[Rowing Machine] 2020: Week 37 {216.5} “Nine Days Post-Diagnosis”

I don’t want to be overly dramatic here, so let me just start by saying that knowing what’s wrong with my spine was a great relief, because once I knew the specific causes of my pains, then I could work toward fixing them. What if they had been psychosomatically imaginary? Not much you can treat. But if there are two bulged discs that might require surgery if things don’t improve by the time surgery’s approved…?

Well, I spent almost every moment of the past nine days focused on my spine.

Not directly through every second, but indirectly. I figured out ways to support my spine better throughout the day. I noticed ways when my spine felt uneasy and worked toward correcting them. My biggest success was today when I – having otherwise stayed inside my apartment-mansion for almost the entirety of this time, other than twice, once to go to a restaurant which exhausted my spine, and then later to throw out some trash which almost exhausted my spine, too – was able to retrieve my mail and did not experience any spinal pain at all!

I walked slower and made sure not to make any sudden torso movements.

I’m moving around as though I’m wearing a back brace, which I should get but that whole walking around thing is still rather tough for me. I’ve theorized that I’ve been able to recover as I have because I tend to walk lightly around the apartment, so there is little impact to my spine, and this could prevent me from accidentally putting pressure where it doesn’t need to go. Will this help slip the bulged discs back into place? I’m not sure how this all works. I’ve been focusing on reducing my overall pain levels so I can figure these things out.

I also have an assortment of bills and other medical things to look at tomorrow.

It’s tough enough finding a doctor that will believe you’re experiencing problems, but then you have to deal with insurance as well? It’s all terribly overwhelming, so it’s been a welcome respite to have this quiet time to allow my body and mind to mend. I don’t need to fight for my existence against all odds. Sure, I still have hundreds – if not thousands – of dollars of medical expenses to pay, but at least I have a root-cause to the issue and ways to improve my health.

It starts small with actions like bending my knees rather bending over.

I am acting as though my spine is incapable of bending at any angle other than being up-and-down because any other angle carries the risk of hurting. Even lying down. I got ninety minutes of sleep last night. I went to sleep at 11:30pm after having taken one diphenhydramine a few hours prior and woke up at 1am. I couldn’t sleep. Eventually, I got up and now it’s 7:40pm. The worst issues I’ve noticed with my spine have gone away. I don’t know if that’s because I’ve been basically sedentary or if my body is healing.

I haven’t rowed, exercised, or done much of anything.

I do look forward to a time when I can, however, I know that I will never be able to push myself “to the limit” again, because when I have in the past, I’ve approached the point at which I could injure myself, so why would I hurt myself again? These pains I’ve experienced have been terrible. I have done as much as I have been able to change my life so that I don’t experience these pains to quite the same degree.

It would be nice to know if this surgery or this injection would “fix” this issue.

I don’t know. The surgery is more likely than the injection, which is more likely than rest, but rest is the least-invasive, so wouldn’t that be the optimal path toward recovery, even if it’s the least likely to fix the issue? Let’s say that one or both of these discs slip out again? Would surgery remove this possibility? I believe so, whereas with an injection, it would shrink that area, or reduce the pain sensors around that area.

Pain is a useful diagnostic tool to tell us that something is wrong.

However, in instances where we know something is wrong, anesthesia and other painkillers are fine because we know what the issue is and the pain receptors aren’t terribly helpful to us. Yes, you’ve been cut open. No, you don’t need to hurt any further, it will be fine. Just rest up and you’ll be fine – probably. I must admit, and almost brag, that today was the first day in months where I felt like I could crouch down to pick something up off the ground.

That should be worth some sort of celebration.

I have a stain on my slippers from when I dropped some food on my slipper about a month ago and hadn’t had the energy to clean it all up. It’s probably long since stained, but my rationale is that once I feel better I will give it a good soaking and do my best, otherwise, those slippers are old enough to where I could go ahead and replace them easily without feeling bad. My stomach muscles felt weak today but that might be a byproduct of fatigue.

I imagine that with more rest, I will be able to recover well.

As good of intentions as physical therapy were, I don’t think they were good for this situation. I think what would have been more responsible would have getting the MRI done sooner and getting that evaluated sooner. I wasted months pushing my body through PT and various situations, needlessly, so that I can only now unravel that damage and recover my spine. The insurance should take about one month to go through, so by then, we’ll know whether my spine has started to heal or not.

Now that I’m not hurting, I don’t need an urgent [surgical] fix.

Quotes: None.
Sources: My fitness experiences.
This week’s weight: 216.5
Last week’s weight: 208.0
Difference: I’m writing this on September 05. I had surgery to fix this all on August 31. I put on about 8 pounds since last week. I wasn’t able to defecate since before the surgery, so that was beginning to become worrisome, but I was able to defecate today including a butt-plug-shaped poop which was a literal butt-plug, and I didn’t need an enema, so that was nice. What I will need to do, now that my health is more under control from a spinal perspective [other than complications and craziness you’ll read more about in late October], I need to shed off this excessive weight.
Inspirations: Celebrating small victories.
Related: Past weekly column entries. Sober Living essays and Tripping On [The American Healthcare System] chapters.
Pictures: Template.
Written On: 2020 July 19 [7:29pm to 7:54pm]
Last Edited: 2020 July 19 [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.