Tag Archives: hurts like a mofo

Thursday Faff

* Monday night, I saw How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the animated version, as if another one were ever made) on the teevee, and I marveled at how phenomenally gorgeous it was in HD. Then, last night, I saw the Rankin-Bass Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and it blew my freaking mind, mang. I hadn’t seen it since I was 8 or 9 (always managed to miss it somehow) and my childhood memories of the show stem from watching it on a TV with rabbit ears and not-so-great signal because we lived so far away from the city. To see it in HD glory was just unbelievably cool. I can’t wait to see what Charlie Brown looks like.

* It snowed here today, a real snow, and it continues to snow and be very cold (the high today was predicted to be 20F) It was the tiny, powdery snow that happens when it’s really cold outside, and it muffled everything as I walked to work this morning wearing my new coat which I would mary if bigamy were legal. Snow makes everything prettier, makes everything quiet and still, until you get to the big downtown intersections and then it’s just dirty mush in the street.

* Last Monday before we headed out to California on the aeroplane, Dan and I went for a run. Now, to those of you who don’t know us IRL, this may not sound like a big deal. But Dan and I trained for a marathon together a few years ago and we ran together all the time, but after it was over we pretty much stopped the practice. I somehow got away from running for the most part, while Dan continues to do so nearly every day (he runs anywhere between 3 and 6 miles, 5 days a week). I haven’t run with him in ages, and I hadn’t run at all since before I hurt my leg back in May. I wasn’t sure how the leg would do and I was really concerned about holding him back, but it did just fine. I managed to run a mile and a half without stopping. Cardiovascularly, I’m in good enough shape that I should probably be able to run 5 or 10 with no problems, but I didn’t want to push my leg too hard. And it didn’t bother me once during the run. I think it was the walking around for 6 hours in San Francisco the next day that was the problem, because Wednesday it hurt like a mofo. I decided to wait a little while and try again, so today at the gym I ran for 10 minutes in between a 15 minute walk (5 walk 5 run 5 walk 5 run 5 walk). It felt pretty good. I wanted to run more. Maybe I will this weekend.

* And without futher ado, some of the photos I took in CA. These were all in my mom’s yard; I was playing with the macro setting on my camera for some of them.


My mom has had this plant for longer than I’ve been alive.

I took a bunch of photos of this moss-growing rope swing; I liked this one best.


A letter to my body

Dear body,

We’ve been a team for, oh, nearly 29 years now. We went through a lot together when we were young (ear infections, surgery, all kinds of unpleasant stuff), and you performed beautifully when I started learning ballet at age 3. You were flexible and did whatever I told you to do, even when it was painful. You stayed smaller than average until we hit about 9, and then you started to grow wider before you grew taller. I was a little concerned, but it all worked out in the end and eventually you grew boobs (though they weren’t very big, and damn, did growing boobs have to hurt so much?) and hips and though I didn’t realize it at the time, you were pretty impressive. You could do all manner of swimming, and difficult ballet positions, and you never let me down no matter what I made you do. Even when I jumped off the roof to impress a boy and sprained our ankle, you healed and forgave me my transgression.

We went through a summer together when I decided you were too big in the wrong places, so I stopped feeding you more than a few hundred calories a day, and made you swim for hours. You responded by giving me my first taste of low blood sugar, getting smaller, and you still forgave me for not feeding you and even gamely participated in all the activity I forced you into. Again, I didn’t realize until years later how good you looked and only focused on the flaws I saw. Your genetic proclivity toward spinal injury first showed up at a swim meet when we were sixteen, and I’d never understood what kind of pain my mom was in when she said her “neck was out”, nor why my uncle had become a chiropractor after seeing what his mother went through, until I spent three days unable to move after geting fished out of the pool after a flipturn that somehow went wrong. I took you to a doctor who eventually helped you get better and I even sacrificed what little coolness factor I had in order to wear my backpack on both shoulders, because it just wasn’t worth the pain to wear it on one like everybody else. I think I learned that lesson earlier than many people do, because comfort became more important than style. This is also why I’ve never made you wear skinny-heeled shoes; while they may be high, they’re always stable.

You spent years telling me to stop doing ballet but I didn’t listen to you. In fact, I pushed you through years of pain because I loved dancing, and you loved dancing, and we just took some tylenol when the pain got bad. It wasn’t until college, when my boyfriend told me I *HAD* to go to the doctor because he couldn’t stand me waking up in the night in tears anymore. I quit ballet because the doctor told me I needed to choose between giving up dance and installing new hips in you before we turned thirty. That really opened my eyes, body, and I only danced once more after that, a swan song. I should have listened to you all those years, because then we could still maybe dance jazz or contemporary/modern, but we’ll never be able to do even that because the cartiledge in our hips is gone. I’m sorry I didn’t believe you when you told me for years that I was pushing you too far.

