Category: health

Sick is Relative

I’ve been sick for the past few days (sigh, moan, complain), and it’s given me time to lie in bed and think. And one of the thoughts that’s kept repeating in my head is the concept that feelings are all relative. That how I feel when I’m sick might be entirely different than how someone else feels.

In other words, maybe at my most sickest, when I feel absolutely horrible. that’s what someone else feels as “mild discomfort.” I just don’t know, right?The same is true for pain. We all have different tolerances for pain, but maybe that’s also because we all perceive it differently.

From there, you can move on to just about any feeling you’d like to talk about. Love. Fear. Anxiety. Hate. They’re intangible things, and so there’s no real way to know if the thing we’re feeling matches up evenly to what other people are feeling.

I remember when I was in high school, I was in a Dixie Band. We’d go around and play at a lot of senior citizen centers. It was a fun group, and I really enjoyed it. But there were a lot of us, and some of those rooms weren’t large. You get saxes, clarinets, tubas, trumpets, trombones, and more into a small room, and it’s going to be loud. The elderly people didn’t mind: they just turned their hearing aids down. For them, even sound was relative.

So there you have it. My deep thought for the day. How sick am I feeling? Yesterday was “rotten.” Today I’d say “pretty bad.” But what does that mean to you? I have no idea.

Here’s hoping I feel “better” tomorrow . . .

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Like what you’ve read? Please consider supporting me on Patreon. Thanks to all my Patrons who support me! It only takes a minute or two, and then it’s automatic from there on out. I’ve been posting my book ICHABOD in installments, as well as chapters from UTOPIA. Check it out.

If you’d rather not sign up for Patreon, you can also support the site by clicking the MEMORY THIEF Amazon link on the right of the page. That will take you to Amazon, where you can buy my books or anything else. During that visit, a portion of your purchase will go to me. It won’t cost you anything extra.



Slouching Away from Shoulder Pain

I’m a tall guy. And as many tall people can tell you, the urge to slouch is practically irresistible. For as long as I can remember, people have been telling me to sit up straight. And (obviously) for as long as I can remember, I haven’t been.

Some of it is because I’m in front of a computer, focusing on other things for so much of each day. I’ll start off with the best of intentions, and then within the first few minutes, I’ll forget myself and not think of it for the next long while. It’s just more comfortable to slouch.

Except when it’s not. As part of my physical therapy routine for my shoulder pain, my therapist has really been hammering the need for me to stop slouching. Apparently (as with many things), slouching is something a young body might be able to get away with, but an increasingly older body doesn’t handle it nearly as well.

Thankfully, my therapist hasn’t just told me to stop slouching. He’s the first person who has ever explained to me just how not to slouch.

Up until now, when people would tell me to sit up straight, I would concentrate on using the muscles around my spine to do the trick. (I’m not up on my anatomy lessons, so forgive the generalities.) This time, my therapist explained that the muscles I need to be using are my shoulder muscles. Apparently, those muscles are supposed to be always tight, keeping my shoulders back and in place. They’re indefatigable, like the Terminator.

Except mine aren’t, because mine are lazy.

So I’ve been really focusing on keeping those shoulder muscles tight. It’s a painful process, and I forget myself (still), but it’s less painful than the other approaches I’ve used, and I can actually feel it working, which encourages me. (And the shoulder pain is going away, which is even better!)

Will this finally be the trick that solves all my slouching problems? I hope so. Though in the end, it’s up to me and how faithful I am at following orders. If my track record is any indication, I’m going to need a lot of help.

So if you see me around, remind me to keep those shoulder muscles tight. I need all the reminders I can get.

Thanks!

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Like what you’ve read? Please consider supporting me on Patreon. Thanks to all my Patrons who support me! It only takes a minute or two, and then it’s automatic from there on out. I’ve been posting my book ICHABOD in installments, as well as chapters from UTOPIA. Check it out.

If you’d rather not sign up for Patreon, you can also support the site by clicking the MEMORY THIEF Amazon link on the right of the page. That will take you to Amazon, where you can buy my books or anything else. During that visit, a portion of your purchase will go to me. It won’t cost you anything extra.



The Joys of Insomnia

Not that I really want to have two complain-y posts in a row, but my word was my sleep last night bad. I got home from High Council at 10:40, and I was starving, since I’d skipped my nightly shake. (When you’re only eating around 1,500 calories a day, and 500 of those calories come from your nightly shake, you really notice when you haven’t eaten it.)

Since I don’t think it’s healthy to just eat 1,000 calories in a day (when you’re 6’2″ and over 180, at least), I made my shake when I got home. I knew in the back of my head that I had to get up at 5:25 to take Tomas to seminary in the morning, but I also knew I wasn’t feeling tired, having just gotten out of the car after a 1.5 hour ride.

So I had my shake and then tried to convince my brain it wanted to go to sleep.

It had other plans.

I read for a while, and then it was 11:45, and I was feeling a fair bit of pressure to get to sleep, seeing as how I had to get up in less than six hours. I know my body, and I know I can make do with seven hours of sleep just fine. Six is when I start to lose some functionality. Knowing that I was already under six hours . . . it didn’t do any wonders for my ability to get to sleep, especially since I was already an hour and a half past the time I typically fall asleep.

