And Then I Broke Myself

I like to think I’m pretty tough.  My cousins and I have a knack for making all activities– whether it be the card game spoons or badminton– full contact.  I played rugby in college, which is essentially an exercise in getting the crap beat out of you.  I once fell off my bike in Costa Rica and cleaned the open wound in the ocean.  I was reared by the baddest woman I know.  I am tough as shit.  Or at least I thought I was.

A combination of lifting weights, a 3 hour DC walkabout with my a heavy purse across my right shoulder* and sleeping funny one night last week has left me with muscle spasms in my shoulder and upper back.  I’ve dealt with muscle knots before, as I like to carry my shoulders as close to my ears as possible (both generally for fun and when stressed) but this is pain like no other.

I started with the usual route– enough Advil to make me fear an ulcer, walking to the gym to sit in the hot tub and a small investment into Tiger Balm and Icy Hot.  I smelled terrible.  It hurt.  No matter which way I adjusted my body, I couldn’t get comfortable.  And a week later still can’t.

I spent the majority of Saturday evening sitting on my front porch with a bag of ice on my shoulder and Tiger Balm at my side.  We had plans to go to Policy on U Street Saturday night to celebrate Brynn’s birthday, so I wanted to make sure I was properly Tiger Balmed before we set out.  I was going to be a trooper.  Because Brynn’s pretty great and staying home wasn’t anymore comfortable than any other activities.

I even put on make up and high heels– pretty much for no reason.  Do YOU know how hard it is to pick up boys in a bar when you’re moving around like an old lady and smell of very minty feet?  Not easy.  By the end of the night, I was in enough pain to throw  public decency to the wind and just started lathering my shoulder up with Tiger Balm in the middle of the bar.  I was that much fun this weekend.

By the time Monday morning rolled around, I’d had enough and scheduled a doctor’s appointment.  So now I’m on muscle relaxers and some anti-inflammatory they usually give to old folks with arthritis*.  Let me tell you what it is like after you’ve taken 2 muscle relaxers at the office.

Talking to your superior:  Oh shit.  He’s talking to me.  What is he saying?  Ok.  Focus, focus, focus.  It’s your turn to respond now.  What did he say?  You need to respond.  RESPOND!  It is a lot like showing up to your high school Spanish class high.  Or what I assume it would be like to show up to your high school Spanish class high.

Sitting at your desk:  Really hard.

Keeping your eyes open:  Virtually impossible.

Other activities that are hard:  brushing your teeth, feeding yourself, holding up your ice cream cone, washing your hair, hugging, sitting at a desk all day, sitting anywhere for more then an hour when you’re expected to hold still, sleeping.

I’ve finally caved and scheduled a massage.  I’m fairly certain this woman is going to make me cry.  I’m putting all of my muscle spasm eggs in her basket.  I want her to work miracles.  I want her to be a muscle spasm goddess.  I jwant to sleep at night and be able to left my beer without searing pain.  Is that too much to ask?  I didn’t think so.

The moral of this story is this:  Don’t walk around town with bricks in your purse.  Get a super cute backpack like this one maybe.  Tiger Balm is a natural cockblock– if you’re on the market for one.  Muscle spasms blow.  And apparently, I’m not as tough as I thought.

* Most likely filled with bricks.

 

 

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