I am entering the last week of restrictions on my physical activity since neurospinal surgery on April 7. I’ve had to put off bicycling, operating my riding lawnmower, washing dishes, loading laundry, sweeping, vacuuming, raking, was well as strength building. I was able to drive after two weeks. Thankfully, I am encouraged to walk. Since September, I spiraled downward with sciatic lower back pain that eventually extended into my right hip socket, down the back of my leg, and into my calf. The two hour surgery was a true success with immediate results. I noticed the improvement as soon as I stood beside my cot in the post-operative recovery room. Zero pain then and now.
This coming Friday I’d have my first post-operation consult with Max Barth, MD, the surgeon who preformed the microsurgery. I’m hoping to receive the go-ahead to start biking, ride my lawn mower, and be given the green light for gardening, as I am psyched to put time into painting, tending, and harvesting a vegetable garden.
My rehab has been guided by limiting my siting to no longer than 20-30 minutes at a time.
Thankfully, I have been able to gradually extend my walking stints to the point where 4 miles is possible and even pleasant. Using my trekking poles while walking around my neighborhood is forcing me to walk a bit more upright, which is part of improving my posture.
I’ve set a couple to goals that I hope to complete by the end of the summer. I have August plans to join my hiking pal Tenzing in the White Mountains of New Hampshire where we both need to bag two more summits. For me, that’s all need to finally complete the sixty-seven 4,000 foot summits in New England, a lifelong pursuit that began when I was just 17 years old and a Freshman in UMass’s Outing Club.
I also hope to ride all 83 miles of the Cross Northern New Hampshire Adventure trail, a collection of rail trails, dirt roads, bike paths and quiet paved backroads across the state of New Hampshire. The route travels along river valleys and through the northern White Mountains.
If August brings me back to my former hiking fitness, I’ll spend most of September and part of October on a Southbound thru-hike of the 272-mile Long Trail in Vermont.
This hike is on my Bucket List. I plan to time the hike so that I can walk in as much peak foliage as possible. I hiked it Northbound in 2011, the year when Hurricane Irene dumped 17 inches of rain in 1 day, and devastated Vermont. Houses were washed away, businesses demolished, flooding destroyed roads, farms were decimated and the environment was severely impacted by this tragic and massive flood in Vermont. More than 500 miles of roads and 200 bridges were damaged or destroyed.
I won’t be in a rush to finish this time!