Week 28/2023: Backs and shoulders, arms and eyes (part 2)

Week of 10 July 2023

Two streets intersect. There is a tree without leaves on the right. Along the main road are multi storey buildings from different times in the 20th and 21st century. A truck is turning into the side street. There is a cyclist and pedestrians.
On the way to another physio appointment

Backs and shoulders. Well, really, just backs.

This is where I write an update about how great I’m doing with my shoulder exercises and how much better my back is feeling right?

Well, actually no.

Nothing has got better and, if anything, it’s got worse.

I had some left over painkillers from last time my back was really bad and they were the only thing that saved me this week.

I cancelled my Pilates class because I didn’t see how I was going to be able to do any of those exercises.

And I contacted my sister’s osteopath, who she had been encouraging me to see for several weeks.

I explained my situation, and her response was, “You sound like you need some help.”

I really do! She said she couldn’t guarantee anything but that maybe it was time for me to try something different. She had a cancellation on Friday so I booked in to see her.

I’d seen an osteopath many years ago and did get some relief from whatever was happening at that time so I was hopeful. What I like about osteopaths is they look at the whole body and try to treat things holistically rather than just targeting the injury.

Most of the appointment was taken up by me going through my history of back pain, which dates back to my uni life, and all the various iterations of that, which may or may not be related to what’s happening now.

She was able to access the MRI I had a couple of months back when my doctor was concerned the symptoms I was having might be caused by some kind of nerve damage (they aren’t). After flicking through the images she said, “I can see why you’re having problems”.

I can’t tell you what a relief that was, to find out there’s an actual reason for what’s happening as opposed to no one being really sure, and I asked why neither the doctor nor the physio had picked up on this. Apparently, it’s because they (and the report) were looking for something different, which wasn’t there. The report hadn’t picked this up at all.

My takeaway from all of this is that the muscles that are giving me problems look something like marbled beef, which might be great for a restaurant but isn’t something you want in a human who is still alive and kicking. And this is what she’s going to treat, along with me doing some extra exercises and walking more.

More exercises? When I’m struggling to do the ones I already have? This is going to be fun.

It’s also beyond essential. As is more walking.


The osteopath agrees with my most recent physio diagnosis on my shoulder, that it’s most likely developed into frozen shoulder. She thinks any treatment would be a waste of time and money, as this condition will resolve itself over time.

A long time.

I haven’t thought about it that much lately. My back has been a much bigger problem. I’m happy to let it do its thing for now.


Getting use to the disposable contact lenses is tricky. They’re so much thinner than the normal ones I used to have, so getting them in and out is a bit difficult. I’m hoping it will get easier the more I do it, just like it took a while to get used to using contacts in the first place.

Week 28 summary

What was the best thing about this week?

Apart from getting the appointment with the osteopath, a highlight of the week was another visit to Handmark Gallery, where there was an exhibition from two emerging artists.

It was the word psychogeography from Jeewan Suwal’s exhibition that caught my eye as I was walking past and enticed me in. This is a series of abstract landscapes that map Jeewan’s emotional journey as he relocated his life from Nepal to Hobart.

An abstract landscape painting of a coastline in pastel colours
Artwork by Jeewan Suwal at Handmark

I like looking at these images. They’re very different to the way I usually see the world.

The colour palette of Eloise Daintree’s exhibition Longing also stood out to me. Eloise is a proud palawa woman, who incorporates her Indigenous heritage into her work.

A series of four colourful paintings hung on a dark blue wall
Work by Eloise Daintree at Handmark

In the video that accompanies the exhibition, Eloise explains how she paints the big picture in acrylics and completes the details and fine parts, the objects, in oil. She says these elements create the window into the place.

Another cool part of the week was getting dinner from Honeychild’s Driveway Diner on Saturday. This week, she made a French-inspired menu to recognise Bastille Day on 14 July.

This was the most amazing tasting cassoulet, which she called “Creole Double Bird and Pork Cassoulet” served with cannellini beans and roasted vegetables. The “double bird” refers to the duck and the chicken in the dish.

A foil dish with a stew of meat, white beans and vegetables topped with cornbread
Double bird and pork cassoulet with cornbread

It was sensational, as was the most lemony lemon cake for dessert. And to top it off, a spicy cranberry mulled non-alcoholic cider. I’m not normally a fan of mulled ciders, but this was unlike any I’ve had before. Sweet and smooth.

A light brown pottery wine goblet with a dark liquid inside
Mulled cider in my Bendigo Pottery goblet

I’m glad Toni convinced me to try it.

What did I learn this week?

I learned what a Tasmanian cave spider is.

I will not post a photo (you can google it if you want to see what it looks like). It is, according to the Australian Museum, “the last of an old Gondwanan lineage of spiders and its nearest relatives are found in South America”.

I’m sure it has a very happy life in the caves of lutruwita/Tasmania. There is no need for it to be in my laundry. Or anywhere near my house. Last I saw of it, it was strolling off into the bush, and I hope it finds a nice cave somewhere.

What did I notice this week?

A bike in the Sandy Bay Rivulet.

Looking down on a small rivulet in which there is a lot of garbage including a blue pushbike
The Sandy Bay Rivulet

What I’m reading this week

  • The Perfectionist’s Guide to Losing Control by Katherine Morgan Schafler

Habit tracker

  • Morning ritual (Goal = 7): 7
  • Move (preferably before 3 pm) (Goal = 7): 7
  • Three times a week writing habit (3): 0
  • The Little Red Writing Book exercises (Goal = 5): 0
  • Listen to writing podcasts (Goal = 2): 0
  • Physiotherapy exercises (at least 4/5) (Goal = 7): 6
  • Shut my computer down before 9.15 (Goal = 5): 6
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