Pain Management

Over the past week, I’ve battled a horrific headache that’s felled me by the late afternoon most every day. I’ve described it as rather like having a rusty icepick slowly inserted and twisted from the base of your skull into your eyeball. At first I thought it was a simple neck strain, but it didn’t really respond to ibuprofen the way that has in the past. Then I wondered if it was a particularly long-lasting migraine of the type that I occasionally suffer for a three-day stretch.

These were getting so bad I was a snarling mess: pity my poor family who bore the brunt of my ill-temper, try as I might to bite my tongue. I longed to curl up somewhere and lie down and just turn my brain off for a while, hoping to get away from the pain that dogged me most of the day and into the night.

Yesterday, after spending much of the day pain-free, it clicked. The pain only appeared once I’d spent half an hour or more sitting in my customary seat in the living room where I computer and also hangout with the family. My comfy spot is literally causing me agony. I confirmed that today by avoiding my usual seat entirely, opting instead for either the floor, the dining room chairs or the wing chair. If I sit in any one of those, I’m good, although trying to mouse anywhere other than with my elbow at my hip causes some twinges. But even just sitting on the slightly reclining seat I normally use causes the lower point of my right trapezius to tweak like a son-of-a-gun.

I’d calibrate my pain levels over the past five days peaking at a 5-7 on a scale of 10. Today, the worst that I felt was a 3, somewhat stiff upon wakening and twinges again after trying to mouse on a slightly raised surface.

So, obviously, I have to engineer an entirely new work schedule and situation for the rest of the summer. Some days I can spend a bit of time at the office (not right now as the recent hot spell has left our under-ventilated chambers feeling like saunas) but I need to come up with a compact and comfortable solution at home. Wish me luck! If you’ve got any suggestions for how to help my trapezius relax any faster or better, I’m all ears!

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Pain Management

  1. Bardiac

    Ugh! That sounds painful!

    Can you just sit on the floor? Or somewhere else, and abandon that other seat at least for a week or two? I would!

    • J Liedl

      Working from the wing chair seems to be possible, at least for a few hours at a time. I’d go for the floor if I didn’t have a four-month-old puppy in the house (now safely snoozing on her dog bed by the sofa).

  2. Are you kidding? Get rid of the place that causes intense pain. Get to a physical therapist and have them recommend something. Dr Belle has spoken ;-)

    • J Liedl

      I can’t ditch the couch as it’s beloved of several other members in the household. But i can work to strengthen the trapezius and alleviate the problem while making the wing chair my new preferred spot for living room hanging-out and netbook-ing!

  3. Oof, ouch! That sounds dreadful. I’m glad you’ve come up with a temporary workaround, but I agree with Belle that this sounds like a project for medical help. Hope you feel better!

    • J Liedl

      I’ll see the doctor if I can’t control and improve this via mindful changes. Reading up, there’s a lot of information out there about what sets off these problems with the trapezius and how to deal with it through exercise as well as changing up one’s routine. Apparently looser bra-straps are also advised. How about that?