moist heat, so it’s way better than a heating pad. It’s like a big warm hug. From a really hot and kinda sweaty friend. Yeah. Ew. Strike that. It’s nice. We’ll leave it at that.
Next? Massage time.
They do sometimes beat me up a bit pressing on my spine just below my head as I look both ways to increase mobility, but the more I go, the less uncomfortable this part of the sessions is. They’re also adding weights to the exercises I do there, but I see that as a bonus of building muscle I’ve let go to pot over the years. I typically leave there feeling so much better than when I walked in.
I was seriously a hurting unit when this began! I still have stabby pains when I move the wrong way or turn my head too quickly (and sleeping can still be tricky), but we’re on the right track.
So this is my endorsement for physical therapy. If you have nagging issues you’ve been ignoring (such as, oh, I don’t know–not having full left-side turning mobility of your neck for well over a year), get thee to an expert in PT! STAT!
First, a neck update! Turned out to be a bulging disk causing all that agony for a couple weeks. Two physical therapy visits later, and I’m headed in the right direction with a new motto: Don’t be afraid to move (that’s advice from one of the fab PT ladies)! Will continue PT for at least a few more weeks and do my exercises at home.
Are you watching the Olympics? I’m not quite up to Olympic par for the folding finals, but I thought I’d post this video again to help spread that Olympic fever! And yes, I’m still glued to the TV to see my man Nathan Adrian in a Speedo.
On with the antics!
How I wish it were the figurative kind, because after 13 days of painful muscle spasms in my neck, I’m past the point of crying uncle. Now I’m basically crying “Please take me to someone who will knock me the eff out.”
I saw my doc and she recommended massage. That helped some–mostly aided range of motion in the direction of the “good” side of my neck, but I’ll take it.
Just touching the left side of my head at the base of my skull is enough to make me wince in pain. It feels as if it lost a 9-round match against a meat tenderizing mallet. I can’t figure that out.
Driving to the massage was interesting. As I’ve been on muscle relaxers around the clock for a week, I imagine my reflexes weren’t what they should be. I also resented the seat belt’s presence almost as much as my bra straps. Doesn’t take much to set off the spasms.
It also means I can’t sleep on that side, as placing the weight of my seemingly gigantic cranium on the pillow feels like lying on glass shards. Sleeping on the other side is nearly as precarious, as it also pulls on the left-side muscles, depending on the position. It’s really tough to find any position in which I can sleep. When I finally do, I invariably do something in my sleep to set off the flares of pain again on the left side (e.g., sleep on my back with my head turned all the way to the right, pulling on the already tender cables).
Last night I tried out the couch for a while, hoping I could position myself in such a way that I couldn’t do any damage with movement. Mixed results.
Tomorrow: Physical Therapy. Wish me luck. I’d really like to be able to move about freely again. It would also be cool to be able to enjoy activities with my kids instead of living like vampires all summer.
On the plus side, it does seem to get a tiny bit better each day (save any nighttime setbacks like last night’s), so I’m hopeful I’ll be better after some PT work. Apologies for the Debbie Downer impression!
I started this post last week when bad news was flooding the airwaves, and my audiobook took a teary turn while I was out running errands. I busied myself writing a check in the parking lot of Target in an effort to pull myself together after all the sadness tugging at my heart that day.
I decided this week called for silly. So without further ado, here are some of the ridiculous things taking up space in stores.
I vote this the best fragrance name ever:
Good news! The chocolate drink everyone thinks is gross is now a candy bar:
Better idea–take a treat that’s shelf-stable for all of eternity and dip it in chocolate. Who’s in?
Somehow I feel like this would cause my muffin top to rise to mahboobehs. I’d have a double row of chesticles. I could market the bra needed for such a look and possibly make a small fortune. Selling them all to myself. I’m not sure if that’s how merchandising works.
Every time I saw this, I thought it was some really cheap imitation Tweety Bird that you might buy on the streets of NYC, between the bootleg movies and fake Kate Spade bags. I just couldn’t figure out what the hell it was. Then my daughter finally pointed out recently that they’re emojis. Why, Pez? Why?
Saw this little lady cruising down the highways of Texas:
I wonder if she was wearing these with the pedal to the metal:
I wonder if she was headed here:
Birthday cake flavor? Yes, please!
But you, Oreo. You just need to simmer down now. Step away from the Fruity Pebbles or I’ll send Fred and Barney after you:
Last but not least, this gem my friend B found while she was out shopping. Not sure if she’s meant to sit atop the cupboards pouring you a cuppa joe from on high or if she lurks under the hostas out front serving up a caffeinated cocktail for the plants, but she wins for most bizarre this go ’round:
Seen anything noteworthy while YOU were out shopping lately?
