Saturday, January 3, 2015

A Specific OMG Update

Too much has happened since I last wrote.  I can only hope I have enough random journal entries and discussion board comments I can go back and cut/paste at some point to piece together some chronology at a later date.

Suffice it to say, I've made progress, a lot of progress.

*     *     *     *     *

One must be noted, though I won't get in detail.  Christmas Eve, technically 1am or so Christmas morning, I freed something through my right shoulder, which in turn freed my right hip (where usually things go across to opposite side), and I experienced such a change in my abdomen that I became unable to carry the weight of my own stomach/lower gut.

No strength at all, presumably muscles not in position to hold with the flexing they had been accustomed, some muscle memory movements cause extreme abdominal pain.  I became very ill, experiencing sweats and chills and pain throughout the next 40+ ours.

I missed Christmas.

*     *     *     *     *

But I do believe it was progress.  It changed my shoulders.  It greatly changed my right side, allowing wholly new access to muscle and posture and adjustments.

In fact, where I have long used "Unwinding" to characterize my adjustments, I can now, at least subjectively, say it is "Unfolding" that I am doing (and not just because it fits better with While My Guitar Gently Weeps).  The "Unwinding" involved the contortions around kinks.  The kinks themselves, I believe, I am unfolding.

*     *     *     *     *

Anyways, while trying to access muscle previously unknown to me, and thinking of how to describe the experience and practice, I stumbled upon one (a "new to me" movement, not the words to explain the process):

I'll say, I widened my hips.  More specifically, I seemingly spread the muscles around the right side of my hip further right, further from center, which allowed my right leg to lift outward to the side in a manner it never had.

Then, the OMG part.  As the leg lifted, the muscles on the right side of my abdomen moved right (away from center - sorry, the word for this eludes me at present) and up.  Then, the muscles of my right side moved up and around my chest.  An aside, one new aspect has been the muscles previously behind the right shoulder are have been freeing the right side of my back to expand, which also goes into my neck and brings substantial changes in my neck/jaw/head posture.  The cascade brought about by the leg lift extended all the way up into the back of my neck along this same path in a way I can only describe accurately with the words I uttered in the moment: "HOLY SHIT!"

*     *     *     *     *

Shortly thereafter, I realized the leg could now do a motion I believe a physical therapist had tried to get me to do before.  In truth, it is an exercise I was able to do, unlike so many which would result in sharp shooting pains in locations that did not make sense to the therapist (product of the knots/kinks, I believe).  The difference this time is that the movement used muscles as they were meant, and presumed, to be used.

I may have taken a huge stride.

*     *     *     *     *

Of course, feeling guilty that I have not done any updates in so long, I came here instead of trying to do more and repeat the movement.

That said, I know, and have repeatedly demonstrated to myself, that any progress I make, I can build upon.  I can repeat the movement, even if it takes weeks to find, or I can find the endpoint and build upon it.  So, I decided that at least this bit of documentation was more important.

*     *     *     *     *

So now, back to unfolding, and football, and video games, and reading.  And pain - this cold is tormenting me.

I laugh as I write this, because I do not even know where this new motion is leading, I abandoned it so quickly (very unusual for me) to come notarize it.  Per Vonnegut, so it goes.

I can't wait for Summer, or at least a warm Spring, to get here.

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Limbs They Are A Changin'

It's getting awkward.  It remains painful.  It even appears oafish.

But I'm making progress.  I know it.

*     *     *     *     *

Two nights ago, a miracle.

I slept on my side, the same side, without needing to flip over, for almost half the night.

And no, I was not passed out drunk or otherwise impaired.

The difference was my shoulder.  It was in place.  It was a solid mass which I laid upon.

As so many times before, I did not know just how bad things were until a change took place.  All this time, all these years, I would dislocate my shoulder laying down on my side, letting it be pulled from my torso, at least partially.  It was the most comfort I could find, though the pain would progress over time and I would flip over to the other side every 15 minutes to an hour.

I was only able to duplicate the solid shoulder for spurts last night, but it was still noticeable.

*     *     *     *     *

Now, problems remain, as the rest of my torso has yet to learn how to align with such a position.

More so, my chest is in some real discomfort of late.  Muscles continue to work their way up, and at times I achieve adjustments with my chest seemingly swallowing my lungs.

*     *     *     *     *

There has been much progress and change in my hips as well.

Hard to explain, but an issue in my right hip can definitely be traced and followed all the way to my right shoulder and the neck/jaw kink.

In short, I'm a mess, but I am getting excited over potential improvements.

*     *     *     *     *

Of course, it got cold on me, however.  I really hate the cold.  I'd feel so much more optimistic with warm forecasts ahead.

This is not up to me, however, and I am on the verge, of believing, of really believing, 100%, that I am going to become.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

UnComfortably Numb

I went back to the dentist yesterday to get work done on the bottom teeth, several, one tooth on the left side, and four on the right.

