Chronicles of a Gravity Chair Addict


Bad week. What can I say, the pity party has continued in full force. The left side rib pain has been excruciating. Nothing seems to help. Medication, bath, ice, heat, massage…doesn’t matter, the pain just continues. It’s like a dark shadow hanging over me, weighing me down, tearing at my hope…

Sleep has proved equally elusive. I get two or three hour chunks through the course of the day. But every time I move or cough, the pain wakes me up like a gun shot to my side. And it usually takes me a couple of hours to relax and find peace in sleep again. Torturous. Not to mention the fabulous sleep-deprived side effects…I am even more of a klutz and memory moron than before…what fun for hubby! Oh it’s a party here…

Although the doc sent me for X-rays last Monday (and I haven’t heard back from her), I finally gave in and hit the hospital yesterday with Jen. It wasn’t bad. In and out in two and a half hours. The doc was able to bring up my X-rays from Monday, and, just as I suspected, nothing showed. Nothing broken, nothing cracked, no pneumonia, no bronchitis. Everything all clear. Frustration was shooting out my nostrils while my shoulders hung in defeat…I swear to God I am not making this shit up, it isn’t all in my head.

At least with my ribs, there is ample swelling to prove I am not in lala land on this. It’s like a third tit has grown beneath my left breast. Ok, a small one but a tit none the less. Oh goodie, more fun for hubby. Maybe I’ll draw a nipple on it with my eyebrow pencil and really freak him out. I mean, what other fun can a girl have with a third tit…am I right or am I right?!

The doc said it’s likely that I’ve torn the muscles between my ribs when I had that awful cold three weeks ago (it’s still hanging around). And he assured me that although incredibly painful, all the drugs I am on should be offering me some relief. They aren’t. He is an outright liar. Bastard.

Jen was like a Mamma bear with her cub. It was awesome. She took control and demanded that the doctor do something, she told him that I’ve been in pain for months and that something had to be done…unacceptable!! My superstar health advocate!!! It was fun watching him try to dance around her razor sharp glare. She’s small but mighty. I think he was scared. Run and hide doctor man, she will find you!!!!

Sadly, no matter how much pressure she applied (and trust me, she made him work for it) the only concession he gave was that I could take my anti-inflammatory three times a day, instead of two, and I could double my dose of Tramadol (which I already had). Goodie goodie gumdrops…

I am sure he’d have prescribed some stronger narcotic pain meds if I asked, but I am trying my damndest to avoid them. Too many horror stories. If I have to live in pain, so be it. I’d rather that than risk addiction. Not to mention past experience tells me I can’t take them since I generally just barf them up. My body is naturally opposed I guess. LOL!

Doc said I can expect this pain party to last at least six to eight weeks. Woot woot. No worries, at this point I laugh in the face of long-term pain. Six to eight weeks…BAH….I’ve been in pain for months, this should be a joke!!! Bring it on pain man…I can rest and sit around like no one else can! Gravity chair ignite!!

Speaking of my trusted and long-loved super weapon, the gravity chair, I continue to live in it, by day and night. The deepest sadness is that it means hubby and I haven’t slept in the same bed together much in the past seven months. However, I take great comfort knowing I am not keeping him up all night with my tossing, turning, moaning and wandering. The gravity chair does offer me the most pain relief. It’s like God’s little gift to me. Thanks Big Guy!!! Hubby and I still find time to cuddle in bed for a couple hours (with endless back tickles and hair pulls…he is THE best) before I venture out to my gravity delight for bed…

And more light, to distract myself (and pass the long nights awake) I’ve gone on a documentary binge fest on Netflix.

I have to say, very interesting stuff that has kept my mind nicely occupied. Given everything going on with my health, I’ve certainly been looking into a radical lifestyle change. My ultimate goal/dream/hope is that I can get everything under control, get off all medications and return to vibrant health through healthy eating, exercise and meditation. And no matter my current situation, I hang on to that dream like a life preserve.

As you know, I started out about eight weeks ago doing the elimination diet outlined in The Plan with my Dad. And although I have seen some improvements in a slight weight decrease and a little bit more energy (not to mention I LOVE the food), thus far I haven’t seen any improvement in pain, sleep or depression. Actually things have gotten worse with this new rib pain.

Now, I get it, it’s only been eight weeks so maybe I have unreasonable expectations (shocker!!!) but I’ve felt the need to continue investigating. And I am really sold on this plant-based eating.

Slaughter house aside with great difficulty, I had no idea the damage the agriculture and animal food industries are doing to our beloved planet. We all need to do our part to reduce our carbon footprint, but did you know that these two interdependent industries are responsible for more environmental damage than the entire transport industry – WHAT?!?!?!

An acre of our rainforest is destroyed every second to create more pastures for grazing cattle. And, the land and resources required to grow the corn and grain to feed said animals could feed the entire world. Shut the front door! Now I look at a piece of steak or chicken and realize that children around the world continue to starve so that I can eat meat. Impactful.

