“The worst thing about having a pulled hamstring is that you walk around holding your butt all day.”—Jane
For some people this might seem like an emblem of The New Fashion—everyone walking around holding their own asses. After all, Jane Pratt uttered these (similar) words and trends can spread fast. Envision it: all of 5th Avenue or your own Main Street or everyone in the grocery store traipsing about, hands on their own asses. I can’t envision this without thinking it would make perfect imagery for a music video from The Human League.
It seems as though it’s always the shorter-lived injuries that nudge and unnerve us the most (this is my opinion, if only because when it’s a major injury we tend to succumb to the fullness and longevity of it, whereas with smaller injuries we want immediate answers or a fix; of course, I welcome discussion about this as I’m not attempting to belittle the pangs of larger injuries). And not that a pulled hamstring is by any means minor, but it’s certainly bothersome in a very tedious way; its presence is fully present—it doesn’t wane with pain killers and it is isn’t forgotten about throughout the day—so you can’t just stand up all day. About a week ago, prior to Jane’s injury, the topic of handstands came up:
“I love handstands!!! I just love ’em!!! Said Jane.
Though I tend to wobble a bit when I do handstands, I’ve been doing headstands for years, and for many reasons. In the autumn of 2009 I was with some friends watching the Air and Water show off Lake Michigan in Chicago and I tried to do one on the wet sand and ended up shattering my navicular bone (a.k.a the scaphoid bone), which is a bone in the wrist that allows for delicate movements of the hand. So, and perhaps much like Jane right now, any small movement became annoying and I walked around with a brace but also sort of ghost-hoisting that arm up, guiding it.
After I recovered I took some time off but learned from my neurologist, just last year that certain forms of meditation, even headstands, could help with the migraines I’d been having. So, I started doing them every morning, increasing the time in which I held them each week, allowing all the blood in the body to rush into the head. Months passed without migraines. That is until last week.
I get what a doctor out west once called barometric seizure headaches, something I have not been able to find much specific research on, a term another doctor told me he himself had not heard of either. But I believe it’s the same as barometric pressure headaches, caused when intense pressure, either from sudden changes in weather or during the rise and lowering one experiences on a plane, changes. The first bout I experienced was on a trip back from Europe. It came on suddenly, like wide needles being poked into the head above each eye. I started convulsing. My tear ducks swelled before puttering a dark hard drop or two of liquid out onto the high slope of my face. The woman next to me called the stewardess over.
“Miss! I believe this man needs help.”
“Sir, are you okay? Sir!”
I whisper-asked her how long we had before landing and she said forty minutes. I then asked for water and held my head in my hands for the complete descent, trembling.
Fast forward to last week, where halfway through a flight the sudden pain returned. I put sunglasses on and took a pill the neurologist gave me long ago, one of those elective serotonin receptor agonists. It helped a bit but I still struggled through the next day, sensitive to light and sound and moving my noggin around. After the first incident, years ago, I shrugged the migraine off more than I should have. I thought that because I’m prone to sinus infections and headaches that the pressure was just too much during that trip. I didn’t realize that my sudden sensitivity to light was symptomatic of migraines. What I must remember is that sometimes the most effective action is a very natural activity, head or hands, and that nothing is minor.
Which leads me to ask: what small or big injuries have you incurred, annoying or the otherwise?
Anything “natural” work to alleviate the pain or protect you from additional incidents?
Would you start walking around holding your ass if Jane asked you to? (Note: I don't think she'd ever ask this of you).
Is every small inquiry an inquiry into something major?
Any agitation of the body is annoying, that I understand. So I’ve been doing headstands again. And Jane’s been walking around the office with her hands on her ass. But really, let's wish Jane a good recovery, as there's nothing worse than not being able to carry on as we wish to.