So, I've been going to a chiropractor for a few weeks. My right arm and hand have been feeling like someone backed a truck over me. But before that, for years, I'd been getting these terrible blinding headaches once or twice a week. After eliminating most caffeine, birth control hormones and anything else I could think of that could be the cause (all that glue sniffing?), I finally resorted to going to a chiropractor.
She pokes and prods me and cracks my neck and back. And then I leave feeling all loose and bendy, for about twenty minutes, and then I get another headache.
And when I go back the next week and report to her that I've been getting even more headaches, my arm seems worse, and my lower back feels like I volunteered to be sawed in half by a magician who then got a little distracted while putting me back together, she seems so very disappointed. I feel like I've let her down. She sighs and says that yes, sometimes things get worse before they get better. I feel terrible for her.
Then she tells me that my muscles are very tight, and says she thinks my headaches are tension headaches caused by stress. She tells me this as she holds my head, cradled in her hands, about to whip it to the right, adjusting my neck. But I've seen plenty of action movies in my day and in those movies people are always killing off the extras by whipping their heads to the right and breaking their necks. You'd be tense too, lady, if you were about to die the death of an action movie stunt guy.
She asks me if I'm going through an especially stressful time right now. Is everything OK at home, at work? My family? And being eager to appease her, I try to think of some stress that could be causing the muscle tension and headaches.
(Think think think. Geez, this trying to think of what's stressing me out is really hard. In fact it's kind of stressful.)
"Nope. Can't think of a thing."
(Well, except, you know, trying to finalize my divorce, pay the lawyer, plan two trips with no vacation time, and keep my 3-year-old daughter out of preschool special ed, all while my brain feels like it's oozing out my ears and the room spins around me.)
"No, really. Everything's fine"
The thing is that she, like all doctors, has that studied blank look on her face when she's asking personal questions about my life. It's the same blank, level look I give my kids when I know they're lying to me. So I squirm and stutter, I over-explain. I make excuses.
In the end, I think going to a chiropractor is adding way too much stress to my life. But I can't tell her that, it might hurt her feelings. So I will have to keep going, and get better at lying.