Posted in Hopeless, Rambling

pain in the neck

Around two weeks ago, my pillows, our new mattress, the overhead fan and bad posture, all conspired to give me a crick in the frikkin neck. (Hmm, that phrase had a nice ring to it. I repeated it to myself four times just now. Fun!)

According to my calculations, I get a crick in the neck at least once every year and I am left to deal with the resultant pain and discomfort for at least two weeks, give or take a few days. The only good thing about this is that experience has taught me a few things by now.

For example, I now know that cold packs work wonders, soothing the inflammation and giving miraculous pain relief. I know that painkillers do, thankfully, take away a bit of the sting of the injury as well, enough to make it bearable. I also know that it’s no use trying to ‘give it rest’. The best thing is to NOT rest but to try and keep moving. Lying around in bed moaning and complaining, satisfying though it may be, will NOT help AT ALL.

Usually, I find that pain brings out the worst in me. I happen to be one of those people who have a rather low threshold, and I’m neither proud nor ashamed to admit this. That’s just how I’m wired I guess. Pain makes me cranky. It can frustrate me. It can make me rude and offensive to people I generally love. It can make me resentful and bad-tempered and anti-social. It can make me oh-so-sulky and withdrawn and prone to shooting dirty looks at anyone who glances at me sympathetically. It can do a lot of things to basically turn me into a little monster. Nope, I am not fun to be around when I am in pain.

So around two weeks ago, when I sat up and felt a sudden sharp pain in my neck, I knew in an instant that I was in trouble….

I got out of bed unable to turn my head in any direction. If I made one wrong move….it would have me howling. First things first. I went out of the room to seek out the Huz, mumbling a series of expletives and ‘ows’ all the way to the living room, where Huz was to be found. I informed him of my predicament and asked for a shoulder rub.

Like any normal human being, I adore massages, especially back and shoulders because I often strain those muscles. This penchant for being kneaded has grown exponentially as I have aged….and so has my dissatisfaction with the only people in the house who I can ask to oblige.

I would have thought that the man who found me nice enough to marry would positively jump at any opportunity to give me pleasure. But that was not to be. I realized early on in my married life, that here was a man who would never EVER offer to give me a back rub of his own volition. Being fidgety or rubbing my own shoulders while giving him meaningful looks had absolutely no effect. Here was a man who was truly macho.

I also worked out a few other things. In other words, passive aggression would not work on him. Giving him the silent treatment did not bring about the desired effect either. I decided to swallow my pride and resort to begging.

Over the years, Mr Macho learnt to recognize the needy look in my eyes when I approach him and preempt the question he knows is coming with a ‘No!’. Undeterred, I plead with him to have mercy, rub my shoulders, just 5 minutes…..please….

He sighs, looks away in resignation and reluctantly agrees….but just two minutes, he says.

I am grateful for whatever I get. It is far from enough, but something is better than nothing I suppose. This is what I say to myself as I daydream wistfully of a personal masseuse who’d rub my back with essential oils and proceed to knead me for an hour of pure bliss, recognizing without being told all the sore spots, knowing the right amount of pressure to apply, understanding where to use the palms, where to use knuckles, and where just fingertips…

And back to reality, where Mr Macho is all thumbs. But I am grateful.

Surprisingly enough, I have found myself to be rather upbeat through this latest cricked-neck episode, despite the fact I can’t seem to get comfortable enough at night to get what I’d call a really restful sleep. I usually sleep on my side, with an arm tucked under the pillow under my head. Unfortunately, the cricked neck gave rise to stiff shoulders, and the stiff shoulders along with tennis elbow have led to a pulled muscle or something in my upper right arm. So sleeping with that arm under my head is downright painful.

I try sleeping on my back, but eventually the tension builds up under my neck because of it being raised on my pillow. If I remove the pillow, the gap between the back of my neck and the bed makes me uncomfortable. So I turn to the left and try sleeping with my left arm under the pillow. This works for a little while….until my exercise-induced Restless Leg Syndrome kicks in.

Unable to sleep, I try putting my head on Huz’s chest to see if that would help. He fidgets and rolls over and I’m back to square one, tossing and turning most of the night, trying to get comfortable as rest eludes me.

You’d think I’d be waking crabby and sleepy the next morning, unable to function, but you’d be wrong. I’m actually so happy to not have to try and sleep anymore that I bounce off the bed merrily, eager to get on with my day. It’s all very strange and I don’t know what’s going on, but I’m not complaining.

Of course, as luck would have it, Zahooran has once again left me in the lurch when I am at my most vulnerable and gone off to her village for a month.

I put my current favourite song on repeat as I wash the dishes and clean the kitchen, my neck loosening up as I get grooving.

I defy you to listen to this song and not want to get up and start dancing πŸ™‚

25 thoughts on “pain in the neck

  1. Thank heaven for Huz. I thought I was the only one who didn’t jump to the “please give me a rub” command. πŸ™‚ Now Mrs. Monkey wants Indian Head Massage – there’s got to be a video on youtube somewhere on how to do it. You’re right though, movement is the best cure. I hope you’ve sorted it now.

