[Rowing Machine] 2020: Week 36 {208.0} “L34, L45 Discs”

I am writing this in the middle of July. By this essay’s publication in early September, will the two discs in my spine – L34 and L45, if I wrote them down correctly – have healed correctly? After meeting with my spine doctor to discuss my options, we have to wait for the approval for surgery, and if my spine hasn’t healed by then, I’ll need to get surgery to decrease these bulges on my left side.

It feels good to finally get the validation that I’m not crazy.

To point to “L34” and “L45,” even if I wrote the numbers wrong, and say that two discs on the left side of my spine have bulged, well, it gives me a better feeling in some regards. I know that I’m not crazy. I know that my anxiety and any sort of issues that might have been helped through the medications we’ve discussed in previous essays were just band-aided, rather than fixed. If this were hypochondria, then yesterday’s doctor’s visit would have been me admitting to myself that, no, sorry, buddy, you’ve gotta quit faking the pain you’re in.

I’ve been thinking about a painful scene from “The Story” a lot today.

So it feels great to know that this is something that can be fixed, but it feels terrible because, well, one of my toes on my left foot was numb since yesterday. This was the foot that the doctor had identified as being bad, and tied in with the disc bulging on the left side, which, as patient readers had noticed was a common theme with my left side hurting. It is actually hard for me to write, physically, because my nerves are shot and I am in sufficiently powerful pain, but I figure it is important to document this information throughout the entire process, mainly for my own sake.

Maybe it’ll be important later on.

It might also explain why my nerves have progressively felt worse over the past few weeks. I will need to hole up in the apartment-mansion and rest up for the next few days to make sure I don’t feel in worse shape. My body hurts, it’s hard to write, and I was in so much pain that it was hard for me to focus on reading the subtitles of an anime I was watching, but I hope that tomorrow things won’t be too bad.

It’s hard to concentrate so excuse any incoherence.

My next step now will be to wait for my insurance to review everything, to perform their own validations of everything before they decide that they will allow surgery, and then by then, we’ll do the final checks to see how things are going. I’ve been following the advice of doctors to be active, to walk around for ten minutes daily, or to do physical therapy, but if that’s put excess pressure on my spine like it did this evening when I went out to sit down at a restaurant for the first time in maybe six months, well, was that worth the pleasure of going out?

I think I’ve had my fill of being outside the apartment-mansion.

When I went to the yard sale, thrift store, and grocery stores recently, that’s been with the presumption that maybe I just needed to do more with my spine? Maybe there was something I could do myself? Now there is – bed rest. I can still sit here at my writing desk to do some stuff. I will be as responsible as I can with my health because I would prefer my spine to heal on its own without surgery.

Let’s say that things heal up on its own, then, hey, that’d be fantastic.

I don’t think it will, though, based on how things have declined over the past few weeks, but I think the major test now will be letting my body rest and recoup as it will as best I can. Can my body recover on its own or does it need help in the form of surgery? I am willing to do anything that it takes of my own ability to help my spine, and if that fails, I am willing to do whatever it takes to get back into good health.

I have not rowed since April 18, 2020.

As I recall, I had bent over to fill my water bottle and it started hurting then, or was it not that? Memory works in weird ways. If we don’t write things down as comprehensively as this, where a tweet is innocently succinct but could have months of ramifications, well, maybe bending over wrong was the source of this issue? It’s taken so long to get the help I’ve needed that I’ve gotten to the point now where we talked about how the nerves that are being affected by my spine could snap before the approval goes through and cause long-term disability.

Will I ever row a solid 5-minute set again?

I would prefer not to think too much about all of that at this time. I’m not feeling well physically, so I don’t want to bring the mental aspect of it into the equation as well, but suffice it to say that I won’t be rowing for a long time. These essays, then, will, unfortunately, be in name alone for the next few weeks or even months as I recover. I had to pause and think about that and there is some sensitivity to that. I’m having trouble focusing as I struggle to reach the end of this essay. Physicality is something that you should not take for granted. If there’s anything that you can learn from me and this essay series, e/book, or whatever, it’s twofold: be your own advocate for your health, and fight as loudly as you can for your health. I’ve been fighting for three months for anyone to believe me that I’ve been having health problems.

There’s a valid problem, but will my health be salvageable? I hope so…

Quotes: None.
Sources: My fitness experiences.
This week’s weight: 208.0
Last week’s weight: 202.5
Difference: It feels good to put on this extra weight. I ate a significant amount of food this past week, so it makes sense. While I’m editing this post for publication on August 30, I’ll have surgery tomorrow morning, August 31, so by this essay’s publication, I will have had the surgery to fix the issue. It was noted as “OPEN DECOMPRESSION – THORACIC/LUMBAR – 2 LEVELS” and will take 3.5 hours.
Inspirations: Writing about my current experiences.
Related: Past weekly column entries. Sober Living essays and Tripping On [The American Healthcare System] chapters.
Pictures: Template
Written On: 2020 July 11 [10:10101010pm to 10:48pm]
Last Edited: 2020 July 11 [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.