Thursday, November 20, 2008

i'm rambling, grab yer favorite beverage and stay awhile.

Sorry to have been so vague last night, but when I have that much going on, and I am that tired, that's about all I feel like typing. Betcha y'all can't wait until this Blog365 thing is over, because then I'll just shut up instead of posting really bad one liners ;-)

After I posted last night, TheMostImportantGuy said to me, " We need to get you back to feeling just 'whelmed'." Hahahaha. Yah. No kidding.

Here's what is that I think is going on with me. Because honestly, the things that are coming up in my day to day life do not seem all that much different than usual.

I think it's the work I'm doing with TheScarDoc. It's AMAZING. It's bringing me so much relief and release, I honestly do not think I have invested in any other sort of treatment that has been this effective for me. It also has a way of pushing just about every emotional button for me--sometimes while the treatment is actually happening, but often in the days following when I'm not quite paying attention because I'm....whatever....folding laundry and helping MyFavoriteKid with homework.

The technique this guy specializes in is called Myofascial Release. Now, I had a wee bit of this done on me right after the car accident. Like a few minutes of each physical therapy session. The PT's would teach me how to work the scars a bit so that the scar tissue would not become so dense. Helpful, but this guy's version of the work takes it to a whole new level. See, the notion is that the fascia (the layer between your skin and your muscles) is one continuous sheath. He acutally uses the image of it being like a sweater (and not just for me because I am a knitter--lol). When you tug on one part of a sweater, it shifts on the other side. The fibers are connected. So in his work, there is big attention paid to how one part of the body plays into pain in another. This is quite different from regular massage where the treatment is applied to the muslce tissue directly. The actual stuff he does feels like he is sort of tugging on one side of my body part to get release from the other side. Not sure if that makes any sense.

So I went to this guy several months ago because my right arm (the one that has 3 plates and 16 screws in it), was starting to go numb. I would have sworn up and down and sideways that it was coming from the forearm. The screws are irritating some nerves down there, and I was positive it was radiating up the arm. He swore up, down, and sideways, that it was coming from my neck and going down my arm...and probably a bit the other direction as I suspected...but that most of it was my neck. And then he went so far as to say that the problem with the neck was tied into the scar that runs down the center of me, from sternum to pelvis.

(for those who don't know, the car accident left scars on every part of my body except my left arm....which really deserves and honorary tattoo or something!)

Anyhow. A few weeks after working with him? The numbness was gone. I have not experienced numbness once. That being "done" (not that it wont need the occasional tune up), we decided to work on the abdominal scar. See, the part up near the top, at the sternum? The scar tissue has affixed itself to my diaphragm. It makes it very difficult to take a full, deep breath.

Now here is where the "over" in "overwhelm" starts to come in. See, unlike the hospital PT's, TheScarDoc's work also really factors in the reality (imho) that there is a mind/body connection. The logic is that body remembers. In the very same way that one can remember a scent from childhood that can cause them flashbacks, the logic goes that scar tissue probably stores some memories, too.

I know about most of these. Most. And let me tell you, some of them I could never have imagined. Every once in awhile TheScarDoc gets in there and something happens. It can happen while he doing it, and/or it can happen in the days following. I remember stuff. And I don't actually mentally remember it. I'm not even sure if I can describe what happens. It's like a total cellular recall, though. And it can be intense. One time when he was working on the abdominal scar near the sternum, I could swear to you that it didn't feel like his hand was on top of my skin outside of my body. It felt like hand inside. And along with that feeling rose an immediate panic in me that if I could attach words to it, felt like, "NO NO NO NO NO! I didn't say you could do that!!"

Now, I have no idea what the f*&% happened that day in the Emergency Room, and I might be making some of these body memories up. I truly believe that the mind/body is amazing and powerful and can store all kinds of truths....but I also know for a fact that if you lie about something long enough, you'll believe it ;-) Know what I'm saying?? So I have no frickin' idea how much of what comes up during this work is real or imagined....but over the weeks I have come to realize that it really doesn't my matter. My body/mind is holding on to it, and it is due time to let it go.

