Archive | November, 2014

An Undefended Self

7 Nov

I just came back from a woman, a former nurse who does body work, alignment, skeletal restructuring, mechanical manipulation and some voodoo. A woman I’m friendly with in town, Jessica, who sees me regularly, slightly limping, in the park on my walk had recommended this nurse. My halt is slight and I don’t even notice it. It’s due to my lack of cartilage and the need (so I’ve been told by two orthopedic surgeons) of a hip replacement. When Jessica  recommended this woman the first time, I shut my brain off. I’ve tried lots of things: physical therapy, a muscular skeletal somebody. The chiropractor and acupuncturist do work for managing the pain. I’m essentially pain free.

Jessica texted me the nurse’s number. I ignored it. I saw Jessica a few weeks later, she mentioned the woman again. This time I grunted, which is my way of politely ignoring you.

The third time, Jessica was adamant. “Please call Elaine,” she said. “I promise you, you’ll feel better after the first time…I can’t really explain what she does, I just know that it works.”

I called Elaine and we spoke for 25 minutes. She said a few things that made sense about the physics of the body and how my hip pain was caused by a pulling from somewhere else in my body and also that my shoulder pain was related to the hip pain. My lungs were slightly compromised, my scar tissue and on. The knee bone is connected to the ankle bone…you know the song; get the picture.

She did a number of things pulling, pushing fascia, deep tissue massaging. She looked at my body from all angles.  The bad news I already knew, the mobility in my left leg is severely limited. The good news: my tissue is generally “like butter,” which according to Elaine is a very good, unusual thing.

Sounds like a metaphor, I say, looking up at her as I lay on the table. It is, she says.

Again, something that I already know. Emotionally,  I am not defended. This is a blessing and a curse.

As hard as this sometimes is–the easily getting wounded; the pressure it can put on friends who aren’t this way–I’m choosing to focus on this as a gift. A blessing.