I haven’t written here much recently; and I haven’t been working on my recent programming project, either. That’s not a sign that there’s something else that’s grabbing me: I just haven’t had energy during the evenings for about two months now. So it’s been easiest just to read blog posts or watch TV or play games; I’m actually really glad I’ve been replaying the Phoenix Wright series, and I’m quite enjoying Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries as well, I just wish there were more evenings when I was doing something else.

For a lot of the time, it was simple tiredness. My allergies were out of control in the winter, but they got a lot better with the help of nasal rinsing. But then they came back; I’ve bumped up my Claritin intake again, and the allergies are mostly under under control now, but not great. My current theory as to what was going on there was that the bathroom remodel kicked up a lot of dust, so I was hoping that it would get better once the bathroom remodel was over. (The remodel has turned out great, incidentally!) I’m not convinced my allergies are completely better now, though, so maybe there’s something else going on.


Or rather: maybe there’s something else going on with the allergies: there’s certainly something else going on in general. A couple of times over the last year my back spent a couple of weeks hurting; that happened again this summer (starting just before the construction work), and it just didn’t going away. Eventually, I went to see a doctor and started physical therapy; the therapist gave me some stretches, and it’s actually been a week since my back has hurt.

Which would be good, but my symptoms have moved: my leg started hurting, with a range of symptoms, symptoms that are triggered by a different set of actions (sometimes including just sitting down for a minute) than my back problems. That leg pain first appeared Saturday a week and a half ago, and as my back was getting better, my leg was getting worse; I went to the doctor last Thursday, and then that evening I had problems sleeping for the first time (noticeable ones: I woke up at 2:30am and couldn’t get back to sleep), so I asked Liesl to drive me to the doctor the next morning as well, and just sitting in the car was super painful. I couldn’t see my regular doctor on Friday, and I wasn’t too impressed by the doctor I did see, but I got some stronger pain relievers.

The good news is that my symptoms haven’t gotten any worse since then, and I’m pretty sure they’ve gotten a little better. (Though I don’t know for sure if I could sleep through the night without the drugs; also, while sleeping on my back is much less painful than sleeping on my side, it is really not something I enjoy.) But they are still very noticeable, and noticeable in ways that honestly kind of worry me: for example, I wanted to drive to the grocery store a couple of nights ago to pick up some replacement tomatoes; I only made it to the end of the driveway before deciding that, no, driving a car still really was not a smart idea for me. And walking home the last couple of days, I’ve noticed that the toes on my right foot are curling a little bit (and in retrospect I actually think I’ve seen signs of that for months), so there’s some odd physical behavior going beyond just pain.

So right now I just don’t know what’s going on. It seems like I’ve got a pinched or inflamed nerve somewhere; presumably caused by the back issues, but I don’t know why these new symptoms have appeared, or what to make of the fact that they’re appearing as the back pain is disappearing. And having the symptoms mutate is getting tiring; and it’s also tiring trying to figure out how to arrange myself over the course of my day to deal with this. (How much standing, how much lying down, when sitting down works at all.)


Or, to come back to what I started with: how to avoid being in pain during the evening. It’s hard to write or program at my computer if I can’t sit down and feel like I’m relaxing at least a little bit. Working standing up is a possible way to deal with that; but if I’m spending much of the day at work working standing up, then I don’t really have the energy to do that at home. So it’s a lot easier to watch an episode of Miss Fisher and then lie down on a sofa reading blogs for a little while until it’s time to go to bed.

This isn’t awful or anything: more a reminder of my mortality. And I think the exercises my therapist are recommending really are helping: not only is my back not hurting, but my back feels like it’s moving well. But I hope that their suggestions plus the anti-inflammatories I’ve been taking for a week start having an effect on this pinched nerve soon.

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