I have gotten to the point where I hesitate to tell CMD and Trainer D that I’m hurting bc I know what happens next. I’ve actually taken to hiding my hands in the folds of my shirt when on the acupuncture table in the fond hope that she’ll forget about them. But last week I was hurting so much I decided that I shouldn’t try to evade treatment and I should take the help where I could get it. My next appointment was at The Gym so I emailed Trainer D and asked him to spend some time specifically working on my problem areas and educating me about my muscles.
The first time he really got into the Mr. Miyagi thing (formerly he had primarily used an elbow but made cryptic references to other methods) was a couple of weeks ago. “How’s your hip?” he inquired. “It’s kind of bothering me, but I’m not really caring right now,” I said. That was code for Ain’t nothin’ need adjusting over here, thanks. Let’s lift some weights.
He didn’t get, or pretended not to get, my meaning. And so both sides ended up getting treated. I then voiced the growing concern that my shoulders are completely different shapes and asked if he could fix that. I was thinking we’d do strengthening on the left. I was wrong. The immediate plan of care was to break down the weird muscle tissue that has taken up residence on my right shoulder since it has been compensating for my left side’s weakness. The muscle tissue build-up is abnormal enough to be of great interest to Trainer D, who is fascinated by this sort of thing. He actually had me move from the table to a chair at the Training “reception” desk so he could achieve greater leverage. That weekend I kept on checking to see if there was a handprint on my back. Ouch! I mostly felt the pain and just had to accept his reassurances that this was for my good on faith and based on past experience.
But a couple weeks later on Thursday I couldn’t sleep except for about an hour around midnight. Part of the problem was that my right shoulder was really bothering me. It was so bad I immediately emailed N2 (my new neurologist) for a new script and asked for help at the Gym again but prefaced it with, Hey, D, I know I asked you to do this and all but if I pass out we’re going to have a very long discussion when I come to.
The AED [defibrillator] is right over there, he informed helpfully.
[Thanks, Buddy. So glad to know you’ve got my back. Incidentally, I verified that he knows how to use one. “With my eyes closed,” was the comforting reply.]
The end result is that I have some residual soreness but overall my shoulder feels SO much better. It was the right decision to ask for help. Maybe I’ll stop hiding my hands at acupuncture…Well…maybe I’m not ready for that yet. [Update: I went to CMD Monday morning and hid my hands shamelessly.]
One day when we were busy building my good muscles instead of breaking down the bad ones Trainer D used the phrase “strength and honor” a couple of times on me (presumably from his mental database of motivational phrases – thankfully, this one was in English so I actually understood it). I couldn’t help laughing out loud bc I recognized the line from Gladiator and it has always tickled me pink. It’s what the gladiators say when they grasp each other’s shoulders right before they walk out into the arena.
I love that “strength and honor” are the two values that made it into a major Hollywood film as the motto of extremely manly men who are forced to fight for their lives. It’s funny to me because I think of it every time my shoulder hurts and remember that the phrase originates in Proverbs 31 – the chapter about ideal womanhood.
“Strength and honor are her clothing;
and she shall rejoice in time to come.” (Proverbs 31.25 KJV)
Much has been written on the topic of Biblical womanhood from all kinds of perspectives. But for me the fact that “strength and honor” are valued is the bottom line.