Practice What You Preach

Last week I wrote a post about the importance of taking proper care of ourselves (Your Body Is Not A Machine). But I didn't follow my own advice and later paid the price.

It's been a busy few weeks recently. I haven't exactly been sticking to my rules about not going out more than a few times per week. We've been looking at wedding venues and my Mom was also in London for a long weekend.

In the midst of all this, I went in to see Super Physio for my regular bi-monthly review. I'm now at the point in my treatment where we're just fine tuning – building up a little extra strength here and there and doing some preventative work. To make a long story short, none of the work is related to the chronic pain anymore as that's now mostly gone.

Except that she did find something worrying this time. When we moved house two months ago I hurt my back pretty badly. My postural problems have been mostly limited to my neck/shoulder area, but when we moved, I spent hours and hours on my feet, packing and cleaning both the old and new flats. The Monday morning after the move weekend, my back was so stiff that I was having trouble walking without intense pain.

Fortunately I knew what exercises to do for it and I got the pain to subside. However, what I didn't realize at the time was how badly I actually had hurt it. Because I have a very bendy body, the majority of my back was still working pretty well and I just carried on without realizing it.

When I went in to see SP we stretched those pesky muscles right out and she told me to take it easy for a while. I was good about doing the back exercises, but I didn't exactly take it easy. Instead it coincided with working on a very research-heavy project at work that required a lot of computer time, my Mom's visit, wedding venue viewings, some drinks with friends, a talk given by a Hegelian and Marxist philosopher (different, but interesting), a tap dancing rehearsal and recital (yes, I am admitting to being a novice tap dancer), a friend's 40th birthday and a Fourth of July barbeque. There wasn't a night in two weeks when I just came home straight from work and relaxed on the sofa.

So this past Saturday morning I woke up and my muscles were screaming at me. My neck had joined in the yelling match too. We were supposed to go to a birthday party in the afternoon. I sent Future Hub on without me and glumly stayed at home.

I felt like a caged animal. I was miserable with pain and couldn't face going anywhere but at the same time cursing the fact that I had to stay home. I kept thinking I don't have time for this. I wanted to work on this blog, I had things around the house to get done. I wanted to go to yoga. But I was firm; it was time to cut myself off. I split my time between doing small sets of my physio exercises on the floor and then lying on the couch with heat either on my neck or lower back.

Eventually I made myself feel better by watching the last four episodes of Grey's Anatomy Series 5, which I hadn't yet seen – as luck would have it. With the requisite tear-inducing story lines it also helped me release some of those stress hormones (see yesterday's post). And it was a fabulous thing how much better I felt on Sunday. Well enough to do some writing and get on with my life.

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