Four weeks

Today marked four weeks since I received epidural injections of cortisone. My condition continues to fluctuate. The referred pain in my left leg and hip is mostly gone. I can’t tell if this is the result of the cortisone or the fact that I am wary of doing much on my feet.

I had a nasty back spasm in my lower right back and pelvis earlier in the week. It left me doubled over and in considerable pain. Ibuprofen and rest fixed it but obviously this shouldn’t be happening.

I get little stabbing reminders that feel like the same sort of spasm is about to hit then they go away. Much of the time I feel like my lower back or my leg is about to go haywire but it doesn’t. It’s as if my body is taunting me. To say that this is frustrating is an understatement.

One thing I did do this week was ready my lawn mower for spring. In the process I found out that the blade wouldn’t come off. I tried force, WD40, and a solvent. Nothing worked. So I lifted the mower into the trunk of my car and took it to a repair shop. The point here is that I lifted this ungainly metal thing and moved it around without totally messing up my back. I think if it had weighed five more pounds I would have regretted my decision.

I also went for a flat two mile walk in Huntley Meadows Park. I made it about five minutes before my lower back started to ache. After another five minutes I started using a cane. I stopped a few times to take in the view. This helped my back quite a lot. I made it the entire way without problem but my walking mechanics are still not quite right.

I go back to the pain doctor on Monday. I’ll be interested to see what she says. Do I get another injection or not? My plans for the spring and the summer are on hold until I have some idea what my body will be able to tolerate. Can I sleep in a tent? Can I ride long distances day after day? We’ll see.

One thing to keep in mind is that steroid injections can cause a temporary decrease in immunity. Normally, I wouldn’t give this a second thought but it would be bad news to be exposed to the coronavirus after having another shot.

As far as biking is concerned, I’m back to averaging about 30 miles per day (with one day off per week). I feel strong except for the fact that winter’s weight gain isn’t doing me any favors on hills. I’ve ridden a few days in shorts which seems to help my mechanics, not to mention my frame of mind. My knee and hip problems from last summer are gone.

This morning I rode to and from Friday Coffee Club in DC, a 29-mile round trip. As I got underway, I saw the edge of a storm front that looked like a mountain range in the predawn light.

IMG_3418

This brought to mind the gradual approach to the Rockies in Montana in 2018. I sure hope I can get back out on the open road this summer.

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