I don’t know how long it before I can row another good set. I’ll either wake up unexpectedly to some new spine pain or will feel moderate to severe spinal discomfort now. I can’t sit that much. I skipped my thirty-minute timer to stand and walk around before writing this essay because I just woke up and felt well enough, but now I’m starting to feel moderate discomfort. I’ll probably rest after finishing this essay.
I suppose this is progress from before surgery.
While I have new and different spine pains, I am able to walk around more often now. I’ve been able to walk around to some stores without experiencing significant pain. Insignificant, sure, like yesterday where I walked up until the cereal aisle then needed to stand and rest for a few minutes while my body recovered. If you would have told me before April that I’d be in this condition in late September, initially I might not have believed you, then I might have tried to figure out everything I could to stop it.
Will I have returned to rowing by the time you read this in mid-November?
It’s been three and a half weeks since my surgery and I only feel like I’ve made some progress in my physicality. I suppose that’s because my health took a serious decline over the four-month period between when I left work on medical leave and then now. Four months shouldn’t be enough time to go from physically fit to physically weak, but here we are, and my road to recovery may not be quick. I turned the air-resistance lever on my rower down from 10 to about 4 the other day, and had wondered if there was enough subtle dust that had collected to warrant cleaning up around that area.
I don’t yet feel confident enough to get back on my rower.
I’ll wait for my follow-up appointment with my current spine doctor to explain how my body has been responding to see if there’s anything else we should do. I have physical therapy scheduled for one week after my appointment. Will my tailbone heal up by the follow-up or physical therapy? I can’t currently do much strenuous activity without needing to take Oxycodone. I took one yesterday because I woke up to significant spine pain and it lasted through most of my trip where I was driven to the post office, I walked there, and then to the aforementioned grocery store, where I walked around as well.
How long will I need these two canes to walk around on?
When I’m at home, there are times where I don’t need both canes, but when I walk outside, I do. I don’t think it’s some allergic reaction to the outside air. I think it’s the logistical challenges of putting on my shoes, walking down my stairs, getting in the car, sitting for potentially extended periods of time, walking around, then returning home.
If I had any doubt about the Spoon theory of chronic fatigue before, I don’t anymore.
I do feel closer now than pre-surgery to making progress in downsizing items around the apartment-mansion. When I stand and walk around, I’ll use one cane to pick up an empty small- or medium-sized box, and precariously stack it in another area. I’ve come up with a decent gameplan on reducing some of the bigger items that have cluttered up the most space the longest. I can use these smaller boxes for donations to clear out space. I’m doing all of this slowly, however, since I don’t want to risk any reinjury. It’s nice to know that I can do some of this again, whereas pre-surgery all I could do is wake, use the restroom, sit at my writing computer, bathe, dress, and rest without having significant enough pain without any sort of relief to make those days difficult.
While I feel impatient about returning to good health, I know it will take time.
There might be days in the future where I can carry boxes of heavy items. What I’ll try to do at this point is moderate those sensations. If I can’t sit down for more than 30 minutes without minor to excessive tailbone pain, if I can’t reliably go through a week without needing at least one moderate-strength painkiller, and if my energy levels are still poor enough to where I need to take an extended nap during the day or if not I’m tired enough at night to… not sleep more than four hours… then I can’t plan to move boxes of things around the apartment-mansion or to places to sell or donate.
My main strategy over the next few weeks is doing what I can to physically recover.
If I can put together a box of things to donate on my next thrift store meandry, then, sure, that will be helpful. I have a half-filled box of shirts I want to donate. Once I’m out more, I have a large percentage of my videogame collection that I’d like to sell, and there are some local stores that I’m thinking will be good places for those sales. I’d also like the physical strength to return back to work. I’d be fine with the significant reduction in recreational time because going back would mean being able to do everything I could before I went on medical leave: wake up without physical pain, go to work, work, go home, and generally exist without significant pain.
That’d be nice, right?
All of the actions I’ve been doing, other than sitting here for almost one hour now, have been focused on that “prize,” if you will. That prize means I can work, then stop off somewhere on the way home – like a thrift store for a donation, a videogame store to sell a box of videogames, or even return to private sales – with enough energy left over to write about those adventures and still enjoy life.
That “prize” is close yet so far away…
|Sources: My fitness experiences.
– This week’s weight: 219.0
– Last week’s weight: 219.5
– Weight Difference: Half a pound. I guess I shouldn’t be overly worried here, but I put on a significant amount of weight since my surgery.
– Difference between writing and editing for publication: Live hasn’t been too kind to me lately. I would hope things will sort themselves out soon but that’s always the problem: I hope for the best, expect the worst, and then when the worst happens, I guess I didn’t expect it well enough, so then it bothers me more than it should.
|Inspirations: In previous weeks, I haven’t used these Rowing essays to focus on my physical health because I’ve done that in the Tripping On essays, but I should try to do that more now that things seem to be generally improving. Sure, I don’t like the minor setbacks and these senses of not improving as quickly as I’d like, but that’s life, isn’t it?|
|Related: Past weekly column entries. Sober Living essays and Tripping On [The American Healthcare System] chapters.|
|Written On: 2020 September 24 [4:44am to 5:22am]|
|Last Edited: 2020 September 24 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|