Sunday, September 8, 2013

Renew the Moo

Ya know that iconic scene in Rocky where he’s calling out “Adrian!  Adrian!”  … that’s how I feel this morning about my massage therapist.  I’m wistfully limping through the house calling, “Tina! Tina!”  The dogs think I’m nutz.  Damn dogs.

I built a dog kennel pad for them yesterday. This project included the following:
1. Digging and leveling the area to accommodate a 6x10 kennel. And digging and leveling some more.

2. Buying and hauling 15 bags of pea gravel for the base.

3. Getting 78 stone pavers from a friend (while avoiding the earwigs, worms and rolly-pollies).

4. Carting them 10 at a time with my wheelbarrow from the truck to the yard avoiding dog-made land mines because I was too lazy (?) to interrupt my project to pick ‘em up.

5. Swearing a wee bit when I came up short 10 stones.

6. Driving back to the green house for 1 more bag of pea gravel and to Lowe’s for 10 more pavers.

7. Seeing how the new stones are a brighter red and having 2 rows together would make me flipping crazy.

8. One-by-one taking out already laid stones to scatter the newer colorful ones about.

9. Swearing more than a wee bit when I realized that I dug it a tad too low and now can’t open the gate.
10. Avoiding my despair with chocolate covered raisins and beer while Bob sympathizes.

I’m pretty sure one leg is shorter than the other this morning. My femurs are touching my kidneys. My hamstrings are tighter than bow strings, and if my neck & shoulder muscles could speak, their shrill annoying whine would make Fran Dresher’s "Nanny" voice seem like a soothing lullaby.
I just got online and booked a massage for Wednesday. Oy. That’s so far away.

I met Tina two summers ago after a freak accident. I mean… freak! I’d boarded a travel bus with my middle school math club and as I side-stepped into the aisle, I hit my head on the overhead bin.  The swiftness of it caused a pinch and a tear in my epidural lining around the front of my C6-C7 vertebrae in my neck. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I started leaking Cerebral Spinal Fluid (CSF).  I went on about my merry trip to Boise with these kids to kick some math.
I developed a headache about two hours into the trip. I figured it was the just busload of middle schoolers, and as the head chaperone, I needed to have my game on. I scrounged ibuprofen and forged on to the mall, a movie and then the hotel for pizza, boards games in the lobby, and time in the pool.  The headache persisted but I noticed as soon as my head hit the pillow that night, it disappeared. (CSF headaces go away when you lie down.)
I got up the next morning to hit the treadmill. (Good girl!) I only lasted 10 minutes though and decided to just stretch.  I didn’t have a headache, but something in me knew that something was horribly wrong.  I had a couple extra cups of coffee—unbeknownst to me at the time, caffeine masks CSF leak pain—and we boarded the bus for Boise State.
I don’t know how I made it through that day. On the bus ride home, I called a friend who took me to the ER where there were a lot of shoulder-shrugging doctors.
I ended up self-diagnosing the CSF leak after a friend talked about having one after an epidural during her pregnancy.  
The body’s response to a CSF leak is to tighten your neck muscles so you can’t move your head easily. With no cushioning fluid in there, you can give yourself a concussion with the slightest of head turns. My neck was sore and immobile At one point, I had lost so much fluid, that I could feel a tugging behind my eyes which was my brain sinking due to so much fluid loss. EWWWW! 
The ordeal lead to three ER trips, a cortisone shot in Idaho Falls when they thought I had a dislocated disc, four days in the hospital in Pocatello, seven days over two trips to the University of Utah hospital, six blood patches and missing NINE AND A HALF weeks of work.  (A blood patch is where they draw blood from your arm and then inject it at the sight of the leak so it will clot and clog and allow it to heal.) Suddenly middle school math seemed more dangerous than college rugby.
When we got the leak sealed and I returned to work, I still had a headache.  It wasn’t the debilitating leaking-spinal-fluid kind, but it was still severe and interrupting my life. After five months of head pain, three different friends suggested I see a massage therapist named Tina Clayson.
I had a massage therapist I liked, but as they described Tina's treatments, I relented and scheduled an appointment. 
The things she did to my neck and my jaw rivaled the pain at the worst of my leak. I left teardrops on her little face holder. She said “wow” a lot and told me over and over to drink water after I left and to come back. Yeah—OK. I’ll bring a cattle prod and riding crop with me next time to make her infliction of pain easier.
The next morning when I woke up… no headache. This was my first headache-free morning in over FIVE MONTHS!! I wanted to call my attorney immediately and add Tina to the will.

Ok. Ok. Her stuido is really called Renew You

She renewed my moo!!!!  Wahoooooo!  I see Tina regularly now. She can tell when I’ve been biking. She can tell when I haven’t been stretching, and she can tell when I’ve eaten too many Girl Scout Cookies. She’s like Santa for crying out loud.  The woman is a gifted massage therapist and if you’re in need of a little Moo Renewal… Check out her new yoga and massage studio on the corner of Maple and McKinnlely.




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