Traction Blackout

Nah, I didn’t faint while I was sitting in traction, nor did the rope snap over my head sending ten pounds of water flying. I’ve been doing my traction thing, just haven’t posted in a while because there wasn’t much to say. Not that I’ve ever had anything fascinating to type in this world of traction but recently I just didn’t find much that felt worthy of your time. Then I remembered my initial promise that nothing fancy or exciting would be happening here; the purpose of thoughtsintraction is to keep a fire under me and hold me accountable to sit here three times a week. To pull my neck so that it frees up some cervical space to ultimately allow these fingers to maintain their abilities. One look at me and you’d know I’ve been doing my part as my neck now looks like I could be a model for an offensive lineman’s helmet catalog, hey, here’s the latest chic cervical ensemble from the NFL, who knew?

So as a result of this lovely look I’m expanding my scarf collection; even though Summer is tugging at our flip-flops I plan to be wearing scarfs all season, hopefully in a breathable fabric, while eating apple pie, slicing watermelon, driving my Chevy and saluting the flag on the fourth with a very snappy star-spangled scarf around my super size neck. AND, if my collection excels and expands I hope to not only conceal at first glance the O Lineman’s neck, but secretly support all the screwedupness within.

Blackout lifted, fingers working, silly thoughts commence.

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Traction maintenance

So you know how there are times when a website temporarily shuts down to perform routine maintenance; well, I don’t think it’s the same here at the thoughtsintraction blog but I did have to add some water to the weight bag! Two pounds of water had evaporated, and we can’t have that now can we? Can’t have only eight pounds of water pulling at the neck instead of the recommended ten. I’m being a smarty pants about this but it is rather exciting that I’ve been at this so long that I have to do things like “maintenance.” It means more than pouring some water; in fact the only reason I can pour that water is because of traction, it also means that I’ve maintained my schedule, I’ve hung in there. I owe you, I owe every person who has ever read this crazy, random blog and according to my stats that’s pretty many of you. I’ve maintained the hanging when I certainly would have given up some days if I hadn’t had a sense accountability to the blog, to you.

Maintenance is a good thing, Martha Stewart would approve. We maintain our cars, our bodies, our homes, certainly should maintain a traction device if you have to use one. Maintenance isn’t something we usually throw a party for, we don’t make an announcement when we get an oil change for the car, although some do I guess now a days on Twitter or Facebook, but we typically keep the maintenance parts of life to ourselves and in reality if we don’t take care of maintenance it will come back to get us. If you don’t clean out the gutters they will eventually let you know about it in not fun ways, if you don’t maintain now you will pay later. It’s certainly been established in my life if I don’t do traction I lose and if I don’t add weight to the gizmo what’s the point, it might feel like I’m getting by with something in the short run but not enough tension in the traction does little to keep these fingers moving. So go maintenance, in a world that seems to celebrate everything, I think you need your own holiday, your importance should not go unnoticed!

Well, that never happened before!

I almost did traction twice in one day! It may have been in part because I was tired and forgot I had done it earlier in the day BUT it was really because I WANTED to……yep, even harder for me to believe. I wasn’t feeling well and I found myself headed for traction because I thought it would help and also had the thought in my head, that’s not so bad, maybe it will help make me feel better. Woah, just the mere thought that traction and some sense of relief or comfort are in the same sentence just goes to show anything is possible…to go from something I dreaded, so hated to a “comfort” zone, crazy, absolutely crazy……..life is so unpredictable, just goes to show if you just “hang on” long enough anything really is possible! Not saying I’m going to start everyday of my life sitting here with a smile but wow, we’ve come a long way baby!

Off kilter

Yikes, things are not feeling good today, can’t seem to get in the groove, it just hurts, a lot. It’s weird how it has been going so well lately, so routine. Even at times I’m distracted enough that my mind goes anywhere and everywhere. I apologize to you for that, I know it does. Trying to follow my train of thoughts while I’m strapped in here is like trying to follow a run away train, only I’m much slower, but eventually building up to make a point and then very likely falling off the tracks. Yet today it just hurts too much to think, talk or type. I’ll catch you next time, I’m just going to concentrate on breathing and pushing thru this not good feeling. Not sure I needed this reality check, traction is tolerable, but not fun.

2010 with a slash thru it

It’s still that time into the new year when I write the date and realize it’s no longer the past year, remembering after the fact that this year I’m living in is no longer 2010. After I realize my error I have some options as to what to do. I usually just put a slash thru the old year or it’s easy enough this year to just try to write over the old number, just make a 0 into a 1, it’s trickier than making 09 into a 10. I’ll have to do this well into the new year and then weeks from now I’ll finally remember and accept that we are indeed living in 2011. Then some random time later, like March 14 or July 27th I’ll do it again and I won’t have the excuse of just having a few days into a new year under my belt. The older I get the more the days and weeks and years are blending together. But maybe it’s more than that, maybe I have trouble with change. I’m not sure it’s anything that deep or complicated, maybe I just don’t concentrate too well. Anyhoo, it’s a new year and I’m in traction and I’m working on two years into this gig. Some day maybe I’ll quit counting how long I’ve been at it and just truly accept that it is what it is and even though it’s a new year traction is coming along with me.

Well, nothing too exciting here but I’m hanging in and trying to remember what year it is……have a good one, no matter what year it is for you.

Feeling groovy, but not.

