Worse, Before It Gets Better

OsoteopathyI’m delighted to announce that Static Movement Magazine has published On A Monday Morning in its May issue, which is out now. It’s my first fiction credit for a wee while, so I’m totally thrilled.

I wrote On A Monday Morning back in 2006 for a competition in Writing Magazine, with the remit that it had to include a dictionary. It never won, and after a few submissions, including one acceptance then return (after the magazine decided it was to publish no more fiction), I put it away for six months.

I returned to it a few weeks ago, re-shaped and edited it, and within only a few days, it had been accepted. The editors at Static Movement have even published it with a commissioned piece of art by John D. Stanton, which I am especially delighted about.

Click here to read On A Monday Morning

My leg is still very sore, and without the pain killers it’s becoming increasingly hard to walk. Yesterday, it took me over half an hour to get from York Place to Cannonmills, having to stop every 100 yards or so to get my balance and let the pain subside.

I went into Napier’s in Stockbridge the other day and they recommended a session with an osteopath. Given the anti-inflammatory pills don’t seem to be doing much, and the level of pain seeping through the pain killer barrier, I was open to all and any offers.

So I booked up and my appointment was this evening at 6.30pm. I stayed in work until late, then hobbled round, quite unsure what to expect from an osteopath and with the memory of last week’s visit to the doctors still fresh in my mind.

I was taken into the consultation room and talked through the pain and my background with the osteopath, a nice woman called Ailis Buchanan. She put me at ease immediately because she could probably see I was quite nervous about the whole thing. Typical guy crap; worried about taking off my clothes again.

So then I had to strip off to my underwear and the first thing she asked me to do was stand in front of her, upright and in my normal posture. She took one look at me and asked if this was how I normally stand. I confirmed it, and she directed my attention to the angle of my feet. For as long as I’ve known I’ve walked with my feet facing out diagonally at 90 degrees to each other. It would appear, that this twisting of my joints and muscles, coupled with the intense training I did with my feet like this when I ran the marathon 8 years ago, and then suddenly stopping afterwards, has caused a type of stress injury that I have been carrying since 2000. Only now, have the muscles given up the ghost and retaliated.

With that bombshell out of the way, my first lesson was that I now have to re-train how I walk and sit. Standing with my feet straight feels awkward at the best of times, but with this injury is also really painful. But I have to in order to avoid worsening it, and so I have to start focussing on how I walk, despite my legs feeling as though they are being twisted inward when I do (even though they aren’t). It’ll take much getting used to.

Then it was onto the bed and she lay me on my side with a pillow between my knees. Compared to the doctor’s incident, there were no worries or embarrassment as she got to work on my right leg. It started off as only a slight pain as she worked along the thigh muscle.

“You can swear if you like,” she said. “I’ll not be offended.”

This confused me at first, until she started using her elbow.

I’m talking real pain here. I couldn’t see exactly what she was doing, but it was enough to stop me breathing, (which she had to keep reminding me to do). She was running her knuckles and elbows into my thigh and buttocks, and all I could do was take the pain. Eventually I could feel my leg heating up, and at times it became not so much a pain but a nervous stall. You know that feeling you get in your leg when someone taps your knee and you want to reflex your leg outwards? Well, imagine that sensation, all along your leg but held, so that your entire body is being controlled by a woman’s elbow as it follows the line of your leg muscles.

“Stronger than I look, aren’t I?” she said, as she pummelled my right buttock with her elbow.

“Not half,” I said through gritted teeth and tightened abdomen. “I wouldn’t want to pick a fight with you, that’s for sure.”

“That’s because I know how to hurt you.”

Comforting words, but actually they were, because from the start of the whole thing it was apparent that she knew exactly what she was doing. She got to the cause of the problem, and the core of my physical problem within minutes – she knew exactly where to go – and already I felt like I was getting somewhere.

When she started on my feet I regretted not taking my socks off. Yes, like an absolute arse, I was stupid enough to strip off down to my boxers and socks, thinking there was no way my feet would even be involved. But they were, and so she took them off for me, flinging them delicately over the room.

She let me go after almost an hour, and after showing me some daily stretching exercises that I have to do (as well as re-training myself to walk). I will require another 4 or 5 appointments to finally cure it, because the muscle I have injured is very deep and runs from above my buttock to the front of my leg. She reached it at one point as I was lying on my back. She asked me to breath in, and as I let the air out of my lungs she drilled her fingers into my abdomen, so far, I thought she was going to touch the bed I was lying on. When she hit the muscle, all I could do was yell out.

