Thursday, January 22, 2009

Oh, My Aching...

Is it the memory or the knees that go first? It’s moot – both of mine are shot.

Were you kind to your knees? How about your back? Who, me? Ha. Ha ha. Um, no, I wasn’t.

A couple of years ago, I bent over to pick up a piece of paper and wound up at my doctor’s office, unable to move. Or stand. Or sit. Or breathe. WTF? I wasn’t lifting an anvil; it was paper.

X-rays confirmed there was a real you-can-see-it-on-an-X-ray-problem, and it baffled me completely. What did I do?! It was PAPER!!

The answer was obvious as soon as I heard it. “…a lifetime of bad habits.” Oh. Well, yeah, that’s me, all the way back to girlhood. I’ve never been able to sit in a chair the proper way. I was always sideways with a leg hanging over one arm and my head on the other. Or (my favorite) I was in my dad’s recliner sitting the EXACT opposite of the way you’re supposed to – my feet on the headrest, my back in the seat, and my head hanging where my feet should’ve been. The Dukes of Hazzard was funnier upside down.

Years later (don’t ask; you know I don’t know how many), the bill comes due – and the Piper will be paid, Guv’nah. I was forced to take pain killers (which I hate) for a short while. A chiropractor, proper stretching and exercise, and caution in every movement meant no more pain meds; at that point muscle relaxers were enough. Now I don’t take anything for it. I’m just very, very careful.

Now what to do about the knees? And what was the other thing?

Editor’s note: People scoff at the mention of a chiropractor. I was a skeptic; I am a believer. I would be dead now if I hadn’t given it a chance.

I was terrified; if he made it worse, I wouldn’t live through it. The first time my back popped (a machine-gun sound, loud and running the length of my back) I screamed. Then I was laughing and crying. It hadn’t hurt, and more important – MOST important – I could breathe; I could get off the table by myself, I could walk. The change was immediate. I was going to live. That was eight years ago (or so), and I only went maybe seven or eight times.

If your doctor recommends a chiropractor – please, do yourself a favor. Go.

(Original photo by {christy_b}, some rights reserved.)

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