Tuesday, April 6, 2021

And that's why you don't become a gymnast

Today, I popped a rib by NOT making the bed. I calmly moved towards the bed to begin making it, but then figured, Nah, I'll do this AFTER I exercise. And then, I calmly walked away from the bed. No sudden movements, no being startled, no overly dramatic sneezing - I simply walked away. And then I was stabbed in the back. Repeatedly. By knives. Or ice picks. Or axes. Or by a gang of small pixies wielding knives or ice picks or axes. (I'm now imagining Terry Pratchett's Nac Mac Feegles beating the shit out of my back.)

Rob Anybody, a Nac Mac Feegle 
(art Paul Kidby)

The first time I popped a rib was when Rissa was still in a stroller and I was carting that stroller up and down our front steps in East York. So that means that this shit has been going on for the last 19.5 years. 

At my inaugural chiropractor appt. almost 2 decades ago, the doctor asked, "By any chance were you a gymnast?" as she gave me a sad, the-damage-is-done smile. Apparently I am now TOO flexible. Who knew that my eight years as a recreational gymnast would completely fuck me over in middle-age? Most physio therapists and chiropractors. 

Like most girls who saw Nadia Comaneci in the '76 Olympics, I fell in love with the idea of being a gymnast, but after nearly a decade in recreational gymnastics, my top skills amounted to a back walkover on the balance beam and a back handspring on floor. I couldn't kip on the bars for shit. I was by no means an elite athlete. I can't even imagine the chronic issues that Olympic level athletes deal with, if my hypermobility pulls this kinda crap. 

I pop ribs maybe 3 (or 4 or 5... the most is 6) times a year. By doing such taxing things as bending over to dry my hair, reaching for the shower gel, sneezing. My friend thinks that the gravitational pull of my breasts is the cause. According to her, I might not be moving quickly, but, because my breasts are in their own orbit, other intra-corporeal bodies (ie ribs and ligaments) are pulled out of alignment by my innate breastal gravity. I think that this sounds like a perfectly reasonable justification.

Because this delightful little trait has been kicking in more frequently over the past couple of years, I decided to be proactive and strengthen my back with yoga - you know, so that I can avoid this shit in the future. Apparently, my one month's worth of strength yoga hasn't afforded me its full benefits yet. This may be compounded by the fact that I haven't actually talked to any sort of medical professional about this issue, because... pandemic.  So I don't know whether my version of strengthening my back jibes with what someone who actually knows how bodies work, might think. 

And, as I've been reading today, in between popping muscle relaxants, it sounds like I probably have "Slipping Rib Syndrome." WAIT! WAIT!!! If I add this to my four other health idiosyncrasies (Hashimodo's Disease, Meniere's Disease, Hypoglycemia and Migraines),  I think I've got the Weird-Ass Medical Disorder Bingo!! Boo-freaking-yeah baby!  Bright side!

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