Thursday, November 4, 2010

Bad Chi

Have you ever heard someone referring to his or her "chi?" Well, essentially this is the word for life energy, and Chinese philosophy states there is a life force in all things, and it is essential to have a balance of both negative and positive in the body to have good health. You have probably heard of chi, but just don't realize it. In Japan it’s ki, in India it’s Prana, in ancient Egypt it was known as ka, the ancient Greeks called it Puma, Native Americans name it the Great Spirit, Christians call it the Holy Spirit, in Africa it’s known as ashe, and Hawaiians call it mana. Anyway, the Chinese say that if anything affects that balance, you will suffer in terms of health problems and discomfort in your environment.

So why am I quoting Chinese philosophy tonight? Well, I am convinced, without a shadow of a doubt, that I am suffering from the effects of "bad chi." Alright, now I can picture the looks on your faces right now, and a few of you are probably rolling your eyes as you read this-I have not gone off my rocker on this one, and I can prove it.

It all started with a fateful misstep (or two) when I went down to my basement laundry room on July 16. I am thinking that a normal person (a person with a large amount of good chi I’m guessing), would have carried the empty laundry basket with one hand, and grabbed the handrail with the other. Oh, and did I happen to mention that flip-flops, well known for their slippage ability, were also worn that day? And don’t forget the fact that this was the day before we were to leave for vacation… And what about the end result-my Peroneus longus tendon (yes, this name is for real-it's the tendon that runs from the ankle to the side of the foot) was damaged so badly that it tore a piece of my anklebone off. One broken bone plus a badly damaged tendon is equal to wearing a boot until the middle of October, several weeks of physical therapy, and the inability to wear cute shoes or heels! Those of you taller than five feet one (and a half) wouldn’t understand my pain.

And speaking of pain, now I understand why some people say it would have actually been better if I had just broken my anklebone. I still can’t lay my foot on it’s side or place the top of my foot flush with a surface when I kneel down, not to mention the pain from walking, and the doctor said it would be a year before my foot gets back to business as usual-UGH! I need to go shopping for some comfortable, but still hot, flats-is there such a thing? I refuse to wear anything with orthopedic in the name-heck, I don’t plan to wear anything with orthopedic in the name when I’m orthopedic!

Now I know what you’re thinking-this is just one isolated incident, and you are wrong! Like I said, I just got into sort of "regular" shoes a few weeks back, and things were looking good chi wise that is, until the incident of October 24. It was a beautiful Sunday with temperatures in the high 70’s, and we were outside the whole day working on our pumpkins. I had just sat down in a lawn chair and I was enjoying a glass of iced tea when the kids decided to play a game of hide and seek-so far so good, until my husband decided to join in. We had the dog outside with us on a really long lead, and my husband walked over to me and looped the lead around my left wrist-he didn’t want the dog following him as he ran around to the front of the house. The next few moments are still sort of a blur-I remember lifting the glass to my lips as my husband ran off, and then without notice the dog took off running. He pulled my left wrist down onto the arm of the chair, and shattered my iced tea glass.

I vaguely remember my daughter and husband calling out to me, but I just grabbed my wrist and started making my way to the house-I was in that much pain. And since I’m a full-blooded wimp, the tears came down in buckets as my family hovered around me, and then I started laughing-I mean, what the heck was going on here? With a lot of ice and an ace bandage I felt a little better by that evening, and I decided on a wait and see approach before going back to the doctor because frankly this was just a little embarrassing. Things were decidedly worse on Monday, so Tuesday I was back in the doctor’s office at 8:15 AM and scheduled for x-rays.

Well, my good chi and bad chi must be doing battle, because I didn’t break any bones but I still had a nasty wrist sprain-I mean I couldn’t move it up or down or twist it back and forth, so driving was real fun that day. The result of sitting in a lawn chair that wonderful Sunday afternoon-a beautiful wrist splint that I have to wear for two weeks. I have a tentative appointment for a recheck November 10, but already the swelling has gone down and I have been taking the splint off periodically as instructed, and movement is improving. My husband says only I can get injured while sitting in a chair, and he yells, "Don’t hurt yourself," every time I leave the house.

Turkey vultures watching me after the doctors visit
Now those have been my health issues, but what about that "discomfort in my environment" symptom I mentioned earlier? Things at work and the home front are spinning out of control. The kids in my classes have been especially unruly the past few weeks, and I have had to make office referrals for issues relating to immaturity and how many of my students don’t seem to know what is acceptable behavior in the classroom. Were talking incidents involving pretty crude humor that I can’t even write about. All I can say is that my student’s response has been, "I didn't do anything that bad…" And my own kids?  My son is getting reprimanded for calling out and not listening to the teacher, while my daughter is only showing us her good schoolwork-the rest she keeps to herself.

And then there are the daily agitations that seem like bigger problems when they are lumped with all the others. Last night I hit an all time low when I went to the bathroom and saw this after I finished doing you-know-what! I had to carefully tear small bits and hope for the best as I ventured out in the hallway where our linen closet is, and our toilet paper supply…

So here I sit, worried that I still haven’t balanced all my positive and negative parts, and hoping that a co-worker who is experiencing some bad chi right now doesn’t send it back my way-I mean, how much worse can it get? Uh oh, if I knock on fake wood does it still count?


  1. Oh boy, that is a string of bad luck to be sure. Hang in there and yes, that extra half inch counts!

  2. I think someone left your chi out of the fridge too long. Hang in there, it will balance out: )
    And don't feel alone. The last picture? Found myself sitting in that situation twice this week. The perfect illustration for the feeling of "dismay"!

  3. You need a bunch of positivity flowing your way, my friend :) No more accidents for you. You've had your share! Sending "good chi" your way. Loved the post Susan. Have a great weekend, my friend (accident free :)

  4. I will keep my fingers crossed that the bad chi stays away and only good things come your way!!

  5. DG, thanks for the laugh!

    MOTPG, like why doesn't anyone know how to change this but me?

    septembermom, you know what they say about bad things coming in threes? I am hoping my two accidents are counted among all the other stuff, otherwise, 1, 2, oh no... LOL!

    lindsey, I'm keeping my toes crossed too!

  6. You are truly running into some bad luck. How much can one person take before their breaking point? I hope things get better for you really really soon. Since your down the only way to go is up! :) HUGS!!!


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