Verve Lost (The Diet, Day 83)

This is about exercise, but honestly, I don’t understand my own labeling system on this blog, and I’m feeling too lazy to add a new category, so I’m just going to call this a diet post. If I had some verve, you see, I’d probably be able to do a little better than this, but my verve has gone missing, so you get what you get.

I believe it was only a few days ago when I made some sort of new resolve to exercise better and smarter and all that crock of sense and nonsense. The short version is I didn’t do it. I meant well, but I just didn’t follow through. I am verveless.

My back hurts. Maybe I mentioned this before. In fact I believe it was the source of my earlier resolve. And by back what I mean is not really what people who know what they are talking about mean by back pain. I don’t mean the lower back. I mean the upper back, which is actually not about back pain but about neck and shoulder pain. I’m also talking about pain in the muscles around my rib cage. This is not back pain either, though it is what I’m talking about when I say back pain. Really, it’s just a next door neighbor having empathetic pains on behalf of my shoulder.

This is not a new thing. These are recurring pains I’ve had for years. I have been to doctors. I have been to chiropractors. In the past at least. Right now I’m just self-treating.

I am doing that because my encounters with medical doctors have for the most part led me to believe they are idiots. I have spent a lot of time with them, you see. I have more than one chronic condition. I have spent time with whole teams of specialists. During those times, I have listened, and I have sat there thinking, “You didn’t spend any more time in school than I did. I’ve got a lot of education, and I’m still an idiot. Clearly, you are too.”

Once, my foot hurt for three years. I had three different rheumatologists tell me they had no idea why. One of them said, “Hmmm, that’s really interesting.” Then one day I bought a new pair of sport sandals and started wearing them every day. My foot quit hurting after about a week. Those doctors and I, we were all idiots.

Another time, I said to a rheumatologist that my shoulder hurt. He ran an expensive test on my wrist. Then he said, “This doesn’t show anything wrong.” I didn’t even bother to say, “But what about my shoulder?” I just walked out and never went back.

So, I have been experiencing excessive physical pain this week, and I have been dealing with it the way anyone who has broken up with so many doctors she’s lost the heart to try again might. I’m looking up my symptoms on Web MD and grouching at myself. Maybe I’m grouching at others too. I don’t know. That part is a little foggy.

I know the problem. I am straining my neck by sitting in front of a computer all day in inadvisable, yet unfortunately habitual, positions. My arthritis is joining the party by kicking in some shoulder pain for that little something extra. Not to be outdone, the muscles around the ribs are spasming in response to the pressure put on the nerves by tension in the neck and shoulders. These are all considered to be separate body parts by medical science at large, but to me it is just back pain.

I have no intention of consulting anyone other than Dr. Web, and so I really need to recover the main thing I have lost this week–the verve to cope.

There are strategies I could be employing here. I could be taking extra care with posture, working on relaxation, drinking extra fluids including those that would add extra minerals and electrolytes to my system. But mainly I could be stretching out some of the knots and working on strengthening my core muscles so that my back and all of its neighboring parts will have more defense mechanisms.

I tried that the other day. If I could just manage to scratch up a little bit of verve, I might get back to it. If you happen to see any, send it my way.