Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A different kind of back pain book

I'm somewhat of a back pain book connoisseur these days, and am making my way through the Princeton Public Library's back pain collection.

Up til now I've been reading books about how your degenerating, bulging, herniated discs and/or weak muscles are the cause of your chronic back pain, and if you'd only do these 6, 8, or 10 exercises once, twice, or three times every day for the rest of your life, you'd be fine, you big sissy!

But I recently took three books out of the library that (mostly) throws that out the window. Tonight, I want to discuss "Mind Over Back Pain" by John Sarno. It's a relatively slim volume first published in 1982, before the days of MRIs, and it's throws all conventional back pain wisdom out the window. He refutes it all, from the physical 'causes' (he does not believe disk issues or weak muscles to cause chronic back pain) to the typical things docs or others tell you should or shouldn't do, like sleeping on a firm bed, sitting a certain way, lifting objects in certain ways, etc. He talks about why anti-inflammatories don't work (because there is no inflammation) and how you just get stuck in a pain cycle (you have the pain--the doctor tells you your disks are degenerating or bulging--you imagine your back is falling apart--this incites fear--you have more pain)

John's basically saying that your chronic back pain is a physical manifestation of an emotional issue that you haven't dealt with. Once you deal with the emotional issue, your back pain will go away. Your emotional issue causes tension. Tension means less blood flow to a muscle. Less blood flow means lack of oxygen, waste products build up in the muscle, your muscle gets tighter, it starts clenching your nerves, you have pain). So then you go to a doc who scares you with all this medical terminology and gives you muscle relaxants, and you go home and get more tense thinking about it all and how you think your back is weak and fragile, and you have more pain, and you do less, and you have more pain, it never ends.

He also talks about back pain that moves around and varies with intensity can't have a structural cause.

He also talks about the placebo effect, even with believing in his book!

He talks about how it's widely accepted that ulcers are caused by stress--and says back, shoulder, and neck pain can be caused by stress too--it's just not widely accepted because docs keep preaching about structural causes of back pain.

He talks about how when you have treatments done to you (acu, massage, chiropractic) that it alleviates the pain but doesn't cure it--because you haven't dealt with the underlying emotional issue.

Basically, every piece of advice or wisdom I've received about back pain--he has something to say about it. Not surprisingly, he's a controversial figure in the medical world. Wikipedia mostly sums up it.

Oh, and he talks about the hundreds of patients he's cured, on average having had 8 years of chronic back pain. 8 years!

A LOT of this book resonated with me. Let's see: Ibuprofen and Aleeve never really do much for my back pain, which matches the "no inflammation" statement. My back pain alternates from side to side. It varies in intensity a lot. The orthopedic doc actually said that even though I have a bulging disk, my back is actually healthy and that he doesn't know what the cause of my pain is. I know my emotional issues. Acupuncture and chiropractic have helped a lot, but they haven't eliminated my pain.

So I think the book took up residence in my subconscious. Part of his book was about how people say "don't sleep on your stomach". Sleeping on my stomach is my favorite sleeping position. In Feb 2009, the doc at the urgent care place said I should never sleep on my stomach, ever. In the book, John says it really doesn't matter. Sleep on your stomach if you'd like. Well, Sunday night I fell asleep on my back. Monday morning, I woke up and was shocked to find I was on my stomach--for the first time in 13 months. And my back pain was really light! Two nights in a row, I've had intense dreams about my emotional issues. Interesting. He also talked about how people start becoming overly conservative with physical movement, in fear of damaging their back more. He says, go out and do the activities you like doing, ramp up to them. That's what I've been doing with the gym, and if anything, I feel sore after the gym but not in more pain. Sometimes the pain is even less. So we'll see how it goes.

Tonight I had yoga with my acupuncturist. She gave me a lot of good tips for doing supported yoga.

Ok, upcoming posts: the other unconventional back pain books, my trip to Austin/San Antonio, your questions answered, and the pattern giveaway. Stay tuned.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Mccall's 4261 DONE, plus new wall hanging

My new wall hanging

My den was in need of some new wall decorations. And I loved the yellow finches (officially, Alexander Henry "bird seed" fabric) I picked up in Austin last weekend at Stitch Lab. So I put the two together. It felt a bit Trading Spaces circa 2002 or so, when they would make padded headboards in this way. I used the cardboard that previously encased my Ikea tabletop, cut it to be a little less than the width of the fabric. I used my old mattress pad as "batting". At first I had the batting fold over the edges, but it was kind of bulky and messy, so I cut the batting to the cardboard size, hot glued it on, then taped the finch fabric to it on t5he back. I then hot glued some ribbon to the back so that I could hang it up.

