Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘Conditions and Diseases’

A New Normal

Over the last couple of months I have been aware of something odd.  I have not been able to bite down normally – molar touching molar.  I have had to move my jaw in a backward motion first – then bite down.  I had braces for about a year, almost 5 years ago and somehow – I think this “positioning” for my jaw just seemed normal to me.  When I say I became aware of it just in the last couple of months  – this has to be just coincidence, because nothing in my mouth was bothering me.  It was normal.

A third molar.

A third molar. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

However, the last couple of days a crown in my mouth has been bothering me.  I am not sure just what exactly was bothering me – only that it was quite sensitive.  Especially when I swallowed.  It was great timing too – because this morning I had an appointment for a teeth cleaning.  If something should go wrong in your mouth – it works great when it coincides with a regular appointment.

I need to add to this story that in packing boxes and doing extra “stuff” I somehow managed to tweak my back in the process.  And by tweak – I mean muscle spasms and the works.  This pain made it difficult to find a comfortable position for sleeping last night – and so there I was with ice on my back my feet elevated and a sore crown in my mouth.

So this morning with a back wrap around my waist secured tight, and with a little difficulty getting in and out of the vehicle for my cleaning appointment – I went inside to a friendly and accommodating dental staff.  Every person helpful and  intent on helping me find the cause of my sensitive tooth and careful about my sore back.  (Just a side note – if you need a great dentist and live in the Renton area – look up Steve C. Yang, DDS.  He and his staff are amazing.)  Dr. Yang wiggled and probed and no matter what he did he could not find anything wrong with the crown.  I was definitely feeling it when he wiggled the crown – but there was nothing visibly wrong.  I was starting to think the pain was all in my head (or back) and even told him!  But he laughed and said, “No – I think maybe your bite is a little off” And with that  he set about to adjust it.  As he was doing so, I told him about the curious normal way that I had to bite down (or not bite down as the case was).  He said that was not normal and began a series of biting down tests to mark where my teeth were abnormally hitting.  This took careful evaluation and then the area was marked and expertly polished down.  Within a couple of minutes my “locked” jaw was released – and a new normal took effect.  I was actually able to rock my bite from side to side – something I had never been able to do!  And there is no odd “popping” sound.  Amazingly enough – it is in that simple little adjustment – where pain or a pain-free existence can take place.

I pondered these things while having my teeth cleaned – and then again while I went in search of a chiropractor to help me with my icky back.  I learned that many a chiropractor office (including my own) are closed on Tuesday!

The nice man we found to help me was able to bring my back to a new normal – at least it should be after much ibuprofen and ice!  I will tell you that it gives me much empathy for those who live with chronic back pain as their normal!  

Back pain – at least the lower back, has never been an issue for me.  But it becoming more that way as I become older.  The tiniest things can set it off – a mere twisting wrong, or even turning over wrong in bed!  I must keep this area strong so that the new normal for me is NOT lower back pain!!  No more tooth pain – and soon NO MORE BACK PAIN!

What about you?  Have you even had a minor adjustment that shook your world and gave you a new normal?  I pray that your adjustment is relatively painless – and does not include a crown or your lower back 🙂

God Bless

When Spiders Attack In The Dark

Something weird happened the other day when the weather was nice.  We spent a lot of time outside, on trails and parks around our town.  It was SO NICE to be outside – I got a nice sunburn on my neck and shoulders, but it was still such a change in weather, I didn’t mind.

Then the weird thing.  I noticed a bump on the back of my neck by my hairline – and associated irritation to the side of my neck.  My first thought:  Spider bite.  But Greg couldn’t really see anything, redness or welt – so I began to think it was my imagination.  The next day the lymph node on that side of my neck felt larger, like something draining into it – so at least I didn’t think I was crazy anymore.  It was definitely some kind of insect bite.

Tick attached behind ear. Note swollen lymph n...

Tick attached behind ear. Note swollen lymph node on neck below. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I began to google “spider bite” And was amazed at the things I was reading. Some people got bites while walking around outside – some while sleeping IN BED. I asked Greg how this could happen while I slept – I mean – where did they come from?  How did they get in?  It messed with me – got all mingled up in my thoughts, all the while still feeling the swollen neck.

