Monday, January 21, 2008

Masseuse vs Medicine

My feet hurts.

I thought I sprained my ankle though I seriously don't know when I sprained them. For two days my mother insisted that I go see a tukang urut (masseuse), but I kept telling her that it would be better in one or two days. The truth was, I was scared to death to treat myself to that. I've never done it before.

At the office, the pain was getting worse. I was close to tears when my colleagues insisted that I have to go see a tukang urut. They were crunching numbers of all the tukang urut they knew when I was in the surau, fighting my tears. Finally, one of them got a number of a makcik in her neighborhood. A friend brought me there, kicking and screaming.

As soon as we got there, I immediately told her that I have no experience whatsoever of being massaged, just a hint so that she would go easy on me. Instead, she just stare at me blankly. As the makcik lay an old mengkuang mat and asked me to sit on it, I silently plead with God to make this experience less painful than it supposed to be. I was looking at several different exits when she settled herself in front of me and I can't help but think if this is how boys would feel during circumcision.

She started with my calves, so far so good. I was grinning to my friend (the one who brought me there) who's sitting on the rattan chair behind me when the makcik hit the good part. If I didn't know any better, God knows the vocabs that could flew out of my mouth that time.

"Memang sakit ni sebab urat dah terkeluar. Nak kena bagi masuk urat dulu tak sakit la"

As she said that, she pulled and pushed my feet so many times that I have consider telling her:

"Takpelah makcik kalau tak masuk pun. Saya nak baliklah, seminggu lagi okla kot"

Somehow, I managed to keep that dialog only to play in my head. And somehow during that pulling and pushing I heard several cracklings and the makcik's face looking relieved.

"Dengar tak bunyi tu? Maknanya urat dah masuk lah tu. Bila dah masuk, boleh urut. Tak sakit dah"

I'm telling you, never believe a masseuse when they say it's not going to hurt. God, how that massage hurts! After a while, she stopped and she said to leave it overnight and it will be okay. As much as I wanted to believe her, there were small voices at the back of my head that says she didn't really do anything. She only touched once at the place that really hurts and she commented:

"Eh ni kenapa merah ni. Panas pulak tu, bengkak ni. Ni sakit ni"

Isn't she's the one who is supposed to tell me what is wrong with me?

So, I left her place, with the same amount of pain (possibly worse) and feeling confuse more than ever. That night, it hurts so much, I couldn't get any sleep. I told my mother (who also can't sleep since I was awake the whole night) that I was going to see a doctor this time.

In the morning, before I went to the clinic, I googled for sprained ankle. Nothing on the results match my symptoms. I told my mother that I don't think I sprained my ankle because sprained ankle has to be sudden and I should be aware when and if it happened. Besides, the location of the pain is totally off. Then she asked me:

"You told me that while you were studying, there was one time that you had to use crutches. What was it again? Could it possibly be the same thing?

I turned my chair towards the computer even before she can finish her sentence and bingo! Here it is. All the symptoms, the location, exactly the same. I've got tendinitis, or achilles tendinitis to be exact, my tendon tissue was torn due to overuse.

So I went to see a doctor that morning, explained everything to him and he checked on my heels and he confirmed it that it was in fact tendinitis. I have to take some medicine (celebrex, a painkiller but when taken on a higher dosage, it supposed to reduce the swelling) and a tube of pain-relieving gel. He even scolded me for seeing a masseuse because he said that my tissue needs to regenerate, not to be relocate and to do that, it would take time. The medicine is simply to make it less painful till it has been fully regenerated. The medicine works. I can once again put my left feet on the ground. Oh what a blessing.

But what left me wondering was that what did the makcik exactly do pushing and pulling my feet and that crackling sound, is that really my urat that has now being located at its right place? I might never know but I sure hope that it won't come haunting me in the future!

p/s By all means, go see a masseuse if you sprained your ankle, I have no objection to that. I guess I was unlucky this time. This makcik might not aware of feet injuries other than sprained ankle.