So I finally paid my chiropractor, Dr. Bill, a visit. I have been working through suck-your-breath pain ever since poling myself into a corner last weekend. My money was on inguinal ligament entrapment of the  femoral cutaneous nerve by the psoas, revised from gluteal compression of same (it’s a big nerve) but just lying on my face for him to check my reflexes made me Lamaze breathe and jack-knife up off the chiropractic table, the first time that has happened since I was in my twenties.

He opines that I tore the hell out of a whole square yardage of fascia. Have you met fascia? That stuff that you have to peel off poultry or flank steak when preparing it? It is not directional (meaning it can be strained from whatever angle), and infiltrates every tiny layer of tissue in your body — literally, there is no break between the fascia that divides your brain hemispheres and the fascia at the arch of your foot. It has no circulation of its own and depends on the pumping action of the adjacent muscles to do that job; when you hear about flesh eating bacteria, it is a form of fasciitis. I just had the kind that doesn’t eat your flesh, which sort of helps you maintain perspective. Dr. Bill got a Kleenex and tried hard to duplicate the visual demo he had seen in a workshop of what fascial tearing looks like, but it was a bit beyond his dexterity. Think the little gaps and thin spots that happen when you string out pizza cheese. I knew that anyway but it was cute to watch him get frustrated over a small heap of tissues.

My whole thigh had gotten clobbered; hence the random, varying seizures of pain, ranging from “hot wires running through the muscle” to “screaming spastic ache” chasing one another through everything except my hamstrings. I felt you could argue for a knock-on effect in the brain, sure enough.

We sat in his office while I absorbed a horse doctor dose of Advil and he changed the ice blanket on my leg and hip — which was already slathered with Biofreeze —  three times. He didn’t adjust anything. The relief was worth the appointment fee nevertheless. According to one seminar he had attended you can do this ice thing for three hours at a time, stunning pain receptors and driving stagnant tissue fluids back into return circulation. I am on the second hour of the second round, having seen a client in between times, without pain making me light-headed for the first time since the weekend.

According to the Travell text I keep on a bookstand, “we see rectus femoris trigger points develop as the result of overload caused by abnormal hip joint mechanics, and then vastus lateralis trigger points develop because that muscle attempts to compensate for the compromised rectus femoris,” which all probably sounds vaguely rude to people who don’t toss these terms around every day, but pretty well describes where I was before I poled myself to death and just definitively tore up all the interlacing soft tissue.

I’ve been ordered to pound the Advil in double doses for three days; he insists another seminar reassured him that this is not long enough to weaken my tendons or turn my liver plaid or any of the things you worry about with NSAIDs.

I ate a whole pot of macaroni and cheese. This wasn’t a prescription, but it is something I save for emergencies. The last time I had any I think Clinton was President. The first box I opened was full of weevils.

This is all so educational I could just shit.


15 thoughts on “Ice

  1. OUCH! That really sounds unnecessarily painful! Perhaps it is time to relax onto a couch 🙂 Yeah, Like! 🙂

    I really wanted/desired/needed/lustedafter some oatmeal the other day so opened the container which had remained closed since August last year when my diabetes was diagnosed. I chose not to eat the weevils!

    • I’m just put out at my body for failing to overcome such a little problem. I expect better.

      Despite which, it feels awfully good to relax with the ice. I figure I can do bench presses or something that doesn’t directly work the quads and let myself off gardening today; it was kind of fun to read all last evening. Worst problem is I will just have to suppress the instinct I always feel in the grocery to drop-kick a stampeding toddler; it makes my leg twitch involuntarily every time one passes.

  2. Deadlifts worked — best set I’ve cranked out in weeks. Even if I had to move two bimbos doing JUMPING JACKS away from the Olympic rack (“no, ladies, I really need you to move WELL away, like more than a foot, from where I am about to huck up a hundred-pound bar while standing on two plates.” jesus h. christ).

    My massage bud then rubbed me with cold slabs of marble. It was heavenly.

    I just hope I get back on the road before there’s ice and snow.

    • I just don’t know how to do that. I hate mess and it drives me to distraction knowing there are crumbs on the kitchen floor or the rug needs vacuuming or the laundry’s not folded. Makes it a little had to stay off my feet. And, thanks to the heat death of the American economy, there is zero wiggle room for me to clear my appointments.

      Fortunately I have two ice packs that can be strapped to my thigh.

  3. You know too much about human anatomy for your own good! For vegetarian comfort food, I recommend mashed potatoes. But I have to be honest and tell you, they’re even more comforting with a nice ladle of turkey gravy.

    • I loathe potatoes. Mashed and baked ones for sure. My first-grade teacher actually stood over me until I ate the potatoes in the school lunch. That’ll put you off anything for life.

      But a good noodle is a different thing. Or as the punchline of the Jewish joke goes, “Oy, when I finish these noodles, will you hear a scream.”

  4. Despite your pain, the first sentence of this post is really funny. You lead poor Dr. Bill, if he reads his patients’ blogs, to believe, until mid-sentence, that your check is in the mail. But no….

    So, how the hell are you now? I make a spectacular homemade Mac and Cheese, capable of soothing yards and yards of damaged fascia. Sorry I couldn’t make it for you.

    • I have had to put the check in the mail once or twice, owing to Pain Induced Brain Death, but as for Dr. Bill reading this blog, his only attempt to tackle the Internet sputtered and faltered months ago and the quite lovely Toshiba that he bought is, according to him, sitting in the closet. He was just too baffled by e-mail. I don’t know what to do about him. He really yearns for the days of pens, pencils and Western Union.

      I went through the three days of Advil and the ice, and then remembered to add some high dose powedered vitamin C and MSM to the regimen (these are substrates for collagen in soft tissue). I added a couple daily slathers of Ormusol, a weirdly alchemical sounding homeopathic type of salve that has shown signs of knocking down this type of injury writ smaller, and it seems to help too. At some point last night it stopped feeling like “freshly scratched to the bone by cats” and changed to “been shredded, but no longer shrieking.” Three light “placeholding” workouts and a killer chest and arm session with the Engineer have all gone OK, but I still limp. I would probably be pretty much better from the long term injury if I hadn’t gone crazy with those poles. Oh well.

      I must start collecting Mac & Cheese recipes. Wee Rascal has a doozy somewhere.

  5. Be careful with the shitting, ya don’t want to shred anything else! Glad you’re getting back on track.

    If I don’t make my own mac n cheese, I like the Stouffer’s one you bake. I cook it too long so it gets brown and chewy on th edges – I like a bit of burnt cheese. But, I hear their recipes are regional and say, the mac in the south is not the same as the mac in Ohio (where I discovered it).

    • I get my mac and cheese from the Trader Joe’s chain, which makes a god help us organic selection, you boil the macaroni shells, drain them and dump them back int he pan with powdered cheese and cream, stir, let it gel a few minutes. Painless, fast consolation food. If I’m going to eat something like that I need it to be ready before I think of the 50 reasons why I shouldn’t.

      • Ah, a place that I have never been. One of my sister’s friends is the artist-in-residence at their local Trader Joe’s – something that makes me like the place sight-unseen. Instead of hiring some huge corporate design co, each location has their own artist doing the big signs that hang over the aisles. Pretty damn cool.

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