I’m having a little trouble with fear lately. Or maybe it’s more worry. I think these two emotions are interwoven. I did something to my body and am numb in my left hip and thigh and my left lower back and abdomen. Argh! I’m not sure where the “owie” is actually located, but it’s most likely in my arse, hip or back. It is a comfortable numbness in that I’m not in pain and I haven’t lost any function. It just feels like part of my body is asleep and that feels weird. And wrong. I’m not completely sure what I did to pinch this nerve (if a nerve has indeed been pinched). I did go two-stepping two nights before this started, which I haven’t done before. It was really fun. I got to wear a twirly dress and float around the dance floor. I haven’t been spun like that in a long time, so if that was the trigger event, it may have been worth it. *wink* But only if it gets better soon.

I started a new job on December 1st and my insurance didn’t kick in until yesterday. So, I haven’t been to the doctor before now. [This princess is very happy insurance companies can’t hide behind “preexisting conditions” anymore!] But I have an appointment today and am hoping to learn more about what the heck I did and how the heck I can fix it.

The last time I “pulled” something like this, I was in my late 20’s. I was teaching a lab for a statistics class in a room that doubled as storage for the department. I was using a white board that was obscured by several desks. As I reached over them to erase something, I sneezed. This was no ordinary sneeze. This was a “everyone turns their head to me and said ‘gesundheit!’” sneeze. I pinched a nerve in my back that stayed good and pinched for several months until it finally just worked itself out. I’m hoping for the same outcome, minus the “several months” part.

In the meantime, I’m kind of freaking out. It’s been almost two weeks since this started!

I find myself thinking extreme thoughts like “maybe I have nerve damage,” even though I can still feel to an extent and I have full command of my muscles. Or “maybe I have a parasite,” even though I haven’t been exposed to anything strange and I don’t have any visible tissue damage.* Or “what if it spreads to my girlyhood?,” which OMGs! I can’t even imagine how awful that would be. Or even worse, “what if I have to stop bellydancing?” NOOOOOOoooooooo!**

None of these explanations really make sense, so I have to talk myself down. But every morning, when I wake feeling numb, I get riled up again. I’ve been thinking a lot about how to combat being a worrywart and a nervous Nelly until this is resolved. I consider myself a visual person and I’ve always been drawn to symbols, especially when they are symmetrical (and many Pagans symbols are). There are a number of Pagan symbols that might lend me peace of mind when I start to worry about my health. Here are a few you might find interesting.

But so far, symbols aren’t bringing me comfort or helping me feel empowered in this situation. I have really been inspired by any stories from lore or myths, either. Though I am reminded of Jax post on donating blood, which made me smile (as it always does) and reminded me that faith can help you be brave.

As I’ve said before, I’m not the “bend the knee” sort, so I don’t want to call on the gods for help or intervention unless my straights are dire. And I’m not sure they are yet. Instead, I’ve been thinking more about my ancestors, specifically the ones I knew in life. I am certain they are with and are simultaneously sending me love and chuckling over my anxiety (which is so far not evidence-based). [Yeah, I’m pretty sure my ancestors laugh at me. That’s just how my peeps roll, dead or alive.] And when I think of them, my grandmother(s), my grandfather(s) and my dad, I feel a little less alone. Not that I feel alone right now. I have lots of people who love me and I feel that love. So “alone” is not the right word. I feel a less solitary…? Hmm…How can I explain this? When I think of my ancestors, I feel like they are with me, spiritually and physically. Not literally physically. I feel like they are in me. Like maybe they’re in my ego or my super-ego. Not as separate voices – more a harmony of support. And they are sharing my worry and bearing some of the numbness for me.

Huh. I don’t think I ever really thought about this until now, but the idea that your ancestors are part of your psychological profile makes perfect sense to me, spiritually, mythologically, and maybe even scientifically. [I want to expound on this point, but I need to think on it for a while. Fodder for a future post!]

Sigh. But alas, even the comfort of my ancestors hasn’t stopped the numbness.

On the upside, there’s been no change. It’s not getting worse, which I fully attribute to my chiropractor. It was getting painful to walk the first day I was numb. She saw me right away and the pain stopped and hasn’t returned. [Thank the gods she sees patients without insurance.] I’ve also gotten a deep-tissue massage and starting taking vitamins again. I’m thinking about working acupuncture, yoga and meditation into the “get healthy” plan. Every treatment seems to offer new information on what might be wrong, but not necessarily on how to fix it.

On the downside, there’s been no change. Cross your fingers for me and hope a visit to a non-alternative doctor will bring more information on what’s sparking the numbness.

Meanwhile, I’m still in the meantime – the time between when the numbness started and when it will end. And I’m doing my best to be proactive and telling myself “Don’t Panic!”

What say you realm? Do you have any suggestions for combating fear that I haven’t already considered?

* This negative nonsense reminds me of a scene from Kindergarden Cop, “It’s not a toomah!”

** “Why (or how) is bellydancing more important than my girlyhood?,” you may be asking. Well, I don’t think its more important, but it is as important. I do it more often. With other women. And as a soloist. I’m still talking about bellydancing. *side glance* You just need to stop. You dirty, dirty reader.

+ Featured image, illustration for articles about the Hitchhiker’s Guide. “Pas de panique” means “don’t panic” in French.