Pain In the Neck
When I went to see my friend Betsy on Sunday, we took her dogs for a long walk. About three minutes into it, she asked me if my neck hurt. Betsy doesn't miss a trick. I'd had a crick in it for over a week and a half.
Bets is one of those women who knows stuff. She's like Faith Popcorn, Suze Orman, Judith Martin, and Sue Johanson all rolled into a single suburban mom.
Betsy doesn't make suggestions; she tells you what to do: "Every time your mother-in-law says something ridiculous, simply answer,'You may be right'... Use a pumice on your heels every day...Invest in Home Depot...Puree peas and put them in the chili--your kids will never know...Use Astroglide..." And if you're smart, you'll just do it--no questions asked. Because she's never wrong.
Once my neck pain was confirmed, she instructed me to get a tube sock, fill it with rice (any kind except instant), tie off the end, and nuke it in the microwave. She said you could leave it in the microwave for four days and it wouldn't hurt anything, but all it takes is about three minutes. It creates a moist heat that lasts at least half an hour, and you can use it over and over.
Me, I'm not so smart. I didn't find a tube sock in the first drawer I tried, so I went and fished out the electric heating pad from the floor of the linen closet. I had to fold it over and perch it between the pillow and the pain, and I worried the whole time that the fray Stella had chewed in the cord was going to set the house on fire.
It wasn't until last night that I finally complied with Bets's directive, spotting a big sock in Biggy's hiking boots and filling it with brown rice that had been in the pantry since I went on a macrobiotic diet for half a day five years ago.
It was a little bit of heaven--hot, moist, and curving perfectly over my shoulders and under my ears.
Turns out, they sell these things in the stores, so maybe I was the last to know. In case I wasn't, though, I thought I should share.