I have had hip pain for many years, now. I’ve brushed off the concerns of friends and clients, with a waive of my hand and a chuckled, “It’s just a kink I need to work out.”
Well, I ended up at a chiropractor/neurologist’s office a while back. He came highly recommended. A week before, I had collapsed at a client’s home, after a session. My body just went, “We’re done.” And I went down. That made me realize I wasn’t going to work this out by myself. I was hoping to take a Holistic approach, first. I’m not a big fan of the medical industrial complex. Well, this big, burly, and terribly funny, Dr. sent me to get some x-rays of my hip. When I went back, he showed me the x-rays and explained how fucked up I was. I’m bone on bone with spurs. Yep, it looked exactly how it feels.
As if the x-ray evidence was not enough. This Viking of a Dr. asked me, with eyes that looked on the verge of tears. “How are you functioning?” As usual, I chuckled, and said. “I come from stoic people and I’m ornery.” He smiled and asked me. “Are you Irish?”
Oh, dear. Irish, Dutch and mixed grill. I was also raised Catholic and constantly told about the sacredness of suffering. Any complaints of discomfort were usually met with ridicule and/or minimized. I learned early on that no one cares about my pain. I’m a cry baby and a hypochondriac.
“There is nothing I can do for you, aside from giving you some very, brief relief. Until you get you hip replaced.”
Swell! 6 weeks to get on AHCCCS, the state’s Medicaid program. In the mean time. I have people coming out of the woodwork. Telling me how much they love their new hip. Quick recovery time and I have a list of doctors who are wonderful. 6 weeks seems to be the magic number. I have another, 6 weeks till my first doctor appointment. THEN, I hope for a quick referral to an orthopedic doctor.
The pain and dysfunction has been exponential since viewing the x-rays. I can’t deny that I’m a wreck, now. Standing or sitting for too long is excruciating. I haven’t gotten a good night’s sleep in weeks. The pain wakes me up and I spin, like a rotisserie chicken, all night. Trying to find a position that’s comfortable. Chronic pain is exhausting. I have muscle spasms. The chiropractor told me that my muscles are in survival mode. Trying desperately to hold me together.
I know of two, massage therapists who are about 10 years older than me. Both have had to have hip replacements. This is tough work! In the past year, we have had two, new therapists quit. Both discovered just how physically demanding this work is. One, fell apart and is trying to get on disability. The other, just quit because she was tired. Then, there’s me. Ornery, stubborn and without a supportive partner or rich parents. I HAVE to work. I have clients who depend on me and most have told me that they will wait the 6 weeks of recovery. I love my work and clients. I keep having dreams of walking and running, like I used to.
The other day, I did a one card draw of a Tarot deck. I drew The Hanged Man. Its meaning is basically, Wait, regroup, heal. Everyone around me is so supportive. This is another lesson in gratitude, humility, surrender and patience. The last two are problem areas of mine. I want to be able to hike and camp with friends, again. I desperately, want to dance, again. Now, I’m understanding why an old woman I used to care for wanted to die. Chronic pain is a horrible thing.