Friday, June 30, 2006

It's a mixed bag (rants ahead)

No jokes about purses and skin please. And fyi, I'm going to go off in a minute, so if you think you might be offended, don't read on.

Ly and I went to Breitenbush last weekend. We had a lovely time. UMO ensemble got a lot accomplished at their retreat, and Ly and I got to soak and play in the natural hot springs. It was great this time because we went to the medicine wheel in the morning before breakfast. This is the place under a grove of trees, where there are 4 stone tubs with different minerals in each. Each tub gradually got hotter, and then across the platform was the cold plunge that is constantly filled with very chilly river water. A few times through the entire process, and I think it is safe to say you are walking on sunshine. We rented a nice little PT Cruiser knock off, and had a good road trip on the way down, and back.

Been working like a dog ever since.

Cut to today. If this is repeat information for anyone, feel free to skip ahead. So for the last year and a half, I have experienced pain, numbness and muscle weakness in my right arm. Went to a bunch of doctors, did a bunch of tests, and ended up with some cervical herniated and bulging disks. Got a cervical epidural last August which helped immensely. My symptoms increase when I sit at a computer (hence my decreased posting). My symptoms also increase (not as much) when I have a long day of massage. I am doing every PT exercise known to man, I work out, I get chiropractic adjustments, do massage and acupuncture, ice, work on myself, and everything in between. Currently, I get spasms in my right hand with my middle and ring fingers. They are so bad that I have to pry my fingers open. This happens 4 or 5 times a week. I get medial scapula pain so bad I can't even hold my head up at the end of the day some days. Sometimes, the fingers of my right hand don't even feel like they are able to get any nerve impulse to tell them to move. All of the symptoms make for a very hard time in, billing, doing dishes etc., being happy and bright, and not wanting to cut my head off. I have gone through every medication known to man. Some have helped a bit, some make me drowsy and more retarded than usual(all the percocet and narcotics), some make me irritable, most make me not able to poop (and those of you that know me know that I HATE it when I can't poop). In addition, narcotics are WAY harsh on your liver, and mine can't afford it any more.

So that is the history. I haven't had percocet for this condition since the end of last year. I am at loathe to get another prescription for it. My pain, at it worst, would totally qualify for another percocet prescription. Since I really don't want one, I'm trying other options.

What I have found that works best for the pain, the trigger points, and mostly the spasming, is coming home after a day of massaging, icing my neck, taking some naproxen, and smoking a little medical marijuana. Medical marijuana is technically legal in Washington state (or I should say, at least the voters made it law). I have wanted to do things on the up and up, so I went to my spine doctor to see if he would sign my medical marijuana letter. He understood my plight, but alas, would not. He claimed he didn't like the lingo that was on the recommendation letter that was drafted by the medical board of the state of Washington. He said he would be happy to talk to another doctor that would be willing to sign the letter. He said he would give any history as to my condition, and help in whatever way he could - other than signing my letter.

So I go see my primary care physician the other day. I was faced, yet again, with another pussy doctor who is afraid of getting sued. Sidenote: There was a just a bill passed by Congress stating that doctors couldn't be touched for recommending medical marijuana. I started crying right there in her office. I was like, "so, you'd rather give me a percocet prescription and send me on my way than give me a recommendation for a naturally grown herb that helps just as much with MORE symptoms, and is far less harsh to my system?" She was like, "well, yes." She told me that it was partly a legal fear, and partly that she doesn't know enough about it.

This, I believe, is what is totally fucked up about our conservative, back-assed, litigious society. It's not even logical. That someone can go out, have six beers, drive home, killing a pedestrian on the way(this happened to one of the founders of a local naturopath school here in Seattle), and yet I can't have medication that helps me open my fingers so I can write to do my billing and make a living, is f.u.c.k.e.d.

In the end, my doctor ended up printing out my spine doctor's notes, and writing a letter that states that I have cervical radiculopathy with chronic spasming and pain, and that I use medical marijuana to alleviate the symptoms. So hopefully this letter will be all I need. It doesn't say what the other letter said, but it will do, for now.

(beware generalizations follow)

It is my hope, that some day, this back-assed thinking can be changed. Perhaps I am niave in hoping that the conservatives, those who have NEVER even tried marijuana, those who know NOTHING of it's effects, and anyone else who falls in between those cracks, can re-evaluate their judgments, their biases, their ridiculous assumptions about who people that smoke marijuana are. Because I'm tired of fighting. The current polictical regime, and the armies of conservatives, and the religious right that follow them are creating a world of hate, judgment, and evil unlike their bible has ever known.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

I'm an addict

and yes, insert your noun of preference here. Whatever will make you giggle the most.