When I left Napier’s I felt kind of numb, like I had been given a beating to the point I wasn’t able to feel much of anything. By the time I got home I was in agony. My entire leg was pulsating, which my pain killers could only dampen slightly. I pressed a bag of frozen peas against my right buttock (as directed by Ailis), and could feel then just how hot I was in that whole area.

Was it worth it? Absolutely. I feel like progress is finally being made and I’ve got faith in Ailis that everything she has done and advised so far is working. It all makes sense and I’m glad I went. For the price of it, if I hadn’t felt like this I wouldn’t go back, but something tells me to put my faith in her, because she can sort me out. Something also tells me, that it’s going to get a whole lot worse before it gets better.

Monthly GDR Plan

* Begin writing Love Hurts (Hunting Jack sequel) (G1,G2,G3)
* Complete final draft of Slick (G1,G2,D1,D2)
* Write up Slick synopsis, query letter, and blurb (G1,G2,D1,D2)
* List up suitable agents and prepare to submit Slick (G1,G2,D1,D2)
* Write two new short stories that are planned out (G2,G5)

* Query freelance gigs 25/mth (0/25 pitched – Total=34) (G7,G9)
* Write weekly SDR articles (6,13,20,27) (G5,G7,G9)
* Develop ideas for Scotland’s Treasure column for SDR Summer edition (Jul) (G5,G7,G9)
* Write at least four new weekly articles for DWT (0/4) (G5,G7,G9)
* Keep on top of article assignments from TLB (G5,G7,G9)
* Chase work from non-advertised and networked sources (G5,G7,G9)

* Finish re-branding of CG Freelance to Compass Freelance (website and advertising) (G5,G7,G9)
* Select suitable URL for Compass Freelance and form new company website (G7,G9)
* Prepare cuttings and print off as PDF (G7,G9)
* Create PDF file with skills and examples (G7,G9)
* Create SOR contract (G7,G9)
* Evaluate Quicken as a suitable small accounts package
* Printers – Check out wireless/photo quality/fast (G7,G9)
* May invoices to TLB and DWT
* Keep company accounts up to date

* Develop and build new website for another Edinburgh photography business (G5,G7,G9)

* Complete Silly Poems for Wee People Vol.2 (PSH FFA E-book) (G4,G5)
* Look at combining SP2 with SP1 and publishing as chapbook (G4,G5,G8)
* Start writing Poems for Pints (G4,G5,G8)
* Develop Amsterdam chapbook idea (G4,G5)
* Develop Bus Stop chapbook idea (G4,G5)

* Nothing planned

* Stay on top of RR submissions (G6)
* Complete feature for RR issue 3 (G6)
* Complete layout of RR issue 3 (G6)

Marketing and Promotion
* Publish May newsletter (G5)
* Prepare June newsletter (G5)
* Keep website(s) up to date (G5,G8,G9)
* Create RR website on Facebook, Bebo (all others like MySpace) (G5,G6)
* Create personal website on Facebook, Bebo (all others like MySpace) (G5)
* Promote RR online every 7 days on MySpace/Facebook/Bebo/BBS (G6)
* Promote link exchanges for RR (G6)

Reading and Research
* Continue reading, absorbing, and applying The Well-Fed Writer by Peter Bowerman (G7,G9)
* Finish The Brooklyn Follies by Paul Auster
* Read The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
* Finish reading Hunting Jack and taking continuity/character notes (G3)

* Continue diet (16/28lbs lost as at 19/4/08) (R1)
* Finish the garden – 95%
* Begin Stage 1 Italian Lessons
* Start Galbraith Family Tree project

About Colin Galbraith

Keen runner, thriller author, Madness fan, Mets fan, St Mirren fan/owner, rabbit tamer, outstanding fake faller. Loves cannolis & espressos. #LFGM
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2 Responses to Worse, Before It Gets Better

  1. Sounds like you found the right person to work with.

    Napier’s has saved me more times than I can count.

    Feel better soon — the first and second session are always the hardest. Then it gets better; then you plateau; then you get better again.

  2. Sorry about your injury. Damn good storytelling, though. I felt your pain so much that I was glad I wasn’t in your shoes. Or rather, socks. 🙂

    Get well soon.

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