There is a pain that has lingered for days now. It is on the left side of my back, a few inches up from the opposite side of my belly button, and when the physical therapist, “Doctor-Number-Fourteen,” massaged that particular area, he saw what appeared to be a cyst. He reasoned that it was probably closer to a muscular-skeletal issue, however, it was a possible cause for the issues I’m encountering, preventing me from rowing.
While I don’t want to start off by asking something aggressive like “how’re your New Year’s Resolutions going?,” we should always continually check in with ourselves to see how we’re progressing toward our goals. In terms of fitness, I could be doing better, but I could be doing significantly worse, too, so I’d say, overall I’m optimistic. My main goal has been to burn off weight, which I’m doing. My secondary goal is rowing better…
I’m in a conundrum. My physicality has been so negatively afflicted by stress that my body cannot move in certain positions without hurting. I can’t do many of the stretches I could months ago. The physical therapy I’ve been prescribed is helping with my flexibility, which is helping, but it’s also hurting. One hour of stretches with a trained physical therapist can lead to days of immobility and pain. What to do, what to do…
Within twenty minutes of my hour physical therapy session, I was tired, and by forty-five minutes in I had reached my limits. I didn’t even do that many stretches. My body had just been so sore overall. The physical therapist had found a knot on my right side that, although it alleviated some of the pain, did later lead to some back pain. It’s all on the course to healing, but it’s still rough going.
How can I level up my fitness? Let’s look at how I’ve done so since I started writing about fitness over three years ago, starting with what’s helped me the most: counting calories. For the first two years, I didn’t count my calories, but I was active enough and restrictive enough of my diet to not frequently binge-eat. Now, I use a calorie counter to balance my consumption of nutrients and predict my energy levels.
I haven’t rowed in eleven days. Until today*, my lower spine has been unreliable with not reacting in pain to any major movements. I often woke up sore or hurting. Sometimes, I woke up, then went back to bed. I haven’t even been able to call up my physical therapist’s office to schedule an appointment. I believe I have twelve appointments for this new symptom, but only now am I feeling like acting on it.
I met with Doctor-Number-Thirteen and Doctor-Number-Nine without physically meeting them. With current events interrupting normalcy, perhaps even ravaging traditional society, it was less than three months ago that I wouldn’t have considered meeting doctors remotely. Not just for fiction research, but going to a doctor’s office was always just how it’s been. I hadn’t even thought that -Nine would have videoconferencing capabilities. Three months ago, no way, but going forward, this might be the norm.
My mind was so taxed that I spent hours – although not as many as this screenshot would suggest – enraptured in Pokémon LeafGreen. The idea crept in quickly. I stayed up too late playing. However, the need to play was so fierce that I had to comply. Were I not, then that harmless vice of playing videogames for some hours might be usurped by more dangerous vices. How can I play videogames… while still living my life?
It’s tough to get the motivation to do much of anything when my back, shoulders, neck, and therefore head all hurt to such a degree that I lose any creativity or ability to think with any nuance or mulit-task-icity… There’s not much I can do without drastic changes to everything, so I’ve just stopped rowing for a few days, and have done what I’ve could to rest my back. It’s been helpful but only somewhat.
Late into my PT sessions, I learned about foam rollers. They’re these cylindrical pipes of solid hard styrofoam that you can roll around on. I have a short one to stretch out my shoulders. When I laid my torso on the long one, I found that my left shoulder was an inch off. What I’ll be trying to do now is stretch out my back, shoulders, and neck several times a week to avoid headaches.