I'm thinking it needs to be finished off with some black quilt binding or something, to create a "frame". But maybe it's ok as-is?

My new wall hanging in place

Its humble beginnings:
the start of my wall hanging: Ikea cardboard, my old mattress cover, and Austin fabric

I also made McCall's 4261 out of the Lucy's Fabrics Anchors sweatshirt fabric
front of mccall's something er other

They are pretty wild, but they are comfy and will be worn in the comfort of my own home
mccall's something er other

I partially cleaned out the living room closet yesterday and found a stack of photos. Here's a shirt, Butterick 3217, I made for a boyfriend circa 1994 or 1995. I'm still impressed by memories of this shirt and how I lined up the plaid on the sides, front placket, pocket, and sleeves. I'm sure it was donated to Goodwill soon after we broke up, if not before then. I kind of wish I hadn't given him the shirt, as it would have fit me and I still would worship that shirt. Yes, it's a picture of a picture.

Butterick 3217 circa 1994 or 5 or so

Saturday, March 27, 2010

McCall's 5770 Cloud PJ top done, and memories

It's getting near end of time for the SPR stash contest. This time they are selecting one random entry to get a gift certificate. This will be my third entry into the contest. You know, third time's a charm!

So this cloud flannel stash fabric has got to be at least 5 years old. I used leftover white flannel for the cuff and v-neck, from another pj shirt I made years ago.

Closer view of McCall's 5770

This was also my first time making a kangaroo pocket.
McCall's 5770 view  C with view A's kangaroo pocket

Overall, I'm pretty ok with it. I think the v could be better and the cuffs are a little wonky, but this is just for sleeping in. With the return of spring, my flannel wearing days are numbered (til October, that is).

My shadow on my mini-daffodils
A cluster of daffodils coming up at my house. Do you like my shadow there?

Today I had my Easter egg hunt, which is really just code for "picking up all the trash around my townhouse." You know, it's been two years since my last EEH, since I couldn't do it last year because of my back? For some reason, I really love picking up trash. When I was little, my mom offered my best friend and me a quarter to have an Easter egg hunt. I was really into it, but Maria knew what the gig really was.

I think it was 2 or 3 years ago that one of my neighbors asked me and Pete why we were picking up the trash. I replied, I don't see a sign that says "dump". Then he went inside and got a bag and started helping.

I'm excited that this year I am well enough to plant and maintain (i.e. water) flowers again. I can't wait!

One more childhood memory. So on Friday after Len I stopped at Lucy's for lunch, and they had some unlabelled sandwiches on the counter, and I thought they were tomato and mozzarella. So I said I'd have one of those, and they put it in the panini press. When I ate it back at the office, I realized it was tuna fish! I haven't had tuna fish since I was a little kid, and the smell of it and the toasted bread reminded me of how Mom would serve tuna fish sandwiches on, well, toasted bread. A nice food memory. Sorry, my little ocean friends, you were delicious!

Friday, March 26, 2010

I am woman hear me roar

Project Runway resources:
Entertainment Weekly's Project Runway tagged articles, including interviews with the auf'ed contestants and recaps, are fun to read. The interview with last night's auf'ed contestant is especially good.

Tim Gunn's blog includes extended workroom critiques and Tim's honest opinions of the judge's opinions.

Helen Reddy:
Len wanted to know today if I knew "I am woman hear me roar". My response was "yes, Helen Reddy". How do I know that? I have no idea, probably from my mother, who liked to sing little songs around the house when I was little. Then I thought about Bryn Mawr, which made me think about how my women's college education didn't come with mandatory lessons in women's history. Why not? I think it was because we were supposed to choose our own curriculum. Hrm.

I had a great time in Austin and San Antonio, but now I have a whole weekend stretched before me with pretty much no mandatory tasks to be done. YES! I am definitely sleeping in. This is the last weekend of sewing for the stash contest, so I want to finish off the pj top I started 2 weekends ago.

My latest injury:
When guys would talk about pulling their groin muscle, I had no idea what that meant. Now I do. Just another failed body part to add to the list.

