Hello all. I'm writing this on the third consecutive day of flat-out hot weather here in New England. It was 75°F (24°C) here yesterday. In February. (Needless to say, the above photo was not taken the past few days.)
Today is slightly cooler (66°F/18°C); still, this is still crazy-warm for February in New England. One week ago we had over two feet of snow on the ground; other than the remnants of several large piles in the corners of parking lots, it is now completely gone. While I am no fan of snow, temperatures this warm in the middle of winter here are more than a little unnerving.
That being said, follow along for more on the rest of my week.
On a less stressful front, I've been somewhat frustrated this week. I've had a tough winter health-wise, with two separate, lengthy bouts with bronchitis in November and again in January, with a higher than usual amount of stress compounding matters.
I was very much looking forward to finally being able to resume running again; it's essentially been three months since I ran. (I managed two runs, but became sick after both of them; I learned my lesson after the second occurrence and resolved to wait until I was fully healthy.
Exercise in general, and running in particular, are, and have always been, extremely important to me. I know now they help a great deal with depression and stress, both of which have been issues with me (unfortunately) my entire life. So not being able to run, or really even exercise, for three-plus months has been very, very frustrating.
I thought this would be the week that I was finally able to start up again, bearing in mind that I would need to take it slowly to avoid putting myself on the disabled list yet again. I have a lengthy list of sprained, strained, fractured, and broken toes, feet, and ankles (to say nothing of assorted ribs, fingers, elbows, and wrists) over the years from overdoing it. Fortunately, Cassidy, unlike the boy, knows enough to be patient and wait.
I wound up missing a day of work on Tuesday with an upset stomach (see the above references to stress) that kept me up all night. I managed to get some sleep during the day, enough to allow my stomach to settle down enough for me to want to go out for some tea. I decided to take a shower before I headed out, which would seem like a safe endeavor for most people - but not for me, with my unfortunately gender-neutral klutziness.
As I got ready to step in the shower, I removed the scrunchie from my hair to let it down so I could wash it. (I've learned that I need to wear my hair up when I go to bed, as I toss and turn so much that I risk waking up with a mouthful of hair multiple times a night.)
In classic Cass-the-Klutz mode, I dropped the scrunchie as soon as I removed it. I bent over to pick it up off my scale, where it had fallen, when it happened.
A series of coughs erupted just as I had the scrunchie in my grasp...
...and then I felt a sharp pain across my lower back.
Other than one incident a few years ago, I've never had a problem with my back. But I knew immediately I had done something... well, not good.
Gasping for breath, I somehow managed to straighten up enough to be able to hobble back to my bedroom and gingerly lower myself onto my bed. I had the foresight to grab some ibuprofen from the medicine cabinet before I did, which proved to be a smart move.
Alice just happened to text me as I managed to find a prone position that didn't result in shooting pain. I told her what had happened, and, as an unfortunate veteran of back issues, she gave me some excellent advice:
- Find a comfortable position that doesn't hurt or strain your back.
- Move as little as possible once you find it.
- Take the ibuprofen.
- Apply heat and/or ice if you have them handy. (I went with my heating pad.)
I spent a very uncomfortable Tuesday afternoon and evening, managing to sleep in short bursts. I awoke Wednesday still feeling as if someone was stabbing my spine with an ice pick, but not enough to prevent me from missing another day of work. (I've missed enough with my two bronchitis bouts already.) I managed to get through the day on Wednesday, as along as I moved slowly and got up to prevent it from stiffening every 30-45 minutes. It improved on Thursday and then again on Friday, and then a bit more today (Saturday)...
...but not enough for me to able to go running, which I was desperate to do, given the rare opportunity to run in mid-February Boston without dodging snow plows and battling cars for space where people hadn't bothered to shovel their sidewalks.
As I sit here writing this, my back is still stiff enough that I know I can't run quite yet, much as my brain and body wish it were otherwise. I suppose it's an example of Cassidy knowing enough to take the long view, where the boy would have been frustrated/stubborn/desperate enough to attempt to plow ahead and incur one of the aforementioned trips to the emergency room.
We return to more typical late-February weather late tonight, so my opportunity to run in springlike warmth is over. But by being prudent I hope that in another few days I'll be able to start again without risking a return visit to my friends in the local emergency room. (It's never a good sign when you are on a first name basis with the staff there, is it?)
That's all for this post. I suppose it can serve as a reminder to myself that progress comes in different forms - in this instance, the form of a more-or-less ambulatory Cass, as opposed to one in traction. Little victories are still victories, no?
I'm off to watch some spring-training baseball. You know you're a baseball junkie when you're willing to watch an game during which players feel free to run wind sprints in the outfield as the game is in progress. I love spring training games. :c)
Have a great week, all. See you soon...
I've discovered a terrific new band - well, new to me - called The Wooden Sky, from Toronto. I stumbled across one of their videos on YouTube, gave it a listen, and am now hooked. I thought I'd share a few songs I've particularly enjoyed below.
First up is a lovely song called, yes, "The Wooden Sky":
Next is a live, electric version of a terrific, Beatles-influenced tune called "This Bird Has Flown":
And finally, a gorgeous, unplugged version of a song called "Child of the Valley":