Saturday, March 4, 2017


Hard to believe that I'm still having this shoulder and neck problem seven months out from the original onset back on August 10th. As I've mentioned before, this began with a very intense pain in my shoulder blade, extending down my right arm and turning into numbness in the right hand. It has very gradually improved, but I would never have believed it would still be present after 7 months. It is now manifested as a general aching in my shoulder, a weakness in the arm, a stiffness in the neck, and a numbness in the right index finger. A combination of Neurontin and high dose methylprednisolone seems to help, but these are expensive, and so I try not to take them every day. 

While in Yogyakarta, it was decided that a massage might help. I use the term "massage" lightly, for this, as it turned out, was much more like getting the crap beat out of me for a period of about an hour. The westerner tends to think of a massage as a relaxing sort of activity, with the application of soothing oils and soft hands, a gentle kneading of the muscles, pleasant aromatherapy and maybe some quiet music. Not so on the island of Java. Rather, this is a violent, trying, frightful experience with some question of the likelihood of coming out alive on the other side. In short, it's serious business. This is not a pampering. It is a pounding. 

Nonetheless, I did actually feel significantly better when finally allowed to escape, and slept like a baby that night. As the days pass, the customary pain and stiffness returns little by little, and so it may be necessary to allow myself to be beat mercilessly on a regular basis. 

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