Thursday, July 24, 2008

Pathetic Self Care

One of these days I will actually learn to take care of an injury rather than plowing through it.

No, I don't have any new injuries at the moment, thank goodness. The knee has settled back down and is behaving itself, though it does have a new, and very loud, click when bent deeply.

What's annoying is my back, which I sprained back in December, and which stills acts up occassionally. It's how frequently it acts up vs. how much it should act up that is making me annoyed with myself. You see there are three things I can do, any of which by themselves will prevent my back from hurting.

1) I can take ibuprofen at inflammation-reducing levels (I.e. every 4-6 hours whether my back hurts or not).

2) I can lie down and put my feet up, once with ice, or 2-3 times without ice, for 15 minutes each day.

3) I can do back exercises: 1 hour class, 4x a week. This prevents pain after about 3 weeks to a month of consistent exercise, and continues to work until I drop off significantly, defined as missing more than 2 classes/week for more than 1 week.

It says something about me that #3 was the first thing I discovered that worked, and that I figured it out more than six months before I realized that rest and/or taking ibuprofen also worked. In fact, I didn't even try them until a chiropractor pretty much forced me to.

It also says something that once I had worked up the exercise schedule I only fell off the exercise enough to have a recurrence twice between December and mid-May, both times during vacation weeks. On the other hand, now that summer's here and I can't fit the back classes into my schedule, I'm failing to follow through on rest or ibuprofen to the point where my back hurts more days than not - even though 15 minutes of rest/day is sufficient to prevent pain for that entire day. Mind you, I'm not someone who considers sitting (or lying) still a punishment. I can happily lie on the couch for hours reading, if I'll allow myself to do it.

But apparently I'm only permitting myself to actually take care of an injury if it is in some way a punishment for me. Lying around with an ice pack, reading a book is insufficiently difficult or something. Which is getting deeply annoying as I keep hitting evenings, when I pretty much can't go lie down - dinner, karate, baths, bedtimes, etc. - and discovering that oh crap, my back is going to make me miserable tonight, isn't it?

My subconscious is apparently a weird and masochistic place and I'm getting a little tired of it.


Martial Arts Mom said...

I know what you mean when you talk about it not being punishment to have to lie down and read a book. (Although I'd read standing on my head if I had to!) But I also understand the not letting yourself sit still that long.

Perpetual Beginner said...

Martial arts mom - good to see you here!

You seem to be a reader like I am a reader. I have a book in my purse at all times. Also one in each bathroom, one on the kitchen counter, one in the get the idea. I've started posting up a "Books read" list every six months. I posted up the first one June 30th and am currently keeping a running record so I can post an actually accurate list come the end of December.

Martial Arts Mom said...

Yep that's me - an addict to reading. I have the opposite kind of list - books I see but can't afford or the library doesn't have (I'm a big believer in libraries!) or just don't have time to read then. But then when I finish a book, instead of looking at the list I go tot he library and find something easily w/o even consulting the list! LOL

Perpetual Beginner said...

Oh, I have that list too, and it gets treated about the same way yours does. The "Books read" list is something of an experiment to see if keeping it influences which books I choose to read.

Do you have any favorite martial arts books yet?

Martial Arts Mom said...

Yes, I started to post my favorite m.a. books list to my blog but realized the list is pretty long (and that's only so far.) I love "Living the Martial Way", I enjoyed Gichin Funakachi's book(sp?)(Can you tell I'm not looking at anything in front of me - can't spell any of it of top of my head!) I liked "The making of a Butterfly" by Pete Starr I think. I love biographies and if they are M.A. related, that is even better. I read Chuck Norris' books. I just read David Carradine's "Kill Bill Diary" and now I want to read some more of his stuff - interesting guy. I'm sure there are others that I'm just not thinking of right now. But one o fmy instructors has me reading a book called "Your Hands Can Heal You" and it has alot to do with prana and pranic breathing. I am having to read it very slowly so I can truly understand it. Anyway, that is all I can think o for right now.

Perpetual Beginner said...

I love Living the Martial Way. Funakoshi's book is also wonderful. I don't own a copy, but my sensei has several, and I've borrowed it twice thus far. I'll have to look at the others you recommend.

May I highly recommend Mastery by George Leonard to you? Mr. Leonard is an aikidoist, but the book is extremely broad in application and just generally a good read.

Bibliophiliac said...

Hi Perpetual Beginniner,

I hopped over here after reading your excellent response to Lou Franklin (likely Limbaugh lover). I've had great experiences with chiropractors fixing things in my back and knees. Any time you have a serious injury to the back, I think it's a good idea to see if a chiropractor can help the healing process. I don't buy all their claims necessarily, but it does sound to me like they could help.

Good luck and keep sticking to your first amendment guns.

Ardent Atheist ;-)

Perpetual Beginner said...

Good to see you here, David.

I'm glad someone appreciated the response on Mr. Franklin's thread. I will be surprised, pleasantly but distinctly, if he actually responds to the questions as asked.

I did start going to a chiropractor in May, but had to stop when insurance started making unhappy noises. The icing schedule is from him, and if I would just stick to it more reliably my back would be much happier with me.

It seems to be a major First Amendment Day for me. So many people have the most bizarre ideas about what it actually means.

Martial Arts Mom said...

Perpetual Beginner -
Is it okay if I add your blog to my blogroll?

Perpetual Beginner said...

martial arts mom - I would be flattered if you added me to your blogroll. May I do the same?

Martial Arts Mom said...

Sure thing! Flattered - same here! Thanks!