If you have been following these blogs, you will know that I have been off work with 3 bulging discs in my back. On Monday the surgeon told me we have now tried all non-invasive treatments and he has sent an application to ACC, our national insurer for accident injuries, for fusion surgery. The good news is that after the surgery has been completed it will simply be a matter of recovering and a 99% likelihood of getting back to normal work. Believe me when I say I am eager to get back.
Meanwhile, I’ve been going to Float Culture a bit more often and I have to tell you it is having results. Yesterday I felt the least pain over a complete day since I injured myself back in April. I was down to pretty much zero inside the tank and about 3/10 when I got home after the massage from Kim. When I went to bed it was about 5/10, normally 7/10 and today the following morning, after my exercises, it is about 4/10. I didn’t have to get up in the night, although I did wake at 4.
I believe this is the cumulative effect of previous floats, which is amazing, because even with the drugs, this is the best I have been. It will be interesting to see how long it lasts. If you suffer from chronic back pain or other limbs, I strongly recommend you try floating together with massage after the float.
I don’t get anything for this, I’m not an affiliate or anything, I pay the same as anyone else, but tell them Luigi sent you:)
So back to the future and my 4th ever float from my journal in 1987
I fell into a relaxed state very easily this time. Nothing very interesting. I felt tension in various muscles that had been used in the last few days.
Several times I noticed that I was floating deeper in the water than previously. I take that to indicate deeper relaxation and less oxygen in my system. I.e. I was breathing more shallow.
I had a number of violent muscle spasms, some causing minor splashes. Not painful, but sharp and sudden.
A highlight was a sensation that I was a speck floating in a black void, with vivid white streaks of light like miniature comets racing in two opposing directions. It was like a 3 dimensional hallucination. I was in the middle, but simultaneously watching from the outside looking in.
One other strange experience, another hallucination which was particularly vivid. I felt sudden euphoria after imagining I heard 3 musical notes, 2 of the same tone and one a major third higher, in an even tempo.
Getting out, I felt reluctant and disappointed at leaving my comfortable cocoon. I felt reasonably normal, though very relaxed as I climbed out and had a shower.
I was thinking that this float had hardly had any effect on me, as I buttoned up my shirt. It was only then that I realised I had put it on inside out. I then started feeling a little light headed.
I started feeling mildly euphoric and experienced something like tunnel vision. I found myself highly amused by the red dye which infused from a herbal tea bag in my cup. It appeared as though the tea bag was bleeding.
There was a guy sitting opposite me in the lounge, where I rested after the float. He grinned and laughed quietly to himself, arose and walked out. I grokked him.
Coming home I felt an abnormal burst of energy and engulfed myself in gardening; hedges and lawns. I did not want to sit down and read, even though I had the house to myself. This is highly unusual for me as I am a bookworm and generally read 2-3 books and a magazine or two, more or less concurrently.
Just as a footnote, regrettably after my cancer treatment, I no longer seem to produce much in the way of endorphins or adrenaline. So whilst I feel very relaxed after a float, I no longer feel the flush of natural opiates that most people enjoy after a float. The reduced pain I’m feeling right now though is more than enough reward. Perhaps I am now producing more encaphelins than normal. These are the body’s natural pain killers. That’s a plus. My back has now though, after writing this gone up to about 5/10, but for the first day in 7 months, yesterday I felt very little pain for an entire day.
Anyone with a major injury, or perhaps a condition like polymyalgia will appreciate what that means. Again, if you suffer from any form of chronic pain, I strongly recommend taking not one, but a series of floats. Constant pain 24/7 sucks, I can tell you. If that is you, what have you got to lose?
There are ways to make this economical. I pay a monthly subscription that not only gives me cheaper floats, but every couple of months they give me a couple of vouchers. There will be two first time floaters heading to Grafton some time in the next couple of weeks, one of whom is claustrophobic. She will try one of the rooms and can leave a door open.