Maybe There *are* Universal Themes


The Shrink has decided that a big theme in my life is learning to let go and relax and not be hyper-vigilant and tightly wound all the time. And I’m not saying I don’t agree with that, actually, because I can see that being tightly wound as I am is not really all that good for me. I had related to her that at my second massage, the therapist asked me if I’d done natural childbirth with my kids. I said yeah, well, mostly with the last one. She said that it might help for me to tap into the breathing one does during labor to help distance themselves from the pain. The issue being that my body really fights back during things like massages. So, anyway, I told The Shrink that I did that and it seemed to really work, and she seized on that saying, “See, Guenevere, I think this is a theme for you in the universe right now, that’s a very good example!” Gold Star for the teacher’s pet, right there. 

My massage appointment is on Fridays, but today we also had a mandatory meeting scheduled at work that would happen immediately afterward, and to which I would likely be late, something I had let the committee chair know in advance. Further compounding matters was the fact that yesterday I received a small postcard in the mail from my PCP’s office that said that the “..results of your X-ray were NORMAL.” That’s it, the end. I called and asked the (70 year old, beehived) receptionist if this was accurate since I had an MRI, not an X-ray. “Yes, Gwen, that’s right!” she said, cheerfully referring to me by a name that is not my name. I asked if might pick up a copy of the report, then, for my records? And we arranged that I would do that today. 

The MRI(s) of my hips cost me $283 out of pocket. For that money, I could have relieved my pain by buying this dress or this plus a nice dinner. Or a month’s worth of once a week massages. Instead, I apparently spent it on a postcard. Frustrated, I collected the report this morning on my way to get a massage (and naturally the report was not ready because: beehived reception). Indeed, it listed a number of things as being normal. Normal. I called the husband and wept out of frustration; with a clear MRI who, now, will believe me that my fucking hip hurts all the fucking time? I declared that I would be skipping the Mandatory Meeting today, because I was just fed up and didn’t feel like it. One last perusal of the report gleaned a sentence that said “degenerative disease in the symphysis pubis.” Huh.

After the massage I returned home, all oily and relaxed-ish, driving past work and not turning to go to the meeting, flying gaily past in order to go home. There, I looked up this degenerative disease and symphysis pubis thing and found that this happens due to instability in the joint. It can cause pain deep in the socket on the groin side. It causes too much stress on the SI joints. So, maybe there is a finding, but unfortunately my PCP is in the wind and his father, who is minding the store, is a shitty doctor to begin with who might not read an entire paragraph on a xerox copy and who certainly wouldn’t read my chart or note my diagnosis and see a connection. Nope, send her the postcard, Beehive, and let’s move on. 

I texted my coworker that I would not be at the meeting, then felt guilty for not going to the meeting. A few minutes later, the phone rang, and it was my Physical Therapist, whom I had basically left at the altar a month ago. I told her that it was coincidental that I had just picked up my MRI report this morning. I related the above issues (seems like a finding, but no physician to help me figure it out, so once again being my own doctor) and she said that she had recently taken a class about women and hip/back pain, and that she agreed this symphysis aspect would contribute to the issues and that she does not think I’m crazy and that the functional instability might not show on MRI because it can’t show that the muscles are working but working incorrectly.  She suggested, “10,000 of the stupid tummy squeezes everyday. Seriously, your muscles are all you’ve got.” She also understood and supported my decision to shift my monetary resources to massage rather than her. She said she would be happy to answer questions if  needed her expertise and if I wanted further exercises to just come by and she’d show me a few. 

So, there was a reason I skipped that meeting, and one reason was that I didn’t want to go and I’ve never missed a meeting in 4 years, and the other reason was that I really needed to take that phone call and have time to talk to her. 

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