Tuesday, May 8, 2012

My nerves are getting on my nerves

Last night I bolted awake with a shriek in the middle of the night because of back pain. There is a nerve that causes me pain and spasms in a muscle along the right side of my spine a couple of times a month. I am used to it happening, though the pain is something I have never gotten used to. And the creepy crawly feeling of involuntary movement of my muscles, eww.

I suspect that this is a result of an accident in my sister's car when we were teenagers. She was rear-ended, and when I heard the squealing brakes, I turned to see what was happening and got whiplash on impact. There is a funny part to that little memory. My sister expressed her main concern when she heard me say ouch and the vehicle stopped moving. "My car!". Lol. Gotta have your priorities. (She was only 16... It was important to her.) Have it checked by a medical professional ? Are you kidding? Not my family.

My 21 year old boyfriend (2 years later when I was 17) would use rubbing alcohol to try to ease the pain for me, but it was only a temporary relief. My parents thought that he was merely up to no good with me but sometimes he was actually trying to help me. (Hey, he was respectful of my prudish limits. I was a good girl, mostly.) When the spasms started In the middle of the night, night became a sleepless, endless visit to Purgatory. Then I'd have to sleep through study hall the next day just to start trying to catch up on my missed sleep, because I always had to be at work by 4 or 5 pm. I really didn't have much free time as a teenager. But hey, I was trying to save up for college.

Once years ago I discovered that wedging a glass apple shaped paperweight against the troublesome tissue would allow me to sleep again. I guess the pressure from a rock hard object the size of my fist pushed the muscles back into submission while it was likely bruising my back ribs. But it worked. Sometimes you have to compromise.

This is why you can find a clean tennis or racquetball in my bedroom.... Softer substitute. :)

So last night when the trouble awakened me, I dug around in the dark to find the percussion massager my father had loaned me. You know, looks like an alien out of war of the worlds and you dare not let that thing hit bones for fear it might chip them. Beats the crap out of soft tissues like my wiggy back muscles.

I finally got it positioned to hit the right place without bruising my spine and waited for the middle of my back to go completely numb. Lying face down was not comfortable, but that's what had to be done. At some point my back went completely numb (of course I know that isn't the proper and healthy thing to do, but when I'm hurting, I do extreme things to stop the pain. Squeezing my head and packing it in ice for a migraine.... Making back go numb... It worked.

Of course, I did wake up three hours later and discover that though I had turned the back pounding machine off, I hadn't put it away, so the cord was tangled all around my neck in the bed. Nice. Stupid. I could have strangled myself. Eh, at least my back would stop hurting.

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