Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Pain In The Neck (part 10) - What’s ice got to do with it?

There has been some progress on my neck condition. So I decided to test if I had enough strength to swim...

Diary entry: Oct 9, 2005

OK, I admit I was wrong about alcohol. It makes my @#*% pain in the neck worse, contrary to what I thought. Well, I had to prove it to myself somehow. It didn’t numb the pain like I thought it would. So that rules out trying to use that solution to drown my pain. I’ll put my whiskey and beer stock into deep freeze for a while. There isn’t much left in there anyway.

Don’t look at me with those accusing eyes, OK? Everybody needs a little indulgence in some so-called ‘sin’. Besides I’m considered ‘clean’ as I don’t indulge in gambling, smoking, (or womanizing like some guys like to brag about, real or imagined). But these days I get a lot of additional advice from all sides on other prohibitions. Each one has his own level of conviction that whatever he recommends against is the gospel truth.

So, doctors out there, is there a medical explanation about the effect of iced-drinks on my condition? The guy at the local Chinese medicine shop said so, one of my self-proclaimed ‘well-informed’ colleagues said so, and one of our family members said so. But when pressed for a logical explanation, only one managed to give me the reason that iced-cold water irritates or constricts the nerves, which is bad.

All this I find hard to understand because the first thing the Chiropractor did after he first tried to wring my neck was shove a bag of ice-cold stuff under it, which probably saved my life because I thought I was dying then.

Then there are taboos about drinking iced-water which lots of folks swear is true. They say it’s bad for cough because it makes it worse. Some people even forbid their kids consuming anything iced, saying it makes them cough. So who’s missing out on this enjoyment in life? No iced-drinks, no ice-cream, no cold coke or Sarsi from the fridge to drown the heat on a steamy afternoon.

On the contrary, just the other day I was told by our staff nurse, if you get a bad sore throat, go get some ice-cream. Hold it there in your throat as long as you can before you swallow it. The cold will help cool down your throat as well as kill off some of the bacteria causing that bad throat. Don’t just believe me. Go find out, next time you get a sore throat.

For me, before a sore throat gets any worse, I’d get half a dozen leaves from my Hempedu Bumi (Chinese Hokkien: Si-Pan-Kee, Mandarin: Chuan Xin-Lian) plants, put them into a cup and pour boiling water in it. After it has cooled down a little I’d drink it. It stops the sore throat right in its tracks. I found it works for me most of the time. Of course, you’d have to be able to handle the bitterest drink you ever tasted in your life! Perhaps you’d rather get your ice-cream. I’m not sure how good it is. I haven’t tried it yet.

By the way, I went for the 7th session with the chiropractor on Friday. This time, he allowed me to say something for a change, or rather I spoke before he could say anything else after asking me how I was. I wanted to know if I was ready to go swimming. He said something equivalent to a suggestion that I wasn’t ready for that yet. But when I probed further, he said I could go but don’t do anything strenuous.

I went swimming. I had to test other measures that may help me recover faster. I found out that trying to swim was out of the question. My right arm wasn’t cooperating. I mean, my neck wasn’t helping it by giving me a sharp stab in the shoulder as soon as I paddled the water with my arm. I almost quit within the first few minutes, but since I already paid to be in the pool, I floated around and gently swam underwater for a few meters at a time, avoiding any sudden movements.

I also found out the chiro expected me to go for the sessions on alternate days until he advised otherwise, because when I asked him if I could schedule for twice a week he said I might like to give it a try. If it doesn’t work out right, then I should go back to alternate days of ‘torture’. He called it that this time, not me.

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