Right. Today, I’m gonna talk about something that is both very important and very applicable.
Wait, that’s the wrong pic.
I want to talk about looking after myself—yourselves, ourselves, etc. In that vein, here, have the correct gif:
As some context for this seemingly out-of-the-blue post, here’s a look at the last two weeks of my life…
I’ve always had back trouble. Lower back, upper back, shoulders, neck, hips, regular sciatica—basically, you name it, I get it. Sometimes it’s a murmur in the background, sometimes a sharp stab when I least expect it. There aren’t many days that go by without some form of pain, but for the most part it’s not crippling, overwhelming, or unbearable. Every now and then things change drastically, and I get constant, high levels of pain (usually neck or hips).
Two weeks ago, it changed. Suddenly, I had constant, mid-to-high level pain at the top of my neck and the bases of my ears; pain bad enough and constant enough to make every shift at the day job an exercise in endurance and mental strength. I kept going for a week, because that’s what I do. I just keep going, because one day it will be better again. I get used to the new level of pain, prepare myself for it, and just keep working.
That particular method didn’t work this time.
I knew after the first week that I’d have to do something about it. The pain was so bad that I had to leave early from my last shift of the week at the day job, and I had become so mentally weary from the pain that I was finding it hard to do more than 1k words on my WiP. It occurred to me, vaguely, that a massage might be a good idea, but I wasn’t sure it was affordable or worthwhile, and it sounded kinda…you know, extravagant. And what if it didn’t help?
By the start of the next week I was in too much pain to do anything but try to find somewhere to get a massage. Monday was a public holiday, so no joy. Tuesday, there were no female massagers available (and one masseuse completely booked out until July). Wednesday—today—I went to the appointment I was able to make for myself yesterday. I wasn’t particularly hopeful; in my limited experience, there isn’t much that takes away that kind of back pain.
I’m so happy I was wrong. I walked in stiff and sore, and walked out with about half the amount of pain. Half. The massage therapist told me that it had been bad for so long that it would take more than one session to fix it all, which means I have another two hour-long sessions over the next couple of weeks.
So. Quick recap for those of you following at home: I just spent nearly two weeks in constant pain because it didn’t occur to me that it was worthwhile trying to do something about it.
I got used to the pain. I got used to the limitations. There is stuff that has been literally fixable for years, and I haven’t gone to get it fixed because—what? I thought it was extravagant. I thought a massage was a luxury, not a treatment. And even if it was a luxury—so what? Sometimes that’s what you need. There are enough health problems that come with being a writer without adding constant pain and stress to that pile.
Don’t be like me. Treat Yo Self. Maybe you’ll find it was something you should have done years ago.