Altitude Sickness, Column

Altitude Sickness

By Brady Crain

Recovery continues apace. The second round of steroids did the trick, and now when I walk I am nearly completely pain free, and when I swim or ride my trainer, I am pain free.

I am still icing many of the hours a day (I had to get four ice packs, and that still isn’t enough to get them truly cold between uses.)

After a stern talking-to by a surgical nurse, I have totally chilled out on the walking distances (though I honestly feel better when I am going longer distances), keeping it to two or three two-mile walks per day. Hopefully when I see my surgical team Monday I will get the go-ahead for pushups, pullups, crunches, bending, twisting, and easing my way back into softball.

For 28 years, I had never really gone more than 24 hours without doing about a hundred crunches, and I feel unrest deep in my bones. Thankfully the nerve pain has backed off-post surgery. I am hoping that it is caused entirely by swelling/inflammation, and not by continued nerve impingement.

I am spending so much time either in front of a TV, akindle, my phone, or my computer, that it is actually affecting my eyesight adversely, and I am starting to lose distance vision (this has happened to me periodically when I spend too much time looking at screens, and it always comes back when I start getting outside more, and if that doesn’t work, a bottle of cod liver oil usually does the trick).

I have grown so bored that I have taken to doing sudoku and playing chess constantly. This has been a revelation, two things that I have never understood have become fairly clear to me.

Sudoku was especially interesting, because once you learn how to solve them, you just know, and that is that, it is like having your ears pop. Solving time varies, of course, because difficulty varies, but once you have the method for solving them, that is that.

Chess, on the other hand, is a much bigger beast. I have never been very good at it, because I tend to act impulsively. That said, learning chess has been a great exercise in stopping, looking, assessing risk, and moving in a considerate fashion. I am now functioning at or above a 500 level in chess, and I am considering joining the chess club in Rutland with my mother (she has also always wanted to learn chess). I was unaware that Rutland even had a chess club!

I am also doing word searches, words with friends, etc., anything to pass the time when I would normally be out breaking myself in half. I am also reading a lot of books.

I have a lot of plans for when I get the go-ahead to be an active person again, but I will not unveil them until I know that I can do them.

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