I've come to the conclusion that I am a reality show addict. I'm not the type of addict who will watch every single reality show out there. I mean I've never even seen an entire episode of Survivor. But I choose wisely, and when I fall, I fall fast and hard. I would assume it would be like heroin addicts that first time they taste the sweet sweet drip.

Cut to last Wednesday. I was home, doing billing, stretching, chillin' doing my thing, when an episode of So You Think You Can Dance comes on. At first I did your typical, "oh shit just another reality show..." I say this being a former hardcore, and current softcore American Idol addict. I continued to watch, and shitballs on Sunday, I kid you not, those bitches could MOVE! My friend L comes over to hang, and I'm like dood, you have GOT to watch this. So within ten minutes she was hyped, jumping up and down on the still-new-to-us-terra-cotta-80's couch, critiquing their moves, and getting as into it as I was.

On to the contestants, you have two sistahs who have bodies to DIE for. They were both toned, big-bootied, energetic, amply endowed with the breastages, and both were spoting an attitude of sex and funk. There is this nice little contestant named Benji. He served a 2-year mission for his church. I'll give you three guesses what church that may be. I first look at him (he is the West Coast Swing champion), and think nah, whatever. I then see him swing dance, and that boy moves like lightening. But then, no wait...seriously....then last night comes around. He and one of the aforementioned hot sistahs do this ass lovin', big booty, hip-hip dance that went a million miles an hour. My little Mo' Benji tore it UP! Nigel, (Simon Cowell's dance counterpart for those of you keeping track)looked at Benji after he was done and in his perfect Brittish accent said, "uhm...son, does your church know you can dance like that?"

The boy can dance, but he's got a long way to go in discovering all about his homosexuality. There was a couple last night who did the Passe Doble. My intial reaction was one of, ok, whatever, this is the classicalesque piece they need in the show. I sat on the couch watching this, with my jaw on the floor, and about 1/2 way through it, sobbing. It was one of the most amazing things I've seen.

I could go on and on, but that would bore you. Needless to say, I have a new favorite to keep me cool during those harsh warm summer month.

In other news:

Just bought a new blender. This has been coming for years now. To get our old one to work, you would have to do an incantation, bang the blender on it's side 3 times, unplug it, plug it back in to another outlet, set it upright, and sweet talk the pitcher portion of the blender.

I just finished with another fascial structural session with the woman I consider a big mentor in my bodywork. So get this, my neck hurts bad. It always does, but my icky discs were speaking to me quite loudly today. I'm in my appointment, this woman has me in my bra and underwear. The better to see one's structure, and how the different parts of the body are moving and relating to one another. She touches my belly to see how it moves, she touches my diaphragm (the one that bisects my abdomen Beige), lays me on the table, and proceeds to pick up my rectus abdominus - for those of you following along, this is the muscle in the front of your belly that goes from your pubis to your xyphoid process (which is the bottom of your breast bone). She has her fingers about an inch under my rectus, squeezes inward, picks up the fascia connecting all the way down to my pubis and proceeds to lift it about 2 inches towards my head. She follows this up with doing some cross fiber friction where that muscle attaches at the pubis, and having me rotate my pelvis so there is more of a pull. She then does some fascial release work on my diaphragm, low back, and gluts. She has me stand up, and in addition to feeling really high (I wasn't), my pelvis had shifted about one or two inches downward and out of the sway back position. I then walk around a bit, and my neck pain is all but gone. She hadn't even touched my neck yet.

The Anatomy Trains, and fascial release work fascinates the hell outta me. It does make for interesting conversation when trying to explain to a client having neck pain why you may need to work their pubis. Loves me some bodywork.

Wow, that was a long post. I better stop while I'm ahead and not feeling any neck pain, as being on the computer usually exaccerbates it. Mwah!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

100th Post (Of Couches and Men)

I feel like I should have a party with my cast or something.

