About Me

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Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
"No, really!"

My Favorite Bit of Paper Cup Philosophy

The Way I See It #76

The irony of commitment is that it's deeply liberating - in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Adults Are Not Meant to Fall Down a Lot

Since taking a sidewalk dive on Sunday, I've tried to do things I thought my body needed, while I waited for the extra long massage appointment on Wednesday. I've set the timer at my desk to scream me into action many times a day. When it goes off, I get up and use the resistance bands and wobble board to stretch myself and move parts of my body that are fairly resistant to movement right now. I've called upon epsom salt soaks, Ibuprofen, ice and heat therapy - all the things the average Jane would know to do for a minor bang-up.

Last night, I waited in the Quiet Room at Massage Envy where other patrons meditate and I e-mail or write for the blog or use spreadsheets on my BlackBerry. When Stephanie comes to collect me, she never fails to say, "Limes, turn off that nasty glowing device." This time was no different. I grinned, and as we headed down the hallway to Room 14, she asked if I had anything special going on. "What should we focus on this evening?"

I told her I'd had a pretty nasty fall. "Limes, again? How badly?" "Badly enough to make my walking companion cringe and a stranger ask if we needed assistance." She asked everything one would want her massage therapist to ask: how long ago, can you show me how you think you landed, how hard did you land, what parts of your body are hurting, what have you done for it since? We talked about it and she left me to disrobe. The heated table felt fabulous when I stretched out on it and I prepared to feel better quite soon.

Stephanie first examined me from head to toe, gently feeling all the muscle groups to check for knots, triggerpoints, tightness, distress. She flinched and said, "Oh, my god!" when she saw my knees. "What's that bruise on your arm? Is that from this fall, too?" And once she'd completed her full-body inspection, she was able to tell me some things I'd both deduced and about which I had full recollection. I twisted my upper body as I fell, causing all kinds of grief in my neck, shoulders and back. Because I twisted, the left side and the right side had different areas affected. Bad on the left was good on the right and vice-versa. I landed hard on my hands, jamming my shoulders and chest. I landed hard on my knees, jamming my femurs into the hipbone sockets. She impresses me like CSI, and her findings tell her where to go to work on me and how. This is fascinating to me.

This massage experience was one of the best ever. Stephanie went after every spot that tortured me and 30 minutes into it, I could feel myself beginning to relax. An hour passed, and I was sagging with relief. Her strokes were gentle, and she spent extra time on the places that seemed particularly bad. She ended the session with some cranio-sacral work, during which she quietly asked me if I was awake and if I was going to be able to get myself home. "Maybe," said I. I noticed she did none of the usual strong stretches she does at every appointment, but I so enjoyed what she was doing, I registered no objection. While I was still on the table, some of my joints began to crack. My neck gave a mighty snap and a couple of vertebrae cracked. When I dressed after the massage, I noticed hips snapping, more vertebrae ringing in. I mentioned it to Stephanie and she said, "Good! We've loosened the muscles and your bones are moving, going back into their normal positions."

When my time had ended, she told me to make no sudden moves getting up from the table. I told her I was going to need some extra time to get dressed. I was so drowsy, so comfortable, so dreamy. She came back in with water and to debrief. She said what they tell us every single time. Drink lots of water to flush the body of the toxins released by the massage. Sometimes those released toxins cause other releases - tears, fears, dripping noses, stomach secretions, frequent urination, every kind of release imaginable. OK, I always push water and I've never suffered any discomfort of any sort after any massage. "Limes, you really messed yourself up. Those muscles needed to be allowed to heal and you've made matters worse by overstretching them when they were already injured. I want you to continue the soaks but stop the stretches for several days. We'll start stretching you next week when you come in." OK, I could live with that.

I arrived home after a 14-hour absence to be haughtily noticed and immediately dismissed by Dylan and Virginia Woolf. The place was chilly, so I fired up the furnace, made tea, slipped into a warm robe and sat at the computer. For all of 20 minutes. I crawled into bed for the best night's sleep I get in any week.

Until I didn't sleep any more. For two hours I had a raging show of nightmares which is rare for me. I almost never remember dreams. These were remarkable and disturbing. When I woke, I was immediately stabbed with pain in both hip joints and every muscle in my body. Uh-oh. The attack of the body toxins! I tossed and I turned, I turned and I tossed. I stretched myself, but only gently . . . . and I never slept another wink. On Thursday mornings, my alarm clock shrieks me into activity at 3:00 a.m., for I must walk my miles, shower, dress and be at work to start staff meeting at 6:30 a.m. It was a damned unpleasant walk in the dark chill and I've been a toad all day long.

Tonight I make my pilgrimage to the Hair Attic to get my hair cut and color . . ~ er, cut. It feels fabulous to me when Christine shampoos my hair, my head back in the bowl, eyes closed. She always gives me a little gratuitous head massage. My eyes roll in their sockets at the tugging sensation all over my head as she delivers the best razor cut in the valley. But having once been burned, and recently, it is my intention tonight to ask Christine before she begins to make me feel wonderful if there are any hidden hair care side effects I need to be aware of. Because tonight I need some sleep.

In my ears right now: REM. I return there often. The album: Automatic for the People. Favorite tracks: Nightswimming, Man on the Moon.

Something that charmed me: Today on the radio, Justin called me the Queen Bee. Twice. I cackled appreciatively both times and he asked, both times, "I didn't piss you off did I, Limes?" I told him he had not and asked him to say "Queen Bee" when he came in. This afternoon I introduced Justin to the art of Mary Engelbreit - a favorite who was born in the same year as I. I told him her image called The Queen of Everything was my alter ego for decades. My daughter's alter ego is The Princess of Quite A Lot . . . . more pleasures to blog about when time allows!


  1. Have you ever heard of taking it easy? Some people do that you know.

  2. Oh,Tag. Yes, I have heard of it. I just don't know how it would apply to me. Sorry. I don't know how to do all things well.

  3. You've got one smart, pretty awesome massage therapist. I bet she went to my school, which has a campus in Las Vegas. You post from your blackberry? Did you take a picture of the quiet room with your blackberry? Do they do that? Are your thumbs sore too now?
    What's to become of all this crazy/wonderful writing? Are you going to put it in book form. I understand there's a way to do that through blogger.
    The Queen of Everything Emblem should be on the hood of your car. I wonder if someone has thought of that yet. Coats of armor for cars? Let's get on that.
    Be well. Blog long and prosper...
    (word ver: hextal - hex to all? or just Limes?)

  4. Kass, Stephanie is a blessing in my life. In May or June she is moving home to Denmark and I will be very sad. I need to ask her again where she studied. I'm blurry on it because she travels the country going to seminars and refreshers and training courses. But I'll ask her. She's the best!

    Alas, the picture is just a quiet room, not The Quiet Room. It is too dark to photograph, at least with my skills and equipment. But picture fountains, wonderful music and low lights, low slung chairs . . . and Limes typing in the glow of the BlackBerry.

    BlackBerry blogging is limited, so I have no repetitive motion injuries yet. I just type on a Word document on the 'Berry and then transfer it to the blog when I land somewhere. And I can only do this when 1) I am urged to write; and 2) I am waiting for some doctor, dentist, maassage therapist, etc.

    You gave me food for thought with the rest of your questions, so I'm going to answer those (and others, plus make comments, not only answer questions) in today's post. Stay tuned!

  5. Ha! For me, Ben-Gay just blisters my skin like fire. I prefer 2 - 2 1/2 hours with Stephanie when I just get warmed into oblivion. All kidding aside, it is one of the healthiest, most self-care-taking things one can do. It is almost a holy experience for me.