I’ve been told by some people that they’re proud or even envious of my success livestreaming and bringing together people that enjoy my spoken-word content. When I livestream, I talk for hours in almost a podcast-style manner about my life, the lives of others, or things that I might be doing. That I’m achieving success here is certainly nice, except my health has overall been steady if not declining; not directly as a result, however.
I mean that because my spine hurts sporadically.
On one day I might do not much of anything by having a “good spine day,” and the next be ravaged by a “bad spine day,” without any change in physicality. It’s not like one day I was lifting something heavy and then I hurt the next day. One might assume that since I sit to livestream that this could be causing an impact on my spine. Well, although I get tailbone pain, it hurts the most when I stand, move around, or lie vertically to sleep, and not so much when I’m actually sitting – if I sit well. I basically have to sit with the exacting posture of a saint in order to sit well, but once I am, my body stays put.
I don’t slouch and my posture remains good throughout.
On a few streams, I imagine, there have been instances where my spine has flared up, but when I catch it in time, I can usually reduce the impact of the day-altering pain I suddenly receive. It’s still terrible, but if I can move the pressure of whatever nerve is being pressed on by whatever dagger of physicality is pressing up against the meat of my body, then, I can restore my consciousness to its pre-spine-flare-up state. I can concentrate well enough if the activity is engaging. Watching videogames, playing them, or interacting with others in livestreams is fine, but doing much deep-focused relaxing like watching a show or reading is difficult.
My left foot has also been growing increasingly more numb.
That’s the neuropathy that started in August 2020 and flared up after surgery to the point where my foot feels like it’s asleep all the time, and even when I move it, it feels inflamed and bloated. When I tried to bring this up to the pain management doctor, his empathy could only extend for a few minutes, and only to process me through as quickly as possible, so I couldn’t talk with him about my condition to see if he could give me advice on a fix.
Instead, he considered me borderline well enough to go back to work.
I can do livestreaming or sitting well enough because it’s at my own pace. Work is at the employer’s pace. Even if I were given a work note with all of the timeframe allotments possible, my manager told me when I was having headaches with a work restriction note from a doctor to ignore the doctor’s advising if the employer’s work became burdensome for them. Sacrificing myself for anyone is not a useful situation for me because what happens when I’ve fully sacrificed myself? When my body has fully broken down? Well, as it has, my employer has given me time off, but, if I had proper ergonomics from the beginning, this never would have happened.
My success is within the pits of defeat.
If a majority of my life is dredged in shit, to the point where when I woke up today I was excited by not being burdened by pain beyond your wildest imagination, then it’s the bright spot in my day that people appreciate my work. I did good work today. As I talked with others about topics of my failure and other situations, I drew a picture that celebrated the people that hung out as I drew the picture. I was talking about establishing rules of boundaries, for example, and MechaKong67 provided a good idea that helped me make that clearer for others. In situations like that, I can feel proud about people giving me bits of their time and network bandwidth to hang out with me.
It’s a honor and I try my best to respect that.
All this could go away the moment my spine fails completely. I’ve been gambling this whole time. My spine just flared up before I wrote that previous sentence. Although I received some anti-inflammatory medication, the inflammation in my spine, foot, and hands have increased significantly over the past month. Going to physical therapy, like livestreaming, had some good but overall wasn’t the sort of envious success that one might love and appreciate having.
It’s a pyrrhic victory that’s only marginally worthwhile.
I appreciate the community of people that hang out and listen to me talk for various reasons. When I’m drawing the picture, I like to think about why people might attend a Pokémon Myuu battle. Some might be there to see the specific battle mechanics, others might enjoy a good game, others might be there because they are friends of mine, or others might want to understand more of the morality of a battle of pets that borderlines on dogfighting made for children. I do this because it matches my analysis of why people want to hang out with me. Some may want to see the drawing process, my analytical thinking process, while others might just want to listen to my voice.
The important thing is to honor them and honor that.
My next doctor’s appointment is in three days. I don’t know what will happen at that appointment. At worst, I’ll become in worse physical condition. Some physicals have left me in significantly worse condition than before going. It’s like these doctors have accidentally abused my body and left me in my current condition without relief. I don’t know what will happen then. At best, which knowing my averages is unlikely, we might come up with a gameplan for my recovery.
Expect the worst, but hope for the best…
|Sources: My fitness experiences.
– This week’s weight: 216.5
– Last week’s weight: 214.5
– Weight Difference: Two pounds more
– Difference between writing and editing for publication: The appointment with the sports medicine doctor didn’t get me much further. He was fairly rude on the first visit, but did order a MRI, and so for my follow-up appointment, I recorded the conversation and noticed he was much nicer. He referred me along to a doctor I’ll be seeing on the day this essay publishes, but, my health has been decreasing in quality.
|Inspirations: Someone had mentioned that they were envious in the most positive way possible, in that I had envious success, and they appreciated that, so I wanted to jam on that thought.|
|Related: Past weekly column entries. Sober Living essays and Tripping On [The American Healthcare System] chapters.|
|Written On: 2021 January 29 [11:18pm to 11:44pm]|
|Last Edited: 2020 January 29 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|