Altitude Sickness, Column

Boredom, withdrawal, healing

By Brady Crain

Thee healing chronicles continued: I have good days, and I have bad days. The thing that gets me down the most is not really being able to move my torso at all.

Luckily, tomorrow I will be allowed to start lifting weights with 20 pounds in each hand, as long as I am not bending at the waist or twisting. I can swim laps and I can ride by bike trainer.

On day 13, I blew out the record books and walked three times, totaling 16.1 miles, and felt great. I felt so great that dialing back my mileage has kind of hurt.  But, per nurse, P.A. and surgeon orders, I have since been instructed to dial back my mileage. I am to stop before experience pain, not after. Though I rankle at this, I have been instructed to walk two miles, three times a day, which is reasonable for anyone who isn’t bored out of their skull.

And I, my friends, am bored out of my skull. I am the kind of bored that leads to bad decisions.  I am the kind of bored where I sit, eyeing my yoga mat with envy, hearing the voice inside my head say, “Maybe tomorrow you could walk 20 miles, and do yoga!”

“You feel good!  Go ahead and jog a little!”

“You got this.”

“Everybody does a hundred crunches two weeks after spine surgery.”

“You got this.”

The voices go on and on. I am pretty sure that I am going through withdrawal from endorphins, norepinephrine, and adrenaline. I hate withdrawal. Though the post-anesthesia loneliness and blues have abated, I am now in a stimulus free neurotransmitter wasteland.

So the nerve pain comes and goes. The steroids were definitely beneficial, and coming free from them hurt enough that I started another cycle today.

I have not managed to maintain the optimism of my first few days, as the nerve pain that was supposed to be completely abated is definitely still here.  Hopefully, the scaled back activity level will help with this.

I am told, however, that I should be good to go for the softball playoffs, so there is that!  As of right now, I have once again reached the limit of time I am allowed to sit, so I will see you all on the flip side!

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