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Let's Panic: The Book!

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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy Your Life, Liquefy Your Brain,
and Finally Turn You
into a Worthwhile
Human Being.

Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

Some Books
I'm In...

Sleep Is
For The Weak

Chicago Review Press

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Let's Panic

The site that inspired the book!

At LET'S PANIC ABOUT BABIES, Eden Kennedy and I share our hard-won wisdom and tell you exactly what to think and feel and do, whether you're about to have a baby or already did and don't know what to do with it. → 

« Yes, my son. The English language, she is a bitch. | Main | The book would be entitled, "I Wrote This Book to Make Alice Cry." »

You wanted me to post more, so this is what you get.

I woke up this morning to pain. Pain rolled over and gazed into my eyes and whispered, “Hey, baby.”

“Jesus Christ,” I whimpered, “What did you do to me?”

“Wouldn’t you like to know,” Pain chuckled. “Now get up and make me some goddamn French toast.”

Let’s try this again.

I kept waking up throughout the night wondering what was hurting, was it me or the bedside table or the dog?, and then I’d fall back into a fitful sleep in which ghosts were trying to steal my blueberries. Bloooberries, each one would cry, wafting toward me with their ghostly hands outstretched, and I would throw them out the church doors and scream, Enjoy some fucking blueberries in hell!

When I finally woke up, my first thought was what was with all the ghosts and the blueberries? And my second was holy crap what is wrong with me?

It seems that I have a muscle spasm in every muscle in my neck and upper back. And shoulders. The pain is radiating down my arms, and up into my head, and down my spine. My god, how it hurts. I can’t turn my head in any direction or pick up anything or breathe.

Because experience has taught me that Sarno is wise and wonderful, or at least on the right path in such matters, my first thought was, who am I mad at? Or, um, what do I not want to do? I don’t want to read more Star Wars books, came to mind, and I am mad at George Lucas and want to kill kill kill him, but you all know that already. I expressed my rage! There’s nothing pent up in here! So what else? I went to the dentist yesterday, and although I had a cavity filled, it was not altogether unpleasant. Sadly, I now anticipate with great joy the peace and mental freedom I will experience while my teeth are being drilled. I was a little pissed at my dentist for the way he was manhandling my mouth as if there weren’t a face attached to it. You know when dentists lean their hands up against your nose and eyes while they’re working? Or when they continue to pull at your upper lip way past the point when it could reasonably help them see what they’re doing? Yeah. So there was that.

You know what else hurts? Sneezing. Coughing. And moving. And reading books. (And typing.) And lifting Henry, but of course I have to do that. I’ve tried ice, which hurts, and heat, which hurts as well. I’ve tried gentle stretches, which cause the kind of breathtaking pain that just has to be productive, but afterward everything remains the same. When my husband comes home, I will try beer.

Reader Comments (47)

Beer, yes, beer is good. Maybe a chiropractor with an open bar??
July 12, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterbuffi
Ow. Ow. Ow.

Sorry. But reading about pain fills me with pain. And yeah, laughing over Pain's comment to you (Laid Off Dad. So have to check out his blog).

You know, you even make pain funny so if you want me to feel guilty, you should stop being so dang funny.

I hope you feel better.
July 12, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterDM
Hello, I am your neighbor and I have a really good acupuncturist in the east village who is hip and funny and I think maybe a witch. She's that good. E-mail me if you want her info.
July 13, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMiss Weeze
chiropracty, yes. also acupuncture. Sarno, sure, but in the meantime pain (or Pain) is not a virtue (or virtuous). Howie did them in this order: acupuncture, chiropracty, Sarno. I'd say his assessment would be: acupuncture, immediate substantial relief; chiro, more of feeling of long-term alleviation of underlying physical maladjustment; Sarno, the long-term answer.

acupuncture, plus margaritas, or caipirinhas, or something else delicious and anaesthetic like that.
July 13, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterjilbur
When I make an appointment with the dentist, I make an appointment with the chiropractor.

And the chiro is sooooooooo good. Delicious.
July 13, 2005 | Unregistered Commentercoolbeans

I've broken my back twice and am intimately familiar with back pain, muscle spasms, herniated discs, and the other six yards... (Hell, intimate only BEGINS to describe this relationship. I get the feeling sometimes its more of a BDSM thing.)

Anyway, I'd hold off on the chiropracty for a bit -- it can help, but it can also worsen things if the provider doesn't notice inflamed discs or nerve contact. The advice provided by roo (tube) is usually pretty useful and can be supplemented by placing two tennis balls along either side of your spine, lying down on them and slowly pushing yourself up and down, rolling them along your back by walking while lying down.

