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.

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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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