Balancing my comeback

I hate to admit it, but I’ve become a lump of lard, over the past couple of years. Not having enough money to live without constant existential stress is a kicker, and it has kept me feeling down and out for a long, long time. Feeling down gets me acting down, which just makes my life more sedentary, and over the course of years of living close to the edge, that has taken a toll.

So, I’ve started training again – physical training, that is. Every day, I make a point of starting out with more exercise than “normal” — I jump on the exercise bike, or I lift weights for a bit, or I stretch and move… something. Anything. I also get out in the day a lot quicker and move a lot more.

When I’m at work, I also move more, taking breaks every now and then to stretch and move.

So, I’m getting back into a healthy approach with that. For the past several days, I’ve started out riding the exercise bike and stretching and moving. And it’s felt good.

For the most part, anyway. One thing that has not felt good, is the headaches that come back, when I really exert myself. After only five minutes on the bike yesterday — I did a few 30-second intervals — I developed a hell of a headache in the front of my head… a lot of pounding pressure that felt like my skull was being crushed and split open.

Yeah, not good.

So, I took a break from the bike riding. I had a bunch of chores I needed to do around the house yesterday, and I kept busy, so the headache didn’t bother me so much. I barely noticed it, in fact. But this morning when I woke up, my head was splitting, and I had that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach that comes from a sick headache.

Life doesn’t stop for my headaches, tho’, so I got myself up and took care of a few things that needed fixing. There were a few other things I needed to do before work today, but I’m feeling so sick I can’t get them done. I will need to take care of them this evening and tomorrow morning.

It’ll get done. And in the process, I’ll figure out better and faster ways to take care of the things I couldn’t do this morning. The handful of chores I’ve got waiting are common things I need to do, that I haven’t figured out a quick way of doing… yet. I just need to figure that out, then it will work like clockwork. I’ve been thinking about how to do this for many months, now, and I need to finally just get my system in order.

Now I can. I’ll take care of that tonight and again tomorrow morning before I leave for work.

It’s just not getting done now. I’m feeling sick and slow, and my brain isn’t working that great right now. So, I’m slowing it down and I’m going to give myself a few days to recover from my flurry of activity yesterday. My back and shoulders and arms and legs are all aching like crazy, and my head is pounding — less right now, than it was when I first got up, but still pounding. Rather than pushing myself even harder to prove that I CAN DO IT, I’m going to rest for half a day and come back to it this evening when I’m more warmed up and have moved some of this ache out of my system.

Because trying to function when I’m in so much pain… well, it’s not working so well. I might feel like I’m sharper, because my stress levels are up and I’m feeling more focused in the face of the discomfort. But I know that it’s not necessarily true. I may feel sharper, but I’m prone to make mistakes.

That I know for certain.

So, for today, I’m going to pace myself. Give myself time to rest and recover after my foray back into training. And be smart about this – using my head, not just my gut, to make my decisions. I know I can easily blow myself out with overdoing it right from the start — pushing it because it feels good to push myself, and then either getting hurt, or over-training, or setting myself back by tiring myself out and becoming even MORE susceptible to distractions.

Coming back matters to me. Getting in shape matters to me. I need to do things that will let me continue to do it over the long run, not just surge back and then flame out.

Anyway, the day is waiting.


Author: brokenbrilliant

I am a long-term multiple (mild) Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI or TBI) survivor who experienced assaults, falls, car accidents, sports-related injuries in the 1960s, '70s, '80s, and '90s. My last mild TBI was in 2004, but it was definitely the worst of the lot. I never received medical treatment for my injuries, some of which were sports injuries (and you have to get back in the game!), but I have been living very successfully with cognitive/behavioral (social, emotional, functional) symptoms and complications since I was a young kid. I’ve done it so well, in fact, that virtually nobody knows that I sustained those injuries… and the folks who do know, haven’t fully realized just how it’s impacted my life. It has impacted my life, however. In serious and debilitating ways. I’m coming out from behind the shields I’ve put up, in hopes of successfully addressing my own (invisible) challenges and helping others to see that sustaining a TBI is not the end of the world, and they can, in fact, live happy, fulfilled, productive lives in spite of it all.