I’ve been in the groove lately with traction. I feel like I’m really in a manageable routine and even though it’s uncomfortable and tedious and sometimes a bit too much on the painful side I’m really doing ok with it. For the first time I’m allowing myself to even think ahead a week or two and believing, I can do this. Looking back if someone had told me that I’d be so “ok” with it, so compliant with traction I wouldn’t have dreamed it, yet now that I am, it’s so freeing.

BUT, (why is there always a but, anyway)can I tell you my new thought, rather new fear, it’s that I’ll be all content in accepting this, rather than resigned to it, I’ll be as fine as I think a person can be who straps their head and neck in traction several times a week and yet, it will stop working. I’m not sure if this is an irrational fear. It’s just lately the more I do traction the more it feels like I’ve plateaued. The clerk at the pharmacy had to come out from behind the counter to push the key pad for me since my touch wouldn’t push the machine to the next step, yeah, the tired fellow customers in line where real happy about the delay in that moment too, like what’s with the chick who can’t figure out how to use the key pad. Oh and let me tell ya, there was this moment the other day when I couldn’t hit the digits with enough pressure to turn off the security alarm. That got my attention, probably the next door neighbor’s too, definitely got the attention of the alarm company but fortunately not the police’s.

So the new year could prove as interesting as ever but my wish is not to get too far ahead of myself in the fear department, to just take this all as it comes. Like I began this post, I wouldn’t have believed I could come this far with my attitude, or rather to this place in “Thoughts In Traction” as I have, so maybe I shouldn’t terrorize myself with the “what if’s” just yet. Instead I’d rather think of the new career possibilities, just think how “useful” I could be to someone if I develop the skill of not leaving fingerprints!

So I’ll leave you with a cliffhanger, stayed tuned, will I use my new skill for GOOD or EVIL?
Only time will tell.

If Life gives you lemons……

We’ve all heard that saying, how to make the best of a bad situation, well today I heard a child trying to do just that. A Mom and her two daughters were shopping in the same aisle as I was and one of the girls asked their Mom what something was, the Mom responded, “That’s coal, it’s a lump of coal. It’s what Santa leaves for bad boys and girls, for kids that misbehave like you and your sister…. and, if you and your sister don’t start acting better you’re only getting coal for Christmas!” The child stood there quietly as if she was deeply contemplating what her Mother had just said and then she asked, “Mom, can you eat coal?”

I did my best to keep my laughter to myself because the Mom looked at me with a look of, “if you laugh, you’ll get coal too!” So I turned away from them and tried hard to remain quiet but just then the little girl walked over to me and said, “Hi.” I wanted to say, you are one awesome girl but I thought the Mom might hit me as she had just threatened to hit the other child, so I smiled and said hi back and left the aisle.

I started to think though about how we have all this stuff we tell children and this child basically said, hey, if coal is all I get then I’ll make do, I’ll make coal lemonade. So today sitting here strapped in I’m making traction lemonade and it’s not so bad.

Did you say full body scan? (In honor of Pixie;-)

I’ve been thinking about all the hoopla over the TSA’s full body scans. I wonder what they can actually see, I mean is it sort of like a free CT or MRI? You know if the TSA agents were medically trained as well you could save such time and money! Just have them pass you a note when you’re in the seated area putting your shoes back on, “might want to get that spine looked at, looks like L5 is slipping a little.” Really, how convenient is that! Once you’ve seen your films up on the big screen at the doctor’s office there’s nothing to be shy about, actually it’s always nice to have a second opinion.

I’ve always felt the technicians know if there’s a problem but aren’t allowed to tell you what they see as soon as they pop you in the oven to bake, kind of like when they are extra nice you start to think, wow, I must be glowing inside there. I’ve always been so fortunate with all my technicians, so professional and kind. (here’s a little shout out to a great tech, Linda)

Well, posts don’t get much sillier than this, but think about it, the full body scan isn’t so bad, not only are you making sure the dude next to you isn’t packing a lead pipe it’s another opportunity for a liberating medical experience to see if all your parts are where they’re supposed to be. What’s not to love about that?

Neck trac gets press

Just happened to catch a bit on Jay Leno last night about the ‘neck trac,’ it was included in a segment he does called “news headlines.” The photo Leno showed was an inexpensive model of the more sophisticated gizmo called Neck Trac but still supposedly achieves a similar result. It’s a portable, “on the go” traction verse the kind that I’m sitting here doing, which is ultimately “hanging” from a doorway.

From the photo he showed there’s about four or five rubber tubes around your neck and it comes with a pump that you squeeze to obtain the optimum pressure. When the audience laughed at how silly it looked it was validation that at times this whole neck traction thing is a bit ridiculous and if it didn’t work I’d be laughing too.

Jay introduced the “news” clipping by saying “this is what you can do when your neck is sore or stiff, which we’ve all felt.” True enough, but I really don’t think your average pains in the neck would find their solution in traction.

Anyway, it felt like a celebrity sighting.

Thoughts In Traction without typing

Thought In Traction has had a busy week. I’ve been doing traction just haven’t had anything much to say, not that I ever have startling things to say. I’ve been thinking but haven’t felt anything worthy of posting. Thanks for reading no matter what rambles I type, you are the reason I’m able to stick with this thing called traction. I’m starting not to hate it and I think that’s in part due to this place I can come and say whatever is on my mind at that moment. I try not to hate anything but I have definitely hated traction and now I’ve moved into a new phase of quiet discontent.

You’ll hear from me again, next week.