Tag Archives: rehabbing injuries

Getting it Wrong Means Knowing How to Get it Right

The older I get, the more I see the adage of “darkest before dawn” being a truism.

A certain Zen-master sensibility takes over as I age whenever the fit really hits the shan.

“Oh, wow. A gnarly wave of suckage cresting on the right. Head down, hang on, and pray, woman.”

When I had that almost-a-major-setback with my back the other day, I went to some pretty fucking dark places. It’s been one hell of a rollercoaster week for me, and I’m done, man.

Done on a few levels, that is. I think I’ve hit a major turning point with my back. The almost-major-setback, it turns out, was that I had been doing a very important stretch wrong. Ever so slightly wrong, too.

There was a miscommunication in having the stretch explained/digested, and as a result I was extending backwards instead of forwards, causing a minor  compressing of the spine — but after a week or so of the compression, kaboom. Yowch. Something slipped as I started to pedal my bike and I went to That Dark Place.

And this stretch, the difference in placement of my tailbone is all of, say, 1 horizontal inch. It’s really not a lot, but that angle changes shoulder-level by about 30-degrees, just enough to fuck a girl up.

For me, this incident is a reminder on a number of levels.

  • Close often isn’t good enough. Which is, you know, not good enough.
  • When you’re doing yourself harm, it’s not always apparent until it’s too late.
  • Know the result you want, and how to recognise it.
  • Attention to detail is time well spent.
  • Attempt to undo damage all you like, but if you ain’t gettin’ it right, then you’re makin’ it wronger.*
  • Solutions tend to reverse tides in a hurry. Step 1. Act. Step 2. Worry only if it motivates you to do Step 1.
  • I am a tough bitch.

It wasn’t that I wasn’t working for wellness. I was. Daily rehab and stretching.

I was just doing it wrong. One small part of it. No good deed goes unpunished, as the cynical old bastards always say.

And this too shall pass, say others. With stretching apparently down, it seems like the mix is right and it will settle.

Life comes with interruptions and setbacks. If we can’t take them for what they are, an opportunity to adjust our thinking and try another tack, then we’re destined for a pretty bumpy journey.

What solves other lives ain’t gonna solve mine. It’s not a one-size-fits-all dealio, so there’s a lot of bump-in-the-night that we each need to do to get there.

I’m coming up on three years with this back injury, and it’s the first time I’ve ever nailed this particular stretch that releases this particular combination of muscles. That other old truism, never too late to change, appears to be indicative of my rehabilitation, too.

Believe? Why not. Sure, I believe.**

It’s fitting there’s sunshine today. I could use a little basking in the light.

*If you’re a grammar dork who wants to point out that “wronger” isn’t a word, well, duh. Go back to satire school.
**By the way, not for nothin’, hockey fans, but I hope Vancouver’s Canucks can learn a little of what I’ve learned this week, that a lack of success doesn’t mean failure, it means it’s time to adjust strategy. Getting outcoached is a shitty way to lose a series.

Sombre Thoughts On A Friday Night

You ever have that feeling of, “I want sex. Now.” Well, of course you have. Haven’t we all? Now, how about that feeling coupled with a non-existent desire to masturbate?

See, now you understand why I’m confused. Well, I’m not confused now, but a few minutes ago I was, when I was lying in bed, planning on doing the dirty deed – naked, under the covers, at 7 on a Friday. Why? Because I’m tired. I want sleep. I’m really, fucking tired. I’ve not been in the bed so early (for such an innocent reason) on any night, let alone a Friday, in a long-ass time.

But I was lying there, contemplating masturbation for the first time in a while, and literally shrugged it off and said, “Fuck it, I’ll write.”

I’ve barely seen my man this week. Briefly Friday, a little Saturday night, and a nice but disappointing Sunday, and not since then. It feels weird, like forever or something. Normally, we hook up Fridays. I don’t know if he stayed home tonight after all, but there was talk of poker – which would be his first time hanging out with the guys since he badly broke his leg six weeks ago, and probably just the kind of night he needs.

Okay, let’s call a spade a spade: Broken legs are shit for the sex life, all right? They are. We’ve been doing our best, trying to manage between positioning, fatigue, pain, and all those complications that arise from any serious injury, but when it’s a leg, it’s all just that much more frustrating and hard. Besides, sex, when positions are not much of an option, tends to be a little unfulfilling. It’s really too bad, because it’s all about variety, isn’t it?

Mentally, I want to get fucked silly. One of those exhausting, sweaty, draining experiences that leaves you gasping – with this guy of mine. Physically, I suppose I probably desire it, but I don’t feel it. Logically, I know it’s just not going to happen for a bit. It’s all depending on what the doctor tells my man Tuesday.

In case you haven’t already heard, he shattered his lower right leg when it snapped like a twig during a bad tumble down a slope. A couple titanium plates later, and he was in a world of hurt for a long while. He’s had no cast on the leg, just plates, so he’s been very vulnerable for the duration of the injury. He’s also in a world of suspense. Apparently, he claims, 5% or more of patients of this kind of injury need to be opened up again (and he has two 5”+ incisions, on both sides, just above the ankle) and have the plates re-set.