Bon weekend everyone!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Floppy eared bunny

Thomas Sweet bunny ears

The forsythia is out! I wanted to take pix of it tonight after acu, but didn't see any more forsythia when I went to the library. Post library, I went to Thomas Sweet and bought some Easter candy, all for myself! Isn't this floppy eared bunny ADORABLE??

I keep meaning to take a fun novel out of the library, but instead I wound up with more back pain books.

It's such a treat that Project Runway is on right now!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A sign for Mary Nanna

I went to La Villita today...here's a favorite expression of Mary Nanna's:

A sign for Mary Nanna

The rest of the pix will have to wait for later...I need to get to bed because I have a 5:45am flight tmw!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Awesome Austin

I have a few minutes between sessions at the conference to show you some pix...but stories will have to wait!

Austin fabrics:
Austin Fabric 2010

Antoinette and moi at Stitch Lab
Me and Antoinette and Stitch Lab

SugarMama's for cupcakes
SugarMama's for cupcakes!

Kirbey Lane Cafe for breakfast
Kerbey Lane Cafe

Friday, March 19, 2010

Medium suitcase or large suitcase?

Trying to decide which suitcase to bring...the medium one which is already packed or the large one so I can buy fabric and have plenty of room for bringing it back? There are pros and cons to both...

Fabric you say? Yes! I am meeting up with Antoinette again, this time in Austin, and this time we're hitting up an indie fabric shop! So exciting!!!

I'm renting a car to do the drive from San Antonio to Austin. I really wanted a convertible but none seem to be available.

I'm extra excited for this trip. I'm on a panel discussion but not giving a talk, I feel pretty relaxed about the whole thing in general. This is my 4th conference for this software. I know a lot of people. Sometimes, I feel like a rock star in that community. So it's pretty awesome.

More from Texas!

ETA: Holy cow, there is a place called Hey Cupcake! with multiple locations in Austin, one of which is 4 minutes from the fabric shop!!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Anchors away!!

I'm incredibly excited for this lucysfabric.com anchor fabric that arrived today!

anchor fabric from lucysfabrics.com

I thought about making pj pants tonight from it, but they suggest pretreating the fabric 3 times since it's 100% cotton. So I took a walk and then tidied up my house instead. :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Now taking recommendations for San Antonio

I am going to San Antonio on Saturday for a conference. I'm thinking of renting a car. Any suggestions for any of the following?
  • places to eat, especially in the Riverwalk area
  • fabric shopping?
  • fun activities?
  • fun places to drive to in an hour or two from San Antonio??
Ok, Texas, I'll soon be on my way. :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Not a good weekend to be an evergreen

looking in between the two trees of the previous shot
I'm standing in between two huge fallen evergreens for taking this picture

There was another nor'easter this weekend. I took a walk yesterday afternoon. The sheer number of fallen trees is beyond my scope of comprehension. They are everywhere. On my way to the chiropractor tonight, I saw one house with three trees on it. Three. There is also flooding and wind damage. There are downed wires and tree debris. I saw storm doors were completely ripped off their hinges. The fake shutters are everywhere, some of them shattered.

My normal 30 or 40 min trip to work was 60. My normal 15 or 20 min drive to the chiropractor was 75 min. So many roads are closed. I have a 13 year old map of Mercer County in my car. My chiropractor's office wasn't even on it. The map says "don't drive with yesterday's map". I was driving with yesterdecade's map.

My coworkers talked about power outages, no heat, no hot water, water in their basements, a tree in their brand new bathroom. Amazing.

I was so lucky. I had electricity the whole time, even when it flickered. No trees are on my house. I think the chimney might be leaking, but that's all. I do have a really flared up back. Like Jan 2009 pain, when it was just starting out. Len thinks my back is strained from putting the table together on Saturday night. He did his active release technique. We actually got to talk for a while since there were no-shows around my visit. It was a really good discussion about pain, life, control. Look at how far I've come...look at how much I've done in the last three weeks. He thinks what I have right now is temporary.

I took pix of some damage from the storm in my neighborhood, if you want to check out the whole album. Otherwise a few selected images are below.

