I’m still waiting for the results of the second MRI. The doctor says it can verify a slipped disk, or cancer. But if it’s stress-induced, well – I function too well to qualify for a counselling referral. Despite my previous diagnoses. We go through the side effects for the various pain killer options.
I opt for wine.
Though it’s not on his list.
The chiropractor tells me I have an “irritation” of some kind in the C5, C6, and C7 vertebra on the left side. He says to carefully push my range of motion with the exercises the physical therapist gave me. Continue with yoga.
The woman whom I’ve been getting Thai massages from for the last two years tells me it’s a matter of crossed nerves. She says look up and down – not sideways – 50 times a day. Up. And. Down. She demonstrates, fingers laced behind her head, elbows tight to her ears.
I miss my daily asana practice. I sporadically work with flows. Warrior two – chiropractic approved, Reverse Warrior, compatible with the Thai-therapist’s advice. Sirsasana? Not happening.
All I know is that my neck hurts in a way that makes my heart ache. And that doesn’t make any sense. I’m feeling claustrophobic. Two months now.
We’ve been hiking on the few sunny days we’ve had. Or actually, the days that have started out sunny and ended with white-weighted skies and large, singular drops of rain.
I move slowly, sinking the pole into the dark wet to test the depth before each step. Or balancing tuft to tuft on the balded heads of sunken monks. Everything dead is alive on the long walks over the moor.
I try not to stumble, afraid of an inevitable stabbing pain in my neck.
There are tiny frogs on the trail. We counted five alive. I count each of them as a sign of promise. Blue dragonflies hover over the puddles like neon warnings. Their Norwegian name is “eye-sticker”, and it still freaks me out when E. says he sees one.
Bog cotton waves tiny flags of surrender: walk around this spot, or change your socks afterward.
Sheep’s bells. Always the sheep’s bells to let us know we’re not alone up there where we see clear to the North Sea.
Home, I prop my aching neck on a pillow and binge watch an old television series. I read a book and wonder why I’m not writing more. I nap.
And I wake to the sound of sand – or the roll of a maraca – my neck aching. I can’t even turn my head to kiss my husband.
I’ve a limited range of motion, and a fear of losing perspective.