    1. I’m planning on teaching myself how to give the perfect shoulder rub on youtube. I figure I should be a giver if I want to be a receiver πŸ™‚
      My sympathies to Mrs Monkey 😐 Huz feels less sheepish thanks to you πŸ˜›

  2. Since other humans in the family are seldom accessible, I keep vials of Voren and single-use syringes in my drawer πŸ™‚

    Also, an electric massager with oscillation modes and intensity settings is a neat tool to have!

  3. A most fun read! I was laughing throughout! Not on your pain but on your writing style πŸ™‚ Hope u get well soon. Mr. macho not wanting to give a rub sounds all too familiar. And here I thought only my hubby was wired that way! Its comforting to know there are others like him πŸ˜‰

    1. Glad you had a laugh! It IS pretty funny in a pathetic kind of way, isn’t it? Huz is most reassured that nobody hates him because of this blog post πŸ™‚

  4. I feel your pain. I get thos neck/upper back pains once or twice a year… I don’t do much for it, just go on with my life and if it gets really bad I take muscle relaxer pill before bed and that helps a lot! If this can be any consolation – my husband doesn’t do massages either! πŸ˜‰

    1. I just wish our husbands would be a little more considerate! 😐 Just taken some painkillers now and I hope I get some sleep tonight. Wish me luck!

  5. I love this post, Mun. Pain puts me in a bad mood, as well, and I love here the line about your resorting to begging. Sounds like me.

    Sorry you have been in pain, my friend.


    1. Funny how I had no idea what to write about until I started writing today Kathy πŸ™‚ Strange how blog posts just materialize once you make up your mind to produce something. Hugs back!

  6. Munira, I feel your pain. In my life, people have gone so far as to ask me for massages with eyes shining, but when it’s my turn they look blank, as though that doesn’t even make sense.

    A funny story, I hope: My sister likes to have her back scratched, so she taught my daughter how to do it when she was three. She started out giving her a dime (ten cents) for ten minutes of scratching. After a few weeks and finding out that nothing cost a dime, my daughter’s price went up to a quarter (25 cents) so she could at least buy bubble gum every once in a while.

    When she was four, my girl realized how little money a quarter really was, so she held out for more. My sister offered her two dimes and a nickel instead (without telling her that it added up to the same amount of money) so the back scratching began again and my daughter fell in love with the sound of all that ‘extra’ money clinking around in her piggy bank. I kept my mouth shut because no one was getting hurt, but I laughed every time she got her three coins.

    There’s a moral to this story, you know. Bribery. If you’re lucky you’ll be able to figure out something they really want — that’s no problem for you to give. (I’m feeling all warm and sneaky inside.)

    1. Ah, I was thinking about bribery yesterday πŸ™‚ Heehee.
      Your story is so cute! It reminded me of when I was little and my sister used to ask me to scratch her back πŸ™‚ And I obliged without payment! Hmm, I feel a reminiscent blog post coming on….
      What I find ironic about my situation is I am one of those people who will ignore cramped fingers and aching hands as long as the other person gets some relief, so it astounds me that a man with big strong hands would plead achy fingers in 2 minutes! It really makes me think his threshold of pain is wayyyy lower than mine πŸ˜› Anyways, it’s the ‘reluctance’ to give a satisfying massage that gets my goat….there’s no ‘soul’ in it, if you know what I mean. Sigh. It’s all so disappointing 😐

  7. Oh you poor thing, Munira. I am so sorry for your neck-pain. I kind of understand about you & your husband and your massaging inabilities. Barry and I have never been able to offer massages worth a darn. He thinks mine are too light and I think his are too heavy, if that makes sense. Sigh. It’s hard to be friendly when we humans are in pain. I’m wondering if any of us really succeed. I suppose some do better than others. Hope you are all better soon!

    1. Thank heavens for social media! A physiotherapist offered his services on Twitter (after reading my blog), INSISTED on dropping by to have a look, and I ended up getting some free physiotherapy! How lucky can I get?? πŸ˜€
      As a consequence, I’m much better shoulder/neck-wise, though afflicted with a sore throat now 😐
      My troubles make great material for the blog, methinks.
      My kingdom for a masseuse!

  8. I liked your writing, Munira, and I hope it helped you in overcoming the pain. Maybe you could ask your daughter for a little massage? My younger daughter was quite good at it giving me a bit of a massage. She has beautiful strong hands and she loved doing it.

    1. Thank you Aunty Uta! It did, strangely enough! πŸ™‚ I should have mentioned that I do ask her to give me a massage now and then, and she does oblige, though her dear little fingers get tired pretty fast too πŸ™‚

  9. Maybe it’s the Karachi weather! I got the crick today (minor one)! Grooving to the video while doing the dishes is a great idea! Enjoyed your post.

    1. Oh no Amarah! I do hope your crick goes away soon 😐 Mine is almost gone now, thank heavens.
      Thank you SO much for dropping by the blog πŸ™‚ I hope you listened to the song and grooved with it!

  10. My man will do it if I offer something in return. My big girl wouldn’t be caught dead, but my littlest will give me a rub at the drop if a hat. So I guess you just have to have another kid to get the sympathy and relief you’re longing for. (Teeheeeeee!) I’m so glad you’re feeling better.

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