[Rowing Machine] 2020: Week 50 {224.5} “Folding Up Rower”

From mid-April when my spine started to hurt until mid-October, I had my new rowing machine taking up most of my dining room. I think I always had wanted to use it throughout the entire process. Asking to have it folded up would have been like letting my spine defeat me, I must have thought, but I’ve become honest with myself, accepting it might still be a few more months before I can row again…

I did some physical activities today that might have inflamed my tailbone pain.

I’m working on a project that I’ll write about at length involving cleaning up my kitchen counters and cupboards and I think somewhere along the way today I managed to overexert myself. I’m dealing with significant physical pain right now. I can’t take any of my post-surgery painkillers because I’m going to be driving over to get a x-ray of my tailbone tomorrow. It’s overwhelming pain and I can’t concentrate too well but I suppose this is about as much pain as I was experiencing toward the end of August, so I’ll accept it for now.

I don’t know how many of my plans for tonight I’ll be able to do.

I am starting to fall behind in the writing schedule that I’ve decided on where I would write two essays per day. I’m “two essays behind,” which is to say, on two days recently, I haven’t felt well enough to write two or more essays. I think it’s better to not write those essays than to force myself to write. I’m tired now and not really feeling especially like writing, but primarily that’s because my tailbone is really flaring up right now.

Today, it’s been worse when I lay down than when I sit.

I took a nap earlier because it was in such severe pain but I woke up to pain. This is becoming a familiar experience for me. Life is fantastic, isn’t it? I feel so tired and yet I can’t sleep. I was able to take a bath, now that my spine surgery wound has completely healed over, and that might have helped cut down on the pain sensations. It’s still difficult for me to maintain my normal sense of self while dealing with this pain. I binge ate some food earlier as, I suppose, a physical release.

I can’t remain disciplined when I’m hurting.

It’s hard to focus right now and it’s hard for me to keep on topic. I was going to write about how unfortunate it is that I’m basically throwing in the towel to row for the next month or two. I have to wait three weeks to see a physiatrist, or sports medicine doctor, about this pain. That’s at least three weeks with my current restrictions – sitting no more than 30 minutes, no bending, no lifting over 15 pounds – and it’s becoming harder to deal with all of this pain.

I suppose at least – finally – I’m making progress on all of this.

I could have cut out the wait by nearly a week had that pain management office responded to my question on that Tuesday instead of Friday about whether they could help. They couldn’t because my request was not going to get them any money. I should have known. I was having communication problems with some of them so I shouldn’t have assumed that, magically, communication problems wouldn’t have affected all of them.

It’s my fault for continuing to trust in the American Healthcare System.

What else can I do? I can’t move anywhere permanently outside of the United States and I can barely even get up to the mailbox let alone the airport to fly to a country with doctors that would be more concerned about my patient care. I’m stuck here. I’m approaching that 30-minute sitting restriction but I barely have the entry to stand, and even if I do, what would I do? Lie down in more pain?

There’s no much else I can do in my current capacity to address this pain.

I’ve even tried doing some stretches, which require bending, and nothing helps. In my current condition, I don’t know when I can row again. I barely feel capable of doing anything at all. I don’t have the energy to stand so how can I do anything else? How can I go back to work in any capacity, even if it’s only sitting in an office chair? I’ve barely had the ability to do anything, it seems, and this is all driving me crazy.

Maybe I’ll feel better tomorrow?

I’m having trouble focusing right now. I will say that now that I’ve given up on rowing in the short-term, it does feel nice to have reclaimed some of my dining room space. The rower is still folded up near the middle of the dining room, but at least I have more access to the four bookshelves in the dining room that store some of the things I’m trying to parse through for downsizing. I’ve figured out how I can start to parse through these things and make progress in clearing out space. When the pain subsides, as it is now, then it’s nice to be able to focus on those things, since it helps to complete some of these outstanding projects and keeps my mind focused on something other than this almost continual, never-ending pain.

It would be nice not to have to use painkillers.

I think tomorrow should be better. If I was too active today then I will know not to do too much tomorrow. If sorting through some cupboards and putting some boxes weighing well under 1 pound up on high shelves is enough to cause me tailbone pain, then, I won’t be doing much of that again for the short-term. Here’s the question: If I’m not rowing, then what’s this series going to be about?

I’ll focus it on the rehabilitation process of getting to the point where I can row and be physically active again.

Quotes: None.
Sources: My fitness experiences.
This week’s weight: 224.5
Last week’s weight: 220.0
Weight Difference: I got some sugary cereal, ate more, and have been less active. Less activity is my current solution for avoiding massive spine pain, so it’s probably not healthy, but it’s what I have to do right now. I also peed two pounds of weight, for what that’s worth.
Difference between writing and editing for publication: As a spoiler for attentive readers, there were no rehabilitation plans from late October. I’d been punted around from one doctor to the next until I got a MRI from the spine surgeon’s clinic, because, hey, it’s their responsibility for me to be better and not worse after surgery, as it turns out…
Inspirations: Writing about my physicality will be the goal of this series. Will I change its name? It’s been running under this same name for years, and I’ve always liked how it’s a double entendre for the physical rowing machine itself along with me as a rowing machine, or, someone that rows and is mechanically good at it. I suppose the upcoming 2021 template image should reflect something like that to help cut down on any potential confusion.
Related: Past weekly column entries. Sober Living essays and Tripping On [The American Healthcare System] chapters.
Pictures: Template
Written On: 2020 October 22 [5:39pm to 6:12pm]
Last Edited: 2020 October 22 [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.