Again, the Novocaine shot took effect quicker than I had ever experienced.  The shot on the left side for one tooth, was very quick.  The one on the right, done way in the back of the mouth meant to knock out the entire right bottom side, took longer.

I must regress

*     *     *     *     *

One aspect of the last trip to the dentist I don't think I went into, at least not in detail, was the post trip numbness.

My cheek, talking the skin around the cheek bone, not just the flabby stuff around the mouth, had been numb enough such that I could relax my face while meditating to a degree not before attained.  Not that I could tell what was happening on the right cheek, but the lack of muscle use aided relaxing the muscles that I could feel on the left.

The result was some most excellent jaw adjustments, though in truth I cannot recall any specifics regarding them, only that the slight jaw changes allowed neck and subsequent shoulder changes.

*     *     *     *     *

So, this past dental visit over at 10:50 and the pool's lap swim beginning at 11:30 and both my jaw and lower lip quite numb, I thought I'd take advantage and see what I could accomplish in the pool.

Of note, the biggest area of numbness was the right jaw, which even had left some of the upper neck a bit slack, muscles not under my control and very relaxed with the absence of stimuli.  This is also very close to at least part of the area I believe was injured in that fateful sled mishap of my youth, when Dad yanked my right arm out of socket while I had my stomach tucked seemingly into my lungs and my neck stretched to the breaking point.

This was not lost on me, and I meant to see what, if any, adjustments could be made in the right shoulder, neck and jaw.

*     *     *     *     *

I will not know the extent of my success for some time, I believe.  The jaw is sore as hell.

Yet, there was a great deal of shifting.  I felt something, a set of muscle perhaps, get from behind the shoulder to above the collar bone, and it felt new.

I felt my face slide slightly to the left after freeing some portion of the right.

Most importantly, in terms of tangible, non-subjective change (at least which I can eyeball from a mirror), the shoulder change mentioned above let my stomach fall a great deal.  I can almost create a pot belly when relaxed.  I can even sit with the belly hanging out!

*     *     *     *     *

This may be nothing to most, but I have never been able to do so, not without much force.  My resting position had my lungs tilted up and my midsection pulled up my torso with it.  I suspect it had been (still is somewhat) linked to the shoulder and neck being pulled up (thanks again, Dad).

So, at this time, my chest is smaller, a product of the lungs not tilted with organ pulled up under them.  My waist is smaller, my hips continuing to approach a better position, with a more forward tilt which turns both legs slightly inward.  All the while, still losing weight, my gut is getting huge.

I must embrace it, though it's not easy when the mirror reaction is, "Oh c'mon!"

*     *     *     *     *

There is more, but I am tired.  I spent an excruciating amount of time watching my beloved San Francisco Giants lose Game 6 of the World Series, badly, 10-0.  Though I must admit it stung nothing like when Dusty Baker blew Game 6 against the Angels, but still . . .

I'm gonna go take a nap, then swim, then prepare for Game 7.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

It's Filling

Two nights ago, I busted a filling, and some tooth, while eating a Skittle.

This morning, I had the dental appointment to fix the molar.

*     *     *     *     *

Now, there are a number of leaps I am going to take soon.  Just realize it is because, (a) I'm very happy to find something to be optimistic about, (b) it would confirm earlier hopes, and (c) I'm going with my thoughts from the remainder of my dental visit, without much time to digest things fully.

But that doesn't mean I am not correct!

*     *     *     *     *

Moments after getting a shot of Novocaine above the right molars, I could feel it taking effect.  Rather, I could notice losing sensation along the upper gum line, from where I got the shot towards the front of the mouth.

Exciting stuff, eh?

Well, it was to me.  I asked the dental assistant for a pen and paper to jot down notes, like
"I felt the Novocaine take effect very quickly after the shot, much quicker and more noticeable than ever."
*     *     *     *     *

Of note, Novocaine never came on the quickly or powerfully for me before.  A memory issue?  Perhaps.

However, it is also a characteristic of individuals suffering from Ehlers-Danlos, like the difficulty swallowing.

See where I am going?

*     *     *     *     *

I have been making great progress building muscle and changing my neck, throat, and jaw this past month.  My bite is looser than ever, all over the place (I've bitten my lip and/or the inside of my cheek more than enough to know this).

It could well be the first time my adjustments have actually lessened a symptom of my condition.

Now, this does not answer the Ehlers-Danlos v. Symptoms of Ehler-Danlos question.  But it certainly does imply (nothing more, sadly) that my postural changes may be a real factor in this symptom.

It could be for others, and it remains very possible I only possess the symptoms via injury.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Ill Communication

I'm having some significant discomfort, the right shoulder and right hip somehow both buckled, and I am unable to free one without the other, neither ready to move the amount needed.

It hurts, but an amount I can handle.  The problem is that the sharp, unhandleable pains come the moment I take my mind off keeping them in a certain position in relation to each other.  If I allow one to move as muscle memory wants, the other screams, loudly.

Basically, I can do little tasks, like type a sentence, with focus, but I do not have much intellectual processing capabilities regarding thought.

