Well, it's been a month since I last posted and I'm starting to feel like I don't make any actual progress on anything that I enjoy doing. So I'm going to do monthly status updates so that I can look back and hopefully not want to stick my head in the garbage disposal.
I can now ride the XT for about 10 miles, or ride the Beemer for about 3 miles. I took the latter to the ATM and the bank on Friday afternoon — the first time I've ridden it since June and the first time I've tried out the Rox bar risers and Wunderlich Vario levers. I also had the Rick Mayer saddle raised a little bit (!!) to take some pressure off of my shoulders. So far these ergonomic changes seem to help, though 3 miles isn't exactly an arduous test.
After my ride on Friday, my back felt very stiff, but there wasn't a lot of pain per se. I spent the afternoon with a heating pack on, which helped; I did have pain going to bed that night, but it was back to normal (for my current definition of normal) the next morning.
Note that there's no way I could ride two days in a row yet. I'd like to try to ride again on New Year's Day (for the symbolic element); that'll be exactly four weeks from my last ride, so it should be OK. Fingers crossed!
No skating yet. Before last night's game, I did stand by the door to the boards with someone's stick and hit 4 or 5 pucks (with decent lift, too!). I stopped as this became painful pretty quickly.
I think I'm going to try using my wooden stick indoors with a tennis ball, though. I'll clear it with my physical therapist, but I think this would be OK.
I've started PT again since my last update. It's still pretty painful after a PT appointment. The exercises themselves are going OK; not a lot of pain, but they take an embarrassing amount of effort.
Today I did 10 face-down leg lifts (10 each leg) and I was sweating and cursing by the end of them. Illustrated here by a small child, who is neither cursing nor sweating. I'm fairly certain a 90-year-old grandmother would have an easier time of these than I do.
10 leg extensions took forever and it was very difficult to keep my core engaged. More sweating and cursing. I can't find any photos online, but it's essentially lying down with my knees bent (like the guy below), extending one leg out straight, and then returning to the starting position. Then swap legs.
Doing 10 hip extensions were somewhat easier. I can get my hips raised about halfway as far as this randomly shirtless dude.
I go to the gym usually three times per week. After doing the gym (usually 20 minutes of recumbent bicycle, followed by the above and stretching), I'm pretty stiff but no pain. Lots of glute burn (in the nervous system sense, not the rippling muscle sense) for the rest of the day.
Random daily stuff
Very little trouble sleeping, thank goodness.
Walking has good days and bad days — generally I can do a normal amount of walking around at work without trouble. I still have to drive to the gym because I can't carry the gym bag that far (maybe 2 city blocks).
Sitting at work is pretty problematic. I do OK for about a half hour and then start to get stiff and burny.
Standing is still the worst, I think. I can stand up for 10 or 15 minutes without pain and after a half hour, things get pretty bad.
Doctors and meds
I saw the doctor again last week and he seems fairly pleased with my progress (glad someone is!). I'm back on another 6-day stint of methylprednisolone, which helps a lot despite making my vision blurry.
I see the doc again next month to see how the steroids and 6 weeks of PT is helping.
So, that's life. Hopefully the January update will have me moving around a bit more!