And if that wasn’t enough to motivate me, a lot of research like the China Study has convinced me that a plant-based diet is just better for our health. I do say Jones, I may just have to give it a go. Now I am no expert, and I am certainly not posting this to have a lengthy moral debate about meat…I am just sayin’ this information has given me great deal of food for thought, and, in my situation, that’s like hope crack for a starving addict. I’ll take it where I can get it!

I borrowed the lovely Julie’s juicer, and think I may try a 10-14 day juice cleanse and then transition over to a plant-based diet. I picked up a couple of Vegan cookbooks, and Mom has enrolled us in a 4-week plant-based cooking course starting in late November. Squeee!!

Although the elimination diet has included testing meat (which for the most part I tested non-reactive to), one of the greatest things it did was get me trying veggies and cooking that was way outside my comfort level. And better yet, I’ve learned that I LOVE both.

It may sound crazy but I feel like The Plan (which I learned about from my aesthetician) came to me to help me open doors to new ways of eating and living that I love. I feel like it’s gotten me to the point where I actually feel ready, and freaking eager, to take the next step. We shall see. More research and reading to be done (not like I don’t have time), and I shall come up with a plan. Stay tuned…

Happy Day my peeps!




  1. Sorry you had such a crappy week , I hate that they just prescribe more pain meds!! Is there any chance its your stomach (just below left rib) or other organ inflamed ? They aren’t concerned about the lump?? Frig. I have anti inflammatory oils if ever you’re interested in an alternative to the meds. Lots for emotional balancing too, I’m not going to push but some have really worked for me and you can research or I can bring you my trusty reference bible that has loads of info! I have alot in stock if you ever want to test any out . I get random pains too but often something like that is from a pulled muscle (normally you would know though and those pain meds would help!) was it a sudden onset ? Did you ever consider the Lyme test, the other mystery disease like fibro. I started watching forks over knives last night 🙂 you’re already one step ahead if you like plant based food, my biggest roadblock is the taste of healthy food!

  2. Aaah Natalie, damnit! I’m sure you’ve considered everything…even medical marijuana–just a thought. We’re thinking of getting my mom (94 yo) on it for her chronic pain. I’m amazed at how brave you are and how you keep sharing your story. Sending you lots of love.

  3. karenmcfarland says:

    OMG! My sweet dear Natalie. Do you have access to a Naturopath or Homeopath? Just a suggestion. You don’t have to take it. But after years of fooling around with tests and drugs and everything else I went through that I won’t take the time to list here, I found them to be the most knowledgeable when dealing with auto-immune diseases. They literally saved my life!!!! I am not kidding you! From what you say above, you are trying to take care of your body and do things naturally by way of juicing and food elimination, etc. That’s why I make the suggestion. Just know that Trammadol is a joke. My cousin who is an EMT refers to it as Dammital! Cause it doesn’t work. But hey, you’ve got to try it. Girl, I must say that besides the pain, you are heading in the right direction. But from what I’ve read, and I can only go by what you’ve shared with us, your doctor is throwing things in the air hoping that something might stick. And I’m sorry, but she/he doesn’t sound like they are an expert in this field. I know. I’ve dealt with a ton of doctors over the years because of my auto-immune problems. I wouldn’t stick my nose into this if I didn’t have personal experience with the same problems you are experiencing right now. As I speak today, I am upright, without pain, functioning like a somewhat normal human being. lol. Who’s normal, eh? But you know what I mean. So if you’re open to it, please seek out a Naturopath or Homeopath. It will be an huge eye opener for you. And give you so much hope, strength and the encouragement you need as you travel on this journey back to health. In the meantime, you might try taking Ginger or Turmeric for your inflammation. Especially Turmeric. Google it! Completely stay off of all dairy. It is the worst inflammation offender. Keep up the juicing. You need to detox really bad girl because toxins contribute to inflammation. And I have to agree with Amy. Try medical marijuana. Specifically Charlottes Web CBD oil. It’s derived from Hemp and legal. Again, Google it. And please let me know if I can be of any help. Love you!!!! ❤

  4. I slept in a recliner for two months because of a pinched nerve under one shoulder blade. I can tolerate a lot of pain thanks to bursitis in my shoulder since my early 20s. But the pain from that nerve – it made me understand how people could turn to suicide for pain relief. Even morphine didn’t touch it, and a shot in the emergency room – guaranteed to make me sleep all night (as opposed to an hour or so at a time) only lasted about ninety minutes.

    What finally helped, and it took weeks, was physical therapy. I learned something very important too – something my doctor and all the ER docs neglected to mention … the heating pad I kept lying against (like 24/7) only made it worse. That’s when I learned to love ice for pain.

    I don’t know if physical therapy will help you or not, but it might be worth checking into. If nothing else, it will help stretch the muscles around the painful area(s). When you’re in pain, the muscles around the injuries, whatever they may be caused from, will tense and exacerbate the pain. When you stretch them, it might not fix what caused it, but it usually reduces the pain to more bearable levels.

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