April progress report

First off, can I just say how happy I am that it's pouring down raining again?  Normally it doesn't rain like this in mid-April here in the Bay Area, but I'm loving it this year.  It's much easier to accept not riding when the weather's like this than when it's 75F and sunny with motorcyclists out everywhere.

What's Going On?

Nerve pain continues to be mostly gone, which is a HUGE improvement.  HUGE!  I still have very odd nerve sensations, which I mentioned to my back doc and which he says are normal as nerves are healing.  My legs and feet feel tingly a lot of the time (not painfully so; it's more subtle) and occasionally my entire left leg will feel like there's an air conditioner blasting full strength at it.  It's very odd.

The weakness in my leg is completely gone, too.  I used to feel like my leg was just about to give out and collapse under me — it never did, but that's how it felt — and I haven't had that since the last flare-up in February.

The muscle pain can still be pretty bad. Unfortunately I seem to have become one of those people who can tell weather patterns by their ailments — cold and rain do make the muscles and sacroiliac join pain worse (bummer since, see paragraph one above).  Heat packs help.

What I Can Do:

Still working full-time.  I'm using the sit-stand desk a lot, though the pain has improved to the point that I only stand a little bit each day (when I first got the desk, I was pretty much alternating an hour of sitting to an hour of standing).

The MacBook Air that work got me has been such an amazing improvement.  Naturally, it has bad RAM or something, so it needs to go off to the computer doctor and I'm back to using my old MacBook Pro for the time being.  I miss my Air!!

Sitting and standing thresholds are both much improved.  I was able to stand and coach a whole Green game last night (a bit over an hour) — I was pretty sore after that and wasn't able to stay to coach the Red game, but still, an hour of standing is awesome.

I'm also able to sit through entire events now — both the most recent Sharks game and going to see Broadway By The Bay were about 3 hours total (including intermissions where I could stand and stretch) and resulted in only a bit of extra pain.  The BBTB show in particular made me a bit sore, but I think those theater seats are from the 1800s or something, so it's not terribly surprising that the springs made my muscles hurt.

Walking is also going very well.  I can walk to the Apple cafeteria and back without trouble — I was thrilled to look that up the other day and realize that that's a half mile each direction!!  

Sleeping/lying down continue to be no trouble at all.

What I Can't Do:

Still no carrying anything (no purse; no laptop that's not the Air, which will get tricky now that I have to take the Air in to onsite repair).  

What I'm Doing About It:

I've been living in Thermacare back wraps — they work really well, but sadly they do kinda make it look like I'm wearing an adult diaper.  Sub-optimal!  But if I wear one all day, every day, it mostly keeps the muscle pain in check.

I had a follow up visit with my doc last week.  He's pleased with how things are moving along, and I see him again in June (presuming no flare-ups).

The new PT place is going really well. I still have twice-weekly sessions, which seem to be helping substantially.

Still doing my daily home PT, which is now seven stretches and two exercises.  Twice a week I add two Swiss ball exercises.  I try to do PT at the Apple gym a couple of times per week so that I can also warm up on the elliptical (5 minutes at 0 resistance) and use the Swiss ball there. 

The Zero Gravity chair from Relax the Back is awesome. I sit in it every day and it really makes a difference.  I sit on my heating pad and recline the chair and can actually feel the weight being taken off of my spine.  I feel about 200 years old, doing my cross stitch on a heating pad in my big fancy recliner but, hey. 

Still doing weekly massages, too.

And that's pretty much April.  There's steady improvement, which is a plus.  I don't really have goals in mind for when I'll be back on the ice or on a motorcycle, since I don't want to psych myself up and then physically not be able to meet those dates.  Just taking it as it comes.

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13 Responses to April progress report

  1. Roger Willcut says:

    Hang Tough! Your discipline, dedication and sense of humor (don’t loose that in the midst of all of this) will see you though. For when you get all better, you and Peter STILL have an open invited for Lyte XT Touring Days in the Black Hills. From base, all runs would be nice short, but beautiful Black Hill runs. But time is running short for those of us who are in our early 70s. So you really do need to whip this before I read about myself on page 3 of the local newspaper.
    Thanks for all the writing you do and have done. My enjoyment and participation in the sport of motorcycle has been significantly enhanced by the writings, comments and evaluations of Bluepoof.
    Have a great April.

  2. Roger Willcut says:

    BMW question. How long did you have the twin 650 before having to reduce and then stop your riding? The reason I ask is because it seemed to me (yes – – I was voyaging down your memory lane)that except for your Alaska adventure, the single 650 picked up the most trip miles the soonest. Suggesting to me that you liked it better than you even realized. If I am right – was that driven by the great fit of the bike for you, or simply because of available time in your life at that time?

  3. Carolyn says:

    It’s true, re the SV650S and the thumper Beemer. I loved that bike. I only sold it because I just couldn’t trust it anymore, what with all the mechanical issues. In hindsight, maybe I should have bought the same model again, dunno.
    I only had the twin Beemer for a month or so before Janky Elbow showed up (basically, riding the twin Beemer for the weekend gave me tennis elbow) and then the elbow problem bumped right up to the back problem. So the twin has only about 3000 miles on it. I did make a few modifications to the twin that I hope will fit my shoulders/elbows better once I can ride again, but I’ve only tested those bar risers on one 6-mile ride.
    It will definitely be interesting to see what happens with my riding life after this whole back nonsense is over. I anticipate riding the XT the most at least at first, because it’s so much lighter.

  4. Craig says:

    Thanks for the update. I bought my ST1300 just a few days before you bought the twin beemer. My thought was I would try to keep up with you in terms of mileage ridden, which is a really lofty goal. As I follow your recovery I’m looking forward to the day your mileage on the beemer passes me by once again. Take care.
    Ocean Shores, WA

  5. carolyn says:

    Ha! You picked the right year to keep up with my mileage. πŸ˜‰ I think I’m at 6 miles for 2010 so far. πŸ˜€

  6. Annie says:

    Wow – the stuff you can do WAY outweighs what you can’t! Keep it up. = )

  7. Roger Willcut says:

    The old man falls off the wagon again! Yep, I fell prey to the call of a TU250X. Fun – really fun. Now to find a windshield and a backrest with rack so I can carry something.

  8. Roger says:

    I have been thinking about you. Why don’t you and Peter get a sidecar rig that is sprung well enough for you to tolerate it?

  9. Jennie VH says:

    Awesome update!
    I loved this–“…one of those people who can tell weather patterns by their ailments…”–now you have to practice screeching, “You dang kids, get offa my lawn!”
    Thanks for helping on Sat. It was an awesome GHATD!

  10. Don I. says:

    Hang in there Ms. Poof. I do miss our riding adventures, though. πŸ™

  11. Don I. says:

    I guess I should have signed the above COmment.
    Don Inamasu
    Stockton ,CA

  12. Michele says:

    Carolyn – I’ve been following your ups and downs via Facebook. I’m so encouraged by your tenacity and self-care – you’re doing a great job. I imagine the frustration must be terrible some days, but you’re kicking it’s ass anyway. You’re good people. Best birthday wishes ever.

  13. carolyn says:

    Hey Michele!! Merci pour les bons mots! πŸ™‚

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