Saturday, December 13, 2014

A Pain In The Butt


Sometime in the middle of the night, part of me wanted to roll over, and the rest of me didn't, and an argument ensued. Bickering among the factions continued till morning, and by then there was no rolling out of bed. Best I could do was tack toward the edge of the mattress and hope for favorable winds.

This used to happen to me pretty often. I had what I considered a normal amount of aches and pains; a stiff lower back, a squawky knee, and a neck that ached and twanged pretty much all the time, since a childhood neck-pretzeling incident. I enriched a few chiropractors and bought into the notion that this is what you have to put up with if you live long enough. I was only in my forties when someone introduced me to what legions of friends ended up calling "your...book," as in the phrase "I got your damn book, so leave me alone." It's the Egoscue Method, a ridiculously simple protocol that seems to permanently erase pain. Mine went away. All of it; twenty years of it.

So I knew just what to do when my lower back stiffened up. I got out The Book and did the menu of lower-back exercises and waited for relief that had, historically, been immediate. The next day I did it again, and the next. It didn't appear to be making more than a dent.

I concluded that perhaps this wasn't a lower-back issue at all. Perhaps it was an upper-buttular issue. I did the hip exercises. The results weren't spectacular. The right side of me still wasn't interested in getting out of a chair when the rest of me did. Worse, certain toilet hygiene standards were being compromisied. I threw in the neck exercises just for drill. Things were easing, but not quickly. This was a disaster. I had seriously annoyed way too many people evangelizing about this book for it to let me down now.

By the fourth day, I had begun to conclude that if The Book wasn't helping, it was probably cancer. The dreaded Upper Right Butt Cancer.

"Just go see the chiropractor," Dave said. That seemed like a betrayal of The Book. I waited a few more days so it would seem like my idea, and gave her a call.

Our chiropractor is a wiry woman who brandishes her own heroically good health like a reproach. She's been free with the advice over the years; diet, exercise, occupation. "You shouldn't be a mail carrier," she told me early on. Her advice is tailored to the individual. "You shouldn't be a hod carrier," she told Dave. Well then.

The problem with having a fabulously healthy chiropractor with stellar habits of mind and body is that she's only in her office periodically, and the rest of the time she's got her fanny parked on a mountaintop in Nepal or something. She wasn't in.

I'm going to Plan C. I am going to ignore it. If that works as well as it does with my cat, I expect my butt pain will be walking across the keyboard any time now.

Hurray, hurray, it's Margaret Day! Today! Start tossing!

46 comments:

  1. I never heard of The Book. I'll have to wait until I need it, but for now, could you describe the upper buttular symptoms? I may have the same dreaded disease. :-)

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    1. Right side meaty muscle twang. It's gone now!

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  2. I DO use The Book from time to time, ever since you turned me onto it a couple of decades ago, and it always fixes me right up. Sometimes takes a couple of days, depending on the pain. Of course, I do other exercises as well. My recent favorite, Miranda Esmonde White Classical Stretch. Never been to a Chiro-whatsis. Lucky me!

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    1. I went to one a couple years ago when I smashed up my face and put my neck out of whack, to speed up the Book process. Other than that, it's been twenty years for me. Miranda Esmonde White Classical Stretch sounds like pants.

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  3. I don't have a PHD but what I would prescribe is wine, 2 glass every hour should do it!

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    1. Sometimes you need to adjust the dosage until the pain goes away.

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  4. I would run out and get that book to help with my own aches and pains except (1) I can no longer run (2) I am horribly, horribly afraid that if the exercises are like the one in the last picture I couldn't do them anyway. And (3) even if I could, then there would be four furry critters looking at me like Tater is looking at you. I couldn't stand the humiliation!

    Seriously, I might just get that book. I hope you get results soon - very soon. Maybe it's just taking longer because your body wants to have its fifteen minutes of fame on your blog first.

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    1. Get it. Ten bucks. It'll keep you moving for the rest of your life. Most of the exercises are more like poses--not strenuous. In fact, that is why it "doesn't work" for some people--they look at the pictures and think "my pain is way too bad for that to do any good," and they don't bother trying it. I'm all better now. I wrote this a couple months ago. Oh--and the other thing--once I'd fixed everything up, bit by bit, shoulders, lower back, neck (that took the longest), I didn't have to keep doing them. In fact I only get the Book out about once a year for a day or two.

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    2. That'll be fifteen bucks in Canada. Still cheap, though! Glad you're better now.

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    3. There are YouTube videos of all these exercises. One of the guys my husband works with recommended them.

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  5. P. S. I was wondering when Margaret Day was! I'm so glad you told us because I was too lazy to check, and my undies are getting geriatric.

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    1. And God forbid we throw out our undies early, right?

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  6. It seems I need the book. Nothing else is doing more than hint at relief. And the hints are in fact down-right fibs.
    I certainly need Margaret Day.
    Thanks Murr - on both counts.

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    1. Get back to us when you've done the exercises. I need a report. I get all excited.

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    2. An ignorant question. My pain is not anything out of alignment, but lying nerves which say they are hurting (just for something to say). No organic reason for the pain, just misfiring nerve endings. Would it still help? Could it still help?

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    3. Yeah, sugar, I forgot. No, probably not. Although almost everybody has the other kind of pain too, and it would help THAT. The nerve of your nerves!