Ok, so, let's see. What's been up lately? Well, Ly and I inherited two lovely leather couches. A friend of ours has some fairly well off clients, and one of these clients just happened to be getting rid of a leather couch and love seat. As many of you may know, (the ice cream truck just drove by and I started to salivate. It's amazing what a visceral cellular response that was. My body remembered from when I was a kid)...anyway we've only had one love seat for our whole living room for many years. This is due to the evilness of the lady we will call "Repo Woman". I used to work with her at the insurance company back in the day. Anyway, she was the most vocal Republican I used to work with (most were Republican or at least fiscally conservative). Anyway, she used to give me shit all the time about Al Gore, and "my buddy" losing the race. She was just all around obnoxious and thick. Anyway, she ended up getting a couch that the company was giving away, even though she was new to the company, and I had had professional "dibs" if you will on the couch. The company had to get rid of a lot of old furniture, and I made it known to everyone in the office that I wanted to buy the couch. Her trust fund baby girl got it because she was so down and out in college, with an old ratty couch (Ly and I had none). Not that I'm still bitter or anything.

Anyway, where the hell was I. Oh yeah, so this couch and love seat were real leather, albeit 80's terra cotta. But ya know, beggars can't be choosers, and they ARE real leather. I had a moment of wondering if that made Ly and I incredibly un-pc. Who knows. Anyway 4 wonderful boys, one of which was our dear own Beige, helped us move them, and thank God because those bitches were heavy.

But damn, I just lie full down on the couch, and my whole Amazon body fits nicely and comfortably into the couch. No more V-back for Stine. Hell jah! Plus, very sturdy arm rests in front of the living room mirros - well you do the math.

Ly and I will be heading to Breitenbush in about a week and a half. It will be a nice weekend of soaking, relaxing, hiking, chanting, and sleeping. I can't wait. It will be a very interesting to experience that place with another group of people, since I'm so used to going with massage people. It will be nice to get out of Seattle, and I love roadtrips of any sort.

The school finally sold. We got/will get our bonuses. Mine had a minor math mistakes that would take way too long to explain. Needless to say, they are sending me another one, hopefully asap. That was a very nice surprise.

Ly now knows how to upload music to the computer, he put 3 more CD's on the IPod. He was like, man, it's like having a radio station that doesn't suck. He then gave a bit of a chuckle and a mumbled, "well...other than..." And I'm like, "Dude, Journey makes you very well rounded. Those Neil Diamond songs give you street cred. You can still have your "Kills", your "Sleepytime Gorilla Mausoleum", your "These Arms are Cakes"..." Anyway, I was right, created a monster. Very cute to watch.

There is a possibility of doing some vocal coaching/vocal music directing with a small group here in town. I have to go check it out on Monday, but this new band just wants an outside ear to give feedback about how they can be more concise. So that might be cool if it all works out.

Found out at the school bonus party that two of my favorite instructors are going to get together their own craniosacral certification program. They want to try and make it fly in 2007. If that's the case, I'm SO there. I was thinking of doing the structural analysis training, but that can wait. Honestly, whichever class works out best is the one I'm supposed to be in.

Been doing some interesting thought exercises in viscerally embracing the problems that come up in my life lately. It's been very interesting. Just totally saying yep, there you are, go off all you want, I'm here to make it work. More on that later.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Some things suck, some things don't

Since I can’t seem to manage a full post, I’m going to make one of my
“Things that suck, and things that don’t lists.

Things that suck today:

My neck and arm are in pain
Client cancellations
Dry gooless salad
Feeling nauseous while giving a massage
Cranky husbands who teach me a lot about myself
Mountains of paperwork
Having to return a movie back unwatched (Ly and I were having one of our “in between the Netflix” joneses” and didn’t know our limit)
Having to tell the visiting teachers that I didn’t want any more contact
Feeling bad about how I handled a situation with a fellow Buddhist
Feeling nauseous and faint on the bus home
That I didn’t get a birthday card in the mail for my father, who’s birthday is tomorrow
The degenerative state of the polish on my toenail claws

Things that don’t suck today:

Helping a client feel better who has been having many horrid health issues going on
My leetle friend
Gay Marriage Ban Falls Short
Best friends who listen, validate when appropriate, and let you go off
Cranky husbands who teach me a lot about myself
Friends taking steps to make their lives better
Husbands who send writing samples of their CD reviews to music critics at the local weekly rag
Getting friendly with myself
Getting shit done
Hopes of good things in the mail
Thinking back to Monday night when the Hound came home all testosteroned out, 12-years old, high as a kite on endorphins talking excitedly a mile a minute after his first kickboxing/mixed martial arts class.
Thoughts of later taking a nice long bath, and rubbing heating massage goo on my body, and watching a Buffy that I’ve seen 600 times.