Monday 27 July 2009

Pain in the neck

It's 7am, and I've been up for an hour, driven out of bed by a slowly developing headache. It's all part of the hangover of having car meet bike, ejecting bike rider from bike at some velocity. My neck will be fine for a while, then I'll do something (like carry a new BBQ from the car to the backyard) and something will go Pop!, and that's it. Game over. Headaches for days. I can't even type accurately - I normally rattle away at up to 50 words per minute with few errors, but typing this is taking forever. I type a few words, then have to go back and correct all my mistakes.

It's been getting worse since I woke up around 0600. I've had a quick feed and taken an anti-inflammatory, and in an hour's time I will call the physio to make an appointment for a bit of back cracking.

I got a nice little payout from the other guy's insurance to cover stuff like this, but I am starting to think that the payout is about 1/4 of what I'll need over the next few decades. The killer is loss of income - I am a contractor, and if I don't go into work today, I don't earn any money. There are no sick days for me.

I can bull through it some days, but there are others when the pain is just so debilitating, all I can do is lie in bed and try and sleep as weird colours dance behind my eyelids. People love to say "migraine!" at that point, but I never had a headache like this before a car hit me from side on.

I can feel them starting in my back at a point between my shoulder blades - the muscles contract, and the spine locks up and the joints "freeze"; this spreads upwards into my shoulders and then my neck, and from there into the base of my skull. On a bad day, it keeps spreading, sometimes on one side and sometimes on both, until my eyeballs are feeling the pressure. The only way to relieve it is to relieve the tension in my neck, which is where the physio and anti-inflammatories come in.

I have a very simple test for neck tension, and it is a better predictor of headaches than computer models are of climate change - I pull my shoulders back as far as they will go. If I hear a series of clicks and pops from a point midway between my shoulder blades, then things are nice and loose, and the chances of pain are zero. If there are no clicks or pops, then trouble is on the way.

Right now, I am getting the odd creak and groan, which spells trouble.

1 comment:

kae said...

whiplash sux