Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Happy New Year and Sore Back

Wow, so I think I'm going to live.  I caught a cold at Christmas time and I've been sleeping so much since then.  You would think I'd look as good as sleeping beauty.  I haven't been able to do as much as usual and that has been frustrating.  I spent a lot of time with yarn and crochet hook in my hands but not actually making anything.  I just stared into space and occasionally blew my nose.  At least that time that I was sick gave me time to think about things I need to change.

The last few days I've been making some small changes to start working towards my goal of gaining strength.  I know that my back muscles are very weak.  Anything I try to do for more than a few minutes will leave my back screaming with spasms.  I have spent too much time sitting on the couch.  I used to sit on our other couch where the end seats recline.  I would snuggle into the corner and with a blanket over my lap when I was achy and I often sat there for hours crocheting or reading.  Over time that became my "spot" and I spent nearly all my waking hours there.  I went through some tough depression too and didn't want to do anything or move from there.  A few months ago I decided to stop sitting there so much.  A friend of ours bought a new couch and asked us if we wanted his futon sofa.  It was perfect for me since it is more firm than the other couch and the seat is more flat.  I can sit forward and use my back muscles to support my body.  One of my boys noted though that while I was sitting forward and working on something I was sitting at an angle.  I realized they were right and I was leaving to the left.

So, now I have decided to take it another step further.  I have been sitting on a stability ball.  I moved my laptop so I can sit on the ball when I use it or I can sit on the floor or at the table in a straight back chair.  I just wont allow myself to sit on the couch anymore and use my laptop, read or crochet.  I need to get used to sitting up straight and using my muscles.  

The first few days I tried to just do a small amount but I still ended up with a very sore back.  I am sure I was sitting at an angel because of all the time I spent in the recliner slouched into the corner (to the left) and leaning on the cushy arm.  I noticed that on my right side my back and abdominal muscles were weaker and it was easy to hurt them.  I somehow pulled a muscle in my back just sitting up after a nap. It was so painful I had to take a muscle relaxer and that stuff knocks me out of this dimension.  I am very sensitive to a lot of medications and that is one of them.  They gave me the lowest dose available and the pill was the size of a birth control pill.  I was cutting that little tiny pill into quarters and it was still making me dream crazy stuff and I'd wake up feeling like I was coming out of anesthesia.  I really don't want that to happen again.  Another time I had a muscle in my back twist up into a knot.  That was horribly painful and my doctor told me to go get a massage therapist to work it out.  I could hardly walk and really didn't expect my doctor to just tell me to go make an appointment with someone else.  Of course that was a Friday and I knew it was too late to to try to call to schedule something.  So I pulled out my ol' trusty stability ball and very carefully learned back onto it.  I very, very, VERY slowly tried to lay back on it and it hurt so bad.  One at a time my boys came to see if  I was okay and they didn't want to leave me there like that.  I just had to insist that they leave and ignore me because I couldn't help but yell out in pain at times.  I just kept easing back on that ball until I finally heard this snap and I felt the knot come out really fast. Somehow at the same moment it hurt so bad it brought tears to my eyes and felt better too.  It was so sore but felt so much better.  I stayed on that ball and kept reaching toward the wall and eventually for the floor until I finally could reach it.  I was so afraid that muscle might kink up on me again if I got up.  

Anyway, now that I have spent a few days sitting on that ball that same muscle is the one that is hurting.  I also have soreness on my shoulder on the same side.  I think those muscles on that side are just too tight so it is hard to sit up straight.  So I'm just going to keep sitting on the stability ball for periods of time and then using it to stretch my bad a few times a day too.  Slowly but surely those muscles will get stronger and I'll be able to add more things to my bag of tricks.

As for the 365 decluttering challenge, I was sick for most of the first week but I did spend a few minutes every day decluttering all the snot rags from around my pillow.  The good thing is that the first week actually began on Monday (Jan 5th).  The first few days things to do were pretty easy and I already had most of them done from the last time I started to do this challenge a few years back.  I just didn't get very far last time because I was feeling so bad all the time. This time my whole family is doing this with me.  Son #2 has been the most helpful and has even chosen some things to declutter on his own. He also helps by doing the more physical things like pulling things out and wiping things down and then I decide what gets an eviction notice and where to put the rest.  I printed the calender and have it posted on the fridge. Tonight I worked on my daily To Do List template which was the mission for Saturday.  I was sleeping Saturday.  Anyway, I know I have to do things a little differently because I just can't do as much.  I designed my list to work for me in multiple ways.  I have a list of things that I need to do daily and they are always the same.  Some of them are things my doctor wants me to do.  I also usually choose one goal to work on during the day or I'll choose a room to clean up in.  So I created a document and started it off with a list of the things I need to do daily and I made a line to write in my daily goal.  Another goal I have is to drink more water so I added a place to mark off glasses of water throughout the day.  I also made a place for medications and vitamins I am supposed to take and the time.  Sometimes when I feel really bad I forget if I took my medicine or not.  This way I can check it off when I take it and note the time for some.  I put the sheet in a page protector and I can use a wipe off marker to write on it.  I put it in a pretty binder I found at the thrift store.  I have added some paper and some tabbed sections for keeping track of other things like guitar practice.  My daily to do list will just be my first page in that binder and I think it will work really well for me.  

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