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Pain in the Neck/Ice Storm

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It wasn’t as bad as this, but it was enough to keep me out of work for a day. Just another sign of my advancing age, I must have slept the wrong way on my neck the other night, as I am in deep pain right now, unable to turn my head without moving my entire body. Cue Mr. Roboto.

It started slowly, as the worst ones always do. I awoke feeling a little off, with just a slight soreness in my neck and shoulder area. I’d been actively taking it easy these past few days (there’s effort to that, I swear) so I knew there wasn’t an instance of overdoing anything. (Underdoing, perhaps.) As the day progressed, so did the pain, but at this point in my life, after several back episodes, I know how to carry myself to prevent further injury. Engage the stomach muscles, bend at the knees, go smooth and fluidly, and don’t force or make sudden jerky movements. Still, the pain in my neck grew. By nightfall, it was in full spasm, just as the ice storm began.

I like being inside during such a thing. The crackling of ice pellets against the skylight and windows is a soothing sound. Curled up with a book and a cup of tea, beneath a soft blanket and cradled by a conversation couch, I usually find peace and comfort as the wind rages outside. On this night, I could not get comfortable, no matter how I contorted my position. After asking Andy if we had a heating pad (we don’t) I did the next best thing and hopped in a very hot shower, where I let the water hit the sore spot and do its best to relax all my rigidness. The effect was minor at best, and I rolled myself carefully into bed with the hope that sleep would work its own magic.

At 3:42 AM my neck woke me up – the first time I’ve ever been awakened by pain. It’s as awful as it sounds. I managed to sit up on the edge of the bed and let out a whimper like some injured animal. I don’t cry easily (well, except for flash mobs) but I almost did. Stress, tension, and exhaustion can fell the mightiest non-crier, and I thought I was about to go down. Andy reminded me of the prescription for pain pills when my back went out a few years ago, and though it had expired in 2015, I took one, figuring it couldn’t hurt. The instructions said to take it with a lot of water and not to lie down for ten minutes. Great.

I walked out of the bathroom light and down the dim hallway. In the living room, the sound of ice falling down was still soothingly playing along the windows and roof. I wouldn’t be able to go into work, but there are worse things than being stuck home in the midst of an ice storm. Two birds with one stone, and all that. I thought about what might be causing my neck such stress – that’s where tension builds and collects until something like this happens. I leaned against the wall to support myself, and waited the full ten minutes before climbing carefully back into bed.

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