Return to Physical Therapy

My world changed again, and I’m staring down the possibility of more at-home physical therapy to fix the things I have done to myself in the last month.

In December, I went house-shopping, found something I really liked, and put a down payment on it, a la Beyoncé. With lightning speed despite the winter holidays, my lenders came through for me with a mortgage and gave me this new house to fill with all my stuff from my last house. Living with family again was memorable and special, but it wasn’t fair to the animals to keep them cooped up all the time in our room, and we wanted to get a head start on our lives again.

We took a long weekend to paint the interior walls of the house, which sounds like a fun project until you’re halfway done with the first coat in the living room and realize every single room has to have multiple coats and all the edges trimmed in. My boyfriend and I both have our shoulder issues that made days of meticulous brushstrokes a torture and a task instead of a fun project. But we powered through it. He went back to his manual labor job, and I went back to my desk job.

The next weekend, we moved. We moved practically all by ourselves over the course of three days: packing, carrying boxes down a flight of stairs (I only fell down the stairs with a box in hand once, to my credit), taking the front door off the hinges to move the fridge into the house, somehow moving impossibly heavy wooden furniture from the garage to the moving van to the new house’s outbuilding. I don’t know how we moved a heavy CRT television as often as we did, as awful and heavy as it was, and as tired as our bodies and minds were. I don’t know that I’ve ever been more tired.

To my chagrin, my bad shoulder began to ache while we were painting. One or two nights after our move, I tried to sit up in our bed and wound up tweaking a muscle in that bad shoulder, sending a long, mean message to my brain to stop doing whatever I was doing, because that hurt. I’ve felt an occasional tingle in my upper back near the shoulder every so often, and I know that’s not a good sign.

I’ve been quite busy at the office, but I know I have to take care of myself, and the tingling, while not worse, is not better. So I’ve been bringing physical therapy stretches back into my life in order to ensure that my muscles are being worked the way they ought to be worked.

I’ve done the exercises enough to not need to look at my diagrams to tell what to do, and I usually have the patience to do all the exercises at night  before bed. I sometimes do the wall-cleaning maneuver until my shoulder is warm and I’m sapped of strength.

Another boon, in a way, though perhaps also a detriment, is that I don’t have to walk the dogs several times a day anymore. I can take them to an enclosure in the back yard and let them run around to their heart’s content, which is, by my watch, about 4 minutes before the girl dog starts baying bloody murder at the latched gate to be brought back into the house.

The upside to no more dog walks is much less stress on my shoulders from trying to control them as we walk. The downside is that I haven’t been walking or getting much exercise for a month, and my  muscle tone has suffered.

My approach is two-pronged: more physical therapy, and a visit to a lingerie store where I can ensure that I’m wearing the proper sized bra. The pain tends to occur at or just above the band of my bras, and with my weight fluctuations over the last year (I’ve been holding steady for several months), I’m not sure if the tingling and occasional pain could be helped with better support.

I’ll discuss the disaster that is my diet sometime later this week. Right now, it’s time to get ready for bed by leaning against the wall for a while.

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