Despite my pride for finishing that hard-as-hell circuit training class on Monday, my body was not very happy with me. When I decided to go back to working out and joined a gym after my surgery, I told my husband (and myself) that I would ease back into it. That is what I had been doing with beginner’s Zumba and beginner’s Yoga, the exercise bike, and very little (due to lack of fitness) elliptical. Monday’s workout was way too advanced. It was not easing in but something I may hope to be able to do in a year’s time when I fully recover from ACDF.
Monday night I could already feel the pain beginning while trying to sleep. By 4 am (my ‘wake-up and begin work’ time), literally every muscle in my body ached. There were muscles that no matter how in shape I was I must never have worked out. The most striking is whatever muscle is from the elbow to the wrist. I have never exercised that muscle and I’m not sure I want to again! My neck muscles, shoulder muscles, back muscles, stomach muscles, glutes, quads, inner thighs, calves all hurt like hell all day Tuesday. I felt like crap and had to take a nap after work. I still felt crummy when I woke up from the nap.
This morning my muscles tamed down a bit but definitely not enough to do any sort of exercise besides walking Roger to school and back. Fortunately, I had a massage booked from a Groupon and that helped immensely.
Tomorrow I am going to attempt gentle yoga. I know I can always go into child’s pose if need be.
* An aside: I get an inspirational quote in my email daily. Today’s rocked and I want to share it with everyone.
“Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.”
I get an email with an “inspirational” quote each day. Today’s quote, by H.G. Wells, is “If you fell down yesterday, stand up today”. I rated that 5 stars. You can rate the quote each day as well. I usually give 3 or 4’s, rarely 5’s, but definitely have given 1’s and 2’s.
I know he wasn’t speaking literally about falling. However, this quote made me think of a college philosophy professor I had. He spoke about a Laurie Anderson song’s lyrics,
“And you don’t always realize it, but you’re always falling.
With each step you fall forward slightly.
And then catch yourself from falling.
Over and over, you’re falling.
And then catching yourself from falling.
And this is how you can be walking and falling at the same time.”
I think back to this quite often. He probably does not realize how that one itty bitty thought affected me all these years. I cannot recall his name or I’d let him know!
Today, I also saw a FB post by a yoga teacher by whom I have taken a few classes. It seems to tie in so well. I’m going to have liberty with the it and not cut and paste verbatim:
There was a conversation about how, as we age, time seems to fly by. We can all relate to this I am sure. One moment it’s summer and the next you are hanging up Christmas stockings. One said ‘you know why that is right?’ He explained that when we are children we notice everything and as we age we just stop noticing. Everything flashes by because we miss the details. A child is completely enthralled by how a stapler works and the beauty of a color of a flower. Babies are enamored by the way their hand looks in front of their face or by someone’s smile. Toddlers genuinely became excited by how a ball bounces and are in awe of how blades of grass feel beneath their feet (except for sensory kiddos like my son). As we age these things lose their shine. We aren’t enamored any longer by the small things. We become occupied with our to do lists, the busyness of the day, and our phones . We forget to notice.
Just like, as a child learning to walk, they are aware that they are falling over and having to catch themselves with each step! (There’s my tie-in.)
I do not have that much to write about today. I, thankfully, slept 6.5 hours. I worked. I had coffee with “the girls”, as my husband puts it. I picked Roger up from school and took him Pokémon hunting in the park. I tested Roger’s spelling words for tomorrow’s test. I made his lunch and breakfast for tomorrow. I folded laundry and am now riding the stationary bike before taking him to his Reading Comprehension tutor.
The highlight of the day was receiving a set of easy stretches/joint exercises from my friend who recently became a yoga teacher. The lowlight of the day is reading about a restaurant moving two doors down from an exact same type of restaurant that has existed in a now growing but previously stagnant shopping center. Everyone is so excited and I got so riled up. Why would they allow a pizzeria/Italian restaurant two doors down from a place that has been in that plaza for years? Had anyone heard of loyalty? A friend said it was because “because people only care about money and as a democrat that greed infuriates us”. This restaurant that is moving in will, most definitely, ruin the other family-owned business. How terrible!
Now, I feel like I need to order a pie everyday to show my support. Would that be considered a highlight or lowlight?
Right before the 3 day weekend, I start getting back into the swing of things. Last night I was in SO MUCH PAIN. I really could not believe that a simple desk job could affect my pain level so much. Also, when I went to bed last night I was utterly freezing. I turned the air off and asked Rob to get me an extra cover. I will still freezing. However, I woke up this morning feeling great.
The waves of pain/stiffness are coming more frequently today, so I have been getting up and walking much more than yesterday. My job understands that I need to do this. Yesterday, though, I was pretty glued to my seat pouring through emails. Yes, people covered some of my work, but some items fell between the cracks which meant reviewing every bit of work. Today my work pile is still large but manageable.
