October 10, 2012


Bear River, Nova Scotia

I hurt my back in August.
I had felt a little pain
and had a scheduled appointment with my chiropractor the next day
so I didn't think anything of it.
I woke up the next day and it was worse.
Went to the chiropractor
and he said the SI joint was acting up and being out of place.
(the SI joints are in your lower back, where those little dimples are. You know the ones.)
He did an adjustment
and it all went downhill from there.
That was on a Wednesday.

By Friday, I'd had it.
The first meltdown happened when I went to get ready for bed.
I couldn't bend over to wash my face.
I twisted and turned and bent my knees
but I splashed water all over the floor.
Then I tried to brush my teeth.
That's when the real waterworks started.
I felt useless
and that's what really got me going.

For the record, it's not easy to cry and brush your teeth.

But in that I was successful.

On Saturday I had another appointment with the chiropractor.
I was totally fine in the morning. Still stiff. But ok.
Fella had gone off to work
and I had intentions of hitting the mall after my appointment
to buy something really exciting - a new iron.
I know.
Anyway - I walked into the clinic and he looked at me and asked me how I was and I said grimly,
Not good.
I have to say - I really like Dr. Green.
We chat and joke and have great talks when I go to see him.
I'm never very serious.
Most of all - I totally trust him.
I know he wants me to feel better
he's not in it for a cash grab.
He's a great doctor.

He put me in one of the examining rooms
and put on the cursed Dr. Ho's version of electro-shock.
It's a horrible device.
It sends electric shocks into muscles to release the tension.
And when your muscles are as tight as can be
it really hurts.

That's when I started crying.
There I was, laying face down on the table.
Blubbering like a baby.
And I couldn't stop.
And I didn't know why I was crying.

After about 10 minutes he came in and jokingly said
How's my little twitcher?

I looked at him and said,
I can't stop crying.
And I don't even know why I'm crying.
But I've been trying to stop for-oh-5 minutes and I can't.

He pulled up a stool and asked if everything was ok.
I said yes. I'd been fine before I got there.
I was going shopping for a iron afterwards!

But I was still crying.

He said that it's really common for back pain to trigger tears.
It affects everything you do
so it can really wear on you.
He said that the good news was that the pain I was suffering
was not an indication of the severity of the injury.
The injury was very minor.
It just takes 3-4 weeks to go back to how it should be.

He also said that a lot of people cry for no reason in his office
so he's used it.
His kindness made me cry more.
(I'm not a big cryer but kindness gets me almost every time.)

I pulled myself together
and we finished up and I left.

I realized that I needed to pull myself together before I could go anywhere
so I sat down a low wall across from a fountain.
The fountain has a public art piece in it.
It's this odd metal canoe skeleton with pointy spear -like thingies sticking up out of the water.
I walk by it whenever I go to that office and dismiss it as stupid every time I look at it.

But that day was different,
I actually sat and looked at that piece
and I saw it for the first time.

And it made sense.

It's hard to stop - you plan out your time
and convince yourself that all the things on your list are necessary.

But when you stop, that's when you really catch up.

It made me feel better.
Mostly, I think, because I took the time to focus on something outside of myself.

And isn't that, sometimes, what art is about?

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