Although I’ve just got into better health here over the past three weeks, I still want to get back to my old pace, and I keep having to remind myself to… no… take a break. If there’s anything I can do to get into better health, it’s not pushing myself as hard for so long. I’ve trained myself to be motivated through years of writing and rowing. It’s OK for me to take a break.
Physical therapy has been great for me to address some of the hidden patterns I had physically learned that, over thirty-plus years, caused the issues that sent me almost unnecessarily through the American Healthcare System. How much of that could have been avoided by simple preventative maintenance through learning the basics in compulsory education and having readily available gyms at trivial prices available to all? Well, that might just be being sensitive about the topic…
“Think of it like building blocks. You’re building yourself back up.” The physical therapist then exaggerated how I was slouched over, most comfortable for me, with having a hyper-corrected posture, to a middle ground that was more focused on better posture from the lower back than the upper back. He continued by telling me that the trick is to catch myself when my posture is not ideal, and practice better posture frequently throughout the day.
I missed rowing. I missed the notion of getting on my rower twice-daily and getting some of my physical stress out. It was never that much, especially lately, since I didn’t want to burn myself out. Now that we’ve figured out my neck was the source of my headaches, and my neck stretches are helping to fix the issue, I’m back and feeling better than ever. I’ll need to work on figuring out more stretches.
I’ve always been a fan of controlled breaks. You’ve gotta break things to fix things, sometimes, and when it comes to my health I don’t mind exercising to overexertion and pain if that means that the pains can be fixed. After a 6-minute arm exercise at physical therapy, my neck nerves pinched, my eyes became more light-sensitive, and my head started to hurt. We spent the next almost-hour fixing the muscles that had tensed up.
It feels good to be back into rowing again. Even at a light pace, there’s just something about getting on the machine and losing myself in the motions for a time that’s nice. After four physical therapy sessions with increasingly positive results after each other than mild back strains, an “unremarkable” MRI, and otherwise bouncing back well, I was told to get back into rowing. I noticed some minor pangs, but so far, so good.
The thing about physical therapy is that you’ll end up doing the same handful of stretches repeatedly. It’s not about a race or doing as many reps as you can as quickly as you can. It’s more about doing what’s necessary to get your body back into its best shape. But then, if we do it wrong, it’s almost worse. I had accidentally tweaked my back for a day. I felt a pop halfway down.
I was feeling good up until I woke up, hours early, with a sore back. Realigning the three spinal problems, all mild, will take time. It should help to get things back into order. At least now I know that when I feel the pangs or pops, that it’s normal, but just not to overdo it, because then the muscles won’t have time to develop. I’m in that intermediary stage where things are still healing.
I’m not sure why I didn’t get a stronger reaction when I told the nurse and doctor that I couldn’t exercise because of my headaches. The most plausible reasons are that the nurse was going too fast and Doctor-Number-Nine didn’t know me. Even Neurologist-Number-Two/Doctor-Number-Eight was perplexed. I imagine once the headaches decrease from constantly and daily to mere memories, then I’ll be more likely to be able to exercise without getting any sort of headache.
I felt a pang on the upper right side of my head as I laid on the physical therapy table and moved my neck to one side. The pillow underneath my head had caused me to move my head in an uncomfortable position. We tried without the pillow. Just a rolled-up towel underneath my neck. This worked out almost perfectly. I write this laying down, practicing my neck and spine stretches for these mindbender headaches.