The Sneeze that Rocked the World

Well, maybe not the world – but it definitely affected my world for a few days.  I’ll set the scene…

Typical Thursday morning.  Getting ready for work, minding my own business.  I sneeze.  Nothing unusual right?  WRONG! I pulled my spine, and felt AND heard every muscle in my neck tighten. *SHHHLP*  And that’s how it happened.  I sneezed, and couldn’t move my neck.

What’s a girl to do? Go to work, obviously.  It’s just a pulled muscle.  That seems like a silly thing not to go to work for.  And besides, I have Motrin in my desk at work, and only Tylenol at home – useless.

Off I go, cringing and wincing every time my neck was jolted on my commute by bus.   Got to work.  Took the Motrin.  Moved my computer so that I would be sitting straight at my desk instead of at an angle.  Toughed it out. My colleague came to my office and told me to add heat.  So I microwaved my “this air conditioning is ridiculous” scarf. I lasted until 2:30. But by then I just couldn’t do it anymore.

After another painful bus trip I made it home and applied some serious application of heat.  I thought I would heat it up and by morning these muscles of mine will relax and be back to normal.


Day 2: Not toughing it out.  Not going to work.  Seeking some sort of refuge.  My usual masseuse is typically booked for weeks ahead of time, so I didn’t even bother.  Instead I found a massage therapist that would see me in the morning and was within walking distance of my house.  It was my first MANssage. Here’s my review.  Not a big deal to have a Manssage, but I did learn in times like these it is important to have a relationship with your massage therapist (if only you could get her in an emergency).  It’s important to have a trusting relationship so that you can relax your muscles.  He did work and he even kept me for an extra 20 minutes without charging me.  It gave me some relief I probably went from an 8.5 (1-10 worst pain ever) to a 6. And he gave me this helpful tip for the future… ICE not heat. Heat apparently pools the blood (bad) while short spurts of ice creates more circulation (good).

I went through the rest of the weekend getting slowly better, and my posture going from perfect to back to normal as I relaxed the muscles in my back and neck and they went back to normal.

I also had to deal with slight mocking from the Boy who after sneezing (every time ALL weekend) said “Oh my neck!” Punk.  Other than the mocking he was nice and has continued to ask me how I’m feeling.

All in all I had heard of people hurting themselves in past by sneezing… my favourite is the sneeze = dislocated shoulder.  To be honest, historically I have been the one mocking.  I mean really, who hurts themselves sneezing?!  I will mock no more.  It SERIOUSLY hurt.


4 responses

  1. If it makes you feel better, I did something funky to my back on the weekend…while standing for 40 minutes straightening my hair. At one point I couldn’t get myself out of bed, and when I did (ouch!), I couldn’t get back into it. If it didn’t hurt so much, it would have been funny.

    Also, do not feel alone. My roommate threw his back out sneezing too.

    • Correction, I didn’t crack my rib I tore the muscle away from my ribcage. I was seen in the ER so quickly (within 20 minutes) because the admission nurse thought I might have cracked my rib. Either way it also hurt a lot…. and yes, may be slightly embarrassing. If only I had been blogging all along I could have documented the winter I kept falling down randomly!

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