This Forced Me to Try Something new

pool with wood bridge

Do you love trying new activities or foods when on vacation?  ­What I tried a few years ago was never on my “try this” vacation list, but was instead due to necessity. It enabled me to keep up with 400 men without falling on my face.

I was escorting a large group cruising on Royal Princess. They had a daily schedule of customized shipboard and portside events.  Vicki and I were on hand from my agency to handle meetings with ship staff, staying on top of details, coordinating events, escorting excursions and taking care of any problems that could arise.

On the third day of the cruise, I woke up with a pinched nerve. Ibuprofen kept the pain bearable. Strangely, the momentum when walking enabled me to be on my feet to propel forward somewhat sufficiently.  But anything involving keeping weight on my right leg was impossible. Getting dressed, I had to sit to step into my clothes.  Climbing up or down stairs wasn’t possible. I had some concerns about keeping up my duties.

That day we visited Turks and Caicos, docking in Grand Turk. It was the one day that I wasn’t working one of our excursions. Instead, I checked in with some of our group members who were at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville. There’s a spot with a three or four step up wood bridge going over the pool. Dosed on Ibuprofen to limit the pain, I forgot about my body’s new “no steps” rule.

Not holding the railing and, out of habit, stepping up first with my right foot…… my leg reacted as if they were filled with jelly. Down I went in a glorious non-ladylike display that crushed my ego and banged up my body. Now I really feared how I was going to be more of a help than a hindrance for the next five days. I didn’t want to go to the ship infirmary because I already knew that a pinched nerve takes a while to heal. I was praying for this to get better enough to handle my job for the group.


white figure of a human laying on a blue massage bed

A while later, sore, I was walking past the Lotus Spa desk and saw something on the counter about acupuncture. On a whim, I asked if acupuncture could really help a pinched nerve.  I’d never had acupuncture and was never interested in voluntarily choosing to be a human pin cushion. But desperate times call for desperate measures, right?  I was told it could and I took a leap of faith. Figuratively.  Let’s face it… had I done any actual “leaping,” I likely would have had a hard landing. There was an opening for an appointment very soon.

I met with the practitioner who told me that the earlier into the injury that you get treatment, the faster it would take effect.  She suggested three treatments over the course of three days. This nerve of mine was costing me time, humility, patience and now money.

I went through the first treatment which was surprisingly relaxing. I recall two needles only slightly being annoying when they went in.  A third burned like a son-of-a-gun so she removed it within seconds. Then I rested in the tranquil room for a while before they are removed. Afterwards, aside from needing help getting my shorts back on because there was no chair and I still couldn’t bear weight on my leg, I rushed….. as fast as my neglectful nerve would allow…. on to the next function I had to attend.


yellow and white wood steps

Within a few hours, a funny thing happened. I was already experiencing some improvement. By that night, I could climb up a few steps if I held a railing and started off with my left foot.

I less grudgingly went to my second acupuncture appointment the following morning. Same routine as the prior afternoon except that I was able to independently clothe myself afterwards (which also helped to heal my ego a bit!)  By late that afternoon, I was taking the steps like a pro and leaving the Ibuprofen bottle closed. I called the spa to cancel the next morning’s final appointment and was acting every bit the new believer in acupuncture.

I don’t know if acupuncture cures everything I’ve heard it can resolve.  But I am convinced it healed this pinched nerve. I’m grateful, not for the malady that had me seek help, but definitely for the opportunity to have tried the procedure.  God sometimes answers prayers in interesting ways.

Happy traveling!

Connie's signature



(Photo credit:  Margaritaville pool by Amanda Lohr)
(Photo credit:  Step Up/Step Down by John)

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