A Pinch is a Pain

Monday, April 14, 2008

On Friday, I woke up and I had a pain in my neck. I thought nothing of it, and rolled back over in bed to sleep. Margaret called around 8am, and I jumped out of bed to answer it (Gonz was already at work) - we had plans that day to work on a whole bunch of stuff for her show. A few minutes later, I would figure out I wasn't going to be in any shape to help her. Not Friday, or even a couple of days after.

After I hung up the phone, I rubbed my neck a little, surprised to find that the pain still hadn't gone away. I decided I'd get ready for the day while Sofia was still sleeping. I went to take a shower and as I was trying to lift my shirt over my head, I felt a huge stabbing pain in my neck causing me to not really be able to lift my arm at all. I tried to brush my teeth, but even that small motion caused a ton of pain too! I started to freak out - how am I supposed to care for Sofia?! Later, when I tried to lift her, I nearly dropped her. This is how bad it was.

I called Margaret back and she was like, "Wow... are you okay?" I don't think so. Margaret rushed over and helped me get Sofia ready and then we were going to go over to her/my parents' home for the day. Good thing, that day, my mother also happened to be home. The pain got worse and worse and I had to leave my mother to care for Sofia. I could only be off my back for a few minutes at a time before I had to lie back down because my muscles were seizing.

Apparently, all the women in my family have had this before. Christine used to get it all the time because of dancing. I remember Margaret getting it when we were still children. She woke up one morning not being able to lift her head off her shoulder. That sure made an impression on me. This was the first time I'd ever had it. Christine told me it was a pinched nerve. That would make sense of why I couldn't locate the pain. It felt like it was running all over my neck and my shoulders - and when the pain was at its height, I climbed up to my cheek, ear and even eyeball.

So, back to helping Margaret out for the day: it was very limited. I could hear the sound of disappointment behind her trying to be understanding. She had a long and large to-do list for us to accomplish that day. Well... I asked her to give me all the tasks that I could do while lying down. I helped her trim off the corners of leather pieces for her cuffs. I had little pieces of leather littered all over my face and hair. When I was better a little later, I helped her design her signage and branding for her packaging. At the end of it all, she still felt that we accomplished a lot although not exactly as expected. Phew!

The pain continued, however, into the evening. It was so painful at dinner that I could only take a few bites until I had to lie back down to release the tension in my neck. At one point, I surprised my family by being in tears. I guess I was also just really frustrated. Oh, did I mention that being stressed and frustrated also made the pain worse? It was just escalating.

I had to cancel everything I was going to do on Saturday. I was going to have a bunch of girls over for a brunch. Cancelled. I was going to go to Saturday Night Gathering to play and sing - which I hadn't done in a long, long time. Cancelled.

Saturday was bad too. But fortunately, I had all of my family available. Christine became the supply mom the whole weekend. This is the first time I have heard her say, "Sofia, you are impossible! I can't do this all day!" and she really looooooooves to dote on Sofia. Not this weekend... where all the cranky parts were hers to take care of too. My father and Margaret brought lunch over and because Samantha didn't get the message about girls' cancelled get-together, she hung out for a while. :-)

Sunday, it was getting better. Gonz, Christine, Sofia and I went out to Oshawa and make our weekly visit to my in-laws. Crazy thing is that all the women of that family are all familiar with pinched nerves also so they knew what to do. Mi nuestra kept feeding me Advil, and Ana kept warming up the bean bag to put on my neck. Maria Paz once got a pinched nerve in her neck by trying to hold in a sneeze in the middle of the night to not wake her baby. Tough call.

Anyhow, by the end of the day, I was a whole ton better.

So... all of that to write, how awesome is it that I have my whole family around me and they are ready to help at a drop of a hat? It just keeps making me think, how in the world did my mother, and all immigrant mothers do it? They're millions of miles away from their families - where even a phone call to get some motherly advice would be too much for them to afford. And how awesome was it that God provided that day off for my mother to be home on the Friday so that I wouldn't have to worry about caring for Sofia as I got better?

Today is Monday, and I am out on the other side now. I have a little bit of soreness in my neck still, but I think it's from over-massaging it, but I have a heart full of gratitude.


  1. Aiya.
    That sounds painful.
    You need a Nicole.

  2. Hey kathy,
    really super glad you're feeling better. heather gets this too, but in her lower back. she was in the same place, where I was her roomie so I made her meals and changed the dvd for a couple days.

    anyway, keep finding times to relax! you're being a really great mom.

  3. hey beka - i totally thought the same thing. however, i was in too much to think about getting in the car. when i went to my in-laws on sunday, i almost didn't make it. 30 minutes was a long, long time to be sitting up...

    hey matt - i am A LOT better. right now there is a little bit of a pull still, but it's a shadow of what it was. you are a good friend to heather - poor girl. i already feel like i get to relax a lot. after all, my parents do just live down the street five minutes walking...


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