Ok, so weeks have gone by, and TheScarDoc and I have worked on the arm, and the abdominal scar. I have homework in between weekly appointments, and his goal is always one of helping people get the release, but then setting them up for self-care, not dependency. It's going great. As sure as I sit here I can tell you that my arm is no longer numb. I no longer have constant neck pain. I am breathing (I am breathing!!) again (this is HUGE). I used to notice that I was sitting with poor posture, and when I would go sit up straight and would be stiff and tight---now it hurts to slouch. I actually am now naturally and unconcioulsy sitting up straighter. I am doing my exercises now how to treat myself if I pull something or move the wrong way.

But now? I've decided to have him keep going. We've moved down in to the leg in the past two sessions.

Oh. My. God.

It's hard. It's really hard. It's difficult when it's being worked on, and it's been really difficult afterwards. I have not even processed the hows and whys of it yet. I can tell you that from the physical side of things, I am already noticing greater range of movement in my thigh socket on the stump side (in addition to the amputation during the accident, my pelvis also separated in the front like a book. I have a plate there that holds it together now. Yay me. LOL). But there is a whoooole bunch of stuff going on inside the bowl of my pelvis where that tissue got pulled out of shape, and no massage therapist or PT is going to ever be able to palpate all that. But his work? Well, you pull on one side of the sweater, and it adjusts on the other. I can home Monday afternoon and it felt like the bottom of my pelvis was falling through. Crazy.

And that's what overwhelms me. I need to sit still for a freakin' minute and just BE with it sometimes, and it's almost like I cannot find the time! I am not trying to avoid processing things (been there, dont that)....but it's like my day to day responsibilities plus life's other mini-dramas all seem to get in the way of me "me time" and then all of those feeeeeelings that TheScarDoc and I are working to release? They just sort of "steep".

It's unnerving.

Okay. So I just sat down and typed away for awhile, kind of like stream of conciousness writing, and I'm not going to go back and reread it now, or edit it, because if I do, I will take half of it out and besides, I need to go do laundry and feed the cats and let the dog out and go to the market and stop by the school to meet with the music teacher, and get ready for dance class and and and and....

...and maybe find a minute for myself ;-)

And THAT is all have to say about THAT.


katkoe said...

I'm so glad to hear that you've found a doc to work with you, good medical type ppl make all the difference imho... best wishes and hugs gal :)

carleigh said...

hey sweetie. You know my fields of study and I have learned and personally experienced this body memory of emotions/experience. It is very real. I get it every time I go in for craniosacral therapy, which works on the same myofacial layers. It is intense and releases emotion I had no idea was lingering in there, so I can only imagine what kind of stuff your scars are holding. Be patient and kind to yourself as you work through this. When a wave of overwhelm comes over you, take a deep breath, like if an actual ocean wave was about to hit you and tell yourself that this will pass as you visualize the wave pushing you to the shore. I find that with this type of work, there is a bottom to be found and then a journey back up and out the other side. If you can hold on through that journey, the peace and freedom that awaits you is totally worth it. Pick up the phone and call, I'm happy to do some wave riding with you. xoxo


Yeah, Like Carleigh said.

Please try to find some personal time. Love you.

Carol said...

Every once in a while, your posts leave me speechless. I cannot bear to think of all the physical difficulties you've been thru because I have grown so fond of you. I'm glad you've found a doc who can help you. Hugs.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Thank you for being so authentic in sharing your experiences. I see you taking back a lot of the power over the pain. You inspire me in your consistent propulsion through the pain and to the better place. It takes a lot of vision to be willing to fight that much. I want you to know how much I honor the way you invite people into your life through this blog. So take a minute and just sit with the feelings. Do some of that breathing stuff people talk about. Be gentle with yourself, and surround yourself with people that will do the same.

Thinking lots of good thoughts for you -

JohnK said...

Some times I think that I don't say "I love you" enough to the people I really care about.


M-H said...

I can't tell you how moving I found this post. Well, I can, I guess: very very moving. Take great care of yourself.