Posts Tagged 'bodywork'

Shock & Awe

Thus I am renaming these 10 days between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur (for you non-Jewy folk: this period is otherwise called “The Days of Awe”).

For the sake of a highly incongruous analogy, let’s say I’m Fallujah. And let’s say that the U.S. in this scenario is medical knowledge. The bombs? Well, first I got hit with an x-ray report announcing the early arrival of osteoarthritis (I’ve always been very advanced for my age). After that came the blitz of most-likely-fibromyalgia and probably-endometriosis. The latter blasted with a particularly large aftershock because of the following: 1) the only way to confirm its presence is through exploratory surgery and 2) that surgery is only done laparoscopically. So? So, a few years ago I had a laparoscopic appendectomy that left me with two infected wound sites and five weeks on my back. K had to keep the sites open and constantly change out the oozy green packing (sorry!) to the sound of my moans and whimpering. My mom even had to fly out to help. I don’t like the idea of going back in the same way. The final but less dramatic assault has come via ersatz diplomatic efforts. In order to lessen a crazy wicked pain I’ve been getting in my left temple for months, I decided to try contact lenses (imagining my glasses have been adding pressure to an inflamed area). And wouldn’t you know it? I can’t see a word I’m typing right now! (It’s a really good thing I trust my typing skills and the dotted red spell-check line.)

This brings us to today, the day before Yom Kippur begins. Fellujah has been bombed into submission. I yield to the higher power. You wanna cut me? Cut me. You want me to see a rheumatologist? Sign me up. Whatever you do, please don’t invade and occupy.



This post may contain info that’s too graphic/silly for some. There, I’ve made my disclaimer; so no “tsk, tsk”ing!

When I told our naturopath about my retroverted uterus, she suggested I get Mayan Abdominal Massage to help the uterus get back in line. Like a woman desperate to get pregnant and willing to try anything, I did so yesterday.

After a lengthy in-take with the nice acupuncturist/Mayan massage therapist (during which I was asked to remember things about my periods over the last 23 years), I took off the bottoms as directed. I thought it funny that I was told to wear comfortable pants only to remove them. After all, I wore the pants that I would only ever wear for exercise—in my own home and with no one around. But I got to walk around a very busy area of town looking for the right office in this lovely, stretchy, drawstringy pair of “pants.”

First, she put lots of needles in my extremities and head. Then she began the massage. Now, I’ve had lots of massages. This one involved strokes beginning on my pubic bone and gliding up toward the belly button. You try to relax when a stranger’s hands are nearing third base and all you can hear is the sound of old Velcro as said stranger wipes your pubes up your stomach. Over and over and over.

When the session ended, she told me to come back Monday. This Monday? So soon? Yes. But the good thing is that I will be basting, and she said the bottom half of the massage is skipped when you’re pregnant or waiting to find out if you’re pregnant. Phew!

(Okay, one cool thing about the experience is that she used oil made from plants picked in Belize by Rosita, the woman who developed the massage technique; these herbs were individually blessed for fertility. So, really, how can I not get pregnant?)

Speaking of basting… We’re all set for E2 to come over a few times this weekend. In a couple of days, I’ll start peeing on the ovulation predictors (new ones that show a clear smiley face if my LH surges, instead of the cheap ones where you end up using a microscope to compare the pink lines). I’ll also cover my bases (i.e., be extremely OCD) by visiting the naturopath once more to go over my charts to make sure we inseminate on the right days. Ooh, and K will begin checking out my os with our plastic, disposable speculum! (Did you know they even made disposable speculums? Now we just need to get some uncomfortable, disposable stirrups.)

So, will May be the month? I sure would like to keep my privates to myself for a while.


I can now add structural integration (Rolfing) to the long list of things I’ve put my body through in a highly expensive attempt to be as healthy and strong as possible for pregnancy and motherhood.

I had always heard that Rolfing hurt like a late-night beating in the alley outside a bar. But the session I just got home from was more like receiving the gentle manipulations of a skilled dance partner. The guy with the hands took my extensive history of bodily misfunctions (I know it’s not a word) and then looked and felt around to see where things were stuck. Did you know that your stomach could get stuck to your back? Or that your arteries could get tight? Handsy knew anatomy like the back of his…  nope, not gonna do it.

While I was spewing my litany of body complaints, I realized that I have been at this gig for years (hmm, since K was in massage school… interesting!). I’ve had countless Swedish, Thai, and Shiatsu massages; I’ve been to several acupuncturists; I’m a regualr at the chiropractor; I’ve done multiple rounds of PT; I’ve plugged my nose and taken drawers full of nasty herbs (Western and Chinese); I even saw a guy once who waved his hands behind my back and said that I was now healed of any trauma caused by my brother’s childhood bullying (what?!).

Did I mention the latest craze? Denying my body! I’ve been off gluten for 6 months now. I no longer consume caffeine, lactose, soda, or cane sugar.

I’m constantly asked whether any of these things have made me “feel better.” No? I don’t know? Yes? It’s the weirdest thing because I’ve never experienced anything like a “recovery” and so I don’t recognize any significant changes. I try to explain that people tend to notice when things hurt or are uncomfortable, so the fact that I’m not noticing any particularly “better” feelings is probably a good thing, sorta.

Will I keep writing the checks (because you know that my state medical insurance doesn’t cover these “alternative” practices)? Will we continue to sacrifice pleasures like clothes from this century in order to try things that may lead to the relief of unwanted symptoms? The holes in my socks will tell you.

(Disclaimer: No men were harmed in the making of this blog.)

The Family

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