There have been moments throughout this process of spinal degradation where I’ve slept well enough or rested long enough to where I feel like I’m able to take on what I once could even four months ago. The need to fulfill an errand. The desire to clean up around the apartment-mansion. These thoughts are deceptive because while I might be able to get partway there, when my body invariably tears, I’ll be left aloft, unfair.
I’m writing this on the Friday morning before my Monday morning surgery.
I imagine that after surgery, which will take 3.5 hours, I will have a long healing time. I have the medication slip to my left, which I’ll get filled today or tomorrow, and although a seemingly routine list of medications, it’s all new to me. I’ll do what I can to document the journey, but I may be too groggy to write much coherently. I will do what I can to write before the surgery to get my daily writing count in, but after that, it’s all off for at least the rest of the day. Maybe I’ll be able to write? Maybe it’ll make sense?
The deception is the mind’s want to return to normal.
I want this spinal issue to be resolved. I don’t enjoy waking up in such a substantial pain that I don’t want to do anything else throughout the day, so when I woke up this morning feeling great, well, naturally, I wanted to do everything I couldn’t before. I went to pick up that medication slip that was mailed to me, bathed, and am here at my writing desk in no significant amount of pain. It feels nice knowing that I get these occasional respites from pain, but these are the worst to take for granted, because then I could take this as an opportunity to do more than rest. I could get drawn into flights of fancy that could take me various places across my apartment-mansion or abroad. I could even make it all the way and back, but then, invariably, I’ll always feel worse for longer than had I just let my body rest.
If I ever fully learn to pace myself, it’s now.
During this time, but especially after surgery, I will need to do what I can to conserve my energy to avoid any potential complications on Monday morning. Sure, they’ll be going in to fix my spine, but if I, say, lifted weights or engaged in needless tomfoolery, then what would happen to me? This issue would be resolved, but then I’d have others to tend to before I could return to lifting weights or engaging in needless tomfoolery. This, in some sense, is like when one is abroad and thinking about tasks to do at home. They might imagine things like wanting to clean the kitchen sink, sort through a box, or move a bookshelf. The further away they are, the more intense the sensation, so that once they’re home – even for a 30-minute break – they might try to do work surpassing 45 minutes in some gleeful sense of wanting to satiate that desire.
Depending on my schedule, I’ll either stay in or go out to get those meds.
If I go out, then I’ll move as slowly as I feel comfortable so I don’t overdo it, and I’ll make sure to rest as I can. If I don’t, and if I defer the medication pick-up until tomorrow, then today I’ll move not much more than this: walking between my writing desk, the bathroom, and probably bed to rest for a while.
My mind’s need to do more should be met by my body’s need to rest.
This might be a difficult mindset to convey or to imagine for most, but since starting this website, I’ve done as much as I can to keep my life moving forward. This is the first time where… not moving is the way to move my life forward. Over the past few weeks, especially, I’ve reduced any possible activity to just the essentials. On good spine days like this morning, I could even descend then ascend the stairs outside the apartment-mansion with relative ease. In these mindsets, I might forget that my spine is actually in as poor of shape as it is, and I might be determined to do one more thing.
I intentionally prevented myself from doing more today while getting the mail.
Metallica’s S&M2 releases today. I’m listening to it now and it’s everything I’d been hoping for over the past twenty years, I suppose, and I do want a physical copy. I’ve convinced myself, despite my best efforts, that I would prefer picking my own copy today versus asking to have a copy purchased for me or waiting until later. If I wore a jacket to collect my mail early this morning, then I might have found myself going into the store to select a copy, whereas not wearing a jacket for me limited my access to go anywhere. I feel more comfortable wearing a jacket inside stores than a regular shirt, so it was my way to prevent my physicality from being overextended.
I could have always looked for a power wheelchair to use.
But the thing is, the way my mind works, if I plan too far ahead as I need to in my current condition, I can clearly imagine how much effort it will take to get to the store, inside, back to my car, then back home. I can’t mentally count the number of steps, but I imagine there are enough to where getting to the door would be difficult enough. I need to conserve my strength. Doing much more than necessary, even if it’s for an album that I consider my favorite of the year, is too arrogant and could lead to disaster if I’m not careful. My spine might not break there in the store.
However, I just don’t have the energy to tolerate excessive pain anymore.
|Sources: My fitness experiences.
– This week’s weight: 211.5
– Last week’s weight: 216.5
– Difference: In a few weeks, I’ll have a different template for this section, but basically, I’m writing this section on October 11, but I wrote the essay on August 28. I haven’t reread my essay but I can say that the surgery turned out… well… I will leave the surprises up to the readers, but I will say that there were two complications. I am doing better now. I am mobile and walking around. I am not in the same health I was back in March or early April. I had noticed, too, that I was putting on weight because I wasn’t taking care of myself from a diet perspective. I was eating too much junk food instead of hydrating or taking care of myself. So I tracked my calories and dropped off five pounds. We’ll see if that continues on…
|Inspirations: Doing the many pre-surgery errands that need to be done, along with trying to adjust to this abnormality with some normal wants and desires, I suppose.|
|Related: Past weekly column entries. Sober Living essays and Tripping On [The American Healthcare System] chapters.|
|Written On: 2020 August 28 [10:14am to 10:38am]|
|Last Edited: 2020 August 28 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|