*My thanks are highlighted in autumn red. These aren't links, just a quick way to substitute a list.
Just when you think it's safe to wash your hair in the shower like you've done 20,137 times before, you reach up around to scrub it real well, and then--suddenly--POW! It happens. The spot on the inside of the right shoulder blade, five inches from the base of your neck--the spot that kinda/sorta troubles you on and off and just needs to be popped once in a while--THAT spot decides it's had enough. It decides to take you down and make you wonder, "Now, how am I gonna get dressed when it hurts to raise my arm over my head?"
That was the scenario on Tuesday. But God's grace-- and my overwhelming embarrassment at the thought of going out in public wearing only my birthday suit and some hair clips-- provided me the impetus I needed to fulfill the mission. The mission? Get thee to a chiropractor.
But who? Which one? The one I'd been to in 2000 (when I, the overachiever, had two car accidents in ten months) was no longer taking my new insurance. He hadn't for quite a while, so I just hadn't gone. I had let the problem of degenerative arthritis in my upper spine be treated with home remedies--a back pop once in a while, ibuprofen, exercise (and those in descending order of motivation).
My only choice for obtaining info as I lay moaning in the prone position on the carpeted family room floor, with pain so fierce it took my breath away? Call someone! Kelly! She uses a chiropractor nearby AND I have her number memorized. (I won't tell you that she empathizes by laughing hysterically while you're herniating.) I am a pain in the neck because I am the company I keep!
Anyhow, within the hour, I was at the new chiropractor's office getting x-rays. They confirmed a bulging disc and degenerative arthritis. Thankfully, the degenerating part is localized, not rotting away my entire spine.
So, as I consider all things possible, I am thankful for many things: pain that signals something is really wrong; ways to communicate; transportation; good insurance; ibuprofen, electrical stimulation, massage, chiropractic adjustments, patient kids who give me back-pops in between visits; a flexible schedule; a great bed; the ability to laugh while in pain, and slow improvement which has enabled me to clean a bit more which means I see progress, not just deterioration.
After all, next week we are hosting Thanksgiving and the house needs to get clean. As for my hair, I might not wash it again for a long, long time. It's simply too risky.