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Funny Little Neck Things

November 3, 2022

Funny things happen when you hurt your neck real bad and have to be on Semi-Head Rest for three months.

Like, your doctor prescribes a flight of valium for the weekend to “break the cycle of pain.” While foggily flitting through Valley of the Dolls you manage to order interesting things online. These things may or may not include a remote reiki healing session via zoom from a woman who lives in an undisclosed location on planet earth. Or a package of 8 bottles of magic pills that promise that you’ll lose 50 pounds in something like a minute and a half. Even funnier, you remember none of this until one day the mysteriously located reiki lady emails you a reminder about your remote appointment and a baggie of questionable pills arrives in the mail. Because you’re smart, you partake in the first thing and ditch the second.

Around month two of Semi-Head Rest, you get pretty desperate and begin your “From Psychics to Surgeons” campaign. You enlist the help of a tarot card reader who declares your aura is orange with pink polka dots. Though not particularly helpful with the pain, it’s the best news you’ve heard in weeks.

Another psychic who learns that the injury happened only two days after scattering your father’s ashes, wonders if you’ve been seeing ghosts. (Note, my wonderful dad died three years ago, but due to COVID we had to wait all this time before the scattering. So my grief is not new.) Nope. Not a ghost in sight. “Hmmmm,” the second psychic says. “Because if a spirit wants to enter your being, it comes in through the neck.” Which makes you wonder. Maybe it’s not inflammation, stenosis, bulging discs, and muscle spasms. Maybe it’s just DAD! You politely and lovingly ask your father to head back to heaven and leave your neck alone. It doesn’t seem to do anything for the pain.

You get to buy weird stuff, like prism glasses so you can watch TV while lying on your back.

Another doctor prescribes Gabapentin for your nerve pain. Though the pain continues, your left thumb starts twitching like crazy. You tell your funny friend Sarah that it’s like having a flamenco dancer attached to the palm of your hand. Your funny friend Sarah thinks it would be a good idea to draw a face on your thumb nail. She offers to sew a tiny dancing costume for the “body” part of your thumb. You tell your other funny friend Irene the idea, and she names your new dancing digit “Thumbelina.” You realize how much you love and treasure funny friends.

Because life goes on, you have a few zoom calls to attend. You have to do them while lying flat on your back. You realize that because of gravity and your unique position, your second chin has merged with your first chin and now your entire head is 30% larger than usual. You learn that there is a way to turn your zoom video off and you now use this option liberally.

You realize that even though you’re in pain, you have funny friends, and doctors who are trying their best, and psychics who have interesting news, and people who will zoom with you even though your chin is like a small and welcoming pillow.

It’s a journey. Painful at times. But funny too.

I send you love no matter what pain level you’re in. Please remember, there’s always hope.