Spills

I was thinking about spills today, how I so easily spill things……check out most of my shirts and they have some faded stain on them……I can blame it on my numb hands sometimes but am I also clumsy? No body likes a spiller….when you are a child and you spill milk, watch out, yep, there’s that old saying, “no crying over spilled milk” but if it falls in someones’ lap they are going to yell, trust me! When I was 5 or 6 years old I was on vacation with my family and we were eating breakfast at a cafeteria. We were staying at a hotel affiliated with an amusement park, needless to say I was an excited girl. One of the young women who worked there saw me in the line and asked if I wanted her to carry my tray, my 5 or 6-year-old self was completely offended by the mere question.
I said no, but my Mom thought it was a nice idea and let’s just say the adults won out…….I huffed and puffed behind the college age girl, as she approached our table something happened causing her to spill the tray, and the glass of orange juice all over my Aunt’s summer straw purse……I felt very vindicated as the waitress ran to get towels to clean up the mess, my Mom shook her head, my Aunt laughed out loud….I said loudly and you were worried about me, I could have done a better job!
I’m not sure what brought spills to my mind today other than I was feeling very clumsy before I did traction, I can make a lot of noise in the kitchen even with only using plastic and metal.

Hope you have a spill free day!

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The perfect gift for cervical spondylosis

Three years later with this little blog and four years later with sticking to traction altogether and my neck is still attached to my head and my hands and arms still move! Truly time to celebrate……what do you get for a fourth anniversary for traction…..it seems like there’s a good joke there that is currently escaping me!

It’s just a brief stopping point to remember where I’ve been and where I’m going with this thing around my neck and my ten pounds of water. Who knew such a simple, silly contraption could save me from not being able to use my hands….I don’t think that’s an exaggeration. I’d wake up every morning with my arms completely numb, so heavy and hurting like crazy, gratefully I rarely wake up now with some tingling in the hands and immediately know it’s a sign to put in some more time in traction. I was told my neck was that of an 80-year-old person, only thing was, I wasn’t 80! I’ve listened to music, read, prayed and complained here but the time has passed and I’m still hanging. Happy Anniversary, here’s a toast to traction……100 year old neck here I come!

Summer skiing

As I was sitting in traction this morning pulling my neck with a ten pound bag of water I was watching a video on YouTube. If you’ve read this blog before you’ll know that I’ve done a lot of things to distract myself while I’m sitting there passing the time. My neck hurts today, my fingers are numb and when I finished traction my back wanted to punish me. As far as life goes I had a good weekend, as far as my spine is concerned just seeing a snow less ski slope invokes a feeling of cruel and unusual treatment. Although I enjoyed time with family and watching my niece graduate surrounded by the Green Mountains of Vermont I also knew what was ahead for the week, recuperation from the travel, i.e., many hours lying flat on my back.

For me the ordinary things require a lot of me, I’m not feeling sorry for myself, it’s just the way it is. From walking across the room to pulling laundry out of the washer, any activity that requires standing, holding a pen or even the telephone these days for more than a few minutes leads to my arm feeling numb and painful. Things aren’t going in the right direction for me in terms of my cervical and spinal conditions, but I’m trying, I’m not giving up. I’ve written before about the importance of that, how in moments that seems like victory enough. I’m ready for things to get better for me physically but unless I experience a miracle they probably won’t. I’m losing ground and sometimes that feels frightening, sad and frustrating but after watching a video of others experiencing their own challenges, surviving to tell their stories, I feel better. We aren’t alone in this fight, that gives us courage, it gives us the freedom to tell the truth. I’ve said this before and it’s worth stating again, life stinks, more than stinks and pushing forward a second at a time is a freaking victory.

Let’s do this thing people.

May be

Oh my, the time is flying, in this month of May as I’ve completed my traction routine I haven’t felt much like typing. My fingers have been stiff and tired and let’s not talk about the neck. I just wanted to write some words for this month as I’ve not missed a month of writing since we started this experiment a couple of years back.
I look forward to June and nimble fingers, a girl can AND should dream……

I’ll take some fettucini with that please!

Oh boy! I thought I was so clever trying to get the grocery shopping over with before the weekend.
It was definitely a good idea, wasn’t too crowded, but when I reached for that jar of alfredo sauce and saw it slip from my fingers I doubted why I ever left the house. I heard the jar hit something but my eyes were closed because I simply couldn’t bear what was going to happen. I heard, “Oh no!” and a couple of “Wows” and I slowly lifted my eyelids and looked down. White sauce every where, including my blue jeans and my black shoes. I’ll save you all the gory details but lets just say a clerk and I really bonded over paper towels and shards of glass.

As I pushed my cart to the parking lot in pouring rain my foot began to feel the delayed reaction of being hit by a jar, my limp was showing it, the woman walking next to me asked if I’d like to share her umbrella. I found myself telling her about how I was hoping the puddles would wash off my shoes. She was so kind, she listened attentively and when I finally got inside my car I thought how sometimes all we need is someone to just listen, even if it’s a total stranger. Dropping a jar on a foot you can’t feel and forgetting your umbrella in a rainstorm all the while feeling sorry for yourself as you imagined the second you got home sitting in traction was pushed aside. One simple act of kindness changed everything.

I’ve been trying to add time to my traction schedule to prevent jars full of alfredo sauce from flying thru the air but sometimes no amount of traction can save me. Life can be hard, but we aren’t alone and we should readily allow ourselves to receive kindness as much as we look to show it to others.

In the mean time have a merry, merry Christmas and know that I’ll be back here in 2012. Until then, I hope you are lifted up by someone just as I was today or better yet, you do the lifting.

I just showed up

We’ve all heard that saying, sometimes all you have to do is “just show up.” That’s just what I did with traction right now. I’m distracted, busy, tired, but I had to do it because my hands are numb. Even though I couldn’t bring anything else to it besides myself, literally placing my behind in the chair, I did show up and now my hands feel better. So in this case I can confirm, showing up counts for something.

Happy Thanksgiving and if all your peeps “show up” at your table this year I wish you some good fun and some serious leftovers, at least enough for a turkey sandwich in the middle of the night!

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.