Sunday, September 18, 2011

What a Pain in the Neck!

One of the reasons I've been writing less these days is that school has started, so much of my computer time is spent writing class lectures or grading student papers.

The other issue has been some struggles I've been having with my neck and back. That image you see with this is not just some random picture off the internet. It's my actual X-ray.

I've been to three chiropractors, a physical therapist and an acupuncture doctor. I'm still having a fair amount of pain. Apparently I have a bit of arthritis in my neck. Beyond that I have too many years of bad posture and mega hours sitting in front of my computer working against me. Put that all together and I've got one big pain in the neck (and back). Sigh.

So I've adjusted my work stations at both my home office and at my full time job...raised the monitors to my computers several inches higher and changed the way I will sit. I'm doing some specific exercises that help increase my flexibility and strengthen my back muscles. Also I'm trying diligently to get more regular sleep.

Hopefully in the coming weeks I will be able to get a handle on the problem. But even though I do expect to see improvement, the reality is that as I age I can probably expect more aches and pains. How I choose to cope with that will be up to me.

I'm trying to be mindful about focusing more on what's RIGHT than what's uncomfortable. I truly do have a whole lot of blessing going on all around me. Still, it's just hard to be positive when you are hurting.

This is definitely giving me more compassion for those who must deal with ongoing chronic pain and/or disability. I think of my sweet husband's grandmother whose whole adult life was spent twisted and crippled with agonizing rheumatoid arthritis. All the family who knew her say she was never one to complain. Her children sometimes heard her crying in her bedroom when she was really suffering. But she never got cranky with them, no matter how badly she felt.

I want to always remember her example. I may not feel great in body right now. But I can choose to focus on all that gives me joy instead of on what hurts.

1 comment:

Jaquandor said...

Wow, I definitely sympathize. The Wife has been dealing with neck pain for nearly a year, ever since a ceiling tile dropped out of her ceiling at work and hit her on the head. (And it wasn't a standard foam ceiling tile...she works in a restaurant and this was in the office out back, so it was a "fire resistant" tile, which is literally a two-by-four foot piece of drywall with a fire-resistant coating on the down-facing side.) At one point she had to seriously consider surgery, and that may yet happen, one day. It well and truly sucks!

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