I actually thought awhile on whether to bother posting this, as it revolves around yours truly in every sense. But life, friends, has thrown me a mid-sized tomato and so, here it is.

For several weeks – almost months – I’ve increasingly developed more and more neck pain. I don’t recall anything in particular happening to me; perhaps I slept on it wrong or strained it somehow. For nearly a week, it’s been in fairly constant pain. Minus the few hours I’m able to sleep, since, if I’m just slightly too much to the right, I wake myself up with a severe pain on the right side of my neck. It’s now gotten to the point where the simple act of taking a step hurts: the pressure of stepping down shoots a jolt right up to my head. I’ve learned to walk lightly, slowly, carefully. But it doesn’t solve everything. Some think it’s stress-related, even though I haven’t a terrible amount of things to be stressed over – minus the fact that my neck hurts always. Some have joked it’s pre-stress: summer is my company’s crazy season, and now that I’ve been through one I know what to expect. But…I’ve been through one, and managed. Late nights, super-focus, dinners at the office or near it….but managed.

Then my throat started hurting. It began to hurt to swallow, and I had terrifying moments when I didn’t think an Advil would even make it down. I envisioned running downstairs, trying to call 911 – choking on a pill. Friends told me to calm down, chill out, remember that’s it’s just a scary symptom. You wouldn’t believe how real it feels, if that’s true. I have spent the past day drinking Throat Comfort Tea by Yogi, which I’ve used before. It’s definitely helped some. Once you get used to the weird taste (I’ve become a pretty regular black tea drinker, thanks to my boyfriend), it’s actually pretty good (psst: Thanks Dad! I wouldn’t have tried it if you hadn’t mentioned it!).

Well, why didn’t you see a doctor? A chiropractor?

Well, I thought it might go away. When I realized it was not, I did go to my doctor. He didn’t say a whole lot, ordered a thyroid blood test, and mentioned my tonsils looked a little red, and I might have some sort of infection. There are just so many. I mostly stared at him, because none of this really helps me. On the plus side, I got the results back and they are normal. On the downside, it took me out of work for an entire morning and bit of afternoon, after an hour-and-a-half wait in the waiting room. He also is mailing me a referral for a physical therapist, so now I have to find one of those.

Among other things, this plus the waiting time plus the fact I live an hour away now via public transportation, this has convinced me to find a new doctor who has fewer patients and is near my apartment (Mom will correct me, I’m sure. Is it less or fewer?). She cannot see me until next week. Another appointment, another couple hours sans-work. It’s not that I’m obsessed with my job (I think), but we all hold ourselves to very high standards, and are incredibly deadline-driven. A few hours off can mean a late night the night before.

In the meantime, I’ve bought a new pillow, which I now prop carefully on another pillow. With the right arrangement, I can have a little lift under my shoulders and much more under my neck. Unfortunately, this allows me to only sleep on my back, and I’m pretty much a sleep-on-her-side kinda gal. Believe me, I tried in fits and twitches last night. I don’t sleep well on my back, but if I sleep on my side my neck feels even worse in the morning. Or so I think; I haven’t made it more than several minutes on my side. One thing has led to another and my jaw, which has a frequent habit of getting crabby when I’m stressed, is painful, too. Actually, it feels as though it’s sticking out further, which does make talking slightly awkward. I’ve heard myself merge/stumblewordstogether without meaning to. Talk about embarrassing.

picture of the aromatherapy neck wrap I bought, as a polar bear

I have the polar bear one. (Thanks Amazon for the image)

I also bought a Dreamtime Endangered Species Pampering Polar Bear Neck Wrap (no joke). It was pretty much the only thing Whole Foods had and I don’t have a car.

The only mildly tricky things left are:

a) obviously figuring out what is wrong with me and fixing it

b) seeing if the new doctor agrees with my  (now) old one and if she’ll give me a referral also

c) seeing if the new doctor agrees with my (now) old doctor on a test I have an appointment for in a few weeks, and what to do about it

I think it does have something to do with my chair-desk-monitor setup, both at home and at work, but not sure exactly what or how to fix it. This morning seemed like it was going to be a breakthrough: I was walking without much pain. But it didn’t last long; by 11am it was pretty much back. So…there is my life-thrown tomato for the moment. I can’t even begin to explain to you how awful it is to be in pain most of the time and even when doing things like walking around. It’s pretty awful. Hoping to get it resolved soon.