Back Again

I am again up later than my wife; we have fallen into the cycle on the days I work from home (3 a week). I work on the computer, do laundry, clean the kitchen...maybe run errands or shop. She comes home and dinner is usually ready (often from things she has already cooked, especially lately) she has a cocktail/glass of wine or two, we watch tv for too long, she goes to be early reading. I read with her, sometimes fall asleep sometimes come out here. I am the househusband with the full time job, the primary bread winner, but working from home can be rather lonely as I used to say up here a lot (before I was in second life I guess).

I took most of last semester off from sl, mostly so my back could heal (it suddenly flared up in the fall and it seemed very connected to sitting at that computer for two or three hours at a stretch). The old injury which had never healed completely, what I am sure is a soft tissue/tendon injury (not my spine, which has been mri's and xrayed and even had an injection) suddenly became very irritated from all the sitting and very painful. Lying down helped, of course, not sitting, and so I pretty much left second life. Overall, much for the better for me as fun as that place can be.

This winter break comes around; most of it, or at least half, was spent out of town, but then the last week I was back I peeked back into the grid. I had great fun running around shooting arrows at people, know, the old combat sims. And I tried to limit my sitting to 3 hours at most per day; maybe I did that five days over a week or so? Not sure. Anyway, my back got sore again, after some improvement from walking and stretching and limiting my sitting (I do most of my schoolwork on my wife's laptop now, stretched out and back-supported, as I am now). I decided yoga would help, it seemed to help a little long ago, so I went back to a class last week.

And my back did feel better, a lot, for two or three days after. Of course, second life was again history for me, even more than before. Then it seemed my back started hurting again so I went to yoga Wednesday morning. It's great, but I had to drive a lot that day and that may have aggravated things. It felt more sore today. And then I did one of those elliptical cross trainers at my house; my cardio is sadly neglected. After that, it really hurt.

So here I am. I well know a soft tissue injury should have been better two years ago. I have waited, and waited, as I was told to do; seen an idiot specialist twice. Finally, I called my HMO last week about getting a second opinion with an orth doc in the valley who has a good reputation. They said they'd get back to me, nothing yet. I have to call tomorrow. My doc said he'd send me to physical therapy again, but I was waiting to meet with an orth.

Fact is, the orth may not be able to tell me anything except what they all keep, this should be better by now. I can't say. And yoga seems like physical therapy on steroids...such deep stretching and strength work in the core. But PT may be where I end up; don't know.

I know that tonight my back hurts. I'm long out of mobic, need to get the refill. Did take a valium as that seemed to help lately. I try to think positive: maybe this pain is something idea.

So, there you go. The loneliness of the long days in the mountains alone is hard once again. My wife and I are trying to reach out to our friends more. We have something Sat. night and for the superbowl. I love that. Dinner with friends at their place or here. Love it. Sunday I am the EM, or chalice bearer, and what an honor that is. It should be a good weekend I remind myself. The papers have not begun to slam in yet; I am working on my online class but it doesn't take all day. Reading Boadt still on the OT; reading a fascinating book about Barth. His view on scripture interests me. Also reading NTW's Simply Christian. I could write about that for an hour, but the simple answer is there is much to like and much I don't like. His section on the bible I especially don't like. The little I read from Barth on scripture was encouraging. I have simply come to believe the Torah is not "God breathed" in the particular sense; meaning, the larger themes, quite possible; but the individual rituals and laws. Sorry. Parts of it, maybe; the experiences which produced it, possibly, sure. But so much of it is just ancient practice, so brutal I don't know how fundamentalists deal with it; well, I do know: the holy and judging God. the God of stoning. Save that for another time.

And as I ramble: the back thing is hard because it's not defined. If they said, oh, you have a nerve root inflamed, or a messed up disc or something...there are therapies for that. But this unknown, undiagnosed injury....the primary doc just sends me to the specialist who is only interested in my spine MRI. Detecting a soft tissue injury, no dice. And he says nothing can be done for those anyway....they just get better with time. Yeah, we'll see. Not as long as the time I've waited.

oh, I am ranting and so tired now. good. sleep is good.

I miss vigorous exercise. I miss weights. I miss all that because I'm hurt. martial arts most of all. I know this thing could resolve in a year; maybe sooner with help. maybe it will always be like this. I surely can't say. but while it's usually not too bad, tonight it really hurts. could take some ibuprofen I guess, but ready to sleep now that it's midnight.

no news on discernment. same. I keep looking at the good parts of the job I already have. and the bad parts. but I am trying to talk to at least one other priest, and I visit the seminary in three weeks. that, I think, will be great. I imagine it to be the very opposite of lonely.

love to all and peace.


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