Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Road to Wellville

No, this isn't another movie review (though there is a semi-obscure 1994 comedic offering based loosely on the life of corn flakes inventor John Kellogg and his staunch enthusiasm for the health benefits of consuming his breakfast cereal and other equally quirky health ideas promoted at his Battle Creek MI sanatorium at the turn of the 20th Century).

Rather, this is an update on my battle with lower back pain.

One of the main things that I've been battling the last month is not just lower back pain, but the fact that I need to see a doctor in order to get prescription pain medications (Naproxen and Flexeril) for my lower back pain.

Because this latest flared-up occurred while I was 3000 miles from my home in NC, I first had to be well enough to travel to Urgent Care. While that worked the first time, I resumed my holiday travels afterwards and faced the same thing all over again when I was wiped out by the trip from Las Vegas (visiting Jo) to Duluth (where I'm currently convalescing with Susan).

By then the original prescription had run out and it took me 13 days from the onset of the latest inflammation to recover to the point where I could even walk to the car. The last round was triggered by my body's reaction to myofascial massage; my body was not able to absorb the deliberate, gentle manipulation without responding in pain. The irony is that I knew I needed the stronger medication to be able work my way back to normal functioning—to the point where I could begin rehab through physical therapy—but I wasn't well enough to manage the trip to the doctor's. Ugh.

Then, when I did get well enough for that (yesterday) I strained myself so much in the journey that it will take me a couple days for the secondary spasms to subside around my rib cage. (I feel like I was in a street fight.) The best news is that the doctor's visit is now behind me and I've refilled my prescriptions. This last month has been quite the roller coaster.

On the one hand, I need to get up and move around as part of my healing regime; on the other I need to not overdo it, triggering a setback. Where's the line? Mostly I try to pay attention to my body, and not ask it to do things that bring about discomfort such that I can't breathe through it.

Although I'm sure there will be more bumps ahead on the road to Wellville, I'm hoping they'll not stress my overworked shock absorbers too much, and that I'll be able to travel by the end of next week.

About the only steadfast thing about the last month is that I haven't been tempted, even once, to eat corn flakes.

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