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  7. Working to get at the necessaries in order to honor Dear Margaret, I am somewhat hampered by a chronically inflamed piriformis muscle. Overuse problem. The Book has helped me, too.

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    1. Me, too.Summer gardening enraged my piriformis muscle and it is still muttering.

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    2. According to The Book, overuse doesn't do it. If you're correctly aligned, you can go all day long and into next week. If you're not, things go out of whack.

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  8. At your suggestion I bought The Book a couple of years ago. I followed up with sessions with an Egoscue postural therapist in Portland. Works for me!

    I thought I was the only one with "compromised toilet hygiene standards." The hip exercises worked for that, too. Fortunately.

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    1. I guess if all else fails there is a device that holds toilet paper and has all the right angles so you can put off having to be wiped by underpaid Personnel.

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    2. see my comment down below.

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  9. Massage. Twice a week if you want to get better. And ice for the first 48 hours, then switch to heat. I had a much wittier response for you but lost it. My first reply on your blog and I lost it. It even ended in "Hot pockets. Mmm".

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    1. I'd have a ma$$age every day if I could. Get that response back! Hot pockets! I don't know what happens when comments disappear. I don't know if it's me or you.

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  10. I don't have anything that needs to be discarded, but I did wash a laundry-basketful of undies today. Is it OK if I substitute that? :)

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    1. Yes. Truth be told, I'm not throwing anything out today because I don't have Replacement Underwear. I'm going to buy some tomorrow. Too busy going to Tuba Christmas today.

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  11. You gave me The Book and it pretty much fixed my right ankle, which is weak and twingey. I love The Book, and I love you, and I am glad to hear that pain is gone now. Fie upon immobility! We will walk and run until we have to crawl to do it!
    Love you Murre. And the pikas are perfect. xoxoxo j.

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  12. "We will walk and run until we have to crawl to do it!" That is MY kind of wisdom, right there.

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  13. I just bought this book on Amazon on the strength of your recommendation. There were lots of positive reviews for it; the worst one gave it "only" three stars and still raved about it. Sounds like the sort of book one wants to have on hand... you certainly don't want to wait for snail mail when you're in pain. Even though I don't have a chronic problem, every once in a while either my husband or I will overextend something or move the wrong way, and YOW! He in particular seems prone to injure himself in bizarre ways; the last time was when he yawned and stretched one morning, promptly pinching a nerve in his trapezius. It took well over a month to heal. (He delayed going to a chiropractor.) He's the only one I know who can injure himself while sleeping.

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    1. Great! You can use it on him first. I think I've also demonstrated an ability to injure myself while sleeping. And my dreams aren't that interesting. The other night I was looking at a dead man all bagged up and ready for recycling and he started moving. But I didn't pick him up without bending my knees, or anything.

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    2. I swear that where you typed "looking at" my brain read "hooking up." Maybe there IS something wrong with me.

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    3. I have yet to have the pleasure of the hooking-up-with-the-dead-man dream. That old trope!

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  14. I like to go get a massage at Massage Envy and let some young man rub his hands all over and relax me!

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    1. I think you're trying to fix a whole different problem.

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  15. I have a similar upper-butt area problem, most often on the right, sometimes on the left, just for fun, you know? Anyway, I roll out of bed landing on my knees, carefully of course, then crawl like a baby for a bit to loosen things enough that I can lever myself upright. Sort of. Then I sit in my chair with a hot water bottle against the area to relax the muscles, by the time the bottle cools, I'm usually good to go. I don't sit the entire time, I get up and walk around the room now and then, it helps.
    I know what you mean about the hygiene thing, try that with one frozen and one semi frozen shoulder along with the resistant back. I kept a series of long handled dish mops handy and buckets of napisan.....(*~*)

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    1. Seriously. They make butt wands. Or I suppose they're not called that, but...

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    2. They do? Now, there's a stocking stuffer!

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    3. I imagine it takes a little practice so you don't stuff your personal stocking.

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  16. I also use Plan C a lot except with suspected cancer..:)

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    1. Plan C is tried and true. There are cancers that show no symptoms. Which is just what I have right now.

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  17. I just KNEW there was something special about yesterday that I missed. I'm doing laundry as I write this so I will pay my proper respect.
    Ibuprofen and beer as far as pain goes. Adjust the amount of beer until the pain (or your liver) is gone, but overdoing it may cause more pain later, after that faceplant especially.

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    1. I'm trying on a new pair of underpants today. Thought I'd get one just to see how it goes. Results aren't in yet.

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  18. I'm looking over my own shoulder (throwing my neck out, for sure) laughing about taking medical advice from a humorous blogger, but you are the most knowledgeable blogger I know. I'm ordering the book.

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    1. Atta girl! And then you have to report back. Them's the rules. Just heave in a comment any old where.

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  19. Oh, Murr, I love Margaret! My sister was also so full of life and she despaired at my lack of fashion sense as well as the state of my unmentionables. Because believe me, they were. She would do some personal shopping for me....shopping was her first love. Out of the blue, I would receive fancy new things in the mail. For no reason. She would bring new clothes for me whenever she visited. I miss her so much. Your Margaret Day is a wonderful happy remembrance of your sister. But it brings tears to my eyes. I can just see our sisters laughing their heads off somewhere together.Somehow.

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    1. I think my fashion sense is unredeemable. At least, no one ever brought me new clothes. I'm sorry your sister is gone. Sniff!

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