lots of new photos in the Picassa gallery for you to see. http://picasaweb.google.com/thaikarl/ThailandJanApr2008
for many years i was a very solid sleeper. didn't know what a nightmare was, never woke up in the night. my partners used to tell me i would mumble in my sleep sometimes, but otherwise, i was "dead to the world". changed somewhat in the last few years. don't know why. i'm much more active in my sleep, occasional nightmares, always different things. i talk and even shout in my sleep, and apparently thrash about and sleep in weird positions. and i will wake up for no apparent reason and lie awake for a while before going back to sleep. one thing that is very annoying is that i must be doing something in my sleep that throws my spine out of wack. i'll wake up with very low, middle, or upper back pain and that "out of place" feeling, with the associated muscle tension and cramping. i don't know what i'm doing to cause it. Tok said i was sleeping on my back with my knees up, and my legs would fall to the sides, sometimes knocking her and waking her up. then i'd put my knees together again, then fall to the sides. i've been pulling a loop of tied bandanna up over my theighs to keep my knees together at night to prevent that. what ever i'm doing, i woke up the other day with sharp pain and spasms in my lower left back and butt muscles. if i was sitting down or standing it was okay, but if i moved, walked or when i tried to roll over or skootch over in bed, i couldn't do it. sharp "poked my funny bone" nerve pains. made it difficult to climb down the ladder, or start the motorbike. got a little better as the day went on, but only if i was sitting up or standing.
Tok did some massage for me, which helped, but when it was going for the third day, she took me to the hospital massage clinic to have a real workup done. i was in there for 2 hours. one of the experienced ladies took over the job because i kept yelping. thai massage is like acupressure and yoga and torture all in one. they press with thumbs, elbows, knees, hands and feet. push your limbs into all sorts of stretching poses and lean on you some more. walk on you. push and pull. just when you think there can't possibly be any other way they can stretch, fold and spindle you, they will come up with another application. sometimes it's gentle, sometimes it's very hard, sometimes really hard - like when they stand on the back of your thighs and put the other foot on your back. 50kgs of thai women on your back makes an impression. when she was done, i still couldn't get off the table without wincing, so she went back at it, AND got hot towels to press on my spine and tail. i could get up without too much aggravation after that.
Tok came back from her massage and going to visit at a school and we went into the Hot Room. it's a sudatorium (steam room), with herbs in the mix so it smells like it's supposed to be good for you. i love steam rooms. 40 minutes in there and i was happy as cooked shrimp. then a shower and we left, feeling like a freshly cooked glass noodle. and the next morning when i woke up, lo and behold, i could roll over in bed and get up- carefully mind you, as i was still sensitive, as it were- but i got up and could walk right away. amazing. i have experienced more outright relief from pain, and disjointedness having had good thai massage than any of the standard swedish massage and physical therapy i've had before. it cost 200 baht for all. that's $6.50 folks. for all.
got my all fired up to build a combo shower and steam room behind the house, next to the jars where i shower. i'm thinking of a stucco'd and tiled walled enclosure, but only 5 feet high, with an insulated foam lid- like a hot tub cover- that hinges off the back. so when you want to shower you have am partially enclosed shower stall, lower than my shoulders and open to the sky. you still have the outdoor shower feeling. then for a steam, flip down the lid, drap a rubber curtain over the doorway and fire up the steamer. you can sit in the now enclosed steam room. when finished- fllip the lid back, and shower off. don't know how i'll make the steam yet. don't think i want to spend a bunch of money to buy a commercial steam generator. but i'll figure something out.
of course, i had to tell tok that the steam room would be AFTER staining the full moon house, and after making a stairs up to the house to replace the ladder we climb now, and after making the new roof and porch on the back of the existing house, and after we furbish the new house down in Rayong by the ocean, and after...... you get the idea.
i don't remember if i mentioned that i went to the dentist the last week. walked in, no appointment, no waiting, straight to the chair. she checked my teeth- no cavities (yah!) did a through cleaning job, and told me she could fix the diastema (space between my two front teeth) with overlays, caps, or braces. I'll wait on that one. kind of like my gap. i can whistle thru it. had it filled with porcelin overlays once. looked different for sure, but it messed with my speaking, i couldn't whistle, and i couldn't squirt water between my teeth. one of the overlays broke off when i bit to hard on a sharpie cap, which restored the proper function. oh, the checkup and cleaning cost 500 baht. $15.00
and, the previous email was a reply to an email i got from my friend pattie. after i told the story about the tea kettle and such i thought it would be good to post the message, but i was too quick to hit send and forgot to change the subject line to "thaikarl" and didn't explain that it was a reply that i made into a thaikarll post. solly bout that. cause a bit of confusion for a few folks, but i had 10 replies to that message. a record i think. i answer every reply to any of my messages.
and, and and. i have a line on an available used car i can acquire on the "not-so-easy-but-still-a-payment-plan" option. so wonders abound.
did you know that Buddhism is an atheist religion? and it's not really a religion? It's more of a practice? they don't "worship" the Budda, they HONOR him for being the one who showed the way. but they won't allow women to be monks, and they have some other practices that i i'm not so enamored of, so i'm a leaner, not a joiner.
tomorrow we are going to take some bedding and other stuff to the new house in Rayong, and see what's happening with the electric and water hookups. we're going down in Mots truck. and i can go by a bookstore in Pattaya on the way back, because i am on my last book. the horror!
Today is a good day.... to be HAPPY!
Nu and Tok
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