William Matheson (nova_one) wrote,
William Matheson

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life on the pain train

Tuesday night:

I have hope that I'm finally honing in on probable causes for the pain that is affecting my productivity and mobility. My last two visits to the physiotherapy clinic (once to see a massage therapist, once to see a physiotherapist) have been quite profitable. I've been having neck and shoulder pain, and in my opinion am presently experiencing thoracic outlet syndrome. Causes? Horrible posture, common among students and obsessives, to say nothing about student-obsessives. Doing lots of computer work with arms raised is another big one. I must be careful to note that I may well have carpal and/or cubital tunnel syndromes independently, but we've established through physical tests that the neck is in fact contributing.

There's another funny connection going on: I have recurring episodes of sinusitis, and my eustachian tubes are often reluctant to drain. The therapists work on a neck muscle in the area, and it suddenly starts to drain! The right side of my body is worse than the left - perhaps I've been sleeping on that side awkwardly too much.

That brings me to another problem: As I sleep on my back, it stiffens up - upper and lower. The upper is probably part and parcel with the neck, but there might be something else going on at the lower. I think I might have a disc issue there. Something is probably aggravating the entrapments in my legs, and I'd love to know what. There might be a bit of vascular trouble going along with the neuro, as I feel the veins in my legs throbbing off and on, especially when I first stand up.

One thing I hate about private delivery of therapy is that it's always on the clock. Most of the sessions I've had so far have been rushed. There's only enough time to address one thing, but I'm having all these different problems at the same time. The therapists do their best with the time they have. I guess I'd just better get used to it, as public services are well-booked too, and in the public system you’re never offered the option of getting extra time you may need for an extra chunk of change. ;-p

I also kind of wish I had been in a motor vehicle accident! Those guys can just walk in and out, while I end every visit with a swipe of my MasterCard. I have submitted a claim for worker’s compensation with regards to my elbow and wrist. I think I am also still covered under my student insurance until the end of August, but there are limits on both the number of visits and the amount covered per visit, and they are both too low. Assuming workers compensation won’t work on a retroactive basis, I'm being left with a fair amount of out-of-pocket cost.

What I should've done was quit at the first sign of pain. So gentle readers, take this as a lesson: when your job starts to hurt you, do not pass GO, do not collect $200, but go directly to your doctor. Don't end up in my position. Nothing is worth risking your health. If I can't get better, my quality of life, for the rest of my life going forward, will be significantly diminished. I'm 29 and I feel more like 99. Actually, that is probably a disparagement to many 99-year-olds.

Also, be sure to exercise and stay flexible. I kept putting off exercise with the excuse that I didn't have time. Now I have plenty of time, and I can't exercise (walking and being on my feet for any length of time make my feet worse), unless you count physiotherapeutic stretches. Well, at least I don't need a gym membership for them.

Anyway, it's back to the clinic again tomorrow. Have you ever heard of trigger points? If you haven't, just come by the clinic (or simply hang out in the parking lot) while I'm there, and you'll hear them. Well, you’ll hear me. There's pain, there's Motrin pain, and then there’s therapist-jamming-her-thumb-into-you-and-holding-it-down-while-you-take-five-deep-breaths pain. It is singular, polarizing, and, in its way, exquisite. God help me if I'm ever captured by enemy agents who know my medical history. If you can find the trigger points of someone who is tensed up (hey, that’s my life story!), you can extract nuclear secrets from them, even if they haven’t gotten past Grade 11 physics – they’ll be inclined to think fast.

I'm still not sure what to do about school in the fall. I can barely even check my e-mail, and I'm using dictation software to write the lion's share of this post. PEI’s worker’s compensation guidelines specify three months for the treatment of carpal tunnel, and I've only just begun treatment. I wish I could just snap my fingers and kick it down the road a few more months. Well, one thing's for sure: I've got to stop being too chicken shit to call the school. I’ll call them tomorrow, and though I’ve said that before, I mean it this time! I don't expect a vocational school to be able to make a lot of accommodations, because the idea is that you're being trained to work - you're not there merely to train your brain, which the university experience can sometimes be reduced to. Okay, sure, people with physical disabilities can work in certain disciplines, and probably more than I would think, so forget all this, because I really don't know what I'm talking about. ;-p

Wednesday morning:

The cable (and thus the internet connection) is back after the storm, so I can post this. Last night I started off trying to sleep horizontally on my back, and I guess my sinuses didn't respond well because my right eustachian tube immediately filled up and my right ear started to ring. So I raised the back of the bed a bit and was able to sleep that way. The tube didn't really drain, but at least the ringing stopped.

I no longer wish to call the school because I think I can get better. I can still get a 95% refund if I withdraw during the first week, and I'll be able to see by then if I can handle it or not. If I can’t, it’s not the end of the world by any means.
Tags: health

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