Monday, March 10, 2008

Pinch Me When This Is Over

For the last few months I've picked up the habit of cracking my neck. I discovered it by accident when I turned my head and heard the little popping bursts as they traveled to my left. Like a loose button that you're dying to twist off and can't quit playing with, I couldn't stop doing it. I guess I wanted to see if my head would eventually droop down over my body and hang at a precarious angle without actually falling to the ground.

This past Wednesday I had a pain on the right side of my neck.

Thursday I was so tired I lay on my couch all day and longed for an IV drip of food to be airlifted in. I didn’t see myself walking all the way to the kitchen to grab a South Beach bar and then trekking back through the Himalayas to get to the couch. I had two pillows behind my neck and even though it didn’t feel very comfortable, I kept adjusting them throughout the day.

Friday morning I woke up and both my hands were tingling in that fallen-asleep-cause-I-slept-on-it-wrong manner. It went away after about an hour and I once again spent all day on the couch, praying for food to open the refrigerator door and walk over to me.

Saturday morning I sat up in bed and the tingling sensation shot through my body like an electrical shock. I lay back down and prepared to die. I waited about 30 seconds and tried again and the numbness had diminished but something was not right. I managed to walk out of the bedroom but it felt like I had no thighs.

Sitting at the computer, I coughed and the tingles swept through my body again. I raised my shoulders and more tingling. The right side of my neck was stiff, like I’d been sleeping on a jagged rock. I sleep on one of those pillows with one side higher than the other, with the higher side tucked under my neck and chin, so my spine stays aligned all night. I’ve slept on it for almost seven years and never had a problem before.

I jumped on Web M.D., the home page of hypochondriacs everywhere, and typed in my symptoms. I did not have carpal tunnel. I had that once but managed to get rid of it.

Guillain-Barre? Hmm, no attacks of viral infection but if I do have G-B, surgery can exacerbate it.

Three hours later the sensation had gone away in my lower body but my hands were still half numb. But I had to go to Costco. I say Had To because of all the items I’m trying to stockpile for three months instead of having to buy them online every week.

These are the things I dropped at Costco: A huge box of tiny V-8 juices. A carton of 36 packs of popcorn. A box of 12 cupcakes that fell over upside down. On their icings.

The numbness in my hands lasted all day and night.

Sunday I woke up with tingling hands but nothing else was numb. This time I Googled my symptoms. Just to make sure I didn’t have Raynaud’s Disease I wore gloves around the house. Now Raynaud's Phenomenon can be brought on by stress but me? Under stress? That’s ridiculous she says as she’s gearing up for a yard sale in two weeks.

I’m hoping it’s only that my brain has given me something else to worry about so I don’t have to obsess about whether I’ll ever walk in heels again. Or if they operate on the correct foot. Oh, and after this tingling thing? My neck doesn't crack at all. Because you know I had to see if it did.

I guess I’m lucky that the tingling is now only in my hands, a part of the body you hardly ever use when you’re on crutches.

End of chat.


  1. I don't know what you've got (or done to yourself), but I would have died of hypochondria-induced anxiety by now.

    Feeling like you had no thighs? Cool! When I had a D&C once, they gave me something that numbed me in the stomach and pelvic area. I felt so skinny!

  2. You should go to a Chiropractor (because a MD might tell you you need surgery). Sounds to me like you have a pinched nerve.

  3. You may just have to wear a neck brace for awhile. A friend of mine told me that I looked hot in my neck brace and should consider wearing it all the time. I made sure never again to be alone in a room with that man. It was, without a doubt, the creepiest compliment I have ever received.

    Hope you feel better soon.

  4. "Doctor, it hurts and goes numb when I do this."
    "Well, don't do that!"

    Seriously, you should have that little zinging-nerves-with-intermittent-pain-and-numbness issue checked out. Doctor, chiropractor, plumber ... somebody who knows what they're doing.

    And FWIW, my 12-year-old son cracks and pops his neck and upper back ALL.THE.FREAKING.TIME and has been doing it for 5 years or more. In that same time frame, he has also been farting a lot and now burps loud enough to startle the neighbors but I don't think those are connected to the neck thing. (Are you farting a lot ... more than you used to, I mean? Not that ladies fart ...)

  5. I have the same neck-cracking habit. And for the past two years, my sense of smell has been whacked out due to what my doctor calls a central nervous system "insult." I can't help but wonder if the constant neck cracking was the "insult."

  6. Sounds like the Ebola Virus to me.

  7. Did you find "pinched nerve" anywhere on that website?

    Or "Your mother warned you it would stay that way."

  8. I'm thinking ya might wanna see someone about this. I hope it's nothing serious.

  9. Anonymous11:38 AM

    Who gives a rat's ass about Hollywood and the blog. Move to Hawaii where you'll have health insurance (mandated by law) and you won't have to worry about whether or not you're having a stroke or whatever....and I'm sorry, but God knows I love to nag.....
    Martha Jane

  10. Chiropractor, sister! Go to a chiropractor! I've suffered similar maladies, and within a couple of adjustments, I'm moving in ways I never thought possible. Tingling is gone as quickly as you can say "We need your $20 copay." And a chiropractor can pop that neck like you CAN'T EVEN IMAGINE. Of course, if you've ever been to a chiropractor, you already know this. And you may also know that stress and anxiety (like, maybe, about an upcoming knee surgery) can do this to your neck, thereby causing other pain throughout your extremities.
    Consider it, please ...

  11. You can take muscle relaxants (and when I say muscle relaxants I mean tequila)

    but what about the cupcakes? Are the cupcakes okay?

  12. Anonymous1:28 PM

    THE CUPCAKES WERE RUINED! Too funny, Deb. And of course it's the Ebola virus, I can't believe I didn't think of that.

    I can't see chiropractors, I had my neck cracked once and it raised all the lymph nodes around my neck. I only see orthopods because of my scoliosis and the bar in my back.

    The left hand is much better today and the right one is still numb but it seems to be going away since the rest of my body doesn't have it. I think I pinched a nerve after I got a pain in it. And I figured out where I got it. AT MCLOSERSTENE'S HOUSE. I always watch TV with my head turned one way and that's exactly where the pain came from.

    I'm going to sue her and her chair.

  13. Yeah! Someone should pay! Don't forget to also sue the television manufacturer for not putting a warning label on the set, the broadcaster for making you watch the television and the decorator who arranged the furniture (unless that was you).

  14. Anonymous2:43 PM

    I think you should sue the apartment building as it is obviously from the paint job they did on the ceiling, the tarps all over your living room, etc., which you had to ruin your neck to look could even have been caused by the pain fumes....

  15. Well that just really sucks to have that along with your bad ankle. It does sound like a pinched nerve or even a herniated disc, both usually get better on their own. If you can tolerate Ibuprofen you should take some or get a prescription for an anti-inflammatory or muscle relaxant. You could try heat or ice also. Hope you feel better soon.

  16. Um... clearly I'm the only unfunny enough one to suggest this... but, hello? Doctor? Preferably one with drugs?

  17. suz-
    The tingling hands dont sound good;
    esp. daily. Could be a pinched nerve.

    Got a friend who has the tingling but she's a diab...

    I cant say it.