[Rowing Machine] 2020: Week 38 {206.5} “Clearly Been Life-Altering”

“I am so sorry to hear about the pain and the struggle it has caused you – it has clearly been life altering.[1]” While I’ve been stuck in the second-opinion stages, where a doctor remotely reviews my case and considers whether or not [my life has value] my spine needs surgery, I’ve reflected on some things… I own two good rowing machines. Will I ever be able to use either one again to their fullest capacities?

Will my health ever recover?

By this point, my optimism declines by the day. Half the days I wake up, I don’t need an alarm clock. My spine wakes me up. I lie in bed, summoning the strength to get out of bed, but I don’t have the energy to eat much more than crackers and maybe some trail mix. Anything too involved and I get too tired, and when I do eat it all, my stomach feels too uncomfortably nauseous. The feeling makes my body suppress its appetite even further.

How much pain am I really in right now?

I don’t feel a daily sting, nor do I feel like I could rate my pain on a scale of 1 to 10, but I’ve been crying a lot, which only happens when I’m in pain. I’ll lie down in pain, where now my upper back hurts, and when I close my eyes, no matter how fatigued I feel, rather than getting ready for bed, I just feel pain wash all over me. I suppose that mean I have a fairly high endurance and tolerance for pain, but that’s been wearing down.

These second-opinion facilitators don’t care about my health.

They say nice things like what you read above, but that’s the same as any customer service role. It’s like telling someone we’re so sorry to hear that your health is rapidly declining, would you be interested in buying life insurance? It does nothing for me. I don’t feel better reading shit like this. I feel better when I see action. That action could be as small as them offering to help with a certain aspect of the process, but overall, this has all been my own weight to carry, and with my spine being in the degraded condition it’s in, it’s getting harder by the day to carry.

I had dreams for my ideal home gym.

It would have those two rowers. The louder one has a nicer feel to it, but the quieter one has nice features as well. It would have the other exercise equipment that I’ve spread out, by accident, throughout the apartment-mansion, along with a Wii Fit area. It might still be possible. My life still could go on, uninterrupted from three or four months ago, and maybe it could be even better after surgery or alternate therapies?

They asked me to reach out to the spine doctor.

They asked me to ask about symptomatic treatments to provide temporary relief until there is a more concrete plan. I’ll ask after writing this essay. Their office is opening up now so that should give them the time to open properly and such. I also feel much too tired to deal with all of this. If you’ve never had any sort of spinal issue before, I will describe it as though your whole body is paralyzed with pain. There was a point in the middle center of my back that was creating a large pressure point which was funneling all of my attention and draining all of my energy.

I just woke up and already I want to go back to sleep.

I want this pain to go away. Even on the good spine days, those are just fake, because all I do is just limp around the apartment-mansion between my bed, computer, restroom, and kitchen. I’m OK with doing that if that will help with my recovery. If doing that will rest things up, but I can barely eat or sleep now, so I’m sure that my body is hurting significantly more than it’s letting on. Having a cute scale of 1 out of 10 to measure pain works for acute pain.

What happens when your body adjusts to 8/10 pain being its normal?

I am hurting currently in multiple places throughout my back and body, but if I focus on something else, I can stop thinking about it, and so, did that pain go away? Did that pain go to a 0/10? Or is it still the 8/10 that is my average throughout each day? It would be nice to get some pain relief that actually works, because the daily medication I had been prescribed – which ran out a few days ago – wasn’t doing much good.

Why would it?

I look at the scar on my arm, the one that I got when I accidentally poured scalding-hot water on my arm, and the most I said was “ouch” as an obligatory reaction to the situation. I felt the blisters and such for the next month as it healed, but other than that, it didn’t hurt as much as I thought it might. That was in a respite between my headaches earlier this year and now my spine. I’ve had so many health problems over the past year and so much trouble getting any doctor to actually care about me that it’s been rough.

I just have to keep fighting, no matter how weak I am.

Even if I barely have the strength to pick up boxes or do much of anything, let alone the strength to finish writing this essay, I can still try to make that phone call to see what else can be done. Despite all the adversity I’ve faced, all the uncaring doctors, all the false-steps, misdirections, and awful advice, at least this doctor’s office had been nice to me – I suppose to get me in for surgery does profit them, but still, the doctor wanted me to live a nice, healthy life.

I don’t think I can do that without some doctor caring…

Quotes: [1] The insurance company is trying, probably.
Sources: My fitness experiences.
This week’s weight: 206.5
Last week’s weight: 216.5
Difference: [I’m writing this section in the time-travel future of early September. For context, I wrote the rest in late July. I’ve since had spine surgery on August 31 to correct the issue. OK:] Ten pounds down might be my body’s way of adjusting to life without the anesthesia chemicals weighing me down. It was on Monday or Tuesday that I took my first substantial defecation since surgery, so that weight was probably stuck in my body as well.
Inspirations: This thought was stuck in my head and I needed to write about it.
Related: Past weekly column entries. Sober Living essays and Tripping On [The American Healthcare System] chapters.
Pictures: Template
Written On: 2020 July 28 [9:20am to 9:49am]
Last Edited: 2020 July 28 [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.