[Rowing Machine] 2020: Week 47 {217.5} “Health I Want”

My short-term health goal is waking up and going to bed without experiencing any pain. My long-term health goals have that as the baseline and expand on that through being able to do any light to moderately taxing task I want. I have a heavy-duty jumpsuit I may never wear again because I don’t anticipate doing any heavy labor work again. If I can achieve those goals, I’ll be happy with my overall physical health.

I last took post-surgery Oxycodone five days ago.

The physical stress of my body adjusting to life after surgery has been tolerable on most days, but it’s been increasingly more difficult. I needed to take one today after dealing with the mental stress of the phone call I wrote about yesterday. I wouldn’t say it was mental stress manifesting as physical stress as much as both working in tandem to take me down. I don’t know how I’ll be able to manage my pain thresholds before returning back to work, but obviously taking Oxycodone every week or every four days won’t work. My body is still healing itself from the surgery.

The wound is still draining, albeit at a slower pace than last week.

Before I return to work, one would hope that it would be a requirement that I’m not in constant pain, but part of that phone call implied that there would or could be a transitionary period where I might be forced into work sooner rather than later. I’m concerned about my health because when I had headaches earlier this year, and my manager told me to ignore the restrictions on taking additional breaks as advised by a doctor when ‘we’ got busy, I know that he doesn’t care about my health. He might say it in a thousand different ways, but it’s actions like telling me to ignore my health to serve the company that doesn’t bode well for me.

What if my manager hadn’t said that?

I might actually have felt more confident about transitioning back to work. Yesterday, I wanted to go out to walk an errand, however, I woke up with decreased physicality from the day before, and yesterday I woke up with decreased physicality from the day before that. I don’t know how to manage my health at this point anymore. I feel lost and confused in all of this. Taking that Oxycodone was helpful in alleviating the pain symptoms I couldn’t otherwise treat. I was feeling overwhelming physical pain and resting wasn’t helping. The mental pain was easy enough to decompress, after I distanced myself from the situation, even if the stress was still there enough to write about at length.

I have days where I can barely even leave my apartment.

How can I get back to work in my current condition if I can’t even go to an ATM and back home? I would like to be able to do the following, but with how I’m feeling now, it feels more like a pipedream than anything that could actually happen: wake, write, row, drive to work, work, drive to an errand such as maybe a grocery store, drive home, row, write, sleep. Back in March, that seemed like such an easy thing that it was almost a routine. Before that, there was nothing to it. I remember over the years I’d feel guilty if I didn’t row because I knew then that there were so many people out there that could not row as I could, so I would only not row if I knew that it wouldn’t help me feel good.

Now, I don’t know when I can row again.

Will it be in December? January? I don’t want to guess never but I’m not feeling confident today. Will I feel more confident tomorrow? Maybe tomorrow, I’ll optimistically consider that I’ll start rowing again at a light pace within a month? I just don’t know. My biggest worry will be next week. I’ll meet with my current spine doctor before he retires where we’ll talk about where I’m at with my physical health. If I write at length about where I am with my current physical health, he might be able to advise how I can achieve my long-term goals. The most he said about that before was to try to get me into physical therapy, but the last two times I went, both before surgery and shortly after, I was in no condition to do any sort of physical activity.

I feel better now compared to then, but I’m hurting much more today than then.

Do I need to return to taking Oxycodone multiple times per day, daily, or every other day to start the momentum of getting back into good physical health? That jumpsuit of mine I mentioned before the jump was one I think I last used when I chopped down a tree and cut out its root-ball. I don’t anticipate needing to do anything like that again. I might want to do some more physical work on occasion in the future, but with the 10% chance of my spine slipping another disc looming in my mind when I do any physical activity, I suppose it’s fair to not feel confident.

What can I do, though?

That was the same question I asked pre-surgery and it seems like the main difference now is that some parts of my physicality are better. Compared to my pre-surgery thoughts, where I didn’t know if I could do anything physical again, now I might phrase my thoughts as questions. How long will it take before I can do things like go to the grocery store without experiencing pain? Work? Row? Or, will I have to live with constant, minor pain for the rest of my life, with some days where I’ll have bad spine days or bad pain days? That’s where it will be important for me to have established my short-term health goal.

How many days until I have a day without pain again?

Quotes: None.
Sources: My fitness experiences.
This week’s weight: 217.5
Last week’s weight: 219.0
– Weight Difference: When I am in severe pain like I am as I am writing this section in mid-November, I don’t have the energy to cook anything, so I lose weight.
Difference between writing and editing for publication: I’m still waiting for that mythical day of being without pain, and actually, compared to late-September, I am in overall worse pain more often now in mid-November. I can’t do much of anything anymore in life. All of my days are spent in pain. It’s as awful as it sounds.
Inspirations: This essay’s title was inspired by “CDs I Want.” There was going to be a third-parter but I skipped the thought and wrote something else instead.
Related: Past weekly column entries. Sober Living essays and Tripping On [The American Healthcare System] chapters.
Pictures: Template
Written On: 2020 September 29 [9:52pm to “when I do any physical activity” at 10:19pm; 10:34pm to 10:37pm]
Last Edited: 2020 September 29 [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.