I like the shadows here
normally this drainage ditch is pretty low

on the way to the bridge

Below is one of my neighbors trees. She has that obsessive cleaning disorder which I don't have. This must be driving her crazy. I'm surprised she hasn't purchased a chainsaw yet. When it snows, she removes every flake of snow from her parking spaces. Her car looks freshly waxed after new fallen snow. She has removed every plant in her side yard that the previous owner lovingly tended and nurtured. When a plant dares to come back, she rips out or cuts it down.
my across-the-street neighbor's tree

Those shutters are plastic!
this was the first of many fallen shutters.

Oh, and here's a pj top I'm in the middle of making, another one for the SPR stash contest. It has a kangaroo pocket.
McCall's something er other pj top in progress
I swear, my next blog posting will be Q&A. Because y'all have asked some questions lately, and you deserve answers.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sewing room ransformation in progress

My sewing room is coming along! Today, an incredibly rainy and gusty day, two young men who I don't think have ever moved much furniture in their lives, removed the couch, loveseat, and bookcase from my home. Woo!

It was a comedy of errors really, with guy B saying "this just hasn't been our day" when they turned the sofa on its side and the bed popped out, bending some vital piece of metal which prohibited the bed from going back inside the sofa. The den door had to be taken off its hinges to remove the loveseat. They were running behind on jobs.

At one point, guy B was asking me if I was getting new furniture. I told him I've always hated that couch, I've had it for almost 10 years, it's time for it to go. He said, "wait, do you mind telling me how old you are?" I asked him how old he thought I was. He thought this was my first place out of college or something. Later he told me he asked guy A how old he thought I was, and he said 23. Why yes, they both got a tip.

Anyway, after 40 minutes, they were on their way and my Hals were vacuuming places they've never vacuumed before!

Tonight I put the table together. I had to use a drill to make the holes large enough for the screws to easily be screwed in. Then I had a hard time getting the table upright...until I decided to remove one of the legs and attach it with the table "standing" on three legs. It worked! I have already cut out a pajama top for the SPR stash contest. It was really really nice to cut out the fabric at the proper height! I am also using just one cutting mat so I can move it around. The table is more narrow than my dining room table, so that is really nice too. I don't have to lean over.

The den this morning:
furniture still there....

The dressform I have yet to buy will go where the bookcase was:
what it looked like this morning...

They stopped before driving off so I took this picture
goodbye truck!

Wow, the room seems a lot larger now
furniture gone...

My table, with fabric!!
Vika Amon and Vika Kaj Table up!

Good night!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Look what I borrowed from the library tonight:

Design It Yourself Clothes Patternmaking book

Such an interesting book. I've been thinking a lot about knit shirts lately, especially after my Jalie and Burda experiences. This book explains, step by step, how to make a shirt to fix you perfectly by making your own pattern (oh, not just shirts but pants and skirts too, but I'm most interested in the shirt right now). I might have to buy this book. It was also interesting to see how busy the library was--it was really rockin' after work--like more-crowded-than-Barnes-and-Noble-on-a-weekend-afternoon busy.

I did Rodney's "how to sit in a chair" postures and exercises today. It seemed really helpful and my pain stayed on the right side until near the end of the day when it switched back to the left side. I did the DVD again tonight and the pain switched back to the right side again.

I made the appt for the couch, loveseat and bookcase to be removed on Saturday. How exciting is that? How fast can I put my Ikea table together? Place yer bets now!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Many moving parts

Gosh, today was one of those days with many moving parts.
  • Went to a 1 hr seminar on positive workplace communication, which was a real riot (thought of you, Antoinette!)
  • Went to a lunchtime acupuncture session. Felt very calm afterward. Everyone wanted to talk to me. Was my calm a magnet?
  • Today was my second day of wearing my brown corduroy jacket I made. My coworker said she is proud to know someone who can make garments like that. Wow!
  • I started working on my performance evaluation and other tasks
  • I took a walk after I got home. Snow piles still persist even with this 50 degree weather
  • I did a new (to me) yoga video, Yoga for Back Care with Rodney Yee. This DVD is a gem as far as I'm concerned, for the relaxation poses alone. They are done with a gigantic bolster pillow and while I don't have one of them, I improvised and wow, that makes a difference! My back pain switched sides while doing the video and is a lot less. He also has a segment on how to sit in a chair which is excellent. I'm definitely trying his tips at work tmw. Plus he is doing his yoga next to the ocean on the island of Maui, such nice scenery.
  • My order from lucysfabrics.com arrived today!!!

