Thursday, June 08, 2017

2. Deterioration

I’ve had pretty decent luck with the old machine—my body, that is—for never having taken particular care of it. I was not an “active” child or adolescent, never got into the habit of regular exercise. Most of the time, I simply ate whatever I wanted, as much as I wanted. For much of my adulthood, I was shall we say “portly”: never quite obese, but sometimes verging thereupon.
It’s only in the last ten years or so that I’ve taken to any sort of exercise regimen: first a decent amount of biking, then a stair-stepping machine (too bloody boring), then a fairly significant program of daily walking. Combined with an all-out effort to avoid junk food and between-meal snacks, I’ve managed to drop about forty pounds from my all-time high some six years ago. (I still think of myself, however, as a fat guy.)
But everything deteriorates over time. A couple of years back, I had what amounted to an inflamed coccyx; that wasn’t a bad thing—I spent most of my time teaching on my feet, and rigged out a standing desk for my work at home. That kept me off my bum most of the time, but lordy it hurt when I had to sit for a long period, or at least it hurt in that particular spot.
The coccyx went away; then last year, shlepping the air conditioners from the third floor to the basement, and moving some cartons of LPs, I did something to my lower back that lasted for three weeks or so. (Expert tip: NEVER pack LPs in 12” x 18” boxes, unless you have someone stronger than me in mind to move them.) And that went away, as well.
So now it’s what I think is piriformis syndrome, brought on almost certainly by some peculiarity in my gait, or by my incessant walking. I can stand fine; I can walk fine; I can lie down more or less fine, except in a few very specific angles. But sitting—there’s the rub. I find myself fidgeting like a four-year-old, trying to find a comfortable position, trying to quell the dull ache in my left buttock.
I suspect this too shall pass, one way or another. And wonder what’s going to happen next.

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