Ted’s essays

back off

I way overdid it almost two weeks ago.
Saturday I pulled up 200-feet of wooden fence posts, being careful to keep my back straight so I wouldn’t injure it. Sunday I pulled out a bunch of little willow trees that were trying to turn our grassy river beach into a willow thicket. Again, I was careful to keep my back straight, but it got REALLY TIRED before I ran out of willows to pull. I quit when I couldn’t get it to take any more. In retrospect, I should have quit much, much sooner… some suggest that before I started would have been about right.

I have been mostly lame ever since. Though I almost NEVER use any drugs, I have been using the “prescription” from an oral surgeon who recommends 2 ibuprofen then 2 acetaminophen on alternating two-hour cycles. I’ve been hurting a lot. Plus, I lift and carry NOTHING. My wife and friends do all of my lifting.

Flat on my back is a pleasant position. Nothing else is for long, and many are simply awful. Some chairs and seats work better than others. I drove 7 hours to Nampa in my pickup last Friday and back on Sunday with moderate discomfort. The following Tuesday I drove Missy’s new ’03 Subaru 1 hour to Victor for a meeting and was VERY DISCOMFORTED by the time I got home.

I’ve tried 3 perches at my desk and various positions on them. None work. I can spend very little time at my desktop or laptop there without requiring several hurting minutes to stand up straight and a lot of flat-on-my-back recovery time. My Scandinavian recliner in the living room works very well. As of a few minutes ago, Missy set me up in it with a portable desk holding my laptop and my keyboard in my lap. Yippee! The perfect marriage of one chair that works for me and a way to do something while occupying it.

I was distinctly improved yesterday morning and went until almost 1100 before I decided a couple of Ibuprofens would be good. About then Mac called requesting a consultation for shop and driveway grading and, perhaps, a little tractor driving. He kept checking with me, but I seemed to be doing fine driving his tractor. It was rewarding to be doing something useful and particularly something I am really good at. So I spent four hours tractor driving with great driveway and apron work at the new shop he and I will be sharing at The Lodge.

This morning my back is suggesting I could have spent yesterday in a more considerate fashion. But it isn’t bad enough that I’m taking drugs for it (yet). Today I’ll be moving more of my office out here to my good chair. I do have a backlog of that type of work that I’ve just put off cuz it hurts to spend much time in there.

Another week and I’ll be having to remind myself to take it easy, as my back will quit yelling at me soon.

Sunday has some excitement for me an hour north in Missoula. A squadron of tuba and euphonium players have converged for a weekend of low-brass musical nirvana called the Big Brass Bash. Missy is interested in tagging along to enjoy it a bit too.

The view of the Bitterroot River out the window is still beautiful. We keep feeling lucky to be here.