- You are looking a lot better Maria. Really, a lot!
This is Michael talking. Michael is my chiropractor here in Umeå. He started his practice pretty much when I started my now 27-year career as a back patient. He is the one who has, by far, treated me the most.
I am a tough case. Usually, when I see a new practitioner they are all optimistic and positive, convinced that they will be the one finding the core of my problem, fixing me. At the 5th-6th treatment I am sitting there comforting them though. Telling them that nobody in this whole wide world has been able to help me. So, please don’t be sad. And then I smile and move on to someone else for a while, to give the poor person some space. Careful not to let them know what it feels like inside of me.
I don’t know how many have been treating me over the years. In Seattle, at least six different people, my dear friend Randi being the most patient and loving of them all. In Umeå I would say 15-20 chiropractors, osteopaths, physiotherapists, massage therapists, acupuncturist and naturopaths. And then one in Northern Ireland. And I am sure somewhere else. And it’s been hundreds and hundreds of thousands kronor out of my wallet.
- You really do look a lot better.
Michael was on call around New Years. I hadn’t seen him for about four years, letting him rest. But here we were again, like so many times before, only: I was worse than ever.
Michael is looking at me with new eyes though, not intimidated or depressed about my sad condition. He has studied, now working with a different technique then he used to. And he tells me that he thinks my main problems are at the bottom of my pelvis and in my neck. And that everything in between is secondary to that. And in good spirits he takes on the assignment helping me out.
I have seen Michael pretty much two times a week since January. A month later I got his first “Maria, you are looking better”. In March he told me about his measuring points, which told him I wasn’t as twisted as when I first came in. I didn’t feel that much difference myself, but clinging hopefully to Michaels testimonials, “Trust me Maria, you are getting better.”
I have never before experienced the power in someone believing in me. I showed up in Michael’s office many times lost in discourage and pain, frustrated about my condition and situation, feeling like I did no progress at all. And I left with his words ringing in my ears:
- I have to say, this looks fantastic.
At the very end of May, the day for the funeral of my dear uncle Lennart, I found myself forgetting my back support at the house, being up and about for a whole day without it! This was the first sign of a turning point. It took my brain and body that long to understand what Michael had been saying for 3-4 months: that I was doing a lot better.
Since then I have been more stable and I am slowly getting stronger. I have been able starting working out with my upper body and can now do 4,5 kilo (about 10 pounds) with my biceps and triceps (8 kilos = 17-18 pounds in my hay days)! I am so happy: I never thought I would get my arms back again!! I still have to be very careful about my lower back though, but hopefully, some day…
And I am driving! Well, rephrasing: on a good day I am driving my summer car, the Le Baron which doesn’t have a stick shift and is therefore more gentle on my pelvis. It also has a power seat so that I can adjust the angles while driving, if necessary. Also, I am only driving with a co driver, not ready to be alone in the car yet.
What is still tricky is walking, since my pelvis is still unstable and often a bit twisted. I am not doing more than 400 meter (0,25 mile) at a time, but 2, 3, or even 4 times a day, which makes me end up at a mile on a really good day, and that’s pretty darn good!
And, in August, at the time when most Swedes are returning to their desks at the office, I was able to move my 9 months couch corner office down to it’s regular place at the bottom floor! Oh the joy sitting up straight in my beautiful office with my computer on my desk in front of me!! I can’t of course do 9-5, but 2-3 hours at a time, and I just love it!
On May 5th under the title You always have a choice. They say / Part 2, I was listing 77 more or less impossible dreams that I wanted to do. I am happy to announce that 9 of those dreams have this summer been achieved!
· Go to a concert (Sting!)
· Drive (at least semi driving)
· Move around without back support
· Sit for hours with my beloved neighbor Alida drinking tea and talking about life and death
· Climb a ladder (to get to The Treehouse / Kojan)
· Stand up and sit sown without the fear of being stabbed by a knife in the back
· Change linen in my bed
· Cook (at least semi cooking)
· Have a shop till you drop afternoon with a friend (although I dropped in about an hour, but thank you Agneta and Agnes!)
Within reach are Going to the movies and Going to a restaurant. And I am having my breakfasts at the kitchen table or outside, and even doing a little bit of happy dancing on a good day! Curios for the rest of the 77- item list? Look here of what to expect: http://homeisawayawayishome.blogspot.se/2013/05/you-always-have-choice-they-saypart-2.html
It’s 9.30 PM and it’s already dark outside. The day was beautiful. 70°F, perfectly blue sky and a light breeze. I didn’t make it to the beach this summer (one of the dreams), but I’ve spent many afternoons on my sun-bed on the grass behind the bakers’ cottage, and that’s good enough. Today might have been the last one. Late August is usually early fall here on the 64th latitude, and so having a tanning day August 25 is rare and wonderful, a late summer memory to cherish when temperatures are dropping.
- You are looking a lot better Maria. You really do.
Yes, I am beginning to believe that I do. And I can feel it too. It’s a bit magical that it might be Michael, who has seen me for 27 years, possibly finding the roots for my dysfunctional body. I feel like I have been moving in a big circle. And I think Michael is as happy as I am about that circle.