Monday, February 16, 2009

the prodigal blogger returns

I've been off the computer for the past few months for health reasons. My back was causing me so much pain that I was barely able to work, so it would have been irresponsible to spend my limited pain-resistance powerups for blogging. I'm feeling much better now and may resume blogging.

It seems I have a condition where my muscles tend to shorten and tighten over time if they aren't stretched and exercised enough. And this condition tends to get worse as I get older, so as exercise becomes more uncomfortable, it's more important for me to do it (of course). The reason my back got so bad for so long, apparently, is that when it started to hurt, I did exactly the wrong thing --I stopped exercising. What my back needed was more exercise, not less.

Now I've got a timer on my computer at work that tells me to get up and walk around every half hour. I hate doing that because I have such a high-inertia personality. What that means is that whenever I'm doing something that I don't actively dislike, I tend to want to keep doing it rather than change what I'm doing. If I'm resting I want to keep resting and if I'm exercising I want to keep exercising. If I'm working I want to keep working and if I'm playing I want to keep playing. If I'm in bed I want to stay in bed and if I'm up I want to stay up (which is why I'm blogging at 12:30am). But I've been pretty good at taking those half-hour breaks and they are helping my back a lot.

So, here's a question: why do doctors always say "diet and exercise"? I mean, how lame is that? I know I should eat better and exercise more. I don't need to pay 120 feaking dollars to hear that. I go to a doctor for a magical pill that will make all of my problems go away without effort on my part. Why is the treatment always something I don't want to do? Why can't a doctor ever tell me that I'm not playing enough video games and that I should keep the freezer stocked with extra-rich ice cream for when I'm feeling peckish?

The first time this really got to me was when my back first started causing trouble some years ago. I thought, "Cool, an excuse to go spend time in the jacuzzi." Well, as it turns out, the jacuzzi didn't help my back at all and may have made it worse. You know what helped? Ice. Putting ice on my back made it feel better. You know how much it sucks to put ice on your back? A lot.

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