Monday, September 8, 2008

I'm Back!

I haven’t felt like myself for awhile now. I’ve been unusually tired, a little overwhelmed at work and slightly unfocused. I consulted with my friend and naturopath about it and discovered there are some valid reasons for my recent lifelessness. I am now working on correcting the problem.

One change I noticed that pushed me towards getting some help was my lack of mischieviousness. I’m not a trouble maker, but I do like to think of myself as the queen of April Fool’s Day and typically try to honor that day a little bit every day. The other week I pulled a funny on a patient and got such a high from it, that it revved me up for the rest of the afternoon. I realized then, that I missed that feeling. Most days I was feeling so tired and uninspired that the creative spark I needed to roll with a great story was missing.

Today however, I saw a glimpse of my old self when I easily convinced a patient to believe total nonsense. I had him going good for awhile and I loved every minute of it.

This patient, who I’ll call Edward, is a very intelligent and successful man with a definite ornery side to him. He tries to pull something on me nearly every time he sees me, and in my current “weakened” state I have nearly fallen prey to his antics more than once. Normally, I would be dishing out my own dose of delusions with someone of this nature, but lately, I’ve lacked the brain power to think up and carry out such deception. Until today, that is.

Today we were discussing having pain in unexpected areas. Eddie’s been suffering with elbow tendonitis for some time now, and was expressing his concern for the amount of pain he felt when I palpated the muscles in the areas above and below his elbow. I assured him that these areas wouldn’t normally be painful if there wasn’t a problem, but he found it hard to believe that someone might not feel pain there like he did when such pressure was applied.

To prove a point, I palpated the muscles in his face and asked if he felt pain there. He laughed and said, “No”. I explained that some people do have issues with the muscles in their face and they are extremely painful just as he was experiencing pain in his forearm. That caught his attention.

Then, like magic, a spark was ignited and I was off and running.

With a serious face and professional tone, I slowly explained to him that some people suffer from myofascial restrictions in the lower jaw muscles. These restrictions can create a tightness in the muscles so extreme that it could actually force the mouth into an involuntary frown. If these muscles were not attended to, the “Smile” muscles may become weak over time and make it very difficult for the patient to smile at all. A person could actually lose their ability to smile due to a dysfunction in the facial muscle tissue.

As his face showed obvious signs of concern and deep thought, my heart skipped a beat. I knew I had him and now I just had to reel him in. He was clearly mulling over what I had just said, when I continued on. “Have you ever known somebody who is grumpy every time you see them? It’s like they can never manage a smile – only a frown.” Eddie’s eyes got large as he got all excited, “I was just thinking that! There are people I’ve met like that! They always look unhappy! Could they have that condition you’re talking about?”

“Absolutely! You should tell them that you know someone who could bring their smile back to life. When you leave here, you should call every grumpy person you know and tell them you have the secret to their happiness. Tell them that you know someone who can turn their frown upside down. You must share the good news with them Eddie! You must!”

And then I smiled at him.

And he knew he had been had.

It was the very best part of my day!

Thanks Eddie!

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