Wednesday, November 26, 2008

the weekend woe continues...

It started in the middle of the week when i was cramming to wrap up my latest project. It was just a sore spot on my upper back, near my shoulder blade that i normally attribute to the casualties of working for extended periods of time as a graphic artist. So naturally, i ignored it.

Over the steady course of long hours and little to no sleep for the next three days, the sore spot became an ache even my personal masseur (the hubby) couldn't eliminate with talented fingers and patented moves. From the ache, it spread to my entire upper back and began to creep down my right arm until the stiffness felt like it would tear my muscles apart if i so much as took a breath.

I bore the worsening pain, psyching myself that i would visit my hilot right after the project was shipped out. I didn't want to break stride and lose momentum. But after one lunch break, as i sat down to continue the headlong rush to the deadline, i found out i couldn't even move my fingers and breathe at the same time without feeling like i would pee in my pants with the exquisite pain. Stars exploded in my eyeballs and my arm and back were filled with broken glass grinding into raw muscles and bones.

I had to face it. My spirit is willing but my body is a cantankerous old lady in orthopedic shoes beating the spirit part into submission with a geriatric cane. And an incredible choke hold. I had to tap out before i passed out on the proverbial mat! Old lady wins the title round!

I managed to get dressed minus the usual help from my right arm and i all but ran straight to my hilot. Riding a jeep to the spa where nanay hesusa works was pure agony as the driver made it a point to run into every pothole and speed bump with as much speed as possible. I kept myself going one step at a time and was infinitely relieved to find that she had an hour or so to kill before her next appointment.

I took a shower from their hi-tech sosyal shower stall with all them buttons and nozzles. Of course i make it a point to be clean before a massage. I wouldn't want nanay hesusa's palms to glide away and come off with my libag! To help the healing process, i turned the heater to as hot as i could take it without possible 3rd degree burns. Concentrating the jet of hot water onto my tired back muscles eased the pain and relaxed me no end.

After that shower, nanay hesusa began to work on my back. She's been taking care of me six months after i gave birth so she's already familiar with the territory. When she got to my throbbing pain however, she declared it a pinched nerve. She scolded me for taking too long before i paid attention and proceeded to kill me with her healing hands.

As i lay there, being tortured to be cured, she explained to me that i overworked the arm. Not giving it a rest (coupled with my poor posture and unhealthy work habits) squeezed and pulled the nerve trapped between stiff muscles and the moving bone of my shoulder blade. It irritated the sore nerve to be the angry mess i was putting up with.

She alternated between relieving the stress and soreness of the affected area and the rest of my old lady body.
She had to work on the spot at intervals, stopping when i couldn't stand the pain anymore. Believe me, i have a high threshold for it, i had a normal delivery.

I know the wisdom of it would be doubtful to most. She could have damaged my back permanently, right? But prior to her stint at the spa, she was a real hilot and kumadrona of the old school in her hometown in negros. Yes, the kind who helps you give birth, sets broken bones, massages away fevers, pains and all sorts of body ailments. A real barrio 'doctor' with inborn and inherited skills. It's not easy to find one nowadays and there are a lot of fakes, but she's the real deal. I was amazed the first time i came to her with my sciatica. She knew what she was doing and when i interviewed her about what i was going through, her diagnosis was as concise and precise as the medical report i read about my pains. She attributes this to life experience, common sense and a familiarity with the human body and its conditions, such as we who are dependent on medicines and quick remedies of a modern age are sadly far removed from.

After the massage, the pain was still there. Nope, it didn't miraculously disappear because as nanay hesusa said, it's been too long there. But she assured me that it's on its way to healing as the surrounding muscles have been relaxed and unknotted. She prescribed lots of rest, a hot compress and a pain reliever ('put two salonpas,drink an alaxan and keep off it til morning').

I couldn't help but laugh, my old school barrio doctor doesn't mind combining her traditional healing methods with science. Very progressive for a 65 year old hilot!

The swelling did go down and was gone the next day. Now it's as good as new. I haven't abused it since then as the project's been passed on but i'm lifting oona nowadays and she's an easy 10 kilos. So, i'm more careful about using this arm as i wouldn't want to drop my little girl or go through that agony again!

Next yaya blues!
Lilypie Breastfeeding Ticker


Anonymous said...

traditional medicine and science really works! good to hear that you're well now. grabe, I can feel your pain.