Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A pain in the ass. (and ankle, calf, thigh and hip, amirite)

You may have noticed that there hasn't been a recipe posted on here in a while.

There is a very good reason for this.
In late November, a muscle in my right hip area began to pinch a very important and long-running nerve - the sciatic nerve, the one that runs from your tail-bone down the leg to the back of your ankle. Sciatica. Its the sort of thing your grandmother gets. For me, a spring chicken with a life to lead, it's both extremely painful and extremely annoying.

The last few months have been life-changing. I walk with a limp now. I attend to my posture. I sit on an exercise ball at work. I have become attuned to the twinges, the warning signs, and I keep my bottle of ibuprofen close to me.

And I can't stand in one place for more than about seven minutes without experiencing excruciating pain.

Through deep stretching, core work and learning my own body, I am making my way back to health. There are days when I can work all day, walk a mile, and do a gym session and feel completely normal.

That is, until I attempt to cook.

The combination of standing in one place and bending to attend to ones work, whether that is chopping a carrot or whisking together a sauce, is nearly impossible right now.

I've learned to be incredibly efficient in the kitchen, working in sprints: seven minutes prepping mise en place, then half an hour on the couch. Seven minutes to cook, rinse repeat. It makes dinner take a while.

I've found techniques that are compatible with this style of cooking, but mostly it means that we eat take-out or leftovers of take-out almost every night. A life I don't like. Pounds I don't need, certainly.

All I can hope is that this doesn't last forever, and that at some point in the future I can get back to cooking on a regular basis, finding joy in the act instead of pain. If anyone's reading that deals with a similar problem, I'd love to hear from you.

In the meantime, don't expect the posts to stop, but also don't expect a ton of recipes for a while.
Unless, of course, they only take seven minutes.


Joy said...

Oh, dear. I'm so sorry to hear about this. I hope you spring back to good health and being pain-free soon. I had that before and it felt like the pain would never end. :(

britni said...

Yes, I too suffer from lots of sciatica. Although I haven't had an "attack" recently, I do know what it feels like to be hobbled. I wish I could offer you some kitchen advice but when it happens to me I am relegated to a horizontal position on the couch. Over the years I have kept my core strong and stretched my legs and hips out every day. It does help. I do hope the pain ends for you too :)

marisa said...

My mom had a tiny varicose vein wrapped around one of the little s nerves for 6 years and couldn't figure out the source of the pain. She had an op. after all the docs said it was psychosymatic which made it so she could sit up again, but she still has pain. She lays on her back with her legs up on a chair and does 10 tiny pelvic tilts about 20 times a day. Her pain clinic Dr. was Dr. Drew's dad, oddly enough.....
try pelvic tilting!!!!and/or canna-cream:)

Foodbat said...

The good news is that I'm young and strong, and it could be much, much worse than it is. Just have to keep telling myself that it's a process.

I just wish I could cook :(