Daily Archives: September 9, 2011
My appointment, with a massage therapist, was for 12:30 and since I’d never been to the place I decided to leave early. It was really easy to find and I arrived a few minutes early.
The massage therapist, let’s call her “Kiki”, came out of her room and introduced herself. She was quite delightful and had just a hint of a German accent.
She handed me a clipboard and asked me to fill out the information requested. Once that was done I could come into her room and get started.
I glanced at the clipboard as the door shut behind her.
I was looking at the same type of questionnaire one receives when going to a doctor. There was the front/back human with a “Where do you hurt?” and then the myriad of personal medical questions. I ignored most of them and made it clear I have fibromyalgia.
(A quick trip to fibro-land…if you don’t know what fibromyalgia is, I’m not the one to educate you. However, I can tell you that while a hand stroke across sore muscles is soothing and feels terrific, poking with fingers/knuckles/hot stones across those same muscles is excruciatingly painful)
I entered the room and she told me to sit down while she reviewed my information. I looked around the room and thought if I didn’t know better I’d think she was a doctor and I the patient.
Except for the really soothing music, dim lights, steam and the awesome-looking massage table that took up most of the available space in the room.
Kiki: So, tell me about your back problems.
Me: Well, I have four ruptured discs in my lower back and three in my neck.
Kiki: (eyes widening) Wow! How’d that happen?
Me: Five car accidents and one horse accident. (I then proceed to tell her about the car accidents and the horse…you know, the Reader’s Digest version)
Now, things start to get weird.
Kiki: You know, my father always told me to be careful when driving. To not trust the other drivers and to leave myself an out.
Me: Yeah, me too. Thing is, NONE of these accidents were my fault and, in fact, I never even saw the other car in three of them. (chuckling) Nope, I just seem to have a bull’s eye painted on me.
Kiki: (raises eyebrow) Well, you shouldn’t follow too closely…blah, blah…
At this point I’m getting pissed. I’m not here for Kiki’s views on driving or anything else. I’m here for a massage!
Me: Yes…um…am I to change into one of those? (pointing to some robes hanging on the wall in an attempt to steer her back on course)
Kiki: No, those are if you have to tinkle during the massage.
Me: (tinkle? really?)How long does it last?
Kiki: An hour.
Me: Oh, I should be fine then.
Kiki: Go ahead and take off your clothes, I’ll step out, and then lie face down on the table. Just call me when you are ready.
I got undressed and lay down on the table. I called her name and she re-entered the room.
For the next 15 minutes I had the most wonderful massage experience I’ve had in a long time. She was a little thing, but her hands were strong.
I guess she’s used to clients who chatter, so finally she broke the silence.
Kiki: How many children do you have?
Me: Four and six grandchildren.
Kiki: I have four as well.
Me: That’s nice.
I fell silent hoping she’d take the hint…sigh, no such luck.
Kiki: Yes, I have four boys and two girls.
Huh? That’s six….
Kiki: And, I’m a doctor. That’s why I take an in-depth medical study. Of course I only work two days a week, the rest of the time I do this. My specialty is high-risk pregnancies and I do preemie massage.
A doctor? Highly skeptical I mumble something about how interesting that is.
Kiki: Yes, I come from Europe and let me ask you something. What do you have for breakfast?
Kiki: Typically, what do you eat for breakfast?
I tell her, but mid-way through she stops me…
Kiki: No, no…you must not eat anything microwaveable because you know ‘they’ just paid millions of dollars in a suit because rats exposed and people exposed to high levels of the preservatives they have to spray on the foods before they put the plastic over it..it caused cancer in all these people.
I’ve slipped into the seventh circle of hell and am being held hostage by a crazed masseuse, bent on educating me as to every conspiracy theory the Internet has to offer.
Kiki: It’s true, my one son he’s working for the government of Spain and he has to get a letter from the FBI that says he’s okay…you know, because it’s the government.
I’m still on spray-on toxins and don’t respond. Please, God, just let her finish the massage…which, by the way was beginning to hurt as she poked me with her fingers.
Me: You know that is painful.
Kiki: I know.
Me: The fibro…
Kiki: I know
She presses harder.
Kiki: You are all inflammation and your back is knotted up.
Me: (whimpering) I know.
Finally, she stops poking and goes back to rubbing the muscles in my back and legs.
Kiki: So, my husband and I we met in Germany. I went to elementary school in Australia and middle school in Ireland. In high school, where I met my husband, I was in England.
I’ve given up trying to keep track at this point and really, isn’t my hour up yet?
Kiki: For most people a massage is a luxury, but for people like you – with fibro – it’s a necessity.
Me: Yes, that’s true.
Kiki: So, if you decide to come every month I will only charge you $50. Because it is not a luxury.
Me: Thank you.
Kiki: You know, you need this, so for $45 that’s nearly half price.
Math is obviously not her strong suit. First she has four or six kids and now $45 is the new $50.
Kiki: What is stress?
Kiki: What do you think stress is?
Umm…having a massage by a crazed German?
Kiki: I’ll tell you, it’s a poison that squirts from your brain. Yes, it comes from the perpetuity gland.
Perpetuity? Oh…she must mean pituitary…yes, she must have skipped ‘gland’ class in med school.
Kiki: Yes and you can feel it. Now the stuff I’m using on you now will get rid of the dead skin on your body so the nerves can retreat and the fibro can, you know, get better.
I was, by this time, seriously in danger of a full-blown fit of giggles and so I just buried my face in the towel and tried to shut her out.
Kiki: There! All done, and you know with the exfoliation most people pay $150 for that but it was my gift to you.
Me: Thank you.
Kiki: You get dressed and I will get you some herbal tea.
She leaves and I dress. She comes back with the tea and it smells wonderfully of blackberries.
Kiki: What size pants do you wear, because you are not at all huge. I have some clients who are over 600 lbs., but you have a lot of muscle. I want you to write down everything you eat and what time and how much so next time you come we can discuss it.
Me: Uh…(seriously, I’m overweight but not by that much)
Kiki: Well, have a blessed day.
As I left there I felt both extremely sore and relaxed. I took the blackberry tea she gave me and after a sip, and mulling over the conversation we’d had, promptly dumped it down the nearest drain.
When I got home I collapsed on the sofa, unable to move, and wondered if I’d ever get up again.
An hour later I tried, and shrieking in pain, failed. The cat jumped five feet in the air and ran to the next room where he watched me warily.
I finally managed to roll off the couch and onto my hands and knees.
The cat, still shaken by the shrieking human from before, stood at the doorway and watched in wide-eyed alarm as I attempted to make it to my feet.
I finally succeeded, but since breathing was an exercise in extreme pain, I didn’t make it far before I decided the sofa was my best friend for the rest of the day.
By evening I could move a little better, and the next day although breathing was painful, I felt pretty good.
One thing I know, for certain, is that I’m never going back there again. I don’t care if the new $50 is $45 and I’m in danger of being poisoned by my perpetuity gland every time I get stressed.
The cat agrees.