[Rowing Machine] 2020: Week 10 {218.5} “Physical Therapy Therapy, Part 4”

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.

I’m frustrated that it took so long to diagnose everything.

Nothing to do now but just wrap up everything related to the medical stuff here over the next few weeks, as I continue going to physical therapy, finish reading Heal Your Headache, and do everything else that can button up these headaches long-term. I may still need to take the high blood pressure beta-blockers. I will need to be on constant vigilance against the threat of headaches, though at least now it’s more than just an invisible threat at night. I’ve acquired headache-fighting tools.

I want this ebook to be someone else’s toolkit.

It was a harrowing journey I’ve been on over these past three months, and though I’m not out of the woods yet, I did pick up a Balzac book Selected Short Stories and read a little of El Verdugo, after clearing out two bags of donations, and celebratorily pursuing that thrift store’s bookshelves. I hadn’t felt confident about reading anything other than necessary materials related to headaches or work stuff for the past few months.

I never felt like I’d be back to normal.

Wrapping up Tripping On [The American Healthcare System] will be a good way to say that I’m done with the feelings I had as a headached person. That became my identity. I still wear sunglasses to protect my vision, and may do so for as long as I’m at computers. My eyes then bear the scars of these headaches, but I’ve survived. I’ve learned probably what I never learned before about pacing myself physically, mentally, and making sure not to overwork myself. Whether through my vocational work or avocational work of writing, I’ve learned now to watch those signals over an ache that could fester and ruin my day.

I didn’t think of anything idly while rowing.

Instead, I just focused on keeping my shoulders low and hitting my belly button rather than my upper chest, and that seemed to work well enough. I’ll do more rowing sets before my fifth PT session and track any specifics either as I tweet them out or just in general. I’m also not too sure how much more tolerance I have for this job. Every other caller seems to call up mad, kicking and screaming, and it’s a pain to work with them. I don’t like it here. I’m just here for the benefits I’ve had to use extensively because of working here.

If I quit, then where would I go?

If I contracted, then while I was uninsured, I’d need to figure out the medical side of things, since I’ve been taking the nabumetone and propranolol daily. I just keep thinking that of all the jobs I’ve ever worked, I’ve never this consistently been treated this poorly overall. There’s no respect in helpdesk work or contract gigs, but we’re human beings, and I don’t even feel like that sometimes from the users or management. It makes helping everyone out feel much less of a privilege and more of a burden.

Do I blame this caller for my medical issues?

No, but I blame these callers and these situations for these medical issues. I’ve been in this field for the better part of a dozen years and I’ve never had vicissitude health problems this severe. Maybe I’d feel bad for a day or a week, or maybe I wouldn’t like this or that, but these headaches point to something seriously wrong with my current lifestyle. How much more of this stress can I endure?

I secretly wish to be fired.

I’m saying this here, now, so that I can figure out how much of these headaches are physical and how much of them are psychological. Before taking that phone call, I was writing about my rowing form, and life was good. No headaches! Now, I have a headache behind my left eye in intense pressure, and am in a sour mood. This is not a conducive work environment for me. I guess this is exacerbated by working nights, where I got less than four hours of sleep – and not through lack of effort.

The neurologist’s office called at 1pm to give me the all-clear from their perspective.

The dietitian’s office called at 4:51pm to confirm my appointment, unnecessarily, and I’ve just been up since then, but before that call, I was in good spirits. I’m not sure how much more energy I have to fight like this. It’s difficult to be constantly being overwhelmed by people that don’t give a shit about being polite to you in the slightest, won’t try to work with you, and expect immediate results. I think what I may do is proceed through the week as best I can and then ask the sleep doctor to write me a note saying I shouldn’t be on this shift anymore.

It will mean less writing time, but, will that mean a better quality of life?

I’m not sure because there are nice perks about this shift and this job. I’ve had thirteen minutes of downtime and wrote this essay, yet if that essay’s in a bad head space, if my head is in a bad head space, and if I don’t feel like doing anything because I’m so mad over having to overexert myself mentally and physically without any respect, then I’m just going to drag my feet until I’m fired. No point burning myself out any further than I have for this job. After all, I’m working to get ahead in life, not behind.

Currently, I’m behind.

Quotes: None.
Sources: My fitness experiences.
This week’s weight: 218.5
Last week’s weight: 219.0
Difference: Now that I’m getting my health back in order, I can focus on burning off more weight.
Inspirations: Writing about each of my physical therapy sessions in a bad mood led to this essay.
Related: Past weekly column entries. Other Sober Living essays and Tripping On [The American Healthcare System] chapters.
Picture: Generic rowing picture.
Written On: 2020 February 11 [28 minutes. From 12:38am to “my upper chest” 12:48am, then from 1:06am to 1:23am. Gdocs.]
Last Edited: 2020 February 14 [Adaption from Gdoc, so, second 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.