My twin stretch needles and ballpoint needle assortment and elastic button looping arrived. Lucy's included a whole slew of surprise swatches! I loove that anchor sweatshirt fabric. Might have to buy it and make a hoodie from it.
lucysfabrics.com sent lots of samples!

Here is some of the fabric I ordered, 2 are double knit, one is fleece and one is a ribbed knit. Really, I need to stop buying the cheapy knit fabric at Jo-Ann's and buy this nicer fabric. Yes, it costs more but the garments will definitely last longer and double knit is a dream to sew with! I never sweat with double knit, whereas other knits leave me anxious.

lots o' good fabric here

I asked for turquoise double knit in their comments box on the order form. You can read the response. If you know of a source for double knit turquoise fabric that's NOT the 100% polyester kind, please kindly direct me...
their answer to my request

I have received some comments and questions lately on the blog. I'll have to make a special posting to respond sometime soon. :)
Good night!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Grandmom Craft

Over here at the 'Lawn' it was "switching out the bookcases" day. In order to make room for the dressform I will order, I got rid of one bookcase. I actually swapped it out with the bookcase in the closet. For a while, the den was looking very "tornado just came through" but now it's put back together and the closet is much better organized. By next weekend my empty bookcase and loveseat should disappear, so I can then put my new cutting table together and start using it. How exciting is that?

Anyway, I thought I'd share some of my maternal grandmother's craft with you.
Here's a shadowbox I put together, of pins she crafted:
shadowboxof pins my grandmother made

I have always adored the ice skates. Always. I think they're very clever--the blades are paperclips! The skates are hand stitched around the edges, though the sequins are glued on. And I love the snowman too. The snowman is glued around the edges.

On the left of this photo are garters my grandmother made as wedding favors when my parents got married in 1964. She also made matching miniature ring pillows. She hand sewed the edges of the garter together, sewed on the ribbon, then tied the ribbon through a ring and around the lily of the valley. On the right are some festive Santa bowties? They have clips on the back.
left:  garter favors from my parents wedding.  right: Santa clip on bow ties

I have a few more things she made and will have to feature them from time to time. She was a cub scout den mother so I think a lot of her crafting was related to that.

Good night!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Ikea Cutting Table Ahoy!

I'm in TCB* mode. Today was a TCB kind of day. After lunch I started and finished my fed and state taxes and am getting refunds for both! Yeah home ownership! (Fear not, I still remember year after year of owing til I had my W4 adjusted, and then I bought a house and that was that...deductions galore!)

Then it was off to Bed, Bath and Beyond, where I was hoping to buy the Scooba with a 20% off coupon, but was foiled since no Scoobas were to be found, even though they are sold on their web site. I also want to do things like buy new shower curtain but I'm committed to only buying things that I love. Also the curtain will be the backdrop for all my SPR and sewing pix, so I'm still thinking if I want turquoise or a cream color....

Then it was on to Ikea, which was its usual weekend madhouse mix of too many people and too many screaming kids. (or as Pete's friend once said, "There's no oxygen in Ikea on the weekends.") Antoinette from CleverGirl recommended Ikea, and Lisa from As I Said specifically recommended her own Ikea table as a good one for a cutting table. I then looked at the Ikea website, but the finish for the table that I preferred is not available for order on their site, though other finishes I didn't like were available. I was also uncertain about how to get the tabletop home if I bought it in the store, and their store is far away.

Today I decided to forge ahead without a plan!

Say hello to Vika Amon in Birch Effect finish! Here I've torn the box so you can see the finish it all its glory!

Vika Amon in Birch Effect Finish!
Wow, my thumb looks really old & wrinkly there.

Yes, glorious Birch Effect finish, come to momma!

Say hello to Vika Kaj adjustable to 36 inch legs!

VIka Kaj legs and a funky Ikea pillow (and my feet)
My fun socks say hello...

I also bought an Ikea pillow. I have huge issues with pillows because I like them as FLAT as possible and the ones in stores that are labelled flat are still too puffy for me. Sometimes when I stay in hotels, I sleep without a pillow at all because the pillows are too fluffy. So I'm going to try this odd little Ikea one and see what happens.

I also bought a cutting board to lift up my tv set without looking too weird. This will help me see the tv without straining while lying in bed.
bought a cutting board to give my tv a lift

So how did I handle this all by myself and with a bad back?

