when it hurts
I’ve spoken in this blog before about some of my health issues, about my eating disorder (I’m a binger), and diabetes, about my agoraphobia and panic issues. Today, foremost on my mind, is another of my chronic issues. Pain.
I’m 44 years old, and I’ve never been gentle with my body. I’m a full tilt sort of person, and I always have been. As a result, I have a lower back problem that stems from a time when I was 13 and I slipped a disc in my lower back, then walked around on it for weeks until I couldn’t stand the pain anymore. Now, that area spasms at the slightest provocation.
I’ve also had my hands on a keyboard for the better part of my adult life, leading to nerve issues in both arms, which aren’t aided by the diabetes.
I haven’t been pain free in so long, I can’t remember what it feels like.
I know that my weight doesn’t help any of it, and exercise is beneficial to controlling the pain. But exercise often causes the pain too. But then, so does just about everything.
This weekend, I cleaned my living room on Saturday. This involved a fair amount of bending and lifting, getting up and down off the floor, etc. I also sorted laundry and loaded the dishwasher.
Sunday morning my back hurt so much that I couldn’t find a comfortable way to sit or lay or stand. My shoulders tightened up and made it difficult to do much with my hands. I had intended to go to the gym, but that never happened.
In fact, I intend to go to the gym every day. I actually manage it about three times a week.
It doesn’t help that pain is often a trigger for a binge, especially when it sidelines me. I can’t DO anything, so unless I’m really paying attention, I can start to graze, which turns into binging. Which leads to more pain in the long run because not only am I not exercising, I’m eating crap I shouldn’t eat.
And round and round we go.
So yesterday I distracted myself with writing and forcing myself to get through the laundry. I was down to costume clothes and not much else, so washing enough clothes to at least get through the week was important. It hurt like crazy, but I got four loads washed and dried and folded.
None of it is put away, but I can get dressed at least. Maybe tonight the pain will have dialed back enough I can put it away. If I’m very lucky it will be gone enough I can go to the gym.
It takes a pretty constant focus to take care of myself. It isn’t something I’m accustomed to. But the older I get, the more I realize I’ve only got one of me, and being single and living alone, I’m the only one there to do it.
It’s pretty much one day at a time, and sometimes, when it hurts, or hurts more than my baseline of daily pain, it’s one hour at a time…and learn to let go of the things you just can’t do.