I enjoy a Sunday morning newspapers, specifically the print version of the Maine Sunday Telegram and the online NY Times. After skimming most of the political pieces , I checked out the brief video demonstrating “5 Yoga Poses to Know”. I was dismayed to learn that due to carpal tunnel and lower back issues I am now qualified to practice just two of the essential poses: the Child’s Pose and the Tree.
That’s the way 2021 has been going- my “Year of Limitations”
My 94 year old mom, Isabel died 11 days ago. While she lived an amazingly rich life, and was free of any disease for 90 years, Isabel succumbed to Alzheimer’s. I am half-sad, half-relieved that she spent a relatively short time confused, angry, and withdrawn. My life is surrounded by items that she gave me. I’m sitting on this little pillow that depicts the front of this little camp. I slept with one of her quilts over me.
My daily I-Ching reading today was #41 -Limitation, where I am advised to “Take care of yourself. Don’t expect others to do for you. Recognize that you are helpless, and reach out for to others to assist you.”
I‘ve been injured since September. I’m also out of my usual Sunday morning routine- riding mountain bike rides with The Bubbas, as I have done for over thirty years now, year-round.
In September, a lower back/buttock pain was initially diagnosed as periformis syndrome. Then came ten sessions of physical therapy, twice-daily stretching and strengthening treatments at home, ice and heat applications. Varying dosages of ibuprofen, Alleve and now Tylenol were faithfully carried out. Things worsened as the location of the pain shifted toward my spine. Two lower back X-rays and a subsequent MRI revealed three issues: spinal stenosis, the presence of a cyst that was beginning to impinge on my spinal cord, and one misaligned vertebrae. I head down to the big city of Portland later this week to have a respected neurospinal surgeon review my X-rays and MRI and render me a few options, I hope.
I’ve received my second Covid-19 vaccine shot. I’m still living exactly the same as I did before the shot, starting on March 19, 2020, the last day I went to work. Maine has a state public mask mandate, so that is no different. Even though I am not likely to exhibit any outward symptoms of COVID-19, I may yet be capable to passing on the virus to others.
At my annual physical in November. my physician listened to my heart through his stethoscope, but became concerned about an erratic heartbeat, which he followed up with a EKG test right then and there. I have had normal blood pressure, low pulse, and an active exercise/lifestyle trajectory for decades. A couple of days later he called to tell me that I had left ventricular hypertrophy, or athlete’s heart. There is a complete chapter explaining the benefits of athlete’s heart in this book, which I’ve previously written about.
Mr. doctor explained that he was not concerned, after ruling out maladaptive conditions that can accompany such a larger, muscular heart. Think Jim Fixx, (From Wikipedia). Jim Fixx was an American who wrote the 1977 best-selling book The Complete Book of Running. He is credited with helping start America’s fitness revolution by popularizing the sport of running and demonstrating the health benefits of regular jogging. He died of a heart attack while jogging at 52 years of age; his genetic predisposition for heart problems and other previous lifestyle factors may have caused his heart attack.
Expanding the positive, I’ve been experiencing almost daily episodes of synchronicity, to the point that I now am jotting down incidents in yet another 2021 first- a “synchronicity journal”. Yesterday, a Bald eagle and a Cooper’s hawk made it into the“What are the chances?” section.
So I try and take control when I can. I am staying at my camp for a couple of days- it is only 10 miles from our house. There is no water here now as we normally pump from the pond, which is now covered with eighteen inches of ice. A decent amount of fuel is under dry cover of the woodshed. A gas cook stove gets water boiling and my Tempwood stove holds a glow, snugly.
It’s quiet here now, after everything became encased in ice overnight.