So, Tuesday, we find out. He’s worried, and I’m concerned. Honestly, another six weeks of this… there’s a lengthy rehab as-is, but going back to square one would be so hard, because then there’s another wait, another period of suspense, and more pain, more adversity… Who needs it?

We just don’t know. I’m positive about it, but I can’t say I’m optimistic. We just don’t know. The possibility, though, is freaky. If he gets a “Wow, you’re doing dandy!” from the doc, man, I can’t imagine how good each of us will be feeling about it. That’d be sensational. God, would that be great. We’d have hope back and could start talking less tentatively about the future.

It’s not until you’re at the end of these kinds of scenarios that you really begin to appreciate how difficult it has been.

As the “girlfriend” of the boyfriend who’s on the disabled list, I’m left having to check my emotions all the time. I’m not allowed to be too concerned, I can’t be too fluffy or doting, and there’s so fucking much that I have to resist saying or expressing.

I’m left feeling like any of my concerns are selfish or that they pale in comparison to his problems. But we all do this. “Oh, but X has it harder than me.” So? Your emotions are invalid, then?

Who says our feelings come with built-in comparison scales? They don’t. Whatever pain, sadness, grief, hardship, woe it is we feel, it’s ours, and ours alone. It’s valid by the very nature that it exists. Is it selfish? Maybe, yes. So then you need to find a better way to deal with it. It must be prioritized against others’ needs sometimes, but it can never be disregarded.

I’ve been prioritizing the Guy’s needs in a lot of ways, and it’s beginning to wear thin – not because I don’t want to make him a priority, but because I’m just getting a little worn out, I guess. It’s different, right? Normally in relationships you can be more spontaneous. You can call them up and say, “Hey, can I get me a little somethin’somethin’?” You pop in, get what you need, have that quick, nice visit, and life is good. Or sometimes it’s 10 or 11 and you’re thinking, “Yeah, going to bed alone tonight? That sucks. I’m dialin’ up some love,” and you get your ass into their bed as quick as you can.

We can’t do that. I’m the one that has to go to him for anything spontaneous (which iis to say not at all), and really, late nights? Just not happening much at all when we’re together, never mind when we’re apart.

Injuries change relationships. There’s no getting around it. I understand injuries far too well, having spent much of four years in chronic pain earlier this decade, so I hold no grudges against my guy. He’s had a bad stretch. Soon, we’ll know if we’re into phase two. Waiting, though, from now until Tuesday is going to be fucking killer. I really, really want to know what our future holds. Regular sex? Score. Going out on the town? Score. Somewhere down the road, a real walk where we can hold hands? Score, score, score.

As of tonight, suspense. Nothingness. No clue. I’m scared of a bad prognosis, but I really, really doubt there’ll be one. It’s the possibility, however small, though, that’s the terrifying thing. There’s nothing that can be done but wait. And it’s not four days – it’s four days on top of nearly six weeks.

But he’s a fine man, and worth a wait. It’s because he’s a fine man that I’m getting so tired of waiting, though. I really, really want to enjoy him at his best, but we’re all adults and sometimes there’s just no fucking hiding from reality. It’s going to be a while, one way or the other, but the other’s just so much less desirable, that’s all.

Still, being in those arms again sometime very soon would be a good, good thing. And the suspense will be over soon, thank god.

It’s The End of the World As We Know It…

And I feel fine.

Despite that, life, as we know it, will never be the same again. Scientists have made water run uphill. Yes, Chicken Little, that is indeed the sky you see falling. Damn you, Gravity!

Even before seeing that, I was having a strange day. For what else can you call a Monday spring morning with rocketing gusts of wind, a bacon & tomato sammich for brekkie, while watching the Godfather?

Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.

Which is to say, life is about practicalities. How do you manage, though, when even the practical becomes unlikely?

My guy proclaims that he has been a cripple now for five weeks.* I feel for him, yet there’s pretty much nothing I can do. If I help too much, he’s left feeling useless. If I do too little, he’ll think I’ve changed. It’s a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” sort of situation, and I have a hard time straddling that really persnickety line. Such is life.

There comes a time in every injury-rehabber’s life, this breaking point. Just when you think you’re never going to improve, things change rapidly. Before the progress, though, comes a period of unknowing, and there’s little more frustrating than that of just not knowing where you stand.

For those around the injured person, it’s difficult. You either can’t fathom what they’re going through (and most underestimate the amount of adversity a serious injury brings with it), or you can relate too well, which can sometimes be frustrating for the injured person, since they’re going through so much that your easy ability to relate is almost demeaning to their present adversities.

The Guy and I have discussed bondage off and on since we began dating. I had plans to tie the boy up much sooner than I have, but I began thinking realistically. It dawned on me that he’d been badly hurt, was on too many painkillers that had some sexual side effects, and all that, and I knew that, on the one hand, being tied up and pleasured would be perfect for him because he’d not have to exert himself and could simply enjoy the moment, but on the other hand, I knew he couldn’t return the favour and my kindness might wind up psychologically backfiring. So, I decided to postpone it.

