Fixing my #backpain – When slouch = ouch

wooden figure slumped over with back painI finally figured this out. My back and shoulders have been killing me for over a week, now, and I haven’t been able to get much relief. My spouse has been putting analgesic cream on it, which has helped, and I found some stretches that help. But still, not as much progress as I was needing.

Then I took a step back and thought about how my shoulders and back and legs are all connected, and it occurred to me that tightness in one area is pulling my back out of alignment. I started stretching my legs and lower back, as well as keeping my posture straight.

Lo and behold, that gave me relief. I’ve been slouching too much while working, for the past couple of weeks. And I’ve been driving a lot. So, my posture is out of whack. And that’s pulling my whole back out of alignment and causing the pain. I haven’t been able to lift weights, and I haven’t been able to sleep well, and that’s never good.

So, I’ve been keeping my posture straight, not slouching, keeping my lower back arched the way it should be. I do it while sitting, while driving, while standing, while exercising. And it gives me huge relief.

Now I need to strengthen my body overall to hold that posture. Tone myself up and make sure I have the structural support I need.

This is doable. Very much so. I’m just glad I figured this out before I did permanent damage to myself.


I actually got that done…

Cause for celebration – I have finally successfully navigated figuring out how to terminate extra insurance coverage I have not needed for over a month. For the longest time, I wasn’t sure where to start, or whom to call, but I sat down and made a careful list of steps and the phone numbers I needed to call. Then I got folks on the phone who would repeat things to me, till I had it all straight.

I just typed up and emailed out two letters that ended $750+ of expenses each month. It feels pretty awesome.

Of course, there are still other expenses, and I still have to pay something for the benefits I have from my new job, but it’s a fraction of what I have been paying.

I still have to take care of a few other things, which are even more complicated. My spouse gets government assistance, so now I have to sort through that special bureaucracy… not looking forward to that, but this evening gives me a much-needed boost.


Picking and choosing

How you like them apples?

I have a lot of paperwork to fill out, these days.

The car accident and totalling the vehicle means there are police reports and vehicle inventories to assemble and respond to.

I don’t have time to slog through everything, so I’m picking and choosing what I’m going to concentrate on, and stick with that.

I’ve also canceled some of my appointments this week, and I will likely cut down on the number of appointments I have in the future.

I need the free time more than I need the caretaking.

And frankly, I’m getting tired of all the talking and sorting things through.

I’ll keep my network chiropractic appointments, because that’s really helping me a lot, but the rest of them… driving all over creation to get to these places which may or may not be helpful? I dunno.

Plus, it’s really starting to piss me off, that my neuropsych is — still — so oblivious to what’s really going on with me. It’s like they made up their mind about me, way back when, and nothing has changed. I’m really getting tired of having to explain myself all the time.

How would it be, if I could just get home at a decent hour, instead of late-late, several times a week?

It’s been a long winter. I need a break.


No, we are definitely not alone

We’re all in the same boat, kind of

My job went well today. I have good days, and I have not-so-good days. But there is always another day to come. I was quite rested from the long weekend, and because I don’t have a short 4-day week, this week, I can work regular hours and not have to “bulk up” on my hours, so I can come close to breaking even.

I also canceled an evening appointment tonight, too, which turned out good, because we had heavy rain storms this evening, and I would have been caught in a nearby city in the pouring rain, if I had gone in. But I didn’t. I took my time getting home, and I saw some very impressive downpours and washouts.

Ah, summer.

Anyway, now I am on hold with the insurance company, because I messed up my coverage election, and I am currently without health coverage. This could be a real problem, but I’m not letting it get to me. I just need to jump through some hoops and deal with it. I can’t get all anxious about what *might* happen. I need to focus on what is and is not happening, and just stick with the details.

I noticed at work today that there are a lot of people in my same boat — we’re new, and we’re figuring things out. Some of my coworkers are ultra-helpful and bend over backwards… while others are more cliquish and don’t want to extend themself to the “newbies”.

At least there are a bunch of us who are in the same boat.

And I think about how many people there are in the same situation as me, hassling with paperwork they do not understand, trying to get help from people who aren’t very interested in helping them on the phone, hassling with devices and whatnot. I hate talking on the phone, because it is hard for me to hear and process things quickly, without seeing the person I’m talking to. It’s very stressful for me, but I have learned how to keep the person on the line until they have answered all my questions at least 2-3 times.

I make them repeat what they said, then I repeat it back to them, and ask them to confirm what I understand.

It’s awkward and difficult, but I get the answers I need that way.

You do what you have to do.

