getting you pain free, faster!

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Quote of the Day:

"I’m trying to be as self-sufficient as possible."

*   *   *

The past few days have been utterly fun, exhausting, and long. 

As hoped, we are currently dominating the majority of medals. What’s funny is that since the Marines have been twice-over champions, the score-keeping is much harder this year. 

You would expect that a gold medal (or 1st place finish) would count more towards the overall score of the team. But this time, it just counts as a single point. So it doesn’t matter if you finish 2nd, or even 3rd. 

But we are still up by 2 medals.

Today some of our guys are doing their morning training. I’m sitting here, Janis is sick.

I spoke briefly with one of the local Staff Sergeants. Funny thing is, he has all the looks of a total asshole, but when we were talking about Paleo diets, samurai, and injuries - he was actually pretty nice. Very focused on keeping his guys fit, mentally healthy, and even looking cool stuff like equine training for PTSD. 

Perhaps the image of the military as I knew it has just been wrong. Actually, I know that it has. These are individuals and people that are trying their best, and they are people, not faceless cogs of a war machine. As my family, and previous thinking as led them to believe.

We also have literally 3 days left. And despite the Army’s very loud cheering, the Air Force superior training facilities (absolutely gorgeous facilities), and all the other teams, we still are working and playing smarter, faster, and stronger overall than the others. 

 So overall, I feel this team is a great success. But we’ll see. Today’s events are shooting and then the team sports. Tomorrow is Swimming/Team Sports. Saturday’s the closing ceremonies. :) 

And the closing party…should be fun. Very very fun :) We’re talking about 3 weeks of no drinking, no partying for these athletes. I can’t imagine not going so crazy.

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Quote of the Day:

"I think that one doctor’s a quack."

*   *   *

Here we are, day 15. Almost done with the 2nd week. Training ends officially on Sunday evening. Tomorrow the medical staff will be doing a dinner at this awesome restaurant in the Springs. 

Somehow no matter how much I sleep, I want to sleep more. 

Funny thing is…I’m happy it’s almost over…and yet I’m worried about the Games themselves. Medical, I predict, is going to probably staff us at the games, one on duty with a table nearby, and one off duty. 

I just worked on one of the Coaches for wheelchair Basketball. He’s been a para-Olympic athlete. He’s had polio. He was telling me how his doctors were saying, “you probably shouldn’t be exercising/competing, because it can make the post-polio syndrome worse.” But as an athlete, he’s been training and competing for something like 17 years already. He’s coaching now, but still very very active. Strong upper body. 

Janis worked on him yesterday, so today I did a light lymphatic/swedish flush. Nothing too hard, since he’s still a little sore. He did comment that his range of motion was better…even though the soreness (which I think may be from doing a little too deep work for an initial session, but that’s my opinion) was still there, and made him get up at 4am this morning to take an Advil. 

So far it seems the injuries have been light. Mostly grade 1, maybe 2. It does seem that most of the team is not severely injuring themselves, and that the coaches have been doing a good job primarily of pushing fluids and recovery drinks on the team. 

And from the glimpses of the other teams, we are looking good. Running, wheelchair sports, sitting volleyball - which we the staff got to try out two days ago. That was awesome - our team is looking fierce, intimidating, and ready to kick ass!!

Unfortuately, I wasn’t able to check out the basketball yesterday due to more people coming in, and needing work. We barely got a 30 minute lunch. After I slept like 2 hours the night before. So last night, I crashed at 930 and slept like a fucking log until 7am. 

My 730 I woke up for never showed. But the Rod was so awesome. As most of them are. I honestly think that this team has been amazing - they’ve suffered so much, and are pushing themselves every day to really achieve. I think we’re gonna do it. We’re gonna win the three-peat. 

Also my allergies to the Colorado dust seem to be fading. Some sniffles here and there, but so far so good, thanks to generic Claratin-D.

And finally, a day off again. Saturday night we’re partying to the wee hours! :) Funkagenda in Denver! :) Hell ya.

Music is a great part of my life - and being away from the concerts, the shows, and the scene in general - I miss it almost as much as my dance classes and partner.

By the way, can I say something - people that do not know how to learn are the ones that get the most pissed off when they can’t get a step. But do not be crabby at the teacher/instructor when YOU cannot get the step. We do our best to help. Bitching at us is not going to help you learn. Jeez. 

Oh, and we also had an awesome lightening storm last night. Not like the South, but it was nice to see the lights. You never see that in So Cal. Barely. Miss it. 

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Quote of the Day

"I’m gonna get botox on my eyebrows so people don’t think I’m angry all the time."

*   *   *

Last few days, I know, I’ve been busy. 

Falling asleep at 1030pm, and waking up with 15 minutes to get to work.

