[Rowing Machine] 2020: Week 06 {222.5} “Headache’s Root Cause?”

For seventeen days, I could not row. The rower was waiting for me the whole time but my health was in such poor condition that any superfluous movement could have caused lasting pain. My tension headaches were a constant annoyance. My migraines were occasional showstoppers. The pangs of whatever you want to call them scared me. I’ve been mostly headache-free now for a day and a half. I’ll take it. I’m working toward lasting improvement.

Headaches are like clutter.

They might be innocent enough by themselves but they prevent action in other facets of your life. I’ve had a burned-out lightbulb in my living room for months now that I haven’t been able to get repaired because there was a big shelving rack in the middle of the living room. I didn’t mind. I didn’t mind, either, that the second hallway was blocked off by clutter, even though it would be a bigger deal for a maintenance person to see as a possible egress fine.

I let the light go. Then two stovetop burners went out. I let that go, too.

Staring at this ugly monolith of clutter’s depravity for months on end wasn’t quite enough to stir me into action. It was with my first bit of energy in over two weeks that I did what I could to clear off the rack because, hey, now I’m doing as much as I can to independently learn about possible causes of headaches. Since I took the medications you can read about when they publish by the evening of February 16, I’ve been on the mend.

My headaches are minimal.

But still, I need a place to read.

The white recliner was my reading chair, but I’ve become interested in reading on the floor since my back has been hurting significantly since the worst of these headaches cleared up on their round two. When I cleared out the rack, moved it against the wall, and brought nearly everything of clutter on it, so I could sort through it later to sell or donate, and laid completely flat on my back on the floor, all I felt was back pain. “I would hold off on the chiropractor for now because we don’t know the cause of your headaches.[1]”

While I have the cognitive ability and a clear mind, I’ll study what I can.

If it’s a spinal issue, I’ll have studied up on how the spine relates with the head, and how they can cause headaches. If it’s something I don’t yet know, I’ll read what I can to get a better understanding. I can’t waste any more time in my life. I’ve already wasted years of time on bullshit. I don’t know how many years I will live. In the day leading up to going into the emergency department, and the bus ride going in, I wondered if I’d live to see 40.

I should, now, unless something majorly wrong happens.

Since I write these rowing essays out-of-order, I’ve spoiled that surprise.

The Sober Living essays are the fastest to write and publish since they’re just my unfiltered thoughts. I don’t need to be clean or formal with them. These essays aren’t much “better” in terms of editing and filtering, but they do tend to be focused on the more positive aspects of my health.

I rowed for the first time in weeks a few hours ago!

I like keeping rowing essays available for me to write once a week so I can have that weekly physical fitness check-in. My publishing schedule has allowed me enough padding for nearly one month ahead of schedule, so writing a ‘week in review’ when I’ve written in more detail in essays that will publish weeks later seems weird to me, and probably you, but it’s how it will go for now. I’m sure I’ll figure out a better balancing act soon.

For now, I’m just happy to have a reading space to lie down on.

It’s just enough room for me to wiggle around while I read.

When my brain is soaking in new technical information, my body tends to need to move around in minor ways. If I sit too still while I read, I lose focus. I need to practice my reading discipline over the next few decades, but until then, I’m starting off slow. After all, just like with my physical fitness, I’m drastically out of shape both physically and mentally, so the last thing I want to do is overexert myself.

The minor headaches I’m experiencing now should be a subtle warning.

I will try to take it easy, physically and mentally, and not push myself too much by either moving around much more stuff or writing anything too involved. I’m sitting at a different chair – normally, I’d sit in the red chair with a massage vest draped over it, as shown below in the upper center part of the photo below – because I thought it would give me additional back support so my back wouldn’t feel as sore. I haven’t felt relief yet. I guess I need to just sink into some entertainment for long enough to forget about myself and my condition before things will sort themselves out?

I’m seeing a neurologist next week.

That would be Doctor-Number-Eight or -Nine, depending on timing.

If -Eight is the neurologist, then -Nine will Primary-Care-Physician-Number-Three, where I’ll ask about questions in regards to my physical fitness. I might still like to achieve a sub-200-pound goal before the end of 2020. I’ve been less concerned over this goal when my primary goal has been better health. We’ll see how this all develops and if we can eventually learn the root cause of all these headaches.

It’s been a challenging road so far.

I’ve learned plenty about headaches and my own physical tolerances. I can endure much more than I’ve ever imagined I needed to endure. Now let’s hope that was all toward a better, fitter long-term lifestyle.

I really did miss rowing, even at quarter-strength.

Quotes: [1] My main insurance point-of-contact. If you ever need anyone’s attention, a good way to go about it is to do what I did, and tell them that you told your management that they haven’t been addressing your needs. Between that and the emergency department visit, suddenly, they care…!
Sources: My fitness experiences.
This week’s weight: 222.5
Last week’s weight: 221.5
Difference: Up one pound. I need to start counting my calories again. I wrote this back in early January, am wrapping this up on February 02, and for those reading this, good news – my headaches are getting under control!
Inspirations: These essays are like my weekly physical check-in.
Related: Past weekly column entries.
Photos: I was going to write something about how wanting to read relevant sections of Gray’s Anatomy was what inspired me to clean up my living room, and mostly did, but I skipped over the part about how I was reading and was so compelled to not read that I started compulsively cleaning. Oops.
Written On: 2020 January 16 [29 minutes, from 11:02pm to 11:31pm, while listening to some 2020 albums, WordPress.]
Last Edited: 2020 January 16 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]
My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.