Thursday, March 9, 2017

Traction 9/31 #sol17

I take a seat and Ben hooks me up to the craziest looking contraption that is called Traction. I’ve done this once every two weeks for the last year or two.

 I used to have a softball-sized knot in my neck. It developed during my first year of teaching. Basically it was caused by stress. Once I started regular chiropractic and massage it went away. When I get super stressed it comes back a bit until my next appointments.

So, today I sit down to traction and Ben hooks me up. I usually stare up towards the ceiling and read Ben’s inspirational writing. It’s so thoughtful that he posts it in exactly the right place for my eyes to focus since I can’t move my head. Today though, there is no writing to ponder and contemplate. Instead there are new paintings hung on the wall in front of me. I can see most of it, but the label underneath is too low for me to read. The one in front of me is of a beautiful mountainous landscape with various shades of gray. I would love for someone to come and paint a similar scene on my bedroom wall.

Today, I have my baby girl wide awake in her cars eat at my feet. I’m expecting my time doing traction to get cut short by her cries, yet somehow she stays calm the entire ten minutes. I listen to Ben chat with other patients about his amazing journey last weekend to run with the Tarahumara in Mexico. Then the strap at my chin and the strap at my neck seem to be tighter and heavier than usual. My heart begins to race and my brain starts feeling panicky. This is claustrophobia kicking in again. I feel trapped. Then I coach myself telling my brain that it’s ok and that this is great practice in stoicism. I remind myself of my privileged life and feel that if this is one of my only challenges than I can definitely make it through.

As I calm down and begin a few deep breaths, catching the tv screen out of the corner of my eye scrolling through inspirational quotes about healthy living with beautiful photos of some dear friends, I relax a bit. And before I know it, the timer is up and Ben is unhooking me and I am free to go.

“Wow, that was a pretty good challenge today,” I tell him.
“Tonight might be an ice kind of night then!” Ben replies with a genuine smile.
I’ve been told that before and never have actually iced my neck. Tonight though, I am going to ice.

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