This past week, I thought we might be at a point where I could tie the Guy up and just have him enjoy the experience now. Well, he did, absolutely, and I loved being able to do that for him, ‘cos that’s what it’s about, but… I’m a kind girl and I tend to be generous, and the Guy matches me well in those regards. I’m pretty sure there’s nothing he’d like to do more than rock my world in response to me rocking his, but then there’s reality. It’s just not quite that time, he can’t. I knew this when I tied him up, and I know it now.

That doesn’t make it any easier for either party. It’s frustrating when you really care about someone to any degree yet can’t show them the affection you’d like to exhibit, all because either you or they happen to be limited by physical realities.

There are things I can’t do that well right now, sexually, just because of injuries I have from over the last four years thanks to a small assortment of serious accidents. Giving head ain’t what it used to be – I can do maybe five or so minutes at a time before I get serious neck cramping and headaches, with my jaw locking up randomly for the next day or so. Doing the cowgirl ride, on top, makes my right knee go all wonky and every time I try it, my kneecap begins sliding off-base and my tendons snap like silly. These things piss me off, and I can’t even begin to understand what frustration the Guy must be having these days. He is a romantic, after all.

Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had some pretty awesome moments when both of us have been functioning in good form. I just know there’d be more of them if we were both at the top of our game more often. In fact, our on-the-town budget might dwindle drastically if full-on sex and all its trappings were on the menu every night.

Fortunately, I have to say that my sex drive’s at a really low point right now. Mentally, I want to go at it like wild bunnies in mating season with the Guy. I’m all about the thumpin’, you know. ‘Specially with him, but… Then there’s reality.

I’ve been doing battle with estrogen in one form or another for many months now. I had this near-insane reaction to an older birth control pill (Marvelon) that has a high estrogen content last October. Went into this black-as-hell depression and nothing but nothing could yank me out of it. You can see some evidence of it in October, 2005’s postings in the archive. I tried to keep most of it private, and maybe my other blog has more personal postings in it, but boy, it was one of the darkest periods I’ve ever experienced.

At the start of my next pill cycle, I switched to Alesse, a lower-dose pill. And now, well, my mood’s better, but my sex drive isn’t what it used to be. In fact, it hasn’t been for quite some time.

I got a lot of new readers earlier this year, in Feb/March, as a result of a series I began on masturbation. What you probably don’t know is that I don’t think I masturbated once during that series. I’ve been a little bothered by this unSteffness of mine for a while, but didn’t really know the extent of it until I got involved with the Guy.

It’s interesting, knowing the extent of your arousal intellectually and emotionally with someone, and not being interested in displaying it, or even able to do so, sometimes. Now, keep in mind, I have a high sex drive. As a chick, I probably have as high a sex drive as you can have without being addicted to sex. (Yes, it’s a real addiction.) So, perhaps having a little of the sex drive diminish isn’t such a bad thing. I’m not too concerned about that. I’m still pretty damned feisty from time to time, and probably still more than the Guy needs just now. At least he knows that when he’s ready, I’m willing, and that’s a start.

What I am concerned about, however, is the lack of sensation I’ve discovered I have.

It’s one thing to be able to masturbate yourself to orgasm… you lose a little sensation and you just dismiss it as getting disenchanted by the thought of having to take yourself to orgasm solo yet again. Like one reader wrote to me once, it’s like drinking water to eliminate a hunger. It’s not exactly a model solution.

When your lover, though, knows their shit and you just can’t feel like you ought to feel, like you know you should feel, you begin to realize it’s not them, it’s you, and that’s as frustrating as hell, too.

Next cycle, though, I begin yet another new birth control pill. Hopefully I’ll be a little less emotional some of the time, and hopefully my sexual sensitivity gets back to what it used to be, and hey, a little more drive might not hurt, but given the present scenario, I could wait a month or two for that.

So, the sky’s falling, water’s running uphill, my sex drive’s diminished, and the Guy’s having a rough week of it. What else is new? Life goes on. Storms seem the longest when you’re in them, and as time passes, you realize what a blip it was on the radar of things. When you’re being bombarded by gusts and howlers, it’s a little harder to see the big picture.

That’s why they made days only 24 hours long; having to get through anything longer would be inhumane on some days. As it is, it all starts anew tomorrow, and soon enough, another week’ll come along. It’s important to live in the moment, but it’s more important to realize time doesn’t stand still for anyone, least of all you.

*If you’re new-ish to the blog, a few weeks after we met, the Guy had a mishap and broke his right leg in three places above the ankle. Two intense surgeries were done to insert titanium plates and far too many screws, and he’s been on crutches ever since. Next week we find out finally if his bones have been correctly knitting, but he’s had no cast since week three, and can see the “monstrosity” he claims his foot/leg has become — covered in scars, bruising, and the like. If he gets the a-okay from the doc, he can finally begin putting pressure/weight on that leg. As of today, it requires great care and protection to keep it on the healing path. Frustrating for its owner, indeed.