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Traveling Away from Pain

I expected to wake up crippled every morning. What a surprise when I didn’t.

I spent a week at my mother’s, helping her clean out her husbands things.

He’d passed a while ago and she wanted my help going through the things that might be easier to give, or throw, away. Clothes mostly.

The thought of sleeping in a different bed, not having access to all my ‘injury-accessories,’ my yoga mat and foam roller for starters, made me anxious. (No, I wasn’t going to pack them and no, my mother doesn’t have any and no, I wasn’t going to buy a new set of stuff for this trip.)

Added to the knowledge I was going to be lifting boxes, going up and down stairs (a lot) and walking on slanted driveways and steps covered in slippery oak leaves. Let’s just say I was a little nervous about slipping and/or worse, hurting myself, again.

I wore my current favorite shoes, Ecco hybrids which are like a ‘wear-all-the-time’ golf shoe. I love them. Besides being super comfortable for my tender feet, they grip what ever I’m walking on like squid tentacles. I’m so glad I had these shoes. They made a big difference in keeping me upright.

The first night I stayed up late, wanting to get a lot of drawers cleaned out and boxes filled, ready to be moved into the garage the next morning. I slept maybe three hours that first night in a bed with no support. It was like sleeping in a tea cup.

Regardless, I slept hard. When my mind started connecting me to the morning, I dreaded the pain I knew was coming. But it didn’t come. Yes, I was a little stiff, just because, but I wasn’t in PAIN.

I started my day with a pre-run stretch, courtesy of my favorite app, the Peloton app. Nothing big, fifteen minutes of moving and warming up the old bod.

I spent the day doing more of the same as the day before, bending, lifting, twisting, going up and down steps, staircases and slanted and slipper surfaces. And that night, slept in that god-awful bed. I also decided that would be the last night to do that. Either I figured some space to use the loaned-to-me-by-my-brother Serta never-flat blow up bed, (which, by the way, is amazing) or I would spend the rest of my nights at a hotel. Not staying at my moms bummed me out because I knew this would cut into my time at my mothers, but I knew I wouldn’t last the week in that bed.

Even though it didn’t let me sleep, that bed did make me hurt either. I woke up on the third day confused. What the heck was going on? Why wasn’t I stretched out on the couch in pain reaching a 9 or 10? Instead I was a workhorse clearing out my mother’s husband’s things.

I tried not to think about missing the pain, instead focusing on how good it felt to be pain free. To be normal. I really worked on marking that wonderful pain free feeling because deep down, I figured eventually the pain would return.

It did. The day before I was to return home, that familiar tingle crept into my back, my butt and down my leg. Not terrible, but there. And by the second day at home, it was pretty much back to where it was before I left.

What the heck? Yes, my routine was different while there. Instead of getting my butt into a chair every morning and sitting for a hours at time throughout my day, I was up and moving doing manual labor, all day long.

So, now, another modification on my road to recover. I’m doing pre-running stretching before sitting down to work. I might look kind of funny, jumping around like I’m getting ready to pound pavement instead of keyboard, but I’ll try anything to get back to that sweet, pain-free spot.

But it’s part of what I was doing during that pain-free time. My thought — if it worked then, maybe it will help now. And, I know it won’t hurt.

SIDE NOTE: At the moment, the pre-run type of stretching seems to be helping. And, I’m stretching like that every 40–50 minutes throughout my day.

After a few days at home, I’m thinking the pain isn’t as bad as it was before I left. I’ll see the chiropractor on Thursday and run this by him, get his two cents.

Maybe I just needed a break. Not just from my life, but from my routines and possibly even from my bed.

Maybe I’ll try sleeping on my couch once in awhile. See what happens.