A while back, The Doc and I took a short trip that lasted six days. It involved two flights, approximately 1000 kilometers of driving and hours upon hours of sitting at kitchen tables while chatting. There was plenty of wine and good food and wonderful people. We got to spend time with kids and grand kids, kids in-law (actually one lovely kid in-law) and other family members, including a visit with The Doc’s mum who is 94 and resides in a nursing home. We got to see JT play a gig. I hadn’t seen him play trumpet for two years. We also squeezed in a dinner out with friends that we haven’t seen in twenty years. All and all a very enjoyable venture
What the trip didn’t entail was time and space for yoga or walks. There was not much movement at all, unless you want to count rolling towards the center dip of a double bed than trying to struggle back up to the edge. By the last day, my body was beginning to complain. The familiar pain settled in and kicked into high gear while we were sitting at the airport waiting for our flight home. I could feel it in the ribs under my right breast and in approximately the same spot on my back. It was as if a knife had been plunged straight through and stayed in place. There was not one position I could sit or stand in that eased the discomfort. Plus my neck was extremely tight.
It is a bit of a challenge to keep me straight. Physically, I mean. Everything in my body likes to curve to the right–a minor case of scoliosis. It causes my right ribs to compress together and shift downwards–creating an annoying condition called costochondritis. After ending a career as a mouse jockey in a desk job, I spent months and months getting this crooked old body in better shape. Physiotherapy had opened up and aligned my ribs, now they were off again. Damn it! The particular manipulative physiotherapist that aligned my ribs has a six-week waiting period. Again, damn it! And she is expensive. Double damn it! And I do not have the same amount of health coverage that I had last year this time. My old plan expired with the completion of my severance. Triple damn it! I was screwed.
Whenever this rib-thing happens, the first thing I want to do is burn my bra. Now I would gladly go braless and did for many years in my youth, until the birth of JT when I was thirty-four. But my once-almost-invisible double-A boobs have matured with age into a full pair of perky A’s with jaunty half inch tips that love to proudly poke through all my tops. They are not discrete, my nipples. As a mother who often had a houseful of teenage boys, I am very conscious of the value of discretion. These days, those jaunty tips act like they are trying to make a grand entrance. They need to be tamed by a layer of foam. Who would have thought I would finally have the boobs I wanted at sixteen in my sixties. Those boobs are literally the only perky things on this aging body of mine. My solution: go braless when at home and suffer when out in public. And go bra shopping AGAIN to see if I could find something comfortable. I hate bra shopping!
After sleeping a full twelve hours upon our return, because I don’t sleep well when I travel, I got up and made my way to the family room and the television set. No I did not plop down on the sofa. I tuned into YouTube and my yoga instructor, Adriene. I chose a session that I do often, a minimum of twice a week, because it is both a good workout and enjoyable. The session was hard. Almost as hard as it had been my first time, at least ten months previous. I felt like a beginner, clunky like an old metal wind-up toy or one of those plastic dolls from my childhood that could close their eyes like a normal person when you put them to bed but do little else. My muscles were tight and not happy to respond. Absolutely everything, including my compressed ribs, hurt. The session was thirty-six minutes long and, as much as I didn’t want to, I made myself finish it.
The next morning, I did the same, more yoga and as much other non-sitting activity that I could fill my day with. I added a compulsory face-paced, two-kilometer walk to my regime, outside where I got fresh air and could look around as opposed to staring at my iPad or the TV while on a treadmill.
After ten days and a single osteopath appointment, I still felt the knife in my ribs, but not as bad; and now, two months later, I only feel it if I sit in a certain position. My neck continues to rebel on some days. It took time for my daily yoga sessions to once again become comfortable, except for that impossible one-legged tree-pose I decided to try one morning and will probably never try again. But that required focus and balance and I have neither, which has nothing to do with my ribs and neck. That was just me trying to shake things up.
It was only six days. The damage to my body after sitting for those six days felt as if it was nearing the equivalent of the previous damage of ten years. This both scares me and makes me more determined. What can I say about fear and resolve, they are the two things that will keep me motivated because giving up will never be an option. Because I am too stubborn to give up; unless, of course, I could find a way to discretely give up my bra.
Thanks for reading.