Saturday, March 7, 2015

Laid Low Again

For the second time in four months, I'm laid up in bed with debilitating pain. And I'm getting really tired of it.

For the last five months I've been trying to recover from straining my lower back unloading heavy cases of food products from the back of a pickup while attending a fair in St Louis. At first it was just being careful to not lift anything heavy. Then, after three weeks of that I went on the road for a month and had to cope with secondary pain from muscles that had become sore from holding my body so protectively (a phenomenon that my friend Harvey refers to as "self-splinting"). My body was clenched in pain a lot and it was often excruciating getting in and out of bed.

I made it home from that trip right before Thanksgiving and pretty much collapsed into bed rest for three weeks. I just wasn't well enough to carry on normal functioning, even though I was studiously avoiding any serious lifting. As my mind was still active I read 10 books in December, which was a stimulating consolation prize.

As the pain gradually relinquished its grip, I slowly became more ambulatory and could start to work for stretches at a time sitting at my desk (instead of propped up in bed, as I am now). I was well enough to travel with Ma'ikwe mid-January to NC to conduct a facilitation training weekend, and felt better at the end than at the beginning. I was gaining!

Then I embarked on a month-long sojourn in early Feb. While the secondary pain in my back had mostly migrated to my ribs, I suffered a major emotional/psychic blow three days into the trip when Ma'ikwe announced via Skype that she had decided to end the marriage. While it's mysterious to me how the emotional body interacts with the physical one, I have no doubt that they do and Ma'ikwe's decision was decidedly a complication in my continued recovery. 

I arrived in Los Angeles for a six-day visit with my son (Ceilee) and grandkids (Taivyn & Connor) and immediately contracted a cold. I may have gotten it from Connor's sniffles or I may have picked it up on the train ride out, but either way I got it. The cold was run-of-the-mill and not particularly draining in and of itself, but a cold invariable leads to my getting a lingering cough, and that was aggravating for my sore ribs—like a knife being jabbed into my torso.

The cough went on for two weeks (about average for what I experience with a cold), during which I dreaded coughing and could do practically nothing to stop it. It was awful and my sore ribs persisted.

Fortunately the cough finally relented about a week ago, as I was finishing up facilitating a community retreat in Colorado, and I thought I was seeing light at the end of the tunnel… but no such luck. I had a bad reaction to some body work done last week that left soreness in my sternum (breastbone), and the minute I stepped off the train in La Plata MO Wed afternoon, it flared up into something so tender that I could barely lift anything. It was all I could do to get home and go to bed—where I've been the last three days, riding out the inflammation at the center of my top ribs.

On the good side, I'm being wonderfully supported (with fire tending and meals) by my caring neighbors (thank the goddess for community!) and I'm getting more reading in again (I'm deep into A Story Like the Wind by Laurens van der Post). 

That said, I've been wracking my brain trying to figure out which gods I pissed off last fall and what it will take to finally to expiate them. It's been as trying a five-month stretch as I've ever experienced.

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