And if I let it get to me, it would make me NUTS at how convoluted and confused everything is. If you don’t have 100% clarity of thought, or if you’re distracted or you have some other cognitive issues, the system is pretty much stacked against you. That means a ton of people aren’t served very well by much of anything we have in place in this country.

I am definitely not alone.

But instead of getting all tweaked about it, I’m going to write up my notes from my call, gather my wits about me, and warm up my supper… and have a nice evening relaxing and reading.

It’s all good. It’s just a real pain in the a$$ sometimes.


Clearing and cleaning and reclaiming

Now, where did I put that…?

I’ve made some great progress, this morning. I spent the last three hours going through my stand-up files and clearing them out, then dumping a whole bunch of old materials from my filing cabinets, and re-sorting the contents, so that the old stuff I am done with, is in a drawer far from view. I have a 4-drawer corner filing cabinet where I store all my old stuff, and I went through and cleared out a ton of old crap that was about 10 years old.

Looking through my existing “filing system” I am amazed that I have kept things together as well as I have over the years. Instead of filing papers in an existing folder and drawer, I started new folders in different drawers. And I have a number of of duplicate folders with important information in them, stashed here and there. Banking records. Tax records. Health records. Exactly the kinds of records I need to keep organized in one place… they are anything but.

However, now I have a much better sense for where everything goes, what I need to keep and what I can let go, and where the best place to store things is.

What strikes me the most is just how crazy it all is – a very, very poor use of space, and everything just kind of thrown around. It’s like I haven’t even been mentally present when putting things in “order”. I feel kind of developmentally delayed when I look at it all, to tell you the truth. And it depresses me a little bit, to think that’s how I did things for so many years.

Well, now that’s changing. And I am really motivated to put things in order, so I can really move forward with living my life, instead of shuffling through mounds of paper, and “filing” the same kinds of papers in different places, only to take up space and generally obstruct my life.

Looking over at my bookshelves, I see even more disorganization. I’ll need to do something about that, as well.

But first, I need to get something to eat.


A couple of Advil and a night off

Yes. This.

Tonight I’m “off” — no chores to do, no tasks, no phone calls for work, no stuff to take care of. I’ve had a pretty good day getting a few things done at work, and after the past weekend, I’m wiped. I need a night off.

At least once a week.

Weekends are funny — they’re either hit or miss for me. Either really busy, or just an extended lazing-around session, with me not doing much at all.

This past weekend was a busy one. And I’m tired after not getting any real rest. But I did get some things done that I’d been hoping to — which is great.

Now I’m sore as anything, though. Back and legs and arms and shoulders. I worked like a mad person for hours. Like I was possessed. And maybe I was. Now I’m feeling the effects, and I am more than ready for a good night’s sleep.

I’m also ready for a long time off — Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and the holiday travel is not happening this year. It’s a year to stay close to home with friends, and just kick back and relax, rather than driving 18 hours in each direction and spending four of six days in the car.

So, there it is. I’ve also got a handful of loose ends I need to tie up — paperwork I’ve been meaning to do, that I just haven’t gotten to yet. I need some uninterrupted time to focus in on the details, and it will feel great to have it all done, once and for all.

I’m sure I’ll think of other things that need to be taken care of, but for now… it’s a couple of Advil to stave off the pain, and a night of relaxing to just let myself chill.


And then sleep.


Focus… focus…

It’s official – I am making myself crazy with procrastination, and having so many things hanging over my head.

Good news, though — on Sunday, I finally tackled four very important pieces of federal and state gov’t paperwork that I need to get on with my life. I had been putting them off for weeks, and I finally got myself to just sit down with it on Sunday morning, spend the day working through it — reading and reading and re-reading everything till my eyes were crossed — and then filling out the forms, making the copies, and mailing them out on Monday morning with the proper certifications.

I was absolutely euphoric on Sunday. It felt so good to get it all done. I was a little down on myself for not doing it all right away several weeks ago, but when I thought about it, I realized the timing was perfect, and there was no fault, no blame. AND I finished it prior to my 2-month deadline (in July), so that is big progress for me.

In the past, I would have waited till July, then rushed at the end, and possibly made a mistake that could have cost me big.

I am having some important phone calls with people this week about next steps, and where I used to dread and fear those calls, I am looking forward to them now. Because I know how to use my tools, and I have some good successes behind me in communicating and getting my point across.

It’s very exciting. And even though I am wiped out (I got about 5-1/2 hours of sleep last night), I am feeling really relaxed. I know I’m not as sharp as I could be, but I am making progress, and that’s what counts.


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