Friday, June 6, 2014

Small Victories

The reason why I haven't posted anything here in almost a month is that I really did not want to whine online about my condition. I did enough real whining. Those three weeks since April 28 were filled with reasons to whine: besides the constant neuropathic pain, there were pain medications that did not work, multiple medical tests and procedures accompanied with steep hospital bills, lack of sleep, simply a pure misery. There were positives, too: a chiropractor recommended Swedish made inflatable cervical traction device (which would make Austin Powers proud) worked and brought temporary relief, and eventually the epidural injections worked.
Some nerve path through my shoulder and right arm lost the ability to transfer information, so even after the pain went from 11 to 3 on the scale of 1-10, things like lifting a cup or spoon with soup, moving a mouse etc. all of a sudden were not quite possible. Every hour of physical therapy made me a ball of twitching nerves, covered with ice packs. The best was when I put a lid on a cup of coffee in the morning at work with my bad hand (or so I thought) and splashed myself with coffee chin to waist just before an important meeting! Nerve impingement also results in muscle atrophy, so my right arm looks like a stick covered in wrinkled skin (remember Fat Bastard after he lost weight?), whereas my belly fat layers thickened (who knew that sweets help to deal with pain?).

But slowly, things started to improve. I walked to work and home (even a few minutes behind the wheel brought the symptoms back), then I rode the fat bike to work (1.6 miles each way!) - although carrying a backpack even for 15 minutes turned out to be an ordeal. On May 30, I rode to work not to miss the bike to work month, at least symbolically. Then I ran 2.5 miles on steep hills in 95F weather - no extra pain caused by running! Yesterday, I took a 3 mile detour along the Arroyo Mocho path on the way to work and almost forgot about the whole painful deal.
It will probably take a few more months, but I am getting the bikes ready for longer rides. I am very lucky to live in a place with endless summer.

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