February progress report

Hi kids, and welcome to my monthly fascinating progress report.  I realize these are boring as heck and not awesome ride reports from Utah or Australia or whatever, but it does help me to look back and see improvement from month to month.


There's good and bad news from the motorcycle world this month.  The good news is that the motorcycle posture doesn't seem to cause too many problems.  The bad news is that the weight of the motorcycle does.

I've been trying to alternate which bike I ride each month (my rides are about once a month these days) so that both bikes get a little bit of love.  Last month was the XT, and that ride went really well, so I decided to take the Beemer our last weekend.  

My biggest mistake was in pushing the bike out of the garage myself.  The actual riding went just fine (6 mile round trip) but…well, let's just say that I sound pretty stupid when I admit "I pushed a 450 lb motorcycle backwards out of the garage and then did a multi-point turn to get it facing the right way."  

So that was a minor setback that I've been paying for ever since.  It's a bit encouraging in a backwards sort of way, though, because noticing the sacral pain/shooting pain down my legs/tingling feet means that I don't have them day-to-day anymore.  So that's good, at least.

What I've learned: Stick to the XT for the foreseeable future (less weight means easier on the back) and for god's sake, have Peter move the motorcycle around.


I think I went to public skate once in January.  I don't really have an update per se; it's pretty much the same as it was last month.  Skating itself is OK but stopping is tough: I can do about four hockey stops in a 15-minute period.

Transitions are also still pretty hard; I can skate forward or backwards without a lot of trouble but switching between them is sketchy.

Stickwork is still impossible; I've tried holding a stick with a tennis ball in the living room and the bent-over posture is a no-go.  I'll try again later this month and see if there's any improvement.

Physical therapy

PT is still going well, when I haven't hurt myself pushing motorcycles around. 😉

I'm still doing the same stretches and exercises, plus I've added in a modified cobra stretch:

Considering that some days, just lying flat on my stomach with my back muscles relaxed is an accomplishment, my goal is to get up on my elbows like the little dude above.

Most days I can get up partially on my forearms and can stay there for a couple of minutes (the key to this stretch is to keep the low back relaxed; its natural tendency these days is to cramp up like mad if I try to do any kind of back bend).  As of my PT session today, I'm now also supposed to add in 10 small presses per day — basically little pushups in the position above.   

I still do 10 face-down leg lifts (10 each leg). I can do 3 per leg in a row now without having to reset my core muscles.  They're still difficult, but doing 3 in a row is now about as hard as doing 2 at a time was last month.

10 leg extensions is about the same as the leg lifts. I do 3 in a row now, which is a huge improvement over last month.

Finally, I've been cleared to start the recumbent bicycle again, which is exciting because that means I can work on cardio eventually.  It's depressing how quickly my cardio system weakened; I get winded going up too many stairs or walking too quickly.  I'm hoping next week I can start going to the Apple fitness center for 10 minute stints on the recumbent bike (I have to wait til the current motorcycle-pushing inflammation goes down).

Random daily stuff

Still no problems sleeping.  

Walking is still almost 100% back to normal.  I can carry lightweight things short distances now — for example, I can now carry my laptop to another building for a meeting. Little victories!  Peter and I went to the Computer History Museum last weekend, though, and the hour-long tour was too much walking for me.  I was in quite a bit of pain by the end of it.

Sitting is still the worst.  I'm about at the same point as last month: about 40 minutes is OK, but more than that brings on the stiff/burny/crampy.  I'm having the ergonomic people at work install a standing station in my new cube so that I can alternate sitting and standing at my desk.

Standing is OK, I can stand for almost an entire hockey game (while I'm coaching) now.

The muscular pain is much better now.  Aside from my current flare-up, I've had very little.

Doctors and meds

I saw the doctor in mid-January; he was very happy with my progress!  He's no longer pushing the injections and I see him next in May.  I'll remove this section from next month's report since I don't anticipate having any more doctor or medication updates.

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