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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Massage Therapy

Another rough morning, motivationally speaking.  I overslept, and as soon as I opened my eyes, there was the headache.  I keep thinking, “What is wrong with me?” (meaning my motivation).  I am so used to coping with a headache that sometimes I forget.  Many times, just getting through my days at work, or getting myself off to work every day, is doing a lot.  Speaking of which, that has been tough lately.  If I went by how I feel every morning, I would almost never go to work.  I still feel like I need time off.

I am supposed to get another massage today, so we will see if that helps any.  Something has to give with these headaches.  This morning it is a bad one.  No coping with this one on a long-term basis.  I will talk to the doctor about it Saturday.  The trouble is, so many doctors start out trying to diagnose it as migraines when they hear how often I have them.  But treating it as a migraine has never worked.  I took Topamax late last year.  It didn’t help, and I felt dopey all the time.  Not drugged, but like I couldn’t remember things or pull up the right word.  I read somewhere that Topamax is nicknamed “Dopamax,” and I found that appropriate.  It wasn’t helping enough, so I quit taking it.  I am going to tell the doctor about my reading and how the description of “cervicogenic headache” describes my symptoms to a T.  The thing is, I have to decide if I am ready to spend big bucks on some of the treatments for it (injections, etc.).  If the injections are anything like those I have had in my back, they will cost somewhere around $1,200 each.  I hope that more conservative treatment, such as massage therapy, will help.

I am doing a regular (WW) eating day today (no protein bars, etc.).  I had a banana when I first got up, since my stomach was growly and I needed to take some medicine.  Breakfast was a peanut butter sandwich (2 slices light bread with 2 T. peanut butter) for 7 points.  I had another banana mid-morning (I know that is probably not a good idea, but it seemed the best option at the time – I was really hungry).  I took an appetite suppressant I have used in the past, just to see if it would help get my appetite on a better plane.  I was hungry again around 11:00 and so ate some baby carrots.  I also drank down some water.


I have now had my massage and my lunch.  I feel much better after the massage.  I don’t know how long it will last, but it is definitely helping.  She will be gone on vacation next week, so unless I find someone else next week, I will have to suffer through until she gets back.  I know that as I have them on a regular basis, what she is doing will begin to stick.  Then I can just get one every couple of weeks to maintain.  $1 a minute for a 20-30 minute massage is affordable.  During these massages, she does a lot of work, pushing my shoulders down.  And as I was sitting here at my computer, I had my elbows propped, one on the desk at my left side, and my right one on the arm of my chair.  Doing this lifts my shoulders into a slight “shrug.”  Remembering the work the MT had been doing, I put my elbows at my sides, causing my shoulders to drop significantly, and instantly, I felt tension lift from my neck and shoulders.  After having to have the cervical fusion a couple of years ago, I have wondered if the fact that I slept in a chair for pretty much 3 years (it made my lower back feel better than the bed I had at the time) caused the breakdown in my cervical spine that led to the surgery.  As was the case at my desk, while sleeping I kept my elbows propped on the arms of the chair and kept my shoulders in a perpetual shrug as I slept every night.  This may have made my lower back feel better, but I am betting it contributed to my neck problems.  So I will try to watch myself and not do that at my desk or watching television from my recliner.  Shoulders down feels much better!

For lunch, I had a wrap made with a spinach wrap, grilled chicken, guacamole, lettuce, pico de gallo, some pickled jalapeno slices, a little sprinkling of cheese and some salsa.  I was hungry for the Mexican flair.  It was pretty good, but I could get something much better at Chipotle.  I wish the downtown one was a little closer.  I watched them make it, and added up the points and it came to 8.  Not bad.  I also had some strawberries.  These were good ones – yum!

Now, if I could only have a nap….

For a snack I had a light key lime yogurt, 2 points.  Dinner was leftover Swiss Steak with some mashed potatoes, and some grapes.  I ended the day with some popcorn to use the rest of my points.  If everything holds steady, I stayed within my points target today.  Now, I'm off to walk Cas, then do a few more chores before bed.  Thanks goodness tomorrow is Friday and next week is a 4-day work week (although we have to come back Friday after being back Thursday; what a bummer).

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