08 November 2017


My neck has been hurting for a year. Sometimes a little better, sometimes a little worse. It’s mostly uncomfortable to sit, slightly less uncomfortable to stand or lie down. 

I blamed it on the bed and the pillow, but I changed both of those (the pillow multiple times). I blamed it on climbing, but I got belay glasses so that I don’t have to look up when my climbing partner is up on the wall. I blamed it on the drive, but I thought this bigger car would be better for my body than the little one was, not worse.

I went on vacation and nothing changed. I went to the chiropractor and nothing changed. I got massages every month and nothing changed.

Last week I was climbing with a group of women, and one of them, who practices Chinese medicine, mentioned that she does both Chinese medicine and physical therapy for her back.

A lightbulb went off. 

There are professionals covered by insurance whose job it is to make pain like this go away. 

I had my first PT appointment this morning. I dutifully wrote down all the things about my wrist surgeries and my ulnar nerve problems and my shoulder catching. 

The PT moved my arm and had me move my head and measured all sorts of things. At one point, she had me sit straight, hands on my lap, and she ran her fingers down my arms.

“Can you feel one more than the other?” she asked.

“I think your right hand is actually colder than the left,” I said. 

She switched her hands. 

Nope. I just can’t feel what’s happening to my right arm as much as I can what’s happening to my left.

So that’s weird. 

It turns out that those same nerves - the median and ulnar nerves - that have long bugged me in my hand have now decided to bug me in my neck. I’ve cricked them up somehow. Nerve problems seem to be my thing.

Now I have a bunch of exercises and things to do. And my $100 pillow just arrived (ordered before the appointment). I’m hoping there is hope on the horizon.

But also, I’m still going climbing tonight. 

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