Anatomy Of A Flare-Up – My Personal Story

By Elisa Yinh


It’s what I call “The Gloaming”.  That space between unconsciousness and wakefulness.  The space where I’m either thrilled to awaken from the dream I’ve been having, or heartbroken to leave that wild world.  This morning, I was having a rather fantastic dream.  Something to do with running through a bright green, spongy, mossy forest.  I was running for the sheer joy of it.  It was exhilarating.  I felt my consciousness coming up, up, up…to the point right before my eyes opened to take in the surroundings that constitute my daytime reality.  As I began to stretch, I experienced a shooting pain up the right side of my neck.  If pain had a color (which I find is often true for me), this pain was white and searing. I was experiencing a flare-up.


Great.  Well that changes my whole day.  It changes my work schedule, which affects not only myself and my family, but my coworkers and clients as well.  Can I roll over and sit up on the edge of the bed without pain?  Nope.  Not yet.  My neck feels unable to support my head.  Is this the worst flare-up I’ve experienced?  No.  Thank goodness.  I’d call this one moderate.  However, being a planner by nature, this throws a cog into my gears.  


I have a herniated disc in my neck, and an injury like this changes many things about my life.  Since this isn’t my first flare-up, I am now able to take a step away from it and look in from the outside without my emotions swooping down and screaming like a banshee.  I am going to take you with me through my treatment and recovery each day.  This will be all too familiar to some of you, no matter what your injury might be.  

Day 1:

I receive very specific soft tissue treatment on the relevant areas of my neck and into my shoulders.  It’s not fun, but I go from turning my head to the right with shooting pain, to gaining more range of motion and finding that the shooting pain is gone.  I can now sit up and support my head with dull pain and a bit of weakness still prevalent.  Nothing I can’t handle.  Quite remarkable.  I feel able to drive, and can go in to work for a couple of hours at least.  Without immediate treatment, just this portion of recovery alone would take days, or in some cases, weeks for the shooting pain to dissolve.  My movements are slow, and I am very aware of my posture.  When I’m not at work for those couple of hours, I am laying down and resting.

Stay tuned to find out about my progress each day…

Elisa Yinh

Elisa Yinh

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