It took me a while to figure out what else I could do to keep you occupied. I figured out that running didn’t make you hurt anymore, so we did that, and I also regressed a few times back to malnourishing you, because I didn’t want to gain weight. More than one guy told me that I was the largest size of woman he would ever be interested in, and I really took that to heart and told you to shut up when you were hungry because you needed to stay at least that size, or preferably get smaller. Those were dark times, body, because honestly? You were totally gorgeous. I took you to Europe and you walked all over the place and the person I traveled with made me feed you because sometimes I forgot, or didn’t want to spend the money to do so. But eventually I learned another important lesson, that I have to feed you regularly for you to stay happy, and when I do that we get along like peas and carrots.

We got to the point where we could run and feel good, and then I started going to a gym and taking Pilates classes that helped you get strong and lean and reminded me of some of the things I loved about ballet. I made you lift weights for the first time and you responded by toning up really quickly. I learned that our enormous calves weren’t just a product of ballet but that all of you would bulk up (unlike most women) if I lifted a lot of weight, so I learned to be judicious about which parts of you lifted how much weight, because neither of us want to look like a linebacker. We found a guy who loved us no matter what we looked like; when we met him our boobs were tiny and we had almost no body fat, and now we weigh a lot more but we’re also curvier and more feminine, and all of our bras are filled out nicely. He likes that, too. He likes it that you are strong and capable of lifting him even if it’s only with your legs and only just a little bit. We’re going to marry him in a month.

You’ve rarely let me down, body. We were hit by a car a while back, and got whiplash, and I’ve spent the last 18 months rehabilitating you back to where you were before, lifting weights and doing physical therapy exercises, strengthening you and toning you and calming you with yoga. I’ve fed you well and made sure we got enough sleep whenever I could. So why now, body? Why did you have to regress back to car-accident-level of pain and limited mobility? Don’t you like being pain-free, body? There’s no reason for this silliness, and no reason for you to be all recalcitrant and contrary. I didn’t do anything to you that I can think of other than plan a wedding in another state, and it’s about time you start responding to the things I’m doing to make you better. Because I’ve been taking good care of you, body, and I would like to be able to count on you to do what I need you to do to get through the next month. So let’s just stop with the pain-for-no-reason and get better, OK? Because we need our beauty sleep and we need to let off steam at the gym and it’s really difficult to do these things when we can’t move.


Our weekend, in numbers

Awesome tri-level Mexi-mullets encountered: 1, and the bottom part went halfway down his back

Times I woke up in horrible neck pain on Friday and Saturday nights: Approximately 8 times each night. It’s getting worse, not better, so I’m going to back to the chiropractor this afternoon. Last night wasn’t as bad, but today I feel less good than I did yesterday.

Number of bridesmaid dresses finished: 0. I really wanted to work on them, but pain plus limited range of motion equals difficult to sew.

Cases of wine purchased for wedding: 4, for far less money than the same California wine costs in California. Go figure. (There will also be beer.)

Sexy unmentionables purchased for wearing under wedding dress: Yes.

Pairs of shoes I fell in love with: 2, one of which was $70 and the other of which was $30. I bought the $30 ones for the rehearsal dinner and sighed fondly at the $70 ones.

Pieces of homemade sushi I ate last night: 8, plus one tofu bag filled with sushi rice. And seaweed salad. We have discovered a fantastic Asian market; too bad it’s way out in Aurora.

Time spent in suburbia: Far too much

Number of enclosed shopping malls circled: Two, the ritzy one and the “racetrack” one.

Times I wanted to cry because it hurt so much to try to move: Lots
Times I actually cried: Once, at 3 AM between Saturday and Sunday

Times Dan had to help me pick my head up because I literally could not do it: 3 (I think)

Number of 200 mg advil I consumed this weekend: approximately 16
Amount it helped decrease neck/back pain: minimal

Number of RSVPs we are missing: fewer than ten, so I’m going to start sending emails and making phone calls

Number of my relatives who won Academy Awards: Zero this year, he wasn’t even nominated

It was nicer when my work was paying for it

Nearly two years ago, I got into a car accident while driving a state car. I ended up with a relatively mild case of whiplash (it was painful, but the guy who hit me wasn’t driving that fast) and spent a few weeks going to the doctor and the chiropractor, all paid for by Workman’s Comp. Since then I’ve kept up with my weight lifting, pilates, and started doing yoga, all of which have helped rehabilitate my back and neck and shoulder nearly to their pre-accident state (I had previous injuries that probably don’t help with the issue).

I mentioned in my previous post that my neck and shoulder started to hurt seemingly for no reason on Tuesday, and yoga didn’t help. It wasn’t any better yesterday, and today I woke up and it was worse, bad enough that I couldn’t ignore it. Aleve and advil haven’t helped enough, plus my range of motion is really limited. So this morning when I got to work I called the chiropractor that I’d seen after the accident and told them I needed a tune-up. My choices were an appointment that started 20 minutes after I called, or Wednesday. I called Dan and luckily he was able to drive me over there, since taking the bus would take at least an hour (I hope he wasn’t late to work! He is so good to me).

