Now if only I could walk

Today was another successful bike jaunt. I intended to do an easy 20 miles but ended up doing 26 even though it was raining. I am really amazed at how good I am feeling on the bike. And, more importantly, how the pain in my left knee and hip has seemingly disappeared. Happy New Year to me.

I still have a hot spot of pain outside my left hip. It goes away after I ride. It doesn’t seem to be my iliotibial band and it is no more painful now than anytime in the last year. It just is. Go figure.

As for the stenosis, it’s still hanging around. I feel fine for the first few hours of the day when I’m doddering around the house. Once I start walking more than 30 feet or so, the ache returns. Last week I bought a cane. I can’t bring myself to use it.

In the comments yesterday, my brother who is a retired nurse with apparently the same defective back gene suggested I try a chiropractor. Many years ago I tried one. One treatment made me worse off. Of course, he wanted me to come back for weekly adjustments.

I tried acupuncture for my shoulders. One therapist managed to fix my right shoulder with one treatment. Another therapist didn’t do a thing for my left shoulder. Of course, he said that if only I come back for regular treatments, I’ll get better. No thanks.

My friend Kathy with whom I stayed on my 2018 tour recommended trying Feldenkrais. She and her husband have been doing it for years and swear by it. Feldenkrais is a strange blend of martial arts, engineering, and meditation. It involves monitoring your body through very controlled, gentle movements. I watched a few videos online. I was thinking “No way this is going to work.” Then I tried a few simple exercises. I was barely moving but damned if it didn’t work.

During her recovery from getting bowled by an SUV, Mrs. Rootchopper took a Feldenkrais class in nearby Arlington, Virginia. She said it helped and that, strangely, she felt a couple of inches taller when she walked out of the class. I am intrigued. I signed up for a one-hour class next Tuesday night. If this pans out, I may buy some audio tapes that Kathy recommended.

My father used to say that you should never have surgery unless your ailment prevents you from working. Too many things can go wrong. I think my stenosis falls into this category. I am in no rush to go under the knife even though my back surgery 30 years ago was a success.

One way or another I’ll get through this. I have some bike touring to do this summer.


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