The Enforced Slow Down

I recently found out that I inflamed my bicep tendon at both ends, both where it attaches to my shoulder and my elbow. I was advised to rest my bicep and not lift anything heavy or least a week. Considering I’m the only parent in the house at the moment that seemed rather ridiculous. However my deltoid muscle was on fire, and my shoulder hurt so I thought I would go ahead and try to behave myself.

I suck at sitting still.

I am used to constant activity I have a lot of things to take care of. I don’t know how to do Nothing. I’m the person who thinks that if I’m watching TV then I should be doing something with my hands at the same time so that I’m not wasting time. I’m the one who reads while making dinner.  I’m the one who takes care of social media while eating breakfast. I’m the one who does research while  I’m waiting to pick up the kids from school.

I tried for several days to not do as much. I still ended up doing too much. As a result, my bicep and deltoid ached and my tendons became more swollen. So after using lots of ice to get the swelling down I decided to actually rest.

I suck it resting.

I decided to actually take time off.  I sat still. I watched TV. I ate popcorn for lunch. I decided to drink what I wanted to and eat what I wanted to the whole day  long. It was hard at first. But then it got easier the second day and then I found that I was sleeping better. I was waking up easier. And my imagination seems to have come back a little.

I’m still working on it I’m still trying to sit still because my arm still hurts. I don’t know how long I’m going to have to sit still, but the enforced slow down has helped my mind more than my arm. I’ve learned a couple of things.

First:  I think I’ve been putting so much pressure on myself to get so much stuff done and be a super mom and an author and a home improvement specialist that I’m killing myself slowly. I realized that I’m working so hard towards making sure everything is okay for everyone else that I’m forgetting to make sure everything’s okay for me. Everyone keeps telling me that if I don’t take care of myself, there will be no one to take care of everyone else. But it’s so hard to make time for yourself when you’re trying to squeeze so much into a day. I have so many things to do and so little time to do them. However the more I try to do the less I get done. So as I keep telling my daughter. Quality over quantity. I need to do less, but do it better.

Second:  I learned that actually giving myself time to do something that I enjoy made it seem a lot harder to go back to working. I think that I have been depriving myself of fun for so long that I’m desperate now to have as much of it as possible. I find that dangerous. I’m  tired of fighting the good fight. I’m stressed out enough right now, that sitting down and letting the world tick away to its inevitable conclusion is easy. The more I sit, the easier it is to want to keep sitting. It’s so much easier to sit and just enjoy. American culture is based on leisure activities. Unfortunately most people can’t afford them, but they’re still there. Work hard play hard. I want to. Bumming around is kind of seductive. I don’t want to go back to working that hard. But the work still has to be done and I’m the one who’s here to do it.

But I guess I need to listen to something else that I always tell my daughter. In all things, balance. I need to start working hard and enjoying what I work hard for. I need to learn that it’s okay to take time to enjoy a movie or just sit and read a book and not feel guilty about it. Perhaps I wouldn’t have injured myself if I had listened to that place to begin with.

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2 thoughts on “The Enforced Slow Down

  1. I found your comments interesting because of the description of the inflammation. You didn’t say how you managed to get both ends going at the same time. But I am well acquainted with that sort of pain. Old rotator cuff injuries at one end, carpal tunnel at the other–and then the elbow-first called “tennis elbow”kicked in. The doc said try to keep your arms straight out and unbent. What a joke. Now that I am old the joints give me fits. The docs are fearful of prescribing pain meds they tell me because the DEA monitors them (!) So it’s back to the frontier cure-all: liquor. They don’t regulate that anymore. You can even buy it on Sunday! Cold nights, I find a glass of port takes the edge of such pains. If I feel up to grinding some espresso beans, I have a dandy inexpensive Canadian espresso liqueur that goes perfectly with it and makes the writing go smoothly. With spring on the horizon and reading notes from folks I hear from near the equator, I trotted out the rum and Coke. A glass or two a day helps the aches and screw the drug technocrats.

    • I think I inflammed it by lifting my 78 pound some using just my arms instead of my back because my back was hurting and I was trying not to hurt it any more. Gee that worked, not! I agree that drugs suck. I either get side effects or they don’t work at all anymore. I would love to drown my pain in liquor but I have kids to take care of. So I turned to alternative medicines. I actually found two things that are helping and they might help you too. Hot wax and turmeric. Not together thought haha. If you used heated paraffin wax and coat the joint that hurts, wrap it up for a while with some plastic wrap and a towel and let the heat soak in. It peals right off later. Makes a huge difference. I use it on my hands and elbows. Wish I could get it one my back. I have one of those Home Medic wax baths that I use for my hands. Haven’t got a big enough one for my elbow but I’d used one at they Physical Therapy department once, it was awesome.
      The other thing is turmeric. It’s a natural anti inflammatory. You can eat it or make a paste. Mix one part table salt with two parts powdered turmeric and add enough water or aloe vera gel to make a paste, apply for 20-30 minutes. It does tend to stain clothes and furniture so be aware of that. It does work. Hope either of those help you. There are a lot more helps in a book called Complete Guide to Natural Home Remedies. Its a Natural Geographic book ISBN 978-1-4262-0943-7 just FYI

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