I used to have insomnia pretty bad. Back when Tomas was a baby, I’d regularly be awake until 2am or so, just because I couldn’t fall asleep. I’ve conquered that primarily by having a regular sleep schedule, avoiding naps, and getting up each morning before 8am, no matter what (for the most part). That’s great for almost all occasions, but every now and then, I take a significant departure from my sleep schedule, and things get difficult.

Usually, it’s when I know I can sleep in a bit extra the next morning. Going to bed at midnight and knowing I can sleep until 7:30 makes a big difference. But trying to sleep when each minute that passes makes you further concerned you’re going to be exhausted the next day?

Not easy at all.

I think I finally drifted off around 1am. MC showed up in our room around . . . 2? 3? She’d had a nightmare. I woke up and couldn’t fall asleep again for another half hour or so.

Suffice it to say, I’m on the sleepy side today.

So to all you people who suffer from chronic insomnia, I just wanted to take a moment and say I remember what it’s like to be one of you, and I’m sorry for what you’re going through. Reminders like these are no fun at all.

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Like what you’ve read? Please consider supporting me on Patreon. Thanks to all my Patrons who support me! It only takes a minute or two, and then it’s automatic from there on out. I’ve been posting my book ICHABOD in installments, as well as chapters from UTOPIA. Check it out.

If you’d rather not sign up for Patreon, you can also support the site by clicking the MEMORY THIEF Amazon link on the right of the page. That will take you to Amazon, where you can buy my books or anything else. During that visit, a portion of your purchase will go to me. It won’t cost you anything extra.

Pain in the Shoulder

Back in July, give or take, I was out playing (losing at) tennis. I like to play tennis. I took a few years of lessons growing up, and it’s a fun, low-impact sport. Except I’m also competitive, and I don’t do a whole ton of physical activity. So of course, when I’m behind, I play harder.

I remember thinking, “This time, I’m really going to serve it well. Hard.” So I put all my oomph into it.

Something snapped in my shoulder. Not that it fell off or anything, but I felt it give way. It hurt some, and I knew it probably was a bad thing, but I played through the pain, and it seemed to improve.

Except it didn’t.

It came back, slowly but surely. While I was in Europe, I was driving stick, using my right hand all the time, the same hand that was attached to that shoulder. The pain got worse and worse, to the point that when I came back from Europe, it was really bad. Bad enough I wasn’t using the arm for anything. Bad enough that if I stuck it out in front of me, it wasn’t really bearable.

I had a physical therapist friend look at it, and he said he thought it was impingement syndrome. Part of the tendon was rubbing the wrong way against the shoulder bone. He gave me a few exercises to do to get over it. I did those more or less faithfully. It hurt at first, but the pain eventually subsided.

Except it’s still been there, lurking in the shadows. And here we are more than 5 months later. I finally decided it wasn’t going to go away on its own. Rather than ask a friend for a favor again, this time I went to my doctor and got an official referral.

When I showed up at my friend’s office, he kind of laughed it off, telling me we’d be able to do some more exercises, and chances were I wouldn’t have to come back again for another paid visit. Of course, then he actually did some tests. I didn’t think my shoulder was any different than my working one. But once we did those tests, I saw it’s not as flexible, and it’s not nearly as strong.

It’s got some real issues. Not serious ones, but ones that will need some work to improve. I’m glad I didn’t continue to ignore it.

So I’ve got a slew of exercises to do again, and I’ll be going back weekly for at least the next month or so. Fun times, but I’m thankful for insurance and modern medicine. Having shoulder pain isn’t fun, and I’d rather be rid of it than not.

Wish me luck.

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Like what you’ve read? Please consider supporting me on Patreon. Thanks to all my Patrons who support me! It only takes a minute or two, and then it’s automatic from there on out. I’ve been posting my book ICHABOD in installments, as well as chapters from UTOPIA. Check it out.

If you’d rather not sign up for Patreon, you can also support the site by clicking the MEMORY THIEF Amazon link on the right of the page. That will take you to Amazon, where you can buy my books or anything else. During that visit, a portion of your purchase will go to me. It won’t cost you anything extra.

After a Run of Seven Months

All winter, I kept dodging getting sick. Tomas has been sick like four times, Denisa’s gotten sick. DC and MC have been sick multiple times as well. Meanwhile, my last round of sick was at the end of October. Each time someone in the house would get sick, I’d gear up, getting ready to come down with it as well. That’s just been par for the course for me for so long.

But I kept taking my multivitamins, kept exercising, and kept to my sleep schedule, and each time, I didn’t get sick. (This all goes back to a news article I read a while ago about how seldom NFL players get sick. They said it might have something to do with how active they were. So I upped my activity level back then with specific goal of being less sick.)

It’s definitely worked. I’m in the best shape of my life. (Which, mind you, doesn’t mean a whole lot . . .)

Yet all good things must come to an end, and Monday, I had the dreaded tickle in the back of my throat. I kept exercising, took more vitamins, but Tuesday, it was a full sore throat, and then I had a conference I forced myself to go to yesterday, and . . .

I’m definitely sick. Blarg. Hopefully I’ll be on the mend soon, but for now, I’m staying put and watching movies.

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