1 - Muscle Pain and Tennis Balls
I have seen many massage therapists and received multiple bits of advice to keep from knotting the muscles in my spine. There was one I found particularly interesting as it involved lying on the floor with a tennis ball beneath me, putting constant and rather intense pressure on the stubbornly painful point.
I disclosed this to someone I was dating at the time, thinking it rather silly and deciding that a younger Chienne would certainly cover me with kisses and coax me into playing were I to try it. He offered that he would battle the dog for kisses playtime if I were to lie on the floor, tennis ball or no. I remember blushing with pleasure, attention immediately diverted to how dreamy he was and how much I liked him and away from a lingering tightness in my neck.
I have managed to injure a muscle near my left shoulder blade and, not knowing musculoskeletal anatomy well at all, I can only tell you that it is not the muscle closest to the skin. It's deeper and after asking Mom - my parents came to visit this weekend as I've not been feeling well of late and they wanted to check on me (aw...) - to press harder on it, I finally sighed and stood up. I happened to see a tennis ball belonging to my dog and decided to try reclining on it.
Ah, sweet relief. I have taken Advil, hot baths, had a massage and am currently on a heating pad. And nothing helps like that tennis ball.
2 - Stress, Sleep and Vitamins
I am not one for natural well-being. I like chemicals to treat discomfort or illness, clean stuff, kill insects or weeds, etc. I'm all about high-tech, complicated solutions for simple problems.
Yet sleep has eluded me for the past 10 days, leaving me wide awake at bedtime and desperately sleepy during the day - misery my constant companion. I'm wildy irritable, feel crappy and my memory is fleeting at best. I wandered around the parking lot for a good 10 minutes (and it's not a particularly large lot), looking for my pretty Jeep and promptly forgetting what I was doing as I sleepily shuffled around in the sunshine. After sitting through meetings blankly and being mostly unable to answer any questions, a colleague suggested Vitamin B and melatonin.
She is not the first - by far - to advise me to start taking Vitamin B as I'm a pretty stressed (and stressful) person in general and that melatonin was a far better option than Tylenol PM or Nyquil to force myself asleep. I scoffed at the very idea, but admitted defeat this weekend, entering the Vitamin World this weekend with my parents and acquiring B, C and D (the first I wanted, the second tasted like orange and I got confused and bought some and the third were for Dad) as well as buy-one-get-one-free melatonin.
I took the latter at 8PM last night and was falling asleep (despite a nap from 2-4PM) at 9. 9PM! A normal, albeit early, bedtime! And I slept all night! God bless you, well-meaning colleagues and vitamin stores, and all that you stand for. But I'll have to think about the tree bark supplement and Manganese.
3 - Parents and Pampering
Smallest One called and said, "I want to come up there to see you right now, Aunt Katie!" Unphased by promises of 'later,' she sighed her displeasure that she was there and her grandparents here until I distracted her with Christmas lists (Dancing Mickey and a rocking horse). I do miss the girls and I'm making plans to see them soon, but I'll admit there's enough of a spoiled child left in me that I remain somewhat enamored of having my parents to myself.
We talk and snack and shop and giggle. Mom joins Chienne and me on our morning walks and Dad putters around the house, fixing random items I hadn't noticed were broken. We took a trip to Target to pick up some miscellaneous items. Watched The Big Bang Theory on DVD. Had coffee in the morning and sat on my deck in the afternoon sunshine, playing ball with my dog.
It was lovely - having come closer than I like to remember to losing each of them, I try to cherish the time we share. And though we argue at times and they stayed longer than I expected, I enjoyed them tremendously and blinked back tears as they waved good-bye and drove away.
Still, I have a tennis ball and melatonin and a relaxing evening ahead. So it's not all bad.