grumble grumble

So, my back is still giving me problems. I function more or less OK during the day at work, but then as soon as I try to do anything else, I find that all the sitting has made my muscles freeze up. My D.O. says that my spine is slowly integrating the cranial-sacral work she is doing but it is integrating it and to not worry because we are trying to undo a 37 year old pattern. My P.T. person says she is really impressed with my ability to identify and isolate muscles and I’m learning the exercises really quickly compared to most but it will just take time for those muscles to strengthen. (They stil tremble when I do the exercises).

In the meantime, my back feels good on the weekends (’cause I’m moving around so much). Pretty good on Monday and Tuesday as well. (And really great after P.T.) But by Wednesday, it starts to lock down. Then my back muscle pain wakes me up Wednesday night at 2 AM for a couple hours. Same deal on Thursday night. By Friday, I’m strung out and I just want to lay prone and get a massage. Unfortunately, as good as laying flat feels on my back, it’s too much stretch for my chronically short hip flexors and so I don’t fall asleep. And yet, if I sleep on my side or my stomach, whatever muscle isn’t being stretched (usually, the up side) locks back down and wakes me up again.

It’s torture. And so then I go to work on less sleep than needed and feel toxic and crappy all day and am not productive and have shitty attention for Hermes and my pets. About the only thing that perks up my mood again is riding my bike or dancing (if my muscles aren’t too locked up to do it). I just can’t find enough time in the day to do my exercises, and stretch enough, and work, and make meals, and do all of the necessary activities of daily living. It’s making me absofuckinglutely anxious. Which of course doesn’t help me get back to sleep when I’m laying there in the middle of the night thinking how overwhelmed I am. Life was so much more manageable when I only worked 4 days a week (ah, that beautiful year after classes were over and I kept my 32 hr/wk work schedule which letmetellyou is not easy to fanagle out of my company.)

My work still hasn’t gotten me the ergonomic barcalounger they promised me (and the doc recommended). Corporate heel dragging. I was whining about all this to my boss today. And he pointed out that if my doc says I should only work 4 days a week (with Wednesdays off so that my back can reset), my company will have to give it to me. It could be a temporary thing until my back is ready for a more full-time schedule. I’m going to talk to the doc about it on Monday.

Pile it on …

I’m hormonal, I’m about to spend some of my precious rainy day savings (that I had been hoping to use soon) on a new car that I didn’t really want, Hermes and I got into another simple miscommunication thing tonight that required complex unravelling, my cat’s drinking fountain stopped recirculating water tonight, and my aging dog’s dementia seems to have been acting up this weekend seeing as how he has been clinging to me like a freshly laundered sock.

Dear planet Mercury, fuck off.

Mood Thermometer

My mood is improving. The sun is out, the snow is melting, I had a good cry after the Doo Dog post, Hermes wants to come over tonight and take care of me, and frankly I’m having an excellent hair day. If my eyes weren’t puffy from crying, I’d have my picture taken for a replacement employee badge.

I decided it was stupid for me to be sitting at work when I could be at home and give my hips and my heart a better rest. So, now, I’ve got Doo laying on my left leg, P’Sheesh (my cat) laying on my right, and I’m reviewing documentation.

As for my ongoing laundry list of complaints …

10. The state of the world sucks. Especially this country. I’m embarrassed by our behavior. What makes our country exceptional is not its ability to produce wealth. It is our defense of civil rights and the wide range of possibilities for an individual life. And that’s being sold out by institutions we trust and we’re going along with it because of some skewed sense that we need it for our safety and security. And there’s no end in sight. We are in the midst of age of rigidity and righteousness. We are locked down. People are turning on each other. It scares and angers me. I think about this kind of stuff a lot lately. It makes it hard to sleep easily.

9. My relationship to my job is still a problem. I’m good at what I do. But I don’t feel I belong there any more. I don’t have a clear enough, hopeful enough image of what my life could look like without the career I’ve had all my adult life. And, probably more importantly, I get down on myself for being such an impotent wuss about bellying up to the bar of change.

Lest we forget about complaints 8 through 1 …

National Day of Complaining

I’m not doing well. I’m more down lately than I’m used to. It’s really wearing on me. Little things don’t just roll off me. I need to get my worries off my chest. I declare today my personal National Day of Complaining. Be prepared.

Just for starters …

7. I’ve started my pilates physical therapy. I felt great after the first session on Monday. Like walking on air, I felt so light. I’ve been trying the exercises on my own. But I think I’m overworking my muscles or maybe working the wrong ones because my hips have been so tight for the last three nights that I’ve had a hard time getting comfortable enough to sleep, and then even after I finally fall asleep my hips wake me up at about 3 AM begging to be stretched. The lack of good sleep is making me irritable and touchy. My whole inner pelvic area seems pretty tense and locked down. I go back on Friday for another session. Hopefully, the instructor can correct whatever it is that I’m doing wrong.

6. My car is burning oil, I think. Quite quickly. It’s a 14 year old car with 140,000 miles. She has been great to me. But she’s on her last legs. Every time I drive her, I wonder when she’s finally going to give up the ghost. I make a point to not drive on low trafficked areas when the weather is inhospitable so that I don’t have to go far to find help if she dies. I’m worried about having to add car payments (on a new/used car once she goes) to my financial obligations.

5. My dog peed on himself while sleeping. Again. We’re up to at least two big accidents a day now. I have to keep him caged when I’m not home, which is a lot. I feel horrible about that. I’m constantly having to do laundry (for the towels I put in his cage). He is getting baths so often that he starts having muscle spasms of nervousness whenever I get near the tub. It takes a lot of time, and other parts of my life are getting squeezed in order to give more attention to this. Bathing him is hard on my back. I’m going to look for baby diapers at the grocery store tonight.

4. My L5/S1 vertebrae is slightly out and it’s making my back tender today.

3. I sat in a hot tub for probably 45 minutes on Tuesday night. It was something I arranged for Hermes with a friend–it was her hot tub–so that he could unwind after an exceptionally stressful day in a stressful week. (It’s the first week of the new trimester and so the kids are jockeying for power and seeing how much they can get away with. Middle schoolers, ya know.) Anyway, the chemicals in it weren’t as bad as in most hot tubs, so I thought I’d be fine. Unfortunately, my environmental/chemical sensitivies kicked in. My skin has been itchy ever since and I have a hard time sitting still. Yesterday, I started to get a rash under my arms. I can’t even tolerate Tom’s of Maine deoderant.

3. I forgot my glasses this morning and am getting a headache typing this. I am going to have to drive back home to get them.

2. I lost my employee badge for work.

1. The cat puked on the good rug this morning. He’s not sick. It’s just his routine monthly puking. But today was not the day I could handle that in stride.

I’m just warming up here. So, you may want to save your sympathies for later posts.