If I knew where my health would end up in December when we began 2020, well, it would be tragic. There’s nothing I could have done differently to cause my health to improve throughout 2020. I put in all of the efforts I could to fight for myself. When my spine started hurting as badly as it did in April, little would I know that despite all my best efforts, it would be hurting worse in December.
After noticing my stomach was larger, I weighed myself roughly halfway before my weekly weigh-in only to find that I near put on ten pounds. A pound or two here and there is nothing to be concerned with but that degree of weight increase over that short of a period of time means something’s wrong. I realized I could return to drinking a gallon of water per day. How can I easily measure that amount?
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…
Yesterday, I went to the thrift store and the supermarket. I had the physicality to push a shopping cart and walk around slowly as I looked at various items. Today, I woke up to a headache with lower back pain, including my tailbone. Was the adventure worth the pain I experienced there, and would I do it again? I suppose in some sense, it was good to see where my physicality is at right now.
Although meeting with my spine doctor yesterday, two weeks before he retires, didn’t seemly resolve my hurting tailbone issue, it did introduce a logical solution. I predicted this. He’s retiring and didn’t study my medical records because he was merely assessing my current condition and advising before retiring. He recommended that I talk to my pain management doctor and if my spine had problems… unfortunately… the old spine doctor. It’s been exhausting working through this.
My short-term health goal is waking up and going to bed without experiencing any pain. My long-term health goals have that as the baseline and expand on that through being able to do any light to moderately taxing task I want. I have a heavy-duty jumpsuit I may never wear again because I don’t anticipate doing any heavy labor work again. If I can achieve those goals, I’ll be happy with my overall physical health.
I don’t know how long it before I can row another good set. I’ll either wake up unexpectedly to some new spine pain or will feel moderate to severe spinal discomfort now. I can’t sit that much. I skipped my thirty-minute timer to stand and walk around before writing this essay because I just woke up and felt well enough, but now I’m starting to feel moderate discomfort. I’ll probably rest after finishing this essay.
“There is a 10% chance of reinjury.” I suppose that statement from my current spine doctor answers the question about whether I will ever truly return to 100% physicality again. Even though I imagine I can start rowing again by this essay’s publication, while writing this in mid-September, I’m not sure to what capacity I’ll row again. Do I need/want two rowers? I can still exercise and get into better health, but the specter of reinjury looms…
I had my first physical therapy session since I had my surgery and my second since my old spine doctor wrote a prescription for physical therapy. I would have gone more than that, but I was in so much pain prior to surgery that I couldn’t tolerate much more. Even now, I can’t do much, but it’s still nice to be able to go again. I’ll next go after visiting with my new spine doctor.
Even though I don’t feel 100% better after my surgery four days ago, and also haven’t defecated in that long although I have urinated, I am feeling well enough to walk around without substantial spinal pain, which is a marked improvement for me. The day after I got home from surgery, it took 30-45 minutes to stand up from the toilet. The next day, 10-15 minutes. Now, it’s less than 5 minutes and only expending minor energy toward standing.