Drinking with the ‘boys’ every night, but just 1 drink.

Being tired from the 13 hour shifts we have to pull.

Happy about the 100+ a day we’re getting paid.

Buying running shoes that actually support my flat ass feet.

Wearing said shoes and realizing they hurt a bit.

Talking to my friend in Thailand, and getting slightly confused as to a possible career evolution. 

Waiting on investments to mature in the next few weeks, so I can start other business projects. 

Moving our medical aid station and massage room to merge with our COC, and finding out that we may have some very important VIPs visiting for the games. Interesting. 

Meeting up with old friends, realizing that kids grow up fast, and people sometimes change. 

Discovering that a person may have a great bedside manner, but be a loaner too.

I think I’m getting to the point where I know what I want to do. I want to do what I love. Massage and Dance. And to hell if everyone wants to talk me out of it. I’m doing what very few other people are doing, and have great opportunities and a growing, powerful network of colleagues in professional sports associations. I’m gonna take the long road. I’m gonna beat the bushes. I don’t need a fancy degree. I have street smarts, networking skills, and the quality of work that speaks for itself amongst professional athletes. 

I am building a network of pro-athletes.

More than I can ask of any school I’m working with.

Work is not a competition. Work is a team effort. Now if my team wins…lol.  

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I have been blessed truly. I hope my stomach agrees. Today was a reunion of palate and plate. 


Cracker Barrel. Oh the memories you hold. 

The corpsmen and I went to Cracker Barrel for a Sunday Brunch. I had the low-carb (who would have thought) Roast Chuck Beef with Collard Greens, Green Beans, and a Salad. Go Paleo!!!

They were also having multigrain and pecan pancakes…I had to steal a bite.

 

Yes…so good. I have not eaten here in over 6 years!!!! Thankfully not much changed. They still have the rocking chairs out front. Still have the funny quirky store inside. Still have amazing Southern-style food that makes you miss it more then you think about it. 

Then we went to Garden of the Gods afterwards to walk it off. And attempt (miserably) at bouldering. 

 

Really cool. 

Then my old church buddies picked me up and we had more meat for a dinner. Ah the times we regaled each other with. It was great…I was afraid honestly what they might think of me since I am no longer of their faith, and have quite different views on the world. But they were eager to see me, and my slightly self-judgementalism was proven incorrect.

Sometimes, humanity has more strength that I believe.

And to top it all off, my old friend Jason has just called me from Thailand, and amused me with a story of a crazy stalker ex. Note to self, please do NOT date women that are potential stalkers. (sigh) I feel for you bro.

Sunday is my only day off, and I say it was spent well. Now thanks to my buddies, I have discovered perhaps the only xbox 360 on base. Complete with several games. Also I have discovered that my old church friend (more like my little sister’s friend) is just as much into EDM as I am! 

By the power of RA! 

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Quote of the Day:

Corpsmen say the darnest things: 


"Pollo Topolombampoooooo"

"Read up on the history of (Naval) Corpsmen."

*   *   *

Last night, we went out with some of the Corpsmen here. Apparently, Corpsmen can do lots of things. Prior to this, I knew very little about them - I assumed they were mainly medics of a sort. But according to one of our guys, they’re the conduit of sorts between the point of injury to a higher medical provider. And despite their cockyness, they’re a good group of guys. I’m happy to be working alongside them. But instead of just wounds, we’re dealing with a lot of sports injuries, and for all of us, it’s a good experience. 

Quoted from my FB page this morning. I was too tired and tipsy last night to write.

Gotta thank the instructors at NHI. Your voices echo in my head when I’m working on people. Thanks to you, two days ago, I caught an AC joint sprain, and referred the patient out to the team’s doctor. Plus I met a classmate of Dan Arnheim (one of our team’s athletic trainers)! So for all my current and former classmates…take it seriously. Know your orthopedic tests. They’ll save your butt.

The tests are what, IMO, will separate you from the rest cause you’ll be able to get a confirmation/refer out, and be able to talk to a doctor on a professional level. I know they say it at school, but until you have to DO IT on the fly, it doesn’t really hit home.

Thanks to the NMT training, I feel like they take me seriously. The team doesn’t have much “I don’t want no man rubbing on me” anymore. We may joke about, classmates, about elevating our profession, but that’s exactly what NMT can do for you. Take this course seriously. It’s no joke. This team’s training is physically demanding. I’m seeing 7 or 8 patients a day, 30 minute sessions, you have to triage problems, instantly know what orthopedic tests to do, and deal with postural/structural deviations, amputees, as well as sports-related injuries.

But it’s so worth it. Every inch of ROM I can give my team, every little edge, helps us that much closer to winning these Games. For other, it may mean little. But for these athletes, it’s hope. It’s proof that their injury is not the end for them. That it’s just the beginning.


