2019-05-29 The Ultimate Human Condition

Today is the last day of school for my kids and so it’s likely to be the last day for me to spend QT with my most beloved elliptical machine (at my gym across the street from the school). I’ll likely spend the summer getting to know the equipment in the exercise room in my basement better or, better yet, start those Jazzercise classes I’ve been wanting for months now. I’ll also be working out in the garden flexing my digging and watering and weed-pulling muscles.

I have a sneaking suspicion that the steroid shot in my arm will not last as long as the first one. That gave me relief from the annoying aches and pains in my arm for about 2 months. Of course my hope going in (the first time) was that I would have the shot and my tendons would recover in the span of time the med was working. That was in January and by about the end of March it started creeping back. I held out to mid May before going back for seconds.

Funny thing about tendonitis at the elbow… they don’t have a good way to fix it and also not a lot of proven methods of physical therapy that help. I asked this specific question at my appointment “what should I do while I have the relief from the steroids, exercise to strengthen or complete rest? What will help it get better faster?”. The answer..

“We don’t know”. Really? There are no studies or experience with cases that have led to the answer. Some people respond to total rest and some to therapy. Some get one shot and the pain never comes back and some have to come back every 3 months. Eventually, in 95% of cases, the pain just goes away. The tendons, he explained, are more “frayed” than Inflamed. They eventually just recover from the trauma that caused the issue. Ok.

The first go-round I limited my arm activity to just daily living tasks. No lifting weights or Jazzercise arm routines Or tennis. That being said, there’s still a fair amount of heavy lifting in my day to day life. Plus it’s not even the “lifting” things that’s taxing. It’s actually any strain on the wrist or pressure exerted in the hand and fingers. I was trying to hold off getting a second shot. I was holding onto hope it would just start getting better one day. That I would wake up and it would slowly feel better than the day before. It didn’t.

I have an iPhone SE, which is equivalent to the iPhone 6, and that version still has the “power/sleep” button on the top. The day I was holding my phone and noticed that there was pain in my arm as I moved my finger up to push the button and turn the display off was the same day I called to make a second ortho appointment. The fact that such a simple action could spark the pain was just disheartening.

I wanted to write the day I had my appointment but didn’t have time. I just was on the verge of tears all morning. I was just so sad about the pain coming back or perhaps the fact that it’s inevitable that my aging body will fail me. It’s just the start of things to come. I exercise and take care of myself and eventually things will deteriorate anyway. It’s part of the human condition. The aging physical body is just that.. always aging.

What’s next? Eyesight, hearing, cognitive function? Ok, that’s overly dramatic but there may a physical element to my lack of focus and tiredness in the evenings. It may be less to do with not getting enough good sleep and more to do with having 45 year old parts. I don’t know but it definitely weighs on my mind.

Around November last year I developed an involuntary twitch in my eyelid. It would start mid-morning and last almost all day, off and on. It was Mildly annoying and fairly easy to ignore save for the fact that I had creeping thoughts in my brain about this being the newest age-induced problem. For real I thought “oh hell… is this another thing I’m going to have for the rest of my life?” (like the late night leg twitch when I’m sleepy and that started when I was about 38). Good grief!!

The last few months the worry grew and the eyelid twitching more bothersome to the point where I googled it. The articles I read said it was caused by 1. Too much caffeine or 2. Lack of sleep or 3. Too much stress. Old, worn out eyelids were not among the causes. Good. I tried reducing caffeine (fairly successfully) and have managed to bump my sleep by 15 minutes a night on average. I also quit the most stressful part of my life (the dreaded work project).

All that has improved the situation tremendously. I noted in the last week or so that those twitchy episodes have been greatly reduced. So that’s a “tic” in the win column. I’ll take it.

Right now I have very little pain in my right arm. It’s about 2.5 weeks post injection and if I’m going to try and do something different with this go-round, the time is now. I have written orders for PT if I want to use them. I can’t just do the same thing as before and expect a different result. I’m no longer hoprleful that it will just get better, magically. I’m actually thinking it will not get better unless I rest it completely (which is terribly impossible) or jump on the PT wagon. What to do, what to do?

