Monday 4 May 2015

Catching up with myself.

It's been quite a while since my last entry on this blog.

Since then, many things have happened.

Starting with the physical stuff, I'm an inch taller. This is a result of some pretty intense physiotherapy and rehabilitation work. My thoratic spine was frozen in place; that's been addressed, finally, and I'm slowly improving. I've even been able to start addressing my lower and upper spine issues. I have to maintain a pretty extensive stretch and exercise regimen, but even with the DOMS I have less back pain than I have had in decades.

Speaking of, I'm weightlifting twice a week. It's a simple split; generally on Mondays I do squats and assisted chin ups; on Thursdays I do deadlifts and some form of upper-body-push exercise, like a pushup or shoulder press. I got up to a working weight of 55kgs when doing squats (generally in four sets of eight reps). That's a pretty good start. I still have a very long way to go before I'm as strong as I'd like to be, especially in my upper body.

As far as flexibility goes, I can touch my toes most of the time, without extensive warm-up, for the first time in my life. Which is awesome. The downside is that combined with other things, there's a distinct possibility I may also have a hyperflexibility disorder. Apparently, when I'm not frozen up, or have muscular tension blocking things, I bend really really well. Too well. One of the implications is that it takes me a lot more effort to do pretty much anything, because I have to use muscles for support and control rather than ligaments and tendons. Which would also explain why and how I strain muscles so easily and often, and some of the fatigue I deal with. Also why I bruise so easily. The long term implications mean that I'm going to be doing an awful lot of strength training and flexibility/mobility work for as long as it's physically possible, just to maintain the level of functionality most people get from sitting in a chair all day. On the upside, knowing what the situation is makes it a whole lot easier to manage, instead of fumbling around and hoping that something will work.

Pain-wise, well, I'm not in pain 24/7 anymore. There are some weeks where I don't even take any painkillers. Day to day I probably experience more pain than most people, but it's rather less than I was accustomed to at most points, which I am very grateful for.

Mentally speaking - well, I'm on antidepressants again. The grey dog struck with a vengeance last year. Food was tasteless, I couldn't care about anything, especially not my own wellbeing, and things got not so great. I made the decision to address this, and I'm doing rather better, which is nice.

My memory has improved significantly. While I'm not back to my previous level of function, I no longer get lost on the way to places I've been several times before, and my memory for people is also much better. There's an entry of its own in there, but I'll leave that for after this one.

Socially speaking, I actually have a social life again! Which is amazing and wonderful. I miss all my Australian friends, but the isolation over here seems to have ended. I certainly hope it has; I'm pretty good with being solitary, but after 3 years of it, I'd like to be a social butterfly for a while. It hasn't all been sunshine and unicorn farts. Readjusting to being around people has been a little tricky - balancing the sensory overload with actually getting lonely when I can't go out is a current challenge. Still, the awesome new people in my life are more than worth it!

I have yet to take up any form of study. That's annoying, but in all honesty, something that has to wait until I'm sure I have the intellectual, emotional, and physical reserves to not run myself into the ground again. Or to recover when I do so the first few times before I manage to calibrate myself accurately enough.

That's pretty much it for now. I'm hoping that this is the start of me actually writing about my mindstate a little more often, but well, we'll have to see.