Tag Archives: massage

Aug. 15.

Update From the Hermit Hut

Old Wood House

Old Wood House

Normally, I talk about the picture at the bottom of my post, but as we head toward fall, I loved this particular image for a variety of reasons. The colors, the remoteness, and the feeling like you could hide away inside and nobody would ever find you. For most writers, that idea is bliss. A place where there is only you and the words on the page; a place to shut out the rest of the world for a period of time.

IMG_20160812_210640It has been a month since I posted about no longer being in remission. I have been reminded how blessed I am to have the friends and family I do. I am touched to know how much support I have — though in many ways this is a solitary journey, I do not take it alone. I am reminded of this on a daily basis. At last update, I was told to stay away from sick people, which can be difficult in an office environment. In fact, the Friday following my appointment, I received a timely reminder as to how difficult it really is. I was generally staying in my somewhat isolated workstation area, but went to the kitchen to make a cup of tea when one of the sales reps walked in to get some coffee. We started chatting and during the course of the conversation, she mentioned she had a cold. I would never have known had she not mentioned it. As it was, I backed up, apologized if I seemed rude and told her I couldn’t be around her.

IMG_20160812_210528Fortunately, I had already put the steps into motion to get a note from the doctor to allow me to work from home, and that is where I have been ever since — enjoying life as a hermit. The desk pics you see are my new desk/workstation I have finally put together. I had ordered the desk and it arrived on 8/1, but it wasn’t put together until 8/12. Today was a good day because I finally got a chance to use the standing workstation again. I am used to standing in the office and brought the stand and the monitors from work, along with my keyboard and mouse. In these past few weeks I have learned beyond a shadow of a doubt that I require a standing workstation for the sake of my back. With as much desk work as I do, I cannot sit for that many hours without paying a severe price with my back. The first week was okay, the second painful, and last week excruciating. But a good massage over the weekend and working standing up today and I am doing much, much better.

As for my health, I received a call from the oncologist office to tell me to make an appointment with my GP because my thyroid values were out of whack. I called the office and had them call in the prescription for me, one that I had been able to be off for over a year, and made the appointment. The day before my appointment, an eye infection cropped up, and I was glad it decided to show up before rather than after the appointment. I have also been battling a patch of fungal infection on my leg for the better part of the year, and while I get it to a point where it is not bothersome, it continues to come back, so I asked the doc for some more cream to treat it. The surprise was the spot on my finger was a pre-cancer. It cropped up that very day and we froze it off.

So nothing major, just small inconveniences that have to be dealt with right away so they don’t get out of control. Based on my conversation with the doc, it does seem more likely that I will be headed back to chemo in the next couple months. He received the full report from my oncologist and mentioned that she said she’d have to treat me again. They have not asked me to come back in sooner than October, so I would anticipate either late October or early November. Which is kind of what I anticipated anyway.

So … the worst issue so far has been my back, and tiring sooner than I would like. I take naps daily and my back is already TONS better than it was last week, so all in all I’m good.

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Nov. 24.

Venturing Out

My Status: Feeling Relaxed
Mood: Amused

Today I actually ventured out of the house. Since having my treatments, I’ve pretty much been a hermit. Not intentionally, but my morning commute to work is now simply crossing the landing to my office, Denny has done the shopping so I wouldn’t have to be out and about with the general public, and so really there has been no reason for me to leave the house. Stir crazy? Not yet. (Give me time.)

But with the way my arms have been, I thought it’d be a good idea to get a massage, and there just happens to be a massage place about a block and a half from me. Convenient, isn’t it? Maybe not so much for the pocketbook, but we’ll see how things go. I’ve had several massages in the past, but one thing I have noticed … no massage therapist is ever the same. And this experience was no different. I did make sure, to the best of my ability, that the therapist did not have a cold before going in. The reason I said to the best of my ability is that the owner and therapist were Chinese with limited capacity for the English language and my Chinese is non-existent.

I will state up front, I don’t have modesty issues—and it’s a good thing. We started off the session, as normal, going into the room and the therapist indicating I was to lie on the table face-down. I mentioned I’d need a towel to place under my chest. For the uninitiated, I have big boobs, and lying on a flat table with no additional support to relieve the pressure hurts. It’s common practice and some therapists offer before I can ask. Today’s therapist nodded and grinned and left the room. I proceeded to undress.

This may be TMI, but when I disrobe for a massage, my preference is to go full Monty. It’s easier for the therapist not to have to work around under garments, and provides me with a better overall massage. I was on the table trying to figure out how to appropriately drape the small bath towel left on the table for the purpose when the knock came at the door. I said, “Just a moment,” and she barged into the room (sans the towel I had requested). Like I said … good thing I don’t have modesty issues. We got me settled and the massage began. Things were going well about half-way through the massage when I heard a new customer arrive. A few others had shown up after me, and all therapists were now engaged, and I heard the new person being told that very thing.

What blew my mind was that he argued that he really wanted a massage now and didn’t want to wait. And it was explained, again, that everyone was busy. Now this is a walk-in, not someone who had an appointment for a specific time. Grumbling, the guy settled down in the lobby area. Fast forward about five minutes. I’m still face-down on the table, half-draped while the therapist worked my entire right back side, from shoulder down to leg and the phone rang. My therapist left to answer the phone.

Leaving the Door. Wide. Open.

Yes, I peeked. Wide open to the hall. I’m draped on one side only (the side away from the door) and the guy from the lobby decides to start pacing the hall. I kept my head down and relaxed. There was nothing I could do except make the situation worse by getting up … and I don’t embarrass easily. So I listen to this guy pacing past my door on his cell phone, and he’s complaining again. “I’m here and have already been waiting for five minutes.”

I started to laugh. For all the world, it sounded as if this guy had decided to call them and make an appointment, for, oh yeah, right now. Coincidentally, he concluded his call, and my therapist returned to the room and continued my massage.

For all my writer friends, this scene is mine… ALL mine. It will go in a book somehow. I will make it happen.

The thing that this therapist did differently than any massage I had experienced (other than leaving the door wide open) was that she knelt on the backs of my legs and used her knees to massage the bottom parts of my glutes while using her hands to work the lower back and top of the glutes. It was an interesting technique. I may be wearing a few bruises (on my back) from the massage, but it was worth getting the knots out.

After my massage, I came home and took a 3 hour nap. Then was putzing around on the computer, chatting with a friend and getting some things posted, picking out the picture for this post, and I started to feel a bit nauseous. And realized the only thing I’d had in the past 9 hours was a 20 oz bottle of G2 (Gatorade light) which took me 3 hours to drink. No WONDER I was getting nauseous. That is one thing I have noticed, when my stomach hits empty, it is much easier for me to feel nauseous. Even if I only have a little something—solid—it helps.

The bout of nausea has been dealt with, and I am currently making up for lost liquid consumption. Especially having had a massage, I need to push fluids. Good thing I had that nap.

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