Week 34/2023: Life is pain, Highness

Week of 21 August 2023 (part 1)

Life is pain, Highness

Anyone who says differently is selling something.

I’m writing this week’s post in two parts because one part is great and one is . . . Not.

Let’s get the misery out of the way first.

Week 34 started off like last week ended, with me in a lot of pain, unable to work and a truckload of medications. I’d spent most of the weekend on the couch and a ten-minute walk was about all I could manage.

It wasn’t fun.

White foam rolling up a beach with the river in the background. There are rocks on the left hand side
It wasn’t all bad. I made it to the beach one day

I slept most of the morning on Monday and forced myself to go for a walk. My routine had become trying to sleep for a couple of hours, failing, taking a mega painkiller around 2 am and finally getting some sleep.

I decided to stop taking the pills that had been making me drowsy because I was sleeping so much during the day, that I couldn’t get to sleep at night, they were making me feel horrible, and they weren’t actually relieving the pain at all.

On Tuesday, I saw my physio and she helped a lot.

She recommended a one-on-one Pilates class later in the week rather than the weekly class I had started a couple of weeks ago (just before everything went bad again).

I saw the osteopath on Wednesday and she told me I shouldn’t have two treatments in two days because I wouldn’t know what was working.

I would have been happy to have had ten treatments in two days, because any of them would have been better than no treatment. My private health card might not have liked that, but as it gave out its last nine dollars of my yearly physiotherapy allowance, I guess that no longer matters.

After these two treatments, I was feeling a lot less pain and went to the one-on-one physio/Pilates session on Thursday, which was extremely gentle. By the time I went to see the doctor later that morning, I was feeling much better and she even noticed I was moving a lot more freely. We agreed I’d have the rest of this week off and then try to go back to work for four hours a day next week. It’s still sitting that’s causing the most pain, so fewer work hours will let me take as many breaks as I need during my work day and to not sit for too long.

That’s the idea, anyway.

On Saturday night I actually went to sleep without any medication so I’m hoping that’s going to continue. The idea of codeine dependency does not appeal.

Week 34 summary

What was the best thing about this week?

The best thing, apart from what I’ll be writing about in part 2 of this week’s post, was going to Kramstable’s school’s vocal showcase on Tuesday night. After he finished with the musical last term, Kramstable joined the vocal ensemble, which I was very excited about.

The show featured a range of solo vocalists, the school’s house band and the vocal ensemble. I wasn’t sure how I’d go sitting in a theatre for two hours but we found some seats up the back where we could stand up and stretch when we needed to, and it was fine.

It was a lovely night, and I enjoyed seeing Kramstable singing with the group.

And another good thing was reaching my 1400-day streak on Duolingo.

An orange tile with a cartoon owl wearing sunglasses and the text "I'm oo a 1400 day language learning streak" in white letters
My 1400-day streak

What did I notice this week?

A huge bruise on my leg that was caused by me running into the steel frame of a bus seat.


What did I learn this week?

Apart from looking where I’m going on the bus, I learned a bit about why sitting is bad for us.

I’ve been reading Built to Move by Kelly Starrett and Juliet Starrett, and it talks about what extended sitting on chairs does to us. Sitting places a lot of weight on the thigh bone and muscles, and squashes all the tissues in that area. It also prevents the ball and socket hip joint from moving as it should, and the long muscles in your back have to work really hard to keep you upright and stable in the sitting position. It is bad.

What I’m reading this week

  • The Perfectionist’s Guide to Losing Control by Katherine Morgan Schafler
  • Van Diemen’s Land by James Boyce
  • The Use of the Self by FM Alexander
  • Body and Breath by Jill Miller
  • Built to Move by Kelly Starrett and Juliet Starrett
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