Eons ago, while I was on a journey through the Far East, a practitioner of the mystic, manipulative arts foretold I would experience dark times later in life. Specifically with my left shoulder.
Okay, so she was the masseuse at the Shangri-la Hotel in Hong Kong back in 2006, but she turned out to be eerily accurate.
Avoiding certain sleeping positions helps minimize the pain. Said sleeping positions include (but are not limited to): lying on my left side, lying on my right side, lying on my stomach, lying on my back using a pillow that is either slightly too large or too small, sleeping without a pillow, and falling asleep in a chair or on a couch, plane, train, or car. As I said, avoiding them helps but sometimes I’ll forget – like, say, when I’m sleeping. As a result, there are times when I wake up so sore I have to use my one good arm to haul myself out of bed.
I find Tylenol or Advil help to a certain degree. Bourbon seems to be more effective. Also, an alternate pain source serves as a terrific distraction. This I discovered last week when I started experiencing an intermittent ache in my left ear which I attributed to (aka blamed on) Akemi’s recent bout with tonsillitis. But I had no other symptoms. No sore throat. No coughing. Just a dull ache in my left ear that would strike for a few seconds, then disappear for minutes, sometimes hours, before returning.
Finally fed up, I went to see the doctor. He checked my ears, checked my throat, checked my nose. And then, smiling knowingly, pressed his fingers up against either side of my jaw. “Does this hurt?”he asked, applying equal pressure to both hinges. “Yes!”I said. “More on your right side?” Yes again.
Apparently, I suffer from TMJ, temporomandibular joint syndrome.
Prognosis: My ear hurts because of the stress I place on my jaw by grinding my teeth at night.
Treatment: I have to go see my dentist about a night time retainer.
I mean, come on! Next thing you know, they’ll be outfitting me with a special trapeze and swing to treat my shoulder!
Finally, thanks to those who’ve been asking about Akemi. She completes her antibiotics today and her throat is no longer sore. HOWEVER, her lymph nodes are still swollen and that has made it very difficult for her to sleep at night. Lately, she’s been following the same routine: coming to bed and coughing up a storm, elevating herself with pillows to no avail, and then eventually giving up and heading downstairs where she spends the night on the couch, half-sleeping, half watching youtube videos.
The dogs, however, are fine! Lulu still has her back issues that have slowed her down, but we’re going to follow up with a visit to the neurologist when we get back to Vancouver. Suji, meanwhile, heads to the vet on Monday for a little out-patient procedure to remove a suspicious lump on her back. Better safe than sorry!
And that’s the update on our walking wounded. What’re the latest aches and pains in your neck of the woods?