Another good one (usually better for your lower back) is to roll up a towel real tight, lay it on the ground and lay on it with it crossing your pubic bones and upper hips. Lay like this for about ten minutes and it'll significantly relax your lower back by taking a lot of pressure off of it.

Finally, ibuprofen be da shiznit.

Also beer. (But not with the ibuprofen)
July 13, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterZiggy-san
Sarno is my personal god. 15 years ago his book cured me of cripplling lower back pain.

But recently I had an X ray taken of that part of my body (for a different, non-spine purpose) and the doctor was freaked out by how messed up my lumbar spine is.

Go figure.

July 13, 2005 | Unregistered Commentervictoria
Again! Chiropractor! My husband just had what you are describing (I think it was called Torticollis?) and the only thing that helped was chiropractic, a contoured pillow, and lots of rest. Good luck, hope you feel better soon!
July 13, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterEulallia
Oh my yes, a good chiropractor is a good thing. I work for one, and I am a massage therapist. If you're looking, the combo of specific massage/physical therapy and a chiro is a wonderful thing. Mine even does acupuncture if needed, then advises on stretches and exercises, then nutrition.Anywho, do something, not nothing, and a personal reference to a practicioner that does not simply hot pack-electric stim-adjust is the way to go.

Good luck and happy daze ahead. Thanks for sharing your life's tribulations and joys with us.

ps NO vicadin, unless you really really need it--masks other problems. My opinion...
July 13, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterKelly
seriously if your coughing and sneezing and you have neck pain that is a symptom of menengitis... not to freak you out or anything, but if you get a fever RUN!
July 13, 2005 | Unregistered Commentermojavi
I feel you.

I just got back from my MRI.
July 13, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterTorrie
That sort of toss-myself-off-a-bridge pain usually happens to me right before my period and/or when I'm totally stressed. A Vicadin/Beer combo is your best bet. Cheers!
July 13, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterDrew
I hear gin & tonic helps with muscle spasms... the tonic has quinine in it, which is good for muscle spasms, cramps, and malaria. And if the tonic doesn't help, the gin will.
July 13, 2005 | Unregistered Commentersteph
Feel better. Agree on the chiro--sooooo much better. Then ice. Then heat. Then beer. Then chocolate. Amen :)
July 13, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterRunning2Ks
Perhaps it's time to mend fences with the sleazy physical therapist/ investment broker?? (kidding!)

PS: Down with George Lucas!
July 13, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterAnne
I hate it when that happens to my back/neck. I think it is George Lucas' fault. I'd blame him.

Also, I love your dream. Everything should rot in hell!
July 13, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterSarcastic Journalist
I feel so guilty... sitting here sipping my chocolate and caramel flavored Chai tea, thoroughly enjoying your blog and entirely pain-free.

We always call that combination of drugs and alcohol the "hippie cure." Hehehe... it works especially well with colds. You take cold medicine, wash it down with beverage of choice and viola! No, no, you're not really better, you simply don't care.

According to my dad, who has had severe back problems, Percoset accomplishes the same thing. Pain still there, but you just don't care.

I have awakened with the stiff neck thing upon occasion. I refuse to subscribe to the whole "slept wrong" idea. How can that be? But I suspect my little cricks are nothing compared to your problem. Which prompts me to recommend you get some sort of professional help. My first choice would not be a chiropracter, but then again, I've never been to one either so maybe that's the way to go. Either way, seems like you'd feel a lot better if you got some help. The Star Wars isn't going away, you know. It will only add to your pain. Eliminate what you can!
July 14, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterTitanKT
Is it just me or does Pain sound like Barry White?-Ivy
July 14, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterIvy
Maybe you got viral meningitis from Brad Pitt. It's nice to dream, right?
July 14, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterGoofy Girl
Ah, I love the dentist - can't wait for all that lovely nitrice-oxide to kick in...

Maybe the blueberries have to do with the new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie coming out ("Violet - you're turning Violet, Violet). Perhaps your body is protesting the feminization of darling Johnny Depp.
July 14, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterAfricableu
I JUST got over this same thing. Chiropractor. All the way.

I threw my neck out two mondays ago, finally got to the chiro on Thursday, and by Sunday I was right as rain. I could even turn my head!

I've done this before, and regular docs will only give you pain meds, if you want to go that route. I managed to get through it on Aleve and chiro adjustments.

My doctor says this is a direct result of spending way too much time on the computer. He gave me some exercises to do to strenghten my neck muscles so that I can prevent this from happening in the future.

Oh, BTW, the night I threw out my neck? My 2-year-old threw up his dinner. At 2:30 AM. In our bed. So I had to haul him around for an hour while I cleaned everything up.

I feel your pain.
July 15, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterLisa C. currentmontgomerypause
October 2, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterhonored

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