Snap, crackle, pop!
|From The Bendy Blog.|
Other people find it deeply creepy, and I do it anyway. Otherwise I start to feel cramped and claustrophobic. If I do a really good job, particularly with large joints or vertebrae, the thunk reverberates internally. I don't know if it's a hydrostatic pressure change or something neurological, but it's incredibly satisfying, in much the same way as when your head is stuffed up and you finally manage to blow your nose forcefully enough to clear out your damned ears. Something gets temporarily unblocked. I assume this is what makes other people think chiropractors are actually doing something, although you can crack your back at home and get exactly the same miracle effect for free, and without someone trying to sell you magic vitamin supplements.
The terrible noises make other people think all the joint manipulation hurts. Not true. The hurty part is completely independent. I really have no good way to talk about that part; I'm not other people and I have no idea how much pain they aren't in, plus everyone complains that aging hurts in general. I have chronic back and neck issues, and other stuff just sort of aches at random. It's common with the various bendy disorders -- you make up for having less structural stability in your joints by using muscles to keep them steady, and humans aren't technically built to do that. I just treat Aleve as a dietary supplement, and knock one back with my multivitamins. I've never bothered to complain about it to a doctor. The only thing they'd do is give me a different NSAID that I'd have to get at the pharmacy instead of grabbing off the shelf. Since naproxen works, there's no point.
I did have to train myself to make the distinction between achy stuff that just happens, and pain that means I'm actually doing damage to something. I had a very poor model for this. The only thing that my sister and I have ever agreed on is that if our mother says something isn't painful, we don't believe her. She told us that childbirth "didn't really hurt". Okay, it's easy for some women, and we were small babies, maybe it wasn't so bad. She also has stories about breaking her foot as a kid and walking several blocks on it before someone stopped her, and getting into a bike crash and not realizing her hand was broken until the x-rays came back. She stopped bothering to alert dentists when the novocaine wore off, which is kind of a diagnostic hat trick -- EDS patients tend to have high pain tolerance, because anaesthetics and painkillers work poorly or not at all, and they are deemed hysterical with alarming regularity when they attempt to tell people this.
(I've only just recently realized that Chloraseptic throat spray is probably supposed to work for more than fifteen or twenty seconds. Orajel and clove oil are similarly ineffective. Injected novocaine works better on me, but doesn't last as long as it ought to. Opioid painkillers do a lot of things, but none of them involve killing pain. If it's that bad, I usually just knock myself out with dissociatives.)
Since the distinction I draw tends to be "actually damaging stuff" vs "just making me miserable", I do a lot of things that make other people boggle. Migraines do not damage things, and mostly I just bluff my way through them. My obvious symptoms are usually restricted to one or more bloodshot eyes and being kind of distracted, so I get away with it a lot. (Not always true for migraineurs -- some people get puffy swollen faces and one unfortunate soul of my acquaintance goes properly aphasic.) I learned how to cover for panic attacks particularly well, as not only could I not do anything about them before I was introduced to the wonders of Xanax, but admitting that I was suffering got me shouted at.
The joint problems really weird people out. I have come to realize that most people find it alarming when they have to specifically learn how to not collapse their knees. It's had some odd results. For a long time, I thought that slipping on ice was one of those things that only happened in sitcoms. I'm the person other people grab for when they tank. It's not because I'm surefooted -- it's exactly the opposite. I assume all of my joints are going to wobble and my foot is going to end up somewhere I didn't put it, and just learned to compensate for that with balance and momentum instead of flailing around fighting it. You can watch it in action if I'm hurrying across uneven terrain, too; if my foot lands on something that tips over unexpectedly, I just let the ankle fold and keep on going. Balance boards are NBD.
You can't just stop everything when something goes wrong. Stuff goes wrong with me often enough that if I did that, I'd never get out of bed. I would like a wee bit more sympathy from the medical establishment, and perhaps some acknowledgement that I don't come ask them for sedatives for shits and giggles. Other than that, I dunno what to do, other than keep making creepy Rice Krispies noises and try not to break anything too badly.