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Quote of the Day:


"I haven’t run in 8 years. Today, I’m gonna run."

Everytime I think of that story, I tear up inside. Today was supposed to be the feared Day of Crazyness. However, thanks to the great protectiveness of our medical staff, it wasn’t that bad. 

What’s good is that the team is starting to understand and appreciate massage. While it may not be everyone, every day, it’s definitely helping people like CWO Dunn.

I’m about to sleep. So tired.  

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Day 6. WW Games, Colorado Springs 

Quote of the Day: 

"Ow." 

"Does this hurt?"

"Ow! Yes!"

"How about this?"

"YES!" 

"Okay let’s get the doc."

"More tests? I keep saying ‘ow’ when you push there." 

* * *

I am slightly tipsy. I am a lightweight. I have had 1 beer. Laugh away. 

Today was long. What day isn’t? I can tell I’m tired because I start to lose my articulation in speech. I wake up at 630. Stumble out of the room at 7ish, and walk through the waiting Marines. Every morning at 700, they have a team briefing (aka ‘formation’). But these usually start late, and I am in no mood to chat.

The medical door is now clearly marked with a sign. “USMC Medical”. I make a mental note of that. Someone has written “hoo-rah” in small type under it. I push it open. Several people are already inside. Doc is there, as well as my massage teammate. The corpsmen are sitting around, as they tend to do. Later they will be joined by a very fast runner who will fall, and his cute husky puppy (the service dog mentioned earlier). 

It has been a long day. I don’t feel like writing. One thing though: Fast Runner came back in later after his fall. He had some swelling in the front of his shoulder, and the coach had stupidly said “get a massage”. I was dubious, as his rotator cuff and range of motion was not bad at all. Then I felt his AC and Coracoclavicular joint. He said “ow”. I sent him over to the doc to be checked out. 

The most important thing in sports massage is knowing when NOT to massage. Thank you, Cynthia Ribeiro. 

Doc and the head athletic trainer pronounced him with 3 things, 2 of which I suspected. A slight AC joint sprain, a Coracoclavicular sprain, and the short biceps head strain. I fistpumped a ‘yes!!!’ to this, as I told the doc I suspected both CC and AC joint problems! 

Score 1 for me. 

We gave him and ice pack, and I, feeling slightly bad that he didn’t get a massage, showed him how to roll his quads and IT band. He had never rolled before. He is also one of our fastest runners on the team, I am told. 

It feels good to know what you do. 

Also today one of the coaches tipped me. Single leg amputee who teaches/coaches cycling. I tried to say no, but he threatened me, saying “Never get in a kicking fight with a 1 legged man.” We laughed. 


What I Learned Today 


Ethernet does not always mean faster streaming of tv shows. Boo. I want Mad Men!

Working on the lower back (quadratus lumborum) in sidelying is MUCH easier when you can open up the hip to actually get in with the elbow. Else you just blow out your thumbs. 

Blown out thumbs make for sore forearms, which you use as a substitute. 

Sore forearms make for tired Jonny. 

Tired Jonny wants to sleep. 

Coffee helps somewhat. 

Also, corpsmen are funny. And when they take you off base, it is such a breather. 

Yay Noodles and Company. You’re like Panera Bread, just with noodles.

Night. Tomorrow is only one practice and that means we’ll be SLAMMED for work. Ya. 

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Quote of the Day: 

My colleague looks at amputee’s leg. She says without thinking, “Does this hurt?” The room erupts into laughter. 

5 minutes later:

Amputee looks at his stump, where my colleague is massaging his calf (what’s left of it). He says without thinking, “Is that scar tissue?” The room again erupts into laughter.  

*   *   * 

I woke up at 7am today. Tired, but ready to get it on. 

Yesterday I was given an old track suit and sweater from a nice staff sargeant. New, this would have cost over 150 bucks. Score! 

As I step outside to leave, I pull the red track suit jacket over me. It fits like a glove. Slimming but roomy. 

As the day progresses we begin to see the affects of several days training - sore shoulders, rotator cuffs, hamstrings/quads. 

The cycling team did 50 odd miles today. A lot for the second day of riding. I’m sure to have them lining up tomorrow. Should be interesting. 

And some of the sitting volleyball guys are having shoulder pain - I wonder why. It’s such a demanding sport, and much harsher to the body. 

I am tired from the lack of sleep. I pass out during a break from 9 to 10am. One of the clients from a few days ago comes by again, so no more sleep. 

Back to work, and I keep working till 4pm. Gobble 4 eggs for my lunch. Drink the day old Starbucks Treinta-size coffee.

6pm rolls around, I am dead, half awake, and sprawled out on the sofas in the main waiting room.

