Saturday, July 12, 2008

Shoulder Notes - A hopefully excusable digression

Since our arrival stateside, my cell phone with all of its paradoxes, has reemerged as an objet in my life. With its presence, I have caught up with several friends and family members after being without phone contact with them for 3 weeks. I have learned about mysterious and frightening illnesses, so I am taking the current reappearance of the occasionally excruciating pain of an almost frozen left shoulder and upper arm tendonitis with some stoicism.

As I have learned with past illnesses there are lessons being offered in this pain. So when I awaken unable to change position in bed, I try and dive deep into whatever the pain is trying to teach me. The shoulder began to hurt a few days before we left Paris. It was not excruciating then, just majorly uncomfortable, so I moved my shoulder bag (a new and very light one, to the opposite shoulder and crossed it across my chest for our city walks). I was grateful for having another shoulder that worked.

By the time our 23+ hours of travel were done on Thurs, I could no longer raise my arm without the assistance of the other, and the muscles had twisted parts of my neck and back: the occipitals, traps and scalenes into various knots and pretzels. I went to see my faithful Eli yesterday - my acupuncturist who can almost always make time for me even when his schedule is full, and he massaged and needled me into a somewhat less alarming place. If I were a better patient and less carried away by the joy of being home (some right-handed weeding and picking in the garden, some double handed typing of emails, and holding the phone to my ear) and the haze of jet lag, and could more studiously massage, ice, rest, and take my anti-inflammatory herbs and homeopathics, I might recover sooner. (Thank you, dear reader, for putting up with my occasional run-on sentence).

Last night, I woke up several times and took better care of myself by taking the arnica, etc. that I had forgotten during the day (was that daytime?), massaged in some Traumeel and iced a bit in bed. I feel slightly better though my arm still cannot function much. Although it is the island's annual Strawberry festival today and I would normally enjoy seeing the throng of neighbors in the streets, I am feeling committed to stay home, and Sat morn yoga in town center is sadly impossible. I can't bike with this condition and driving into town is impossible with the traffic and the road closure. My right foot continues to give me tsuris (Yiddish word - google it please) so the 7 mile round-trip hike into town doesn't make sense. Also a friend who I haven't seen in many years is staying over at our place tonight with her husband, and I want to be less miserable for their brief visit. Last nights' dreams were complex and broken, but I learned that I am very overstimulated by all the places I've absorbed in the past three weeks (duh) and really need quiet reflection in the beauty of our sanctuary-like home. I felt my musculo-skeletal energy contracting around my lungs and heart in some concerted effort to get me to listen. I am giving that intent voice attention now and feeling immense gratitude for the space to do that.

This photo of Bob holding up the Earth in the Strawberry Festival Parade (as part of the Procession of the Future) indicates that somehow I managed to convince myself to go to the parade despite what my body was telling me. Hey, at least I am not the one holding up the Earth!

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