Or: nagging annoyances from the start of the summer that I hadn’t gotten around to blogging about. Probably everything here deserves its own post, but I’ll just get this summary out now to unblock myself.
Because I would like to get writing again a little more regularly. And part of the reason why I hadn’t been doing that a few months back is that I wasn’t at an energy level where I felt drawn to writing (or doing anything that takes much thought) in the evenings. Not that things were awful, just that there was enough dragging me down that, at the end of the day, I didn’t feel like doing much.
The first problem was a recurrence of my ongoing back pain. (Well, leg pain caused by my back.) It started up again in late spring, I think? Not nearly as bad as when it first occurred, but enough to show that the epidural didn’t fix things, it just temporarily improved the situation, and that Tai Chi wasn’t helping and might be hurting. I started doing a few more exercises, which may or may not have helped, and one of them (I’m not sure which, there are two candidates) seemed to have stressed a muscle somewhere in my upper back. Which wasn’t awful, but it did mean that, in our trip to Paris this summer, I wasn’t up for spending full days out. That actually was basically fine: I wasn’t planning to spend all day in museums, I’d been thinking that I’d spend more time in cafes or parks than normal this trip, so switching that to spending half of the afternoons in our hotel just meant that it was a trip with a bit more of a staycation aspect than normal. But we still had enough tourist time for me to be happy, and it didn’t interfere with dinners at all.
The actual good thing about having a problem on the trip was that I realized I needed to deal with the pain and, of course, that reminded me that my doctor had told me to take (lots of) ibuprofen when the pain first appeared, so I got back in the habit of doing that again. In retrospect, I should have started a couple of months earlier, I’ll definitely be more sensitive to that next time. After the trip I’ve also tried heating pads (helped, I think), standing meditation (probably didn’t help), doing the Gokhale lying down stretch when I came home (I think helped?), and taking the Gokhale course (pretty sure it’s helping, and it’s taught me one thing in particular about my posture that I would have had a harder time figuring out about the course). I should probably write about that once I’ve got a better feel for the course’s effects.
The other thing that was sapping energy was being tired because of allergies. I got annoyed at the PAMF allergist that I saw, so I went to see a separate specialist; and, before doing that, I went off of allergy drugs for a week so the drugs wouldn’t interfere with the skin test.
Which was super interesting, because I felt more awake after going off of drugs. This is actually something that my GP had hypothesized: the drugs themselves can make you tired! So, for now, no Claritin for me, though I am trying another drug. The scratch test results themselves were pretty strange: they showed pretty clearly that I have a dust allergy, they didn’t show environmental allergies, but also I didn’t react to the positive calibration sample as strongly as normal. The allergist wasn’t sure what to make of that, and I’m not sure—maybe somehow the Claritin was still in my system?
I’m experimenting with different allergy drugs now, with no clear results, but at any rate I don’t feel worse than before, and actually I feel a little better. I should probably tackle household dust a little more seriously: I made a few changes, but not a lot. Also my allergist agreed hat another of my GP’s hypotheses is worth considering, namely that it’s possible there’s some sleep apnea thing going on; I haven’t explored that yet.
And then there’s work. I’m more or less a free agent there, which sometimes is great and sometimes means that I don’t really know where I fit in; this summer was, unfortunately, mostly more of the latter. Which, combined with the fact that the company as a whole had a few more issues than normal in the winter/spring made me wonder what I should do; not that the issues were anything particularly unusual for startup growing pains, but it does raise the question of what my exit criteria are.
Recently, though, both of those have been getting better: the last quarter’s company results made me optimistic in a couple of different ways, and there are some signs that I’m finding a place again in the company that will let me be both interested and useful. Which is good, because I’m not looking to leave: I usually enjoy my work there, and I’m not going to have too many chances in my life to see this much of the journey of a single startup. So hopefully I’ll manage to settle back into happy productivity; and of course resolving the back issues will help with that, too.
In sum: not the best summer, but things could be a lot worse, and the trend lines are good. Also, I should write more.
This post has not been revised since publication.