Monday, November 24, 2014

A Useful Exercise

The horses are in today, thanks to the rain. I put Ben out just long enough to clean his stall, since it had dwindled to drizzle and light showers by the time I arrived. It took him a while (he's not the sharpest pencil in the box) to realize he was out ALL ALONE and bellow pitifully for rescue.

Meanwhile, I tackled his large stall. His large filthy stall. His large filthy stall where he, a big eater and even bigger drinker, had been free to pee and poop from suppertime yesterday to midday today. I took out three (or was it four?) level wheelbarrow loads, sodden and stinking, and could have taken out more if I'd chosen to be fanatical about it. Then I brought the pathetically relieved big guy back inside.

It was (a) satisfying to give him a clean stall; (b) some useful exercise; and (c) a good reminder of just why I've given up doing rough board.

Now I have to go change. And wash my hands again.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Oh, right, like I needed this

Well, this sucks.

As if it weren't bad enough that I'm having ongoing lower back pain and stiffness; discomfort I thought was just the passing result of some heavy lifting two weeks ago, except that, instead of getting better, in the last few days it's got markedly worse. So much so that I wake up in the morning with a real problem moving; so much so that last night I had to abandon my bed and sleep in the recliner -- which helped the back but had its own not so great effect on my hips.

Yeh, hips, plural. The replaced one can be mildly achy off and on, though nowhere near as bad as before the operation. But now the right hip is getting grumpy; for the past few months it's been treating me to low-level but frequent hot-feeling discomfort. I'm nowhere near needing to think about getting that one replaced -- yet -- but that's another cloud on my horizon.

The knees, fortunately, while still niggling at me aren't too much of a problem, though they're not normal strength. The right Achilles tendon, for a wonder, is actually getting better though it too still can bother me if I walk too much. But the lower back pain and stiffness have me wondering whether there might be a disc problem. I'll be seeing my physical therapist tomorrow and will see what if anything he can do to help. If the back still sucks next week I'll go see my doctor.

So, anyway, I've been dealing with all this frustrating debility, wondering how much more decrepitude lies ahead, and now? Now, on top of all that?

Another damned tooth just broke while I was eating. Not really surprising, given how generally crappy my fangs are, not to mention the ratio of filling to enamel in the pathetic bit of dentition that I spat into my hand. And at least the remaining stub isn't hurting.


But I did not need this. Especially on my preferred chewing side.

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Friday late-day update:

Some reasonably good news: my physical therapist doesn't believe the back pain's from a disc problem; apparently I'd be having pain radiating down my leg it it were.

So, a strain. He's given me a couple of gentle stretches to help, plus things I can do with pillows to relieve stress on the area while sleeping, since it's worst right out of bed. Or I'll sleep in the recliner for a few nights to given my back some relief from what's bothering it. Also, both heat and ice packs can be useful.

I am now sitting fairly comfortably in my recliner, enveloped in Ben-Gay fumes.


Saturday morning update:

Another night in the recliner, and progress!

It's not the most restful place to sleep; it bothers my bad Achilles tendon, in fact, given where the edge of the footrest lands; but it sure does make my lower back happier. I got up for one of the usual bathroom runs around 6:30 and decided to go upstairs to my bed, see if the therapist-suggested pillow arrangements would work. Turns out sleeping on my side, no matter how I prop myself, makes lumbar-me unhappy, surprisingly quickly. Turning onto my back, with under-knee pillowing, is much better, other than exposing my torso to the crushing weight of a cat or two. Still, it will probably take another night or so in the recliner to settle things down enough for me to resume my bed.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Wetlands deadwood

The Miles River runs between Hamilton and Ipswich, Massachusetts. Where Gardner Street becomes Sagamore Road a causeway runs across the river's broad wetlands, and from there one has a sweeping view up and down river of the drowned lands. Much of it must have been dry once; in riding my horse on trails nearby I've found traces of old cart paths leading into what's now wetlands, and the skeletal trees sticking up from the reeds bear mute witness to the past.

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