Four days ago, I did ten strokes without the bar on my rower, and stopped once my legs hurt. Throughout physical therapy, I went stationary biking for longer, with the secondary purpose of getting me back into rowing, with the primary purpose of reducing my lower back pain. Three days ago, I went for twenty-six strokes without the bar. I didn’t go yesterday or today because I went to PT and did other activities respectively.
Yesterday, I walked around to get groceries.
Today, I bought bricks to fulfill a specific errand for a build that I completed this morning. I’m happy with the results but will write about it in a day or two, after writing some other essays and doing some final refinements of the build. This build required more physicality than I’ve been able to do over the past few weeks, and though I’ve been in pain through most of the day because my MRI was rescheduled at the last minute, and I still need to drive to and from there, it’s nice that I’ve been able to summon the strength to crouch on the floor and do what I’ve needed to do to complete this build.
I’m still slow-going with it, but it’s progress.
The most frustrating part about healing up from this sort of physical injury, where there isn’t a direct break, is that there isn’t a direct fix. When I burned my arm, I applied burn ointment to my arm, which healed it up, eventually. Here, if we consider the totality of the upper and lower back, I’ve thrown thousands of dollars and dozens of medications at this issue without a cure. I’m going in for a MRI in one hour from now, so maybe that will actually point to some particular causes, or maybe it won’t?
Maybe that’ll be a big waste of time?
Other than being another essay I can write about, I suppose, but I am getting tired of writing about my health like this. I am getting tired of having to deal with myself to this degree. I would rather write my fiction. There’s not much I can do about that at the moment. I am stuck with this level of physicality I have to work through until I can get there, so I might as well make the most of it, through essays like this and through what these essays represent: my best attempts at the healing process. Over the past two months, I’ve used this time to analyze many facets of myself to figure out what I like and dislike about myself, so I can hone and overcome aspects of myself.
This pain has, stated positively, helped me focus my energy.
As a practical example, I used to be subscribed to significantly more Youtubers months ago, but each time a video might come up that annoys me now, rather than ignore it, I might consider their overall output and usually click the unsubscribe button. If this means I’m less tolerant in dealing with some entertainers now, then I consider that a fair compromise in that there is so much more I want to do than wade through seas of mediocrity. I would rather have my subscription feed full of things that potentially interest me rather than all bore me.
This relates back to rowing because it’s a daily effort to focus one’s concentration.
It’s easy to resolve one’s self to “someday” get back into health, but if I say that each day I’ll do something physical, then start that either today or first thing tomorrow. Four days ago, I had considered rowing, but it was just after hours, so I didn’t want to be a disruption to my noisy downstairs neighbors. I had fully considered waiting until the next day, but then, I sat on my rower, and decided that just moving my legs could be sufficient. I only did ten motions like this before my legs started to hurt, but that was a good start.
The same for the next day.
So I will do the best I can, going forward, to continue this trend. I would like to get back into rowing full sets, which is where it would be good to get a good bill of health from a doctor that has confirmed that I don’t have any weird spinal issues. My X-rays didn’t show anything weird, but considering that I still have back pain, that doesn’t mean there isn’t something that’s pinching a nerve somewhere. It would be nice to get this all sorted out so I could get back into rowing, so I might write about how I thought about something while rowing, or did something immediately after rowing, but until then, I just have to write about these sorts of thoughts about rowing.
I would row tonight, but I still have more of that project to do before tomorrow morning.
If I do well on that project by tomorrow morning, then I should be able to do more rowing tomorrow afternoon, and more going forward from there. I’ll be fitted for a back brace after my insurance approves it, so maybe I’ll row in that to help with my rowing posture, and if so, that can help, if the source of my lower back pain might have been caused by rowing. I doubt it, just because like the chair I sit in while I write, not much has changed over the past few months or years, but it’s possible a confluence of influences caused just the right degradation of muscles to cause my current situation.
It’s frustrating to consider since its slow development means a slow fix.
Acute injuries can have acute cures because it’s easy to see where the pain is occurring. For my lower back pain, there isn’t a direct cause. There are hunches and theories but there aren’t a whole lot of answers. What happens, then, is one stroke forward then one stroke back, it feels like.
Better keep trying.
|Sources: My fitness experiences.
– This week’s weight: 202.0
– Last week’s weight: 202.5
– Difference: Half a pound. A peed out one pound of water. I tried to eat as much as I could throughout the week but between writing this essay and publishing this in August, well, the pain has only increased, and my condition has only worsened.
|Inspirations: Writing about my recent rowing efforts, as of June 2020.|
|Related: Past weekly column entries. Sober Living essays and Tripping On [The American Healthcare System] chapters.|
|Written On: 2020 June 16 [4:48pm to 5:21pm]|
|Last Edited: 2020 June 16 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|