Although I’ve just got into better health here over the past three weeks, I still want to get back to my old pace, and I keep having to remind myself to… no… take a break. If there’s anything I can do to get into better health, it’s not pushing myself as hard for so long. I’ve trained myself to be motivated through years of writing and rowing. It’s OK for me to take a break.
Physical therapy has been great for me to address some of the hidden patterns I had physically learned that, over thirty-plus years, caused the issues that sent me almost unnecessarily through the American Healthcare System. How much of that could have been avoided by simple preventative maintenance through learning the basics in compulsory education and having readily available gyms at trivial prices available to all? Well, that might just be being sensitive about the topic…
“Think of it like building blocks. You’re building yourself back up.” The physical therapist then exaggerated how I was slouched over, most comfortable for me, with having a hyper-corrected posture, to a middle ground that was more focused on better posture from the lower back than the upper back. He continued by telling me that the trick is to catch myself when my posture is not ideal, and practice better posture frequently throughout the day.
I missed rowing. I missed the notion of getting on my rower twice-daily and getting some of my physical stress out. It was never that much, especially lately, since I didn’t want to burn myself out. Now that we’ve figured out my neck was the source of my headaches, and my neck stretches are helping to fix the issue, I’m back and feeling better than ever. I’ll need to work on figuring out more stretches.
It feels good to be back into rowing again. Even at a light pace, there’s just something about getting on the machine and losing myself in the motions for a time that’s nice. After four physical therapy sessions with increasingly positive results after each other than mild back strains, an “unremarkable” MRI, and otherwise bouncing back well, I was told to get back into rowing. I noticed some minor pangs, but so far, so good.
I’m not sure why I didn’t get a stronger reaction when I told the nurse and doctor that I couldn’t exercise because of my headaches. The most plausible reasons are that the nurse was going too fast and Doctor-Number-Nine didn’t know me. Even Neurologist-Number-Two/Doctor-Number-Eight was perplexed. I imagine once the headaches decrease from constantly and daily to mere memories, then I’ll be more likely to be able to exercise without getting any sort of headache.
“It’s not going well.”
“Can you try to go into your safe space?”
“Yeah, that place isn’t helping.”
“Did it turn into a vat of acid?”
My colleague and I both laughed, but somewhere between leaving my apartment-mansion and getting into work, my health had declined to such a degree that I was seeing psychedelic migraine auras. I had to leave about a half-hour later. I hate feeling so sick I can’t even think clearly.
I got in three good sets while my health was good before my headaches started to return with calm vengeance. It wasn’t enough of a return to be concerning, and I still have another few days before I see Neurologist-Number-Two/Doctor-Number-Eight or -Nine, if my symptoms continue to worsen at the pace they were before. I still feel sick and tired, but at least I’m somewhat more mobile than I was before my emergency room trip
As I wrote about in “Headache’s Root Cause,” I had been subconsciously wanting a spot where I could just roll around on the carpet and stretch my muscles as I read. I might be a fidgety reader, so having a place where I can stretch my muscles, stretch my mind, then rest both has been helpful for me. I’m not sure of the best reading-on-the-floor posture yet, so I just read however it feels comfortable.
For seventeen days, I could not row. The rower was waiting for me the whole time but my health was in such poor condition that any superfluous movement could have caused lasting pain. My tension headaches were a constant annoyance. My migraines were occasional showstoppers. The pangs of whatever you want to call them scared me. I’ve been mostly headache-free now for a day and a half. I’ll take it. I’m working toward lasting improvement.