This has been a week of limitations and motivation. I have had the urge to do so much over the last two weeks yet there has been no energy. I have finished the course of steroid tablets I have been on for the last six weeks and am now only taking one methotrexate tablet a week until I see the rheumatologist next week.
The steroids had given me a false sense of healing and when they stopped the pain was once again allowed to be picked up by my brain. So I have spent the week limping, staggering and hurting intensely. It seems the steroids do nothing but block the pain from my brain and the methotrexate as far as I can tell has done nothing.
So this week I tried something new. For christmas from my son and daughter in law I received a 3 pass float tank voucher. This week I finally felt up to trying it out. What I expected and what I experienced were two completely different things.
I had been so looking forward to the sensation of no gravity, or just floating and not having to concentrate on holding my body in a certain position. I cannot float in normal water, for some reason my feet and legs just sink so I didn’t hold out too much hope of floating in the tank.
I found that it was impossible to sink. As I got into the tank I tried desperately to get myself into position without causing pain and all my legs and feet wanted to do was float. It was not a graceful process getting into the tank and getting into position. It would have made a very funny video.
There was music for the first ten minutes then that faded, I had turned the lights out and just relaxed. I tried breathing through my nose but with ear plugs in you hear everything. My nose has been a little blocked lately so all I could hear was whistling. So I focused on breathing through my mouth.
The water is body temperature and is very pleasant, you float very easily and as I lay there I thought about what the outcome of the session might be and what i hoped to achieve while in there. The feeling of weightlessness was one I was so looking forward to but did not get. I know I am overweight, comfort eating and medication and not being able to exercise has made sure of that, but I still thought that I would feel less than I did.
I felt like I was shrugging my shoulders, they were very sore when I went into the tank and even worse when I got out. I even had pain in my butt, it felt as though it was sinking but wasn’t. I am not sure if it was coming from the pain in my hips but it felt very heavy. That combined with my very sore shoulders led me to not being able to relax as I had hoped.
I had read that the time goes very quickly but the longer I floated the more I wanted the music to come back on so it was finished. This is entirely because of the pain I was in, including my elbows which would not straighten out when I had finished. The music finally came back on and I was quite glad to get out, which was even less graceful than getting in.
A quick shower to wash out all the epsom salts and I was done. When I got to the car I felt more relaxed. I know if I had not been in so much pain beforehand then I would have experienced it differently. My body felt less heavy and I felt very tired. The next morning I was back in hell. The pain had come back fully and it was methotrexate day. Which means nothing else for the day. No pain killers.
I am assuming that some of the feeling I had was a detoxification from the epsom salts and that is a good thing. But, I have never been so glad to have my paracetamol on thursday morning, as I was today. It does not stop the pain but it takes a little of the edge off it and allows me to function at least a little.
I will book myself in for another float in the next week or so, after I see the specialist and hopefully get some medication that works. With a little less pain I think I could probably feel a bit more relaxed in the tank. I may even leave the lights on for a bit next time, and see if the cycling through the chakra colors makes a difference.
I am thinking that by the third float I will be much more relaxed and knowing what to expect then I may have a much more meditative experience. I envisioned epiphanies and that doesn’t happen when you are restless. I doubt the stress I am under at the moment is helping but I wanted to come out of the tank in a new frame of mind, ready to take on the challenges that await and I didn’t.
Next time I will know what to expect and make sure I have some sort of pain killers before hand so that I am not concentrating on the pain while I am in there. It was an experience though, that I have never had before and I had put it off for quite a while. I am looking forward to going again and comparing the experience.
Has anyone tried this before? What were your experiences? Would you do it again? Did you expect too much like I did? I would really like to know if my experience was normal. I do tend to expect too much of myself and of the people around me. So when I do something that has been hyped up as amazing, I expect it to be amazing. I don’t want to lower my expectations, I would much prefer them to be exceeded.