Saturday, June 14, 2014

Oh My Aching Back!

Some time ago, I hurt my back.  I was working at a casino and through repetitive movement managed to herniate three discs.  I was given a lot of shots and drugs and told to walk a lot.  Eventually they said surgery could be considered  but I should also consider that it would do no good.  I was going to live in pain.  I was given a pat on the head, a stipend, and told to never work more then four hours a day and was given a five pound limit for further repetitive lifting.

I always told myself that it would hurt less if I had gotten the injury lifting my own money.

I decided it wouldn't stop me.  I would work around it.  I would kill myself in the effort before I let this become my wall.  I have learned tricks to managing this.  Limit sugar as much as you can stand to.  Sugar causes inflammation.  I also try to limit coffee and other caffeine drinks as they tend to dehydrate.  I drink as much water as I can,   Hydration keeps the disks spongy and working like the little shock absorbers they are suppose to be.  In fact, hydration caused a greater reduction in pain then the pain pills did.  Pain pills become ineffective after awhile.

Recently I have been pushing myself.  This is the big year!  Mac is feeling better.  Things are appearing more stable.  The hay field is looking great.  Now is the time for the big push.  So I have been doing more digging.  We have made a small start on the orchard.  The garden is better this year and it was all turned over by shovel and a digging fork.  Posts are being cut and set.  Soon we will be stringing wire.  And in the mornings when my feet touch the floor there is the moment where I feel like my back has suddenly been put into a vice.  Electricity shoots through my butt and down the backs of my legs.  I hold onto the side of the bed to move and for my first steps I am not sure I will stay standing.  Sometimes I can't lift my legs to put on my pants.  It becomes a mental exercise to figure out how to get all of your clothes on.  Then  I hold onto the wall while I make my way into the kitchen.  I get the bits of leftover and discarded trimmings and they go into the chicken can.  Then I walk outside.  Feed the horses and check water.  Walk out to the chicken coop, which perhaps, I put too far away.  Let the chickens out and give them their snack.  Then walk back to the house.

Most days, it is starting to ease by then.  The vise loosens.  The electricity in my legs is tingling and not surging.  By afternoon, unless I overdo, I will be pain free.  I will go to bed and sleep like a log.  though when I need to roll over I usually have to rouse enough that I can grab the edge of the headboard and pull myself into a new position with my arms.  If I am lucky, I have good dreams.

Then it's morning and time to get up.  Every morning, this is the moment I dread.  I swing my feet to the floor.  Instantly, my back goes into the vice.

It can't be helped.  It is what it is.  And there is no way that I am going to let this stop me from building the little farm.

It's going to be a beautiful day today.  We are going to finish up setting posts.  Edges of the garden need weed whipped and I should pick some strawberries.  Life is good.


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