I remember loving parades as a kid. We were lucky enough to live on the parade route in our tiny town, so we could watch from our front steps or meander next door for a front-row view of the festivities.
You knew the parade was near when the bass drums felt as if they’d landed directly in the center of your chest.
There were gleaming firetrucks blasting their sirens, baton twirlers* in their perky skirts and crisp, white tasseled boots, the bands playing their hearts out in uniforms that were surely as breathable as trash bags. Kids proudly decked out their Schwinns in red, white and blue crepe paper, weaving it through their spokes, streaming it from their handles and sissy bars, pedaling with worn Keds and scraped knees, and not a helmet in sight.
Sometimes there was even a beauty queen perched atop the backseat of a luxury convertible doing her very best queen’s wave for the crowd–elbow, elbow, wrist, wrist. She certainly looked like a queen to us.
The biggest treat of all, though? When one of those vehicles had a stash of candy on board to throw to the children in the crowd. Tootsie Rolls, Fireballs, and those lollipops on the flexible, loopy stick.
What I now refer to as street candy.
Kids today show up to parades toting bags, buckets, and cups as receptacles for these curbside confections. God forbid you have passive kids like mine, who wouldn’t dream of pouncing on freshly tossed candy that is directly in front of them (and is clearly theirs by street candy rules).
[Sidebar: Mine also got the fewest Easter eggs at a hunt for the same reason. I may or may not have wanted to trip a few aggressive kids at such events.]
Now that they’re older, they’re a little more likely to get out there and grab their fair share, though I admit it’s sometimes with prodding.
These days, prime parade watching real estate is staked out well in advance and marked with the presence of a folding chair. If you want to score some street candy, get there early and know your parade route. Also, know your providers. Scouts almost always have a stash, and the younger ones tend to release fistfuls early and often. The older ones try to time it out so everyone on the route benefits.
We have one parade in town where the candy not only flows freely, but also the local supermarket (Wegmans) has employees on foot passing out samples of one yummy treat or another. One year it was mini Luna bars.
My favorite part of parades as an adult:
My least favorite:
I also enjoy a bit of street candy as an adult. Though I’ll admit, I sat and thought about this concept at one particularly lucrative parade. Would the Queen Mum approve of street candy? Would Martha Stewart encourage kids to dash onto the dirty, hot asphalt in pursuit of a sweet treat? I’m thinking not. But I guess it’s a rite of passage in this country. And who can say no to a Tootsie Roll?
*I always secretly wish the batons were on fire for added effect, but I’m sure that violates safety laws or something. Psssh. Safety schmafety. Aren’t they there to entertain us?
Except there’s not really any cake, and the flavors are not vanilla and chocolate. They’re introvert and extrovert. Which aren’t actually flavors at all. It was the best analogy I could come up with on the fly. My love of cake may or may not have played a big part in selecting this particular comparison.
My friend the self-described introvert sometimes attempts to explain what it’s like to be one (Hey, B!), so that others might have a better understanding of their thought process and actions. Or lack of actions. When I read or watch these, I often see a wee bit of myself in these things. This clever bunch of comics is a great example (sorry if you don’t have Facebook):
I have mostly extroverted tendencies, but I definitely display some of the introverted behaviors as well. So I’m kinda like a marble cake.
Minus the cake part.
And instead of vanilla and chocolate swirls, I’m extrovert swirled with introvert.
I enjoy chatting very much. I just sometimes prefer to conduct my chats on the phone. That way you can dispense with the whole “what do I do with my arms and hands if we’re standing while talking?” Your arms and hands become these awkward dangling appendages while you’re chatting, and I can never quite figure out what to do with them.
Stuff them in a pocket?
Find an object to hold?
Then there are your eyes to consider. Do you look directly into their eyes while conversing? There’s nothing worse than chatting with someone who is gazing over your head directly at the crease where the wall meets the ceiling.
Or staring at your collar bone.
So I guess the eyes are a socially acceptable location to situate your gaze.
Except then there’s this whole balance to strike between thoughtful listening eye contact and full-on “first-one-to-blink-loses” staring contest. I mean, even dogs take it as a direct threat when you lock eyes with them. So you could peer earnestly into their eyes and then glance down at your floundering limbs now and again to see what they’re up to. That might be a nice way to break the stare.
You could also employ the news reporter’s trick of the occasional well-timed downward gaze to the ground beside your feet while thoughtfully considering a point you’re making. Seems to work for David Muir. I suspect he stole that smooth move from Peter Jennings back in the day, as I recall seeing it from him years ago. It’s even trickled down to local reporters at this point.
Now you’ll be watching for it when they cut over to the on-scene news reporter. I know I do. It’s the perfect activity to partake in while enjoying some cake.