Last night Greg worked late and we were finally settled in when all of a sudden I opened my eyes and looked above my head, only to discover a SPIDER WEB shining in the moonlight directly above my head.  The web string had not one but two little spiders hanging on the end of it.

FINALLY I have an answer, I thought – and said out loud to Greg, “there’s a spider web above my head with two spiders!”  He said nothing.  So I said it again, “Greg – are you hearing me?  I said – THERE’S A WEB ABOVE MY HEAD WITH SPIDERS ON IT!”  Still nothing.  “Greg – are you dumb?  Can you hear me?  I’m going to turn the light on now – get ready to GET THEM!”

I jumped up and turned on the light.  Greg was sleepy and somewhat reluctant to help me in my distress – but he did make a generous arm gesture – sweeping the area above where I was sleeping.  I couldn’t believe that was all he was going to do – I mean, if you knock down the web string – won’t the little spiders then crawl all over the bed and more to the point – my PILLOW?  We looked everywhere for the web and the spiders which had now disappeared – and Greg quizzed me, “you said there were two spiders? You know that’s pretty much impossible, right?”  Hmmmm.  He didn’t believe me – but I knew what I had seen.

We finished our search – looked above our heads, at the ceiling – nothing.  So I finally turned off the light and crawled back in bed.  With the light out again – I tried to see the spot where I had first seen the spiders dangle down in front of me.  It was pitch black in our room – no moonlight at all.  It was then that I realized I must have dreamt it.  There was no way I could have seen a spider web in the dark.

By this time I was quite flabbergasted.  I mean – it was so real!  How would I wake up that fast and say what I did to Greg?  It seemed impossible to me – and yet I could not explain the total darkness.  The whole thing became HILARIOUS to us.  The yelling at Greg to “DO SOMETHING” – the sweeping his arm over the place where I was sleeping – all of it!  Then Greg said, “maybe they were coming back to finish the job”  We must have laughed for a good half hour after that.

Hopefully NOT!!

Needless to say – there are NO spiders in our bed – real or imagined.  And my bite will continue to be somewhat of a mystery.  At least for now 🙂


God Bless

Stretches That HURT!

Massage in Frankfurt, Germany

Massage in Frankfurt, Germany (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Several months ago, I noticed a sharp pain when trying to lift my left arm.  The pain was down my arm and not in my shoulder – and hard to explain.  It only hurt when trying to put my arm above my head – and so my obvious conclusion to this irritating and painful problem was not to do that.  Ever. I found another way to get undressed and remove clothing attached and around my arms with my arm in a down position – I’m pretty creative like that 🙂

I told my massage therapist and she smiled and said knowingly, “this just happens as we get older”.  Great.  That’s what I was afraid of.  And because of my repetitious movement at the computer and playing piano for a few hours each day – the problem has increased in recent years.  That day and every time since, she has worked on that arm and attached ligaments and helped me to get increased mobility.  The pain was only so-so – UNTIL the last time I was in to see her.  By this time I noticed that I had the same pesky pain in BOTH arms when trying to raise them above my head.  She worked on one side and it honestly took my breath away it hurt SO BAD.

She suggested some stretches and a heating pad to loosen up the locked up area – and Greg decided to get in on the action by “suggesting” some stretches.  He has me get down on the floor flat on my back and raise my arms above my head.  It sounds so easy – anyone should be able to do it, right?   But for me – it’s very difficult.  Because I’m a good sport (and to humor him) I am trying this – lifting my arms as far as I can and letting gravity pull them down on my floor.  It is very hard NOT to arch my lower back – but I am at least trying.  Not an easy task while our puppy is all excited that we’re down on the floor with her – she thinks we’re down there to play with her and keeps jumping on my sore arms – OUCH!

And although these stretches, plus the other ones suggested to me are good for me – I do not like them.  I’m not a fan of pain, physical, emotion or any other kind.  But I have come to terms with pain – have made friends with it and am trying to let it teach me the lesson that it needs to.  Pain will have its way – teach its lesson and hopefully move on.  At least in other aspects of my life – this has been the case.

Ah – pain!  The great teacher.  That moment making us change and do something different.  Making us take great efforts to avoid, get fixed up and obliterate forever.

Like those awful stretches.  I will do them because I do not like the alternative.

How about you?  Do you have some painful stretches in your life?  Are they worth it?  Is it better than the alternative?


God Bless

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