I am currently on my lunch break and using the stationary bike. Luckily, the wordpress site is working and I no longer have to type a post out on my phone! I vow to keep up the bike riding which means I shall keep up the blog! Slowly, I plan on integrating yoga. I found a video on youtube for yoga after back/fusion surgery and avoiding certain movements for your spine (cervical included). I will try that first before attending a class. BUT my motivation to do that is somewhat lacking. BUT I should be proud of my ability to stick to one exercise since I have not been consistent since I don’t even know when! Baby steps… or maybe I shall make a lame joke and say baby pedals!
This morning I had scheduled Yin and Sit Yoga and Meditation, some “me” time.
After waking up to Roger on the iPad continuously this morning, I decided to finish my weekend work while riding the stationary bike. I was done by 9. I then did homework with Roger and followed it with some fun karaoke. Then the time arrived: time for me, time for yoga.
I was in tears from the beginning movements to the final savasana. I was in total pain from my neck to my tailbone to my right leg. This is where Roger, my son with autism, rammed his head into my spine after not getting his way. This was on January 2nd and I don’t even remember what it was regarding. All I remember was it was post-massage as I plopped onto the bed on my belly and was peacefully lying there. I let out the loudest cry. It immediately hurt so terribly. I don’t think I ever produced a scream like that even when I broke my knee or ankle.
It has been three weeks and the pain has not gotten better. I have tried Tylenol and anti-inflammatories while using the heating pad but this has not helped in the least bit. I kept wondering where all my depression and lack of motivation came from at the beginning of this year. Today was my reminder. I am so glad that the majority of the class is done with your eyes closed, so others did not see the tears stream down my face.
When class was over, and that could not come quickly enough — that damn 75 minutes, I rushed to my car for a proper cry. Then the thoughts raced: have to make an appointment this week. With who? My primary doctor? My back doctor who I am not really fond of — seems too surgery happy? My pain doctor? Next thoughts: I really am going to have to cancel being teacher’s helper this week, my back cannot handle the copier. Followed by thoughts of that yoga retreat that accepted me on “scholarship” but is less than 2 weeks away. How can I possibly do a yoga retreat right now? I do not foresee my pain level being that lessened in that short period of a time – especially since specialized doctors usually do not have readily available appointments.
I told Rob to occupy Roger for a bit. I am in such a terrible mood right now. I have 2 loads of laundry and cannot even muster the strength to empty the dryer to put the other load in. And the state of the house is in total disarray due to Roger’s “box fort” building. I may hide myself away in the bedroom for the time being until I can cope better with it all.
Yesterday’s new therapist/psychologist/BCBA appointment for Roger went better than expected. Well, at least, Roger’s reaction was positive to having to go to a new doctor that you talk to and play at and are talked about in front of. Now that he is getting older it is getting odder for me to answer questions about him in front of him. I am not sure if I am fond of the doctor yet. She took lots of notes and said she had an Independence curriculum that we could start working on with Roger, since he is SO DEPENDENT on us (mainly me) for EVERYTHING. I made 3 follow-up appointments and will, hopefully, get a sense of if it is a good fit by then.
That brings me to an exciting Facebook message I received today from a friend and fellow autism mom. She told me about these Women’s Retreats in east Texas. They have a Retreat Assistance Program to help pay for the weekend retreat. The idea of having a weekend alone in quiet sounds amazing to me. That has been my “dream vacation” for a long time! On the same hand, the idea of going away to an unknown place with completely unknown people and an unknown routine is completely terrifying to me. I like the known. I like routine. I like the safety of predictability.
That being said, I applied and, depending on the outcome, I may face all those fears of mine so I can relax, recharge, rejuvenate. In the meantime, I really do have to do more self-care at home. Yes, a nice clean house is awesome, but so is a restful break. I made a weekly cleaning schedule. Perhaps I need to add-in a stretching, moisturizing, “do for myself” schedule.
I am still under the weather with coughing, allergies, chills, some tummy issues, etc. Unfortunately, Roger, as an only child, wants to be entertained. This morning he was already talking about what fun things we could do later: karaoke, games. Thankfully, he is aware my back hurt too bad last night from roller skates that he took that off the table. Of course, resting and watching a movie are always off the table for Roger too!
This weekend happens to be a 3 day weekend as well, so that gives me an extra day of “fun” to schedule for Roger. I am trying to institute a family fun day on Saturdays to do something out of the ordinary (zoo, museum, Dallas in general, etc.). Tomorrow, I am pitching Ripley’s Believe It or Not since it will be quite chilly. We will see if everyone is on board with that decision. Sunday, I hope to feel up to Yin Yoga and Mediation followed by a short date with Rob. Monday morning is still unscheduled but I have a make-up swim lesson planned for 1 pm followed by a play date with Roger’s best friend followed by Occupational Therapy.
I just have to make it through today first!