TOO MUCH TOO SOON??
26 July 2003
Even though I have spent at least a quarter of my life looking like the long lost cousin of a
hippopotomus, few would ever accuse me of doing anything slowly. I eat fast, I type fast,
I read fast, I sleep fast (can one sleep "fast"?), I bike fast ....(well, I do
athletic stuff fast for someone my size--it's all relative).
It's impatience. It's one reason why "walking" as exercise never appealed to
me. Without a destination in mind, without a companionable conversation, it's boring--I
can't get anywhere "fast." It's why biking appealed to me from the first time I
was finally not terrified on city streets any more (silly person...I wonder how I'll feel
about that next time I get on a bike!)
Anyway, I may not be built for speed, but I'm mentally predisposed to it.
So I'm wondering if I took things just a little too fast yesterday. I wasn't out
pumping iron, for sure, but I did use this arm an awful lot for someone who was only a day
out of an immobilizer.
I expected to wake up this morning, yet again incrementally--but noticeably--improved
from the day before.
That didn't happen.
At first I chalked it up to the fact that my arm, without being in the immobilizer, had
gotten kind of wedged along side me and perhaps I had slept with it an an awkward angle.
But I knew instantly that it lacked the "fluidity of motion" that I felt the
It felt uncomfortable enough that I took a motrin mid-morning and waited to do my first
round of exercises until I was in the shower. Out of the shower, it's a real stretch to do
them. It feels just like what it is--an irresistable force meeting an object that wants to
be immoveable. I can just picture the tendons in my shoulder exerting all their might
protesting that they just don't want to GO that way.
Likewise my knee, which I was so pleased about yesterday is as tight as it was the day
before. I did about 2 minutes on the exercise bike and then thought better of it.
Over and above exercise, I decided to do some work around the place for a change. There
was that laundry pile to be folded, for instance. Finding the top of the kitchen table under all those piles of papers and junk mail. And then there were the boxes.
If anybody has any doubt that I have been supporting Amazon.com all these years, a mere
count of the boxes sitting around here filled with those inflatable air bags will convince
you otherwise. If I live to be 100, I will not have that much stuff to mail to anybody for
any occasion at all. It was Oprah--after watching a show about organizing junque, I was
prepared to toss things.
So I spent a lot of time cutting boxes up, putting them in larger boxes, and putting
the boxes of boxes outside for pickup on Tuesday, garbage day. I went through piles of
catalogs covered with cobwebs that I was going to maybe order from two or three years ago.
Tossed 'em all out. I threw away truckloads of strofoam pellets. I even swept the floor.
Yes. Two handed. Got a real broom, swept stuff into a pile, and managed to get it into the
Now I did stand back and survey the progress. No stranger walking in here would
consider it progress, but trust me.
Problem is that by the time I finished, I felt like I was wearing a wool arm warmer on
my left arm. Not that it was hot and sweaty, but the arm just felt not quite part of the
rest of my body. Difficult to describe.
I finally decided that I don't have to force this body back to normal immediately
and that maybe it's time to act contrary to my normal inclination and slow it down
a bit. My instructions were to do my exercises three times a day. They didn't add
"and then do 10 years of house cleaning afterwards...."
Also, the "OK on riding the bike" was predicated on "continued
improvement" and it kinda feels like a baby step backwards today, so I'm not going to
This is damned frustrating. I finally feel like I am able to do things again and I want
to do the things I've been sitting here for six weeks thinking "I really should do
But by the same token, I don't want to set myself back any, so I think it's time to
climb into a nice chair, get a nice book and several nice bottles of water and just veg
out for the rest of the day.