Wednesday, July 16, 2014

My Body is Rebelling

Have you ever tried to dress someone while that person is lying down?

Someone who is paralyzed...

Someone who is twice your size?

Let me tell you, it's not an easy feat.

I've been maneuvering Jeff around for the last 5 months. Lifting legs and arms; rolling his body to one side, then the other; pulling him up in his bed when he slips down and his feet start creeping toward the edge. It's a lot of physical work.

On the plus side, it keeps me in relatively good shape. On the negative side, it takes a toll on my body.

The first two weeks he was home were the worst. I was sore in places I didn't even know could get sore. I would cry in the bathroom over my aching body, wondering how in the world I was going to do this over and over, day in/day out. But just like everything, I got used to it - and so did my body.

Until Sunday morning.

That's when I woke up and heard my body saying Nope - not today.

The side of my neck had locked up so badly, I couldn't look to the left. My shoulders and upper back were in a huge knot, and I began referring to myself as the Huntchback of Huntington Beach. I was quite the pathetic sight.

Evie being the sweetheart she is told me to sit on her bed "so I can take care of you, Mama." She loaded me up with blankets and put dollies in my arms to cuddle on.

When I walked into Jeff's room to help him with something and gave out a weak little cry every time I bent down or reached my arms out, he looked at me and said, matter of factly, "I told you to go get a massage on Mother's Day. Now you're all jacked up."

For two days, I fooled myself into thinking this was going to get better on its own. Finally, with no relief in sight, I caved and went in for a massage.

During the first 10 minutes of my hour-long session, the massage therapist commented THREE times how tight I was. Then asked in a bewildered tone, "You just woke up one day with this tightness?" I knew she knew something else was going on. So I told her the abbreviated version of our situation. How I was caring for my paralyzed husband. She was very sympathetic and said that made much more sense why my back was so incredibly tight.

In the end, I'm so glad I shared our story. I then asked if they do massages on people with fusion in their necks (Jeff's C3 through C6 vertebrae were fused following his accident).  I explained Jeff's situation, the receptionist checked with the lead therapist, and I was told they would absolutely accommodate our needs. So within the next week or so, Jeff and I plan to take another trip to the masseuse for a shoulder, neck, and head massage for him. We're hoping this will greatly help Jeff with his chronic pain.

I have to admit I was pretty (well, extremely) sore after my massage yesterday. But today I am finally getting some relief, though I'm still sporting an ice pack. I plan to go back in a couple weeks for another round. I've decided I need to listen to my body when it tells me something.

Taking care of myself has been one of the hardest things for me to do. If I go down for the count, the chain reaction it would cause would not be pretty.

So I'm learning to listen to my body.

Excuse me while I ice my back.

Rockin the ice pack

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