Sunday, November 29, 2009

Massage and Mr. King

After a two year hiatus, I went for a massage the other day. It's taken me this long, after moving, to find a new massage therapist. And this would be why? Because I'm a bit of a weenie.

Massage therapy hurts, when one has fibromyalgia. Before I was diagnosed, when we all thought I had rheumatoid arthritis, I went often. It was important, I was told, in order to keep my muscles in shape, since pain held me back from true exercise.

But oh! I can't begin to describe the pain during treatment.  My therapist, at the time, did not completely believe in the first diagnosis...she could hardly touch my skin and it would hurt. But she did what she could, and after a couple of days recuperation after treatment I did feel a little better.

And then I moved to another area, saw another specialist and was finally diagnosed correctly. I was put on medications to combat the extraordinary nerve pain. The pills took awhile to work...but here I am, today, with little pain...and little memory, due to a combination of the drugs and fibro itself. But that's another story.

It was time to try massage therapy once again, especially with the long, cold Winter soon to arrive, where walks and gardening activities come to a close.

My new therapist is a young woman who completed her three years of training three years ago. She is very competent; she knew instantly how to treat fibro. I did not even have to tell her when my muscles cramped...she noticed immediately.

My worries were for naught.

She was silent throughout the treatment...and so was I, as a consequence.  But my imagination keeps me occupied, whenever I am captive to a treatment, whether it be the dentist's chair or a massage table...or just waiting in a queue.

I'd heard on the news that Stephen King was contemplating writing a sequel to The Shining. He recanted his thought shortly after he made it, saying it wasn't possible...but perhaps.  He answered his questioners just as a Master Writer will.

Whoever knows where the Muse will take a Writer, never mind a Writer like Stephen King?

And so, it gave me huge fodder for thought, during the massage, about young Danny Torrance, his mother Wendy and Dick Hallorann. Where would they be now?

In particular, I think about Danny, all grown up, with all his special skills. Has he found another evil Hotel, another Overlook? Or did he, during his teen years, deny his gifts, with all the disparate perception that goes along with that age?

He could not have come through those horrific scenes with his Dad unscathed emotionally. I envision a young boy who eventually rebels, runs away, becomes a criminal.  Or perhaps Danny manages to find peace, goes through school and university...and then runs into another unspeakably evil horror.  I wonder...will Danny eventually be taken over himself? 

Perhaps Dick Hallorann would once again come in to save the day...

A particularly hard jab from the masseuse brought me back to reality...she had lulled me into complacency for a bit, while she gained some knowledge about my muscular system.

But now the hard part began. Still, I felt she held herself back, as she manipulated my larger muscles back to how they should be. 

I think, perhaps, my next massage may not be as gentle.

But the story of Danny, or any one of Mr. King's characters will keep me occupied for the duration of it. 

And then the thought comes to me...I wonder if Mr. King ever thinks about what has happened to his characters, after he's put them through the emotional wringer?

There could be many sequels if he ever did so...


  1. Interesting post - I often imagine a book character's future, often for days after I've finished a book. Glad to hear medication is helping the fibromyalgia. Thanks for stopping by and leaving your lovely comment :)

  2. ah, marion, what an imagination--all worthy wonderings.

    have you read mr. king's book on writing? it is THE best. i'll bet you already have it.

    i am very glad your fibro is under control. you've reminded me i'm due to a massage. i don't have any muscular challenges and still the woman i see pushes me to the limit. until afterwards, and then i feel great.

    :) plus xoxo

  3. What a lovely blog Marion.

    I have a dear friend that has fibromyalgia and I am going to send her over here.

    Renee xoxo

  4. I can't even imagine the psychologist's bill for some of Mr. King's abused characters!! I shudder to think ...

    As always, I love reading your blog!


  5. Pauline,

    Sometimes I have to read trivial things like magazines for awhile after I've finished an intense book. The characters tend to linger and I want my mind to be a clean slate before I begin a new novel.


    Stephen King's book on writing is one of my very favourites, and I do have it. Graham just recently got me The Dome as a gift and I can't wait to begin.

    What I love about massage is it lets out all the toxins stored in the body. It feels incredibly cleansing to me after I've had one. I have the feeling,lol, this masseuse is going to be pushing to the limits and beyond, perhaps. It hurts, but its all to the good!


    It's lovely to see you. And an early welcome to your friend! Fibro is a devastating condition, if medications don't help, or can't be afforded. I am grateful to have insurance to be able to afford the medications. And I hope your friend has found relief, as well.


    I think Mr. King's characters could fill a rehabilitation centre all by themselves. Don't know if I could make much sense if I'd gone through what some of them experience!

  6. gene has a couple of king's books. they give me the chills, lol!
    i wish for a session of massage myself... maybe that'll be my christmas gift for me :)

  7. i read abt yr pain and i feel fearful. i am 48 and take a lot of painkillers. i do try massage therapy perhaps once a month but they only work for a few hrs then it is back to square one. i went to see a dr but he couldnt give a diagnosis.. suggested i go to the gym n do some yoga

  8. Alison,

    I have many friends who are not fans of Mr. King's books. But I love his descriptive manner. I feel I really know his characters, as I read. But he can also frighten me to bits, lol!

    Massage would be a wonderful Christmas gift for you! Go and get one...those strange aches and pains will go away for awhile.


    Ask your doctor to send you to a rheumatologist. You really don't have to suffer with that excruciating pain. I never found any drug before I was diagnosed, prescription or over the counter, that worked. Pain was ALWAYS present.

