Tempting fate - a (possibly final) back update

· by Steve · Read in about 4 min · (661 Words)

hunchbackI’ve been pretty busy lately, so there hasn’t been much time for blogging - I’ve tagged a few subjects for future expansion in my drafts, being very much a reentrant blogger, but so far meat has only been added very sporadically to those particular bones. By the time I get around to filling in the detail, the subject matter will no doubt be considered ‘stale’, but maybe my particular brand of commentary might lend a modicum of life to them anyway.

I’ve deliberately avoided talking about my back for a while, for multiple reasons; firstly, that I suspect it gets a little dull to read, and secondly it seems that whenever I talk about it on this blog, it seems to get worse the day or two following. I’m not a superstitious man by any means, but it’s really quite uncanny; of course, it’s probably just because when it’s feeling better, I’m more likely to overdo something & injure it again.

So, with he appropriate caveats about what might happen in he next 2 days, the good news is that ever so slowly, my back is improving. After several months of following the advice of my physio to concentrate on stretching out and lengthening the muscles and tendons in my mid-upper back, to stop them clamping up and locking my back in enormously painful ways, I’m definitely seeing positive results. I now do about 1.5 hours of exercise and stretching per day, and go to the gym twice a week on top of that for something a little more strenuous. It still hurts moderately every morning and most evenings, and occasionally I get a more serious bout which requires me to take painkillers (usually the day after doing something unwise, or being too immobile such as when travelling for long periods), but overall, I can see positive results. Each month I seem to be a little bit better than the last - it’s not a fast process, but at least it is a process.

As you can imagine, it still plays havok with my daily routine, and I’m almost constantly frustrated at the amount of stuff I can get done these days. Years of sitting at the PC until 2am if that was ‘necessary’ led to a certain baseline expectation of how much I could do in a day. Now, I’m mostly a regular daytime beast, with a few extra hours at the weekend and the occasional evening here and there, so it’s quite different. But, I’m adjusting to it, such as learning to say ‘No’ to work offers that don’t feature highly on my personal priority list (which basically means that stuff that enhances Ogre gets top priority, things that use Ogre next, everything else brings up the rear, if at all), and time-boxing what I do in the community / forums - now, if I can’t do it in the time I have, it probably doesn’t get done (by me anyway), rather than the old situation of me just spending as much time as it took. I don’t like having to pass on work, or get slightly out of touch with some aspects of the community, but on balance it’s an acceptable sacrifice given the alternatives, no matter how guilty I might feel about it sometimes.

So, if I don’t talk about my back much anymore, it’s because it’s just on a very slow but seemingly steady road to recovery, which as you can tell, doesn’t make for very interesting blog posts 😉 It doesn’t mean I’m ‘better’ yet, and I’ve accepted that I’ll never be able to return to my old ‘all night coding marathon’ days, (revel in those while you can guys, but definitely think about giving them up before your back ends up like mine did) - but it’s probably time to stop talking about it now. My thanks to all those who sent their good wishes, and helped me out over this rather testing time.