So, here is the scene from an hour ago (make that 1.5 hours as this took a long time to type):

*     *     *     *      *

I'm standing in the sun and high winds outside trying to find a way to unfold myself, when the wife comes out to ask if I can watch the kid while she goes out for a massage.

"Yes," I tell her, but then I wanted to explain more.  I wanted to let her know the above section, that I am clear headed mentally (not blinded by pain as is sometimes the case) and can do all the little tasks which supervising a seven year old can entail.

But I couldn't form the thoughts to then speak them, not without needing to refocus on the body to avoid the sharp pains.

She stood waiting for me to continue.

After a minute of false starts, my thoughts reached the point of realizing that I was not so capable of communicating, but could still watch the kid.  So, I raised a finger and said, "let me try to explain one thing," as we entered the house.

Then I was stuck again.

As she waited.

And waited.

At which point I busted out laughing.

"THIS!"  I motioned all around.  "I can do stuff.  I just can't communicate well."

*     *     *     *     *

I have no idea if she understands what I meant.  She's out getting a massage.  The kid is napping.

I am now left wondering if she, too, saw the humor in me trying to articulate that I was having trouble articulating anything.  I found the moment funny.

She likely just wanted to get going and get a massage.  Lord only knows what she thinks of me at this point.

Anyways, this was a snapshot of a moment, comically similar to many of my struggles with expressing myself.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Flappin' Them Wings And Makin' Waves!

A quick update on some serious progress, the butterfly stroke is paying real dividends.

Yesterday I totalled 500m of Butterfly (most just 25m with shoulder tweaking afterwards).

Today, I have no idea.  I was in a meditative zone with very little care for distances.  Had to be over 300m worth.

It is most definitely helping the muscle movement and building in my upper back.  Painful things do happen, afterwards, but so do some very good adjustments.

*     *     *     *     *

The coolest thing to happen with the butterfly happened a handful of times with my kick.  I'm guessing I finally did a few correctly.

As the hands enter the water in front of me, a wave of energy, begun by the arm stroke, goes down both sides of my back, into the legs and spike into a kick.  SMOOTH.  The two waves which travel down my back feel somewhat like a leaf closing in two curling waves.

Not just smooth, it's sleek, as in my swim suit drops an inch further down my hips then ever.

I was exhausted by the swim's end, but I can't wait to get back in the water.

If only this were the start of summer and not the end.  I am, no doubt, likely going to over do it a bit trying to accomplish all I can before the weather turns.

Monday, September 29, 2014


I'm feeling horrible.

I swam today after 3 days off because the weather got cold (and the swim before that was cut short by a fire alarm).  It was a grueling 1:45 in the pool, today.

I have been losing any semblance of composure in comment section conversations.  I think I am mostly in the right in these arguments, but the odds are I am a brittle mess creating the drama myself.  Why?  Cause I'm me and everyone else is an idiot, which can't be true all the time.

*     *     *     *     *

This post, however, is to document a funny.

Funny to me, anyways.

It should be plain that The Scream of the Butterfly is my attempt at being clever, using Jim Morrison's lyric to stand for the madness induced rantings of an individual (me) enduring a metamorphosis.

Not terribly clever, I admit, but it could be getting clever(er?).

Though I am miserable and exhausted, the progress in my upper back, building muscles which are aiding in significant adjustments, which I shall try to express somewhat below, have been the result of swimming, wait for it Barney Stinson style, . . . the Butterfly stroke.

Ah, my own literary double meaning.  How I love them.  It's why I am so engulfed by GRRM's A Song of Ice and Fire series.  Should this rambling mad man ever get well, and then write the memoir of this clusterfuck of an experience, such a literary turn will no doubt aid the structure of my prose.

*     *     *     *     *

A work of fiction would be hard pressed to match the literary turns of my life.

*     *     *     *     *

An attempt at describing the latest adjustments:

- the right lung deflates, but must rise, allowing an unfolding behind my right shoulder.
- the left lung inflates and does the opposite, seemingly pulling the left breast up and over the shoulder by the neck.
- all the while, the hips must tilt and twist as well, allowing a segment of hip to extend to my right side and up into the ribs, where I hope it shall eventually find connection on up to the muscles building by the Butterfly stroke.

Okay.  I'm tired and sore and lonely and angry and sad and am wallowing in a pity party over my painful existence.

On the bright side, a short heat wave is expected over the course of the next week, so I'll have a break from the pity party and my dread of the coming winter. 

I may even get some more progress before I see my Rheumatologist later this week.  Could it finally be the week my doctor thinks outside the box,  and thereby witnesses and understands what I am going through and how to help?!?!?!?!  (yeah, don't bet on that repetitious day dream)

*     *     *     *     *

And doesn't it figure, the House Stark words from my favorite novels, "Winter Is Coming" is as ominous in my own life as it is for the poor Northerners of Westeros.  I really don't want to go through another winter, not after this difficult of a summer.