Saturday, August 6, 2011

In the Flesh

     I know that it can easily seem like most of what I do here is simply bitch about my husband's disability and the effect it has on our lives. While that's not entirely incorrect, it's not entirely correct, either. I'm well aware that fully half of my posts are less than cheery, but I would argue that venting about the day-to-day challenges that we're faced with is...kind of the whole point of the blog. It's an outlet for me, something I can use to get my thoughts in line when they'd much rather go every which way. That being said, I'm also hoping that those close to us (hi, family on the other side of the country!) use this as a way to keep tabs on what we're doing. It's hard enough living hundreds of miles away from your loved ones when they don't have serious medical issues; it sucks even more when they do. Here's hoping I'm able to bridge the distance somewhat.

     Yesterday was the fourth or fifth appointment my husband has had with the chiropractor and he learned something new and different about his back. As you may remember me saying in previous entries, my husband has a lot of hardware attached to his spine - titanium rods and screws and things of that nature. Thanks to the magic of x-rays, he knows approximately where each piece of metal is located in his body. For years, there's been a spot just below the skin that was so small and hard that he assumed it was the head of one of the screws holding the rods in place. What else would it be, right? Um, it was actually a muscle knot.

     It seems like such a small thing, not really even worth mentioning. But then I started thinking about it as if the situation were applied to me instead of him. (I do that a lot, to try and get perspective on a given situation and maybe understand my husband's reaction(s) a little better.) I can't imagine a having a part of back muscle so twisted up into itself that I mistook it for a titanium screw head. What must that feel like? Did it always make itself known, or only when he slept on that part of his back? Was it like The Princess and the Pea, always there and denying him a truly restful sleep? Could such a tiny thing make that much difference one way or another when dealing with a case like his, where the Marfan's has jacked up just about everything and so what effect could one tiny muscle knot have in the grand scheme?

     Times like these are when we pull out our "Time will tell" motto and wait to see what happens. I don't know that the doctor's discovery was anything very significant, but I've been wrong before. My husband seemed pretty amazed by what transpired, though he did remark on how much it hurt when the doctor was working it out. Apparently, it wasn't that painful before the chiropractor started working to break it up, but it burned like hell afterward. A good burn, though, one that lets you know you've accomplished something.

     I really want this doctor to keep making forward progress with my husband's back, as it seems to be going so well. Dr. Chiropractor told my husband that he's already finished loosening up one group of muscles and now they're working on the next set. I don't know what order they're going in or even how the muscle groups are divided up, but again, this seems like progress. Considering that I was ready to tear my hair out in frustration over the pain management issue just a few months ago, this is nothing short of a minor miracle to my way of thinking. If we can just for once keep the forward momentum going, it'll be a relief.

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