That’s enough rambling on about the Tennis Elbow and the reality of the ultimate human condition today. I’ve got 1.5 hours before the kids are done and it’s not worth driving home just to drive back again so I’ll be hanging out at the gym. I may try reading on the treadmill. I can write blog posts on the elliptical machine so one would think reading would be a snap. 😉

Cheers,

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-04-10 Getting Older

Apparently one of the side effects of getting old is forgetting ones actual age. I was having a conversation the other day and JS asked how old my siblings were. I know the difference in our ages, so I always calculate this by taking my age and adding/subtracting appropriately (I’m a middle child of 4). My sisters age seemed wrong and discussing a little further, I said something about my age. He said “uh, babe, that’s not tour age. You are a year older than that”. It sucks to lose a whole year just that quick. Snap.. one year closer to.. death.
Oh GAWD. When you’re 25 you don’t think like that (at least I didn’t). Here I am 20 years later scratching my head, wondering WTF I’ve done with my years. No use dwelling on that. The better question is what I’m going to do with the next 20.
Here’s the scoop.. NO ONE really knows what happens when you die. When you breath your last breath and the physical form you were given as a gift ceases to function. It’s all just speculation based on beliefs that were either handed to you as a child (or adult) or some conclusion you came to on your own through life experience or principals of science and logic. Is there a soul? Does it go somewhere? Is it absorbed back into the collective energy of the universe? Is there no soul? Is existence merely physical and when you die it truly is dust to dust? We don’t know.
It’s crazy to think that we rely on this grand unknown and use those beliefs as the basis for so many other things including “how” we choose to live our lives. I’m not a fan of organized religion but it does serve as a moral compass for a vast majority of the population. It’s those beliefs and principals, the very idea you will have to answer to your bad behaviors in some other plane of existence, that keep some people on the right path.
Now I’m not saying that without religion we would all be thieves and murderers running around in a world of chaos. I’ve never participated in religion. I was not raised that way, yet I have an internal instinct that knows the difference between right and wrong and a force that helps me make decisions. Yeah, I’m a Sci-fi nerd, but it’s very much like Star Wars.
Let me digress further for just a hot minute… when they say, “May the force be with you”, isn’t that kind of ambiguous? I mean isn’t the force both light and dark? The collective of energy.
If I was Kylo Ren, and somebody said that to me, I’d be all like “Thanks.. And now you die!” (invoking the dark side of the force, you know? Oh, you get it) .
Anyway, the point is we don’t really know and we have to go forward in life with this. We have to make choices despite not really knowing. So when I realize I’m a year older than I thought I was, I’m immediately confronted with thoughts about what I’m doing with my life.
I’m working because I have to, to support my lifestyle. I’m going to school to support my grander dreams, which are still somewhat undefined. I try to make healthy choices so I can live a long time and set a good example for my children. I’m trying to raise them right because, at the end of the day, that’s the start of my legacy (if there is such a thing), and my biggest contribution to society and the human race.
The force inside me tells me that all of this does matter. I do have internal conflict at times, where some other part of me escapes and argues that nothing really matters. It’s the 1.261 billion foot view looking down 🌏 and trying to grasp your place in the universe.
The higher you go, the less meaning there is. Eventually you can’t see the center of any gravity anymore and when you are there the laws of science and nature are suspended.  Don’t linger too long though. It’s super cold and there’s no air to breath and you’ll die pretty quickly. Zooming back in, each day I have a choice and what I choose defines who I am. In 4.5 months, I really will be a year older and I don’t want to waste any time.
You know what else happens when you get older? Your body starts to malfunction for no reason. My distance vision is starting to go and my metabolism keeps slowing down and there’s nothing I can do to stop these things. That bites.
No time like the present then, to make the most of it before time is up.
Actively seeking delicious cheeseburgers,
~Miss SugarCookie