The chiropractor checked me out, did some poking and prodding, left me on some heat to help relax the muscles, and then manipulated my bones back into the right spots. He told me that I could have done any number of small things – slept on it wrong, sat up abruptly, maybe it was because the neck muscles were cold while I was sleeping, who knows? But he said the stress I’m under because of this whole wedding thing was enough to make those muscles say no way am I going to move, in fact, I’d rather stiffen up and cause pain. He gave me some stretches and other small things to do, said if I didn’t feel 80% better by Monday to give him a call, and charged me $55. My insurance doesn’t cover chiropractic, so it was out of pocket. If I get better in the next day or two and I can get back to the gym I will consider it worthwhile, but it sure was nice to have all those visits paid for by work lo these many moons ago. I can’t afford ongoing treatment at $55/pop. I took a leftover Ibuprofen 800mg my dentist gave me when I had my teeth cleaned a few weeks ago when I was still getting over my sinus infection, and that plus the aleve I took this morning I was sure would make the pain at least diminish significantly. No such luck. I missed my pilates class and I’d like to go to the spin class but I’d also like my neck to feel better more, so instead I’m going to go home after work and lay on a rolled up towel. Bleah.

Next weekend we’ll be attending a sing-along Messiah

Saturday was one of those very full days, with lots of snow that fell all day long, and going to the grocery store to buy yeast, milk, eggs, and a Christmas tree that we’ll get to enjoy for all of 10 days, and decorating said tree with the ornaments we’ve started to amass since living together. I wasn’t willing to spring for the tree that I *really* wanted (the noble fir, much prettier than the kind we ended up with) but I think the one we picked is fine. It makes our house smell like tree. Due to the aforementioned snow (and, along with, COLD), I wasn’t up for making a wreath for our front door out of the bottom branches like I normally do.

The tree got beautified and brought inside to melt, decorated with lights and ornaments and, of course, our traditional toppers of Devil Ducky, the Frog that Lives Over the Door, and Poseable Jesus on Wheels (we got Jesus working for us!). The kitties mostly ignored our new evergreen friend. We played Christmas music and hung the stockings I made last year, and Dan made challah from scratch which kind of took all day. It’s funny, but we’re still rising any bread products in the bathroom because it is by far the warmest place in the house, and our bathroom smells like bread for a day or so afterward.

After a trip to the liquor store for a big-ole’ bottle of wine, we got all gussied up and headed out to our friend Julie’s annual latke party. We missed it last year due to its proximity to Christmas, the blizzard, and our lack of vehicle, so I was really looking forward to it this year – especially because Julie and the other hosts had arranged for a rabbi to come by and do a brief service called a havdalah to end Shabbat. I think the rabbi could tell that most of the people there weren’t Jewish, so he took some time to explain what he was doing. Someone lit a multi-wicked braided candle, and the rabbi used grape juice instead of wine because he had to drive. Actually, the guy who owned the house tried to get him to use the leftover Manischewitz, but the rabbi told him to use that to clean grease off car parts or something.

The havdalah was pretty cool, and afterward I got to play with a wii for the first time (wii bowling), and we all waited patiently for the enormous pile of latkes to be done. Julie’s latkes, while fantastic, are, of course, simple carbs cooked in oil. The kind of thing we almost never eat. There was also Julie’s chicken soup (and Dan’s challah), but the whole point of the party was the latkes, which you could smell from a block away. The only condiments allowed at the latkefest are sour cream and applesauce – yummy, but again, more carbs and fat. Since I have to fit into a dress in a couple of weeks, I opted to go light on the latkes, but unfortunately forgot to eat enough other stuff to make up for it, and the 3.5 drinks I had in 6 hours made for a very intoxicated mle.

And I paid for it. Oh, did I pay yesterday. I felt like poo all day long, especially since the food I did eat was stuff that really didn’t agree with me. We had intended to go to Tuba Christmas, this Denver tradition where anyone in possession of a remotely tuba-like instrument is invited to practice in the morning and perform in the afternoon with the rest of the motley crew of people who show up. We went a couple of years ago and took some pictures, which you can see here. So let’s pretend that I took these this year, and that we got to go to Tuba Christmas, and there were 90-year-old men tuba-ing alongside their great-grandchildren. But it was still snowy, and the high was about 19F, and neither of us wanted to get as bundled up as we’d need to in order to spend a couple of hours standing around listening to tuba music. So we didn’t go, but instead he shoveled all the snow while I stayed inside and desultorily worked on knitting Christmas presents for people.

We did make it out of the house once, to Target for the angel tree gifts we picked this year, then to the grocery store. Outside the grocery store was a man with an oxygen tank, tubes in his nose and everything, smoking a cigarette. We decided to file that under “marginally better than smoking a cigarette next to an oxygen tank at a gas station.” I was not myself all day long, and finally started to feel better after he made me a fantastic dinner. After dinner we continued watching Rome season 2 and my stomach got all oogy again – seriously, that show is GRAPHIC. It’s a great show, but it doesn’t exactly aid in digestion, what with all the blood and the sex and the bloody sex. I slept like the dead, and feel fine today. Except for that one spot in my mouth, which I bit accidentally yesterday, and today it hurts like a mofo.