This waiting room has become the main hangout for much of the team. However, it also makes it harder for the corpsmen (medics) to determine who really has a problem for a massage. 

I’m so tired. My colleague went out on the ride, so I’ve been working alone. She gets back, and knocks out several more on the list.

Dinner, I break my paleo diet to eat some great leftover chicago-style pizza, breaded motzz cheese sticks and more eggs. 

Eggs that we commandeer from the continental breakfast served at this “hotel”.

The sunset is so beautiful behind Cheyenne Mountain. 



Army housing, however negative that may sound, is at the moment, is by far and away the better of the two situations. Camp Pendleton left much to be desired - broken, always-on heaters, no wifi/internet, and poor cell phone reception.  

My long day brightens when one of the volleyball coaches, a tall blond with a very smoky, sexy voice, comes by asking for some work. Hey, I’m a guy, and while very professional, who doesn’t want to work on a beautiful person? 

And now it’s 11:20 PM. I’m ready to sleep.

Go Marines!  

Rethink beauty: (unfortunately I’m not working with her…)

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So it starts…finally. After getting 4 hours of sleep, I crawled out of bed. Fucking tired, but also it’s DAWN so sun’s streaming into my room. No more sleep possible - the falsely flat Colorado plain just feeds the light into my room and eyes. Ouch. I can hear my auntie saying “macular degeneration” and insisting I wear sunglasses. Heh. 

Drag my ass up, get dressed, get out, get to work.

And nothing. No one. I’m not even on call. Shit. Okay, I’ll nap in our room.

3 hours later. Still no one.

Then after lunch (avocado and a nuked 7/11 burrito) they start to come. Back pain. Shoulder strains. Neck problems. Rotator cuff strains.

(evil laugh)

I think I had 5 people today? Not sure. But that’s 5 people I made a difference for.

Got to meet more of the corpsmen (medics). Good lot. Again, something about the vibe here is way more chill than Pendleton.  We escape for a moment to get Starbucks. My driver’s from Virginia, but has the southern accent down. Very cute. 

And we wait. And I work. And it’s good. 

So now I’m tired, and it’s 11:51PM. Seriously. What happened to the insomniac? Guess he went away. 

Funny how parts of you come out in certain situations - I think it’s all human adaptability.

My favorite quote of today:

"You do things to me I wasn’t allowed to do to prisoners!" - Chief Warrant Officer Shawn Dunn (used with permission). 


 

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So today is an off day for us. It’s a total surprise from last time (the trials) at Pendleton. Actually have a night and a day off. We’ll see…I hope this isn’t the calm before the storm. 

I already have worked on a few people, and like last time, we expect it to get way more busy as the days progress. Instead of 400 people, we have 50. Instead of a 10 days, we have 24. And instead of a concrete room, we have a nice VIP suite to work out of. With a full kitchen. Ya, much better. 

We also have to cook our own lunches and dinners, but that sounds just fine to me, actually. 

Today the massage team did some shopping. Then I napped. My friend came over from Denver. Good to see him again. Haven’t seen him in about a year. And we found a quittage-like park. Big ring, and lighted towers. Very cool. And decently cold too - it snowed a little and hailed a bit earlier.


Saturday I worked on 4 people. So interesting to see the difference, even for a little while, that a quick session can make. I’m doing mostly ART-style and NMT (trigger point) work. There’s 30 minutes. Not much. But surprising how quickly it can help.

It’s also nice to work hand in hand with a 3 people who do adjustments, an allopathic doctor, personal trainers that know their sports and the team well. Also nice to work with my colleague - she, more than anyone, is probably the reason we’ve done so well.

And as for my fears of not working as much as the other two CMTs that were there at the trials, the final count of who we worked on - I was second. Not bad. Not that the numbers really count, but look who is here, and look who isn’t. Professionalism, and clinical experience win, spa therapy doesn’t, or at least not as much.

I can’t say enough to my classmates that I left behind. I am sorry to leave you, but I wish I could bring you all along next time. This is what I got in this business to do - work with people, and help them do their best. And the program will be there when I get back. I don’t mind waiting 5 months till the cycle comes around again. Perhaps by then I’ll be working with the other military branches as well. 

Fort Carson, speaking of the military, is a WAY nicer place (as is Colorado Springs) than the previous venue. Seriously. A quick trip out and you have movies, restaurants, beautiful scenery, outdoor sports. Ya, I like this spot. Rent here is pretty cheap as well, about 400 for a studio, give or take a bit. 

My colleague pays 1200 for a guesthouse studio apartment in Ventura County. Really.

And that’s all for tonight, folks, I’m at work in 6 hours. Time to sleep. Maybe it’s the altitude…but I’m getting tired at random times.