Monday, April 28, 2014

Stress and Sneaky Feelings

There is a "sneaky" feeling we all get from time to time.  As children its means taking that extra piece of candy, staying up past bedtime or the first time you're allowed to sit at the grown ups table after dinner.  In those moments it feels as if you got a 1-up on life.  As adults those occasions are rare because sneaky & good generally involves breaking a law or hurting ourselves or others.

Last thursday I tweaked something in my back while bending over to leash my Vizsla for a walk.  I rolled onto the bed and lay in a cold sweat 30 minutes before even thinking about moving.  It was as if someone was pushing a bowling pin out straight through my lower back and I could not do anything to stop them.

Vista the Vizsla
It took an hour to get my phone and a few more to figure out my limitations.  I could move myself with arm strength but any effort to sit up or put any weight on legs meant pain.  It was awful.  I called school, the insurance company, my mom, friends, etc.  The fact was although it felt like the end of the world I in fact was not dying.  An ambulance ride to the ER would be not only expensive but most likely useless.  I spoke to Robert at Southwestern Law school; he was so kind and understanding.  He shared his experience and gave me solid practical advice for which I am very thankful.

In my mind...Alex you are an freaking ultra runner!!! you ran 50 miles a few weeks ago and now you can't tie your shoe?  what happened compadre?  I knew the answer.  Law school finals are here and stress is at its lowest price of the year and dividends are paying out exponentially.  I knew I needed to go in for an adjustment after AR50 (link); but instead I read, read and read some more.  I lagged on taking care of myself and something was bound to happen.  This weekend I missed a family wedding and hanging out with my sister who was visiting front the bay area.

As frustrating as missing events is the worst was being unable to complete small tasks or move.  Heck even sneezing or coughing felt like a round with Mike Tyson.  Lucille was helpful as well.  She crewed for me at my headlands finish and knows my affinity for being an idiot at times in addition to understanding my odd pain scale.  Rather than toughing it out she suggested seeing Dr. Quy to get his opinion and going from there.

After a few phone calls and texts in ALL-CAPS I was able to reach my Chiropractor.  My girlfriend came over after work and upon arrival noticed the glaringly obvious.  There is no way on God's green earth that she could move me to the car.  Thus, I did what any man would do...go for it.

Two seconds later...I was kneeling and hugging a chair with a bear like hug not unlike the collegiate morning after hug of the john.  This "going for it" plan was useless.  I moved a few inches at a time then stopped to catch my breath and push down any yelp that sought to escape.  Christina made the executive decision to drag me.  If someone told me weeks or even years ago, the girl of your dreams will physical drag me a few dozen yards and I will love her more for it I would have laughed in their face.  But, it happened.

Last Semester, Christina reading as I studied in the Library
When I first saw Dr. Quy a few years ago he checked my shoes and immediately told me the reason why I was visiting him.  He is professional and understands athletes and I have the highest regard for his opinion.  Rather than treating my spine like an accordion he sought to release tension and that meant more time hooked up to electrodes than actual cracking.  I was wheeled inside on an office chair and eleven hours after my back seized I was able to finally take my first steps and walk.

As this weekend wore on I felt the childish sneaky feeling.  I got 1-up on life.  Christina did so much for me and throughout remained wonderful and more beautiful than ever.  She kept her cool in the car when my body went weird.  My heart rate shot up and sweat poured down my face as my limbs shook and teeth chattered from the pain and she remained.  She remained and held my hand.

She smiled even though my face grimaced telling me it was going to be ok while stretching my legs out to release some of the pressure, etc., etc.  After a mini lecture about needing to stretch more and being more careful about my health she smiled and still held my hand.

At mass she looked at me and said "I love the whole you, including everything; even if you are an old man."  The Sunday gospel reading was the famous doubting Thomas reading.  It was the reassurance I did not need.

I don't need to ask because I see, I don't need proof because I feel it.  This...we, are a good thing.

My childish grin has not waned since.  Yes, I am sneaky.  I stole this girl's heart and not giving it back.

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