    Once I was diagnosed, there were numerous other drugs that target the origin of the pain. I am very grateful I am one of those for whom the medications worked.

    Please insist on seeing a specialist if you have chronic nerve pain which has no real cause.

  9. marion, i got your email. it touched me deeply. i'm glad we've found eachother.

    more to come...

  10. Steven King saying something is not possible just makes me think it is his publicist or someone like that. He is incredible and he makes the possible impossible.

    Kindest regards,
    Tom Bailey

  11. Marion,

    I had fibro for several years in my early 30s and did not get much relief from doctors. The Rheumatologist put me on muscle relaxers as needed, which helped in the flare up times, but also made me a zombie. I was also on an anti-inflammatory medication, which gave limited help...then it made my hands and feet swell, so I was on a diurectic..and so on, without any real relief at all.

    I did a lot of research myself and tried guafenesin therapy. Guafenesin was originally for chest congestion. It breaks down mucus. The theory is that the pain from fibromyalgia is often from excess mucus being produced by the body which cannot be processed, so it lands in the muscles, then hardens, which creates the knots and the pain.

    I found a doctor that knew about guafenesin (he had had fibro himself and had gone to conferences about it and had success with guafenesin). He told me that it works for some and not for others...that you would know it was working if you felt like a truck had run over you...and I did!! I was in pain all over as the mucus started breaking down and releasing. I felt like bruises everywhere - I could even see blue bruise-like areas, like the pads of my hands. Areas that had been like rocks for so long suddenly began to get lumpy and soften, and I could move again. It changed my life.

    I took guafenesin regularly for a couple of years - some people take it forever. It is not harmful and is available over-the-counter (even generic now) and is very inexpensive. Later, I discovered Reiki and other energy healing/alaternative practives that have helped me tremendously. Now, I only take the quafenesin when I have an occasional flare up - particularly in sinus/allergy times where that excess mucus may build again and look for a place to go, or when I am under great stress (although the Reiki is very effective with that).

    If you haven't tried guafenesin for fibromyalgia, you might want to. It helped get me back into a full life without regular pain.

    I haven't been on your site for a little while, but as always, you are such blessing. It makes me feel good every time I sign on. Your energy is so soothing and travels across cyber space!

  12. Fibro sounds awful Marion, I had to Google it. I moan about our winters but where you are its far more resstrictive in what you can do. My daughter is a Stephen King fan so I'm sure she would look forward to a sequel.

  13. kj,

    I'm glad you got my email. As always, I look forward to hearing from you!


    A sequel to The Shining would be perfect, in my book! And I tend to agree with you about someone else saying it is not probable to write one...Stephen King himself must surely wonder what's happened to Danny! As you say, he is incredible!


    Your comment is illuminating! I had no idea guafenesin was used in combating fibro, although I take it twice a day, just to stop the mucous from taking over! I was drawn to it on my own years ago, but I never connected the two.

    And my doctors never mentioned it. Ever. How very interesting that guafenesin is now a generic drug, with little money to be made from it. Guess that's why there is no further research on treating fibro with it. Drug companies win again, while something as easy to get as guafenesin is pushed to the sidelines.

    My medication (Lyrica) costs $345/month, with insurance picking up most of it. This is only one; I have other meds as well. I was so thankful it stopped the burning, the awful tingling and the excruciating muscle cramps I would have paid much more!

    Graham is a Karuna Reiki Master and I have level two. You are so right when you say this helped...there were days before being diagnosed where Reiki was the only relief I got.

    I am printing out my research on guafenesin and taking it to my doctor and I am going to get started on proper dosages of same today.

    I can't begin to thank you enough!


    I live vicariously through your biking trips, wishing I could do the same, lol! I hope the awful rainy weather your country just experienced did not inconvenience you. I hope, as well, that you are settling into your new home and are feeling comfortable where you are.

  14. I would be happy if I could remain silent during my massage therapy. My mind races, bringing forth all sorts of memories I guess as a result of the muscle manipulation? But then I cannot keep my mouth shut; rambling on and discussing things with the therapist, her telling me about memories she was able to elicit in others (no names) an me going on about some nonsense from my past. So, while I should lie there and enjoy, I am instead tensing muscles with my reactions to memories and causing much consternation with the therapist.
    Note to self: keep your mouth shut!!

  15. Goatman,

    That's the thing about massage therapy. One can chatter away about anything or everything or one can keep silent. Massage will release all sorts of stored toxins in all the muscles. And if you have old baggage that hasn't been solved completely in your mind, let it out and babble away. The therapist is completely accustomed to it. By no means, don't tense your muscles when those memories come up...they are part of the release.

    When I first began massage as therapy many years ago, I told my therapist deep, dark stuff, and she told me that was great! And each time something came up and out, I would feel a muscle or two loosening...

    A very important part of massage therapy is the epsom salts bath afterwards. They will help remove and release toxins stored in the muscles for such a long while.

    There have been times when I cried my eyes out on the massage table, and not because of physical pain, but because she massaged some area which was still holding onto sadness at some past event.

    You never know what will occur as a part of the release of the toxins stored in those muscles...just try and go with it. I'm so pleased you're letting stuff out...your note to self should be "open your mouth as wide as can be!" Lol!

  16. Message received. It is always best to "let it flow" I guess.
    I hope you are feeling better and will have a wonderful holidays with your family and others.

    I hadn't considered the salt bath, but I do love lying in the hot waters -- I need a hot springs.

  17. Goatman,

    I think you told me once you were close to some hot springs...what a lovely idea!

    And I hope you have a great holiday with your own family and friends!