I bought the pillow and cutting board and brought it out to the car.

I bought the legs and brought them out to the car.

I then moved the car as close to the building as I could. I was lucky and got a spot pretty close to their U-shaped loading area.

I made sure I could pick up the table top myself. With no one in row 41, I slid the box out from the stack, uprighted it and picked it up. At 25 pounds, I actually could handle it. I put it on a cart and then pushed it to the end of the loading area, then I carried it to the car from there. I had already prepped the car by putting the seats down. It fit without any problems and plenty of space....and this table is 5 feet long! While I was waiting in line I thought it might be too long and was devising plans about what I would do if it didn't fit...but it fit!

I actually jumped up in the parking lot, hands in the air, and yelled out "it fit it fit it fit!" And my back doesn't seem to feel any different as compared to when I entered the door.

The fun part about Ikea is that it's right across from the Newark Airport, which is a route I know in my sleep. It's also fun to watch the planes land. Since I had already eaten an early dinner, I didn't partake in their $1 Swedish Meatball special, but it is fun to eat and watch the planes.

So tomorrow I'm going to do some further rearrangement and editing of stuff in my den. Then this week I will get rid of the loveseat, and then I can put the table together. Woo!

I'm also going to buy a dressform. Erica B and her followers did all the work for me as far as finding out the best dress form (hrm, her site won't let me grab the link for the exact post I want to link to). Now I have to decide if I want the dressform with legs or without. I kind of want to start making pants, so the legs are probably a good idea, no? But if I hate making pants, then the legs would be annoying, right?

So exciting!!!
Good night!

*TCB: you Elvis fans know what I'm talking about.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A bouquet and other stuff

25 stems of spray roses, and my stripey pj top
25 stems of spray roses from the local Stop and Shop before I unwrapped them...and my funky red and white striped shirt from the consignment shop. I wear it as one of my layers under the many flannel sleep shirts I make. Don't they both make you smile?

Twin needle update: Jo-Ann's had stretch needles, ballpoint needles, universal needles and twin needles....but no stretch twin needles or ballpoint twin needles. But lucysfabrics.com came through! If you like knit fabrics and their accessories, Lucy's is fantastic. Check out their notions and trims and stretch lace. Lots of drool-worthy stuff there. I used a coupon code from Sewing Pattern Review's Merchants Page for 10% off, which helped.

Back pain update: Tmw will be the one year anniversary for my lower left back pain. So my back pain is a lot better and very tolerable, but it's not going away, either. It's plateaued in the last few weeks. I also noticed that in my gym class, when we do stretching on our backs, and the instructor says to pull our toes or grab our ankles or whatnot, I'm the only person who can't do it. I mean, even the 90 year old in our class can do it, and my hand is still inches away from my foot. So it got me thinking that the residual back pain might be related to my tight muscles. I stretch quite a lot, I feel, but I could always do more.

Yoga: This lead me back to yoga. I haven't done yoga for years. And the yoga classes at my gym aren't really convenient. So I rented two yoga DVDs from the library, specifically for back pain. While the one was relatively a dud, the other was great. Lots of hamstring stretches--I can feel the difference after doing the DVD. I also realized just how tight my hips are as well, through that and exercises from yet another back pain book (I have read sooo many books on back pain). And I forgot how great the restorative poses are too--there is one lying on the back my calves resting on a chair. It takes all the pressure off the lower back. Just lie there and breathe deeply. Feels amazing. So far I think it is making a difference in my pain, especially immediately following the yoga session.

I also have this theory that the side my back pain is on is related to the side I slept on the night before. I've been trying to sleep on my back to see if it makes a difference, but I wake up and really want to roll on my side.

Acupuncture: At acupuncture tonight, I described this all to Karen. So she did my first-ever treatment on my stomach. She put the needles directly into my back (which she had only done once before, when I pulled my rib). There were needles that went into my feet, the backs of my knees, my hamstrings, piriformis, the area of my SI joint (and now I know where the SI joint really is!), and into my shoulders. I could feel fluttering/twitching in my calves. She put heat on my knees and lower back. It felt like lying on a beach in the warm sun (not that I really ever did that). My back doesn't feel much different, but my knees feel amazing. No pain at all walking up the stairs tonight. And I also have that sort-of loopy post-acupuncture feeling that I haven't felt for a while. I think I will sleep well tonight!

Have a grrreat night everyone!!