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I have declared war!
As some of you may know, I tore a muscle in my shoulder/neck area a long time ago in a soccer mishap. The muscle never healed properly and has been causing me pain for as long as I can remember.
I've done a lot to try to manage and control the pain. Some days are great. Others are like today. Even my magic heat pad that my parents got me for Christmas failed to keep the tenseness in my muscle from creeping in to the point of severe pain. That rose a red flag.
I don't like delaying updates or anything for my shoulder. It is long something I've accepted as a part of my daily life. However, I know my limits. Lately the pain has been more frequent and more severe. If I continue like this, I think it'll only continue to get worse.
I know the main trigger of the pain- it isn't necessarily all of the drawing I've been doing. Nor is it playing my saxophone. Both contribute to the pain- but only by putting me in a position for the real culprit. Bad posture. I've had it for as long as I can remember- but it didn't ever cause pain until after the soccer injury.
This is a habit so deeply ingrained that it isn't as easy as just sitting up more. If it were THAT easy, well, I wouldn't be typing this. In the years since the soccer injury, I can remember one single period of time that was pain free- when I was in physical therapy. Why? Because I was forced to correct my posture and regularly do a series of stretches that helped strengthen the muscle in my back and neck so that my bad muscle wouldn't be under as much strain.
So what went wrong? First- I had to stop physical therapy, It was great, but expensive and time consuming. Stopping would have been fine if I didn't start neglecting my stretches. Of all the pain relief methods I tried- shots, muscle relaxants, etc.- physical therapy was by far the most effective.
Earlier, I came to the realization that accepting the pain as a daily thing was just a bad as accepting my fate as someone with trichotillomania. For those who don't know what that is- it's an Impulse Control Disorder in which I obsessively (and sometimes without realizing) pull out my hair. I suffered with it for nearly a decade because I had grown complacent and accepted it. The moment I decided to stop letting it control me was the moment I started to win the fight and break free from it (not to see I don't get the occasional urge).
I've fallen into the same mindset about the muscle pain as I had with the trichotillomania. Just choosing to accept it is clearly not working. It's time I start making changes. If I can beat out a decade of hair pulling habits- how hard could it be to beat out... Oh... A lifetime of bad posture? Surely it can't even begin to rival the emotional turmoil that was trichotillomania?
Starting today (er, tomorrow morning?) I'm going to start making some changes. First of all, I plan on getting my physical therapy stretches back into my daily routine. Even if it's just the hell that is wall angels. Secondly, I need to correct my posture. It won't be easy- but I think I've got a means to do it that won't require trips to the PT office. However, I must ask for all of your help!
Thanks to the wonderful people who are contributing to the Patreon (seriously- thank you! You have no idea how much it means to me!) I am getting an extra chunk of funding each month that I can use to help me along. I'll be putting aside a portion of the next few Patreon payments and usual monthly allowance to invest in a nifty new device that will drive me insane (buzz) whenever my posture begins to get all slouchy.
I've read some reviews of this online and it seems like a very promising way to help me along. My difficulties with posture is mostly that I don't realize when I'm slouching- so having something remind me whenever I'm not sitting correctly will be a HUGE help. It isn't terrily expensive, so at the rate the patreon is going, I should be able to order it by mid-September or early October without having to starve myself.
For you non-Patreon people, you can help too! How? Pester me about doing my stretches once or twice a day on skype. Remind me to take a break during the art streams so I don't stiffen up the muscles as much. Yell out posture randomly in the chats to remind me not to slouch (at least until I've got a hell buzzer attached to my shirt.) It may seem like little things- but in the long run, it'll help a ton!
If I can fix this posture problem, the worst of my shoulder pain should go away. The physical therapy sessions I had in the past have proven that this pain need not be nearly as severe as it is now. Less pain means more art- and while that may seem like a 'Yay- fun!' Type thing, it's actually quite important I fix this. Why? I graduate next May and if things continue as they are, I don't think I'd survive working eight hours a day. I've barely been able to manage four hour art sessions for three days in a row.
So, to all of you people who have been so supportive: Thank you. Whether that support is through Patreon, positive encouragement, commenting on pages, or just reminding me to do healthy things like sleep or eat... It means the world! Every little bit, monetary or emotional- I appreciate it with all my heart. I would love to repay that kindness with more comics/art- and hopefully one day in the foreseeable future, I'll be able to make more content with less pain.
posted by Nekomata-chan @ Jul 26 2016 12:51 am -
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