[Tripping On…] How This Feels

I just woke up from overwhelming spinal pain. How do I feel now? My body mostly feels numb, but I prefer this feeling over what forced me away from consciousness for a few hours. Being trapped here, in a sense, in this body that is so numb and yet with the occasional fury of pain, beats any furious outright pain. I expect pain after surgery, but it shouldn’t be anywhere as life-draining as this pain.

I’m writing this as I lie on my back.

This may not be the best position for me but it’s the only one that currently feels ok. I have a new body pillow, not a dakimakura, that I can use, but haven’t tried. I don’t want to move my torso because it is still in a massive amount of pain, but at least here, it is manageable.

It is a quiet pain.

I could move around, and possibly even get out of bed, but I feel so drained of energy now that I can’t move. Or, rather, I would prefer to go back to sleep to recover even an ounce of strength.

The pain radiates throughout my entire body.

It is an oppressive pain. Wiggling my toes or moving my feet feels mostly natural but there are motions that feel weird. Moving my feet ties to my leg which ties to my spine.

I should get up.

After a two-minute effort, no, unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get any physical progress toward moving. I spent some more time imaging scenes from “The Story.” Trishna asks her service dog, Pollyanna, to ‘go get mama’ for help with getting out of bed. She has a bad spine for different reasons.

With that mental distraction, I uncovered myself from my bedsheets.

I almost feel ready to move. There are two obligations I have today. First, I should call my insurance company again in the next hour for two broad questions. Second, mail with my prescription should be in my mailbox, so I should make a special trip to secure that. I could defer both, but if I don’t, I will be in a more comfortable position tomorrow.

I moved my left leg down and moved my right leg around.

For a distraction to my existing physicality, I looked up something I’ve been eyeing to buy, but am unsure of where to buy it. I may need to call in a favor in buying it: Metallica’s S&M2. S&M is my favorite album so I’m excited enough to want to own it. It will be a nice physical post-surgery distraction for me to peruse, so I think it’s worth calling in the favors.

I feel inspired to move upright …and did.

I heard the crack of some muscle or joint as I did, from my left side, but now I’m seated and hunched over with my elbows on my legs, and this feels less oppressive. I might even be able to make that phone call within the hour. I should do laundry, too, to get ahead on that.

There is so much to do, and yet, it’s all optional.

The only big things I need to worry about are paying my bills. I do them manually out of habit, but I should set them to automatic. The laundry could wait, but it will keep piling up. The call could wait, but the peace of mind will be helpful. Retrieving the letter could wait, but that way I can confirm with the spine doctor’s office that I have it so we don’t need to figure out an alternative where I might have to drive up to their office to retrieve the prescription list.

Sitting folded up like this is more comfortable than upright.

Sitting upright put some pressure on my spine that was too uncomfortable. I don’t know how I’ll do these three physical activities, but I feel more able to do them than I did when I started writing.

Let’s start with standing upright.

After I stood upright, I checked my laundry, and decided I’d rather do the laundry after I get that letter, so I made the call over to my insurance. I lucked out, yet again, with a representative that was willing to work with me and that call was only 20 minutes. Everything there is squared away, so now I should decide if I should go out tonight to get that letter or wait until tomorrow. If I wait, then I can enjoy this mild-pain evening, but if I go, it’s possible that I could end up hurting significantly more. While I don’t enjoy pain, as a general rule, I prefer getting things done in a timely manner, and getting that letter squared away will mean I can send an email over to my spine doctor’s office with an update that I have received the letter.

I should, then, plan to go after completing this essay.

I thought of an alternative. I have a service that sends me emails when I get physical letters so I can know that I should be expecting that letter in my mailbox this evening. If I wait until tomorrow, I initially thought it would end up being later tomorrow morning, putting me in a bad spot for coordinating hypothetically bad situations, in case the letter didn’t arrive, for example. But then, as I explored this thought, I realized that I can wait until tomorrow morning, because only if I complete the objective before their office opens at around 10am tomorrow. If so, I can send that email confirming whether or not the letter arrived. Deferring moving around more than necessary until tomorrow so my body can rest will be the best plan of action for me. I’ll, therefore, lean into this alternative. In previous years, I’d worry that I would procrastinate or forget to do this, but the nice thing about keeping a calendar and remaining discipline is this:

Completing this task tomorrow shouldn’t be a problem since I want it done.

Quotes: None.
Sources: My personal experiences.
Inspirations: Waking up in substantial enough pain to not being able to get out of bed for at least one hour seems to happen to many of us, but in my situation, it seemed worthwhile to document the process and the results of my efforts.
Related: Sober Living essays and Tripping On [The American Healthcare System] chapters.
Picture: Template
Written On: 2020 August 27 [From to 2:03pm to “let’s start with standing upright” at 2:44pm in Gdocs.] [From 4:34pm to 4:48pm]
Last Edited: 2020 August 27 [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.