I don’t think I have ever wanted to be a bear as much as I do these days. Hibernation sounds terribly appealing. I would like nothing more than to retreat to my bedroom, close the blinds and shut off the light, snuggle beneath layers of quilts, and just sleep for days, weeks, months. My reality is that I cannot even sleep soundly for more than an hour or two. While I can easily be in bed for 8, 9, or even 10 hours a night, waking up is like slogging through quicksand. Once out of bed, I stumble around like a zombie and yawn as if I haven’t slept for a year (which isn’t too far from the truth).
Martha Stewart I am not, but I am generally organized and focused on routines. While I was on medical leave, I appreciated the vast openness of my weekly schedule. Other than going to the gym three times a week and various medical appointments, my days were blank slates. I was usually in bed early and struggling out of bed slightly later than was my norm before the injury. Since returning to work, my weekly schedule is a lot fuller. There are fewer medical appointments, but I still go to the gym three times a week and I am almost back to full-time hours at work. Some weeks present a challenge for me in determining when I will go to the gym, because my work schedule in combination with how my body feels doesn’t always fit into my preferred training routine. This week saw me choosing to train Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, which I knew would be physically tough but the lesser of two evils. Monday was out for training, because I worked from 9 to 5:30. With how difficult it is to get out of bed in the mornings, there was no way that I could get myself to the gym to train before work. And I also knew that my body would be hurting too much to train effectively after work. This weighing of options has been a weekly necessity since returning to work. It’s about making decisions that allow me to do what needs to be done while extending grace to my continued healing.
Today is my last day of work for the week, and it is a closing shift. Today was also the only day of the week in which I didn’t have to wake up to an alarm and force myself to get moving to get to work, the gym, or an appointment. It was 8:13 when I finally cracked an eyelid to look at the clock. It was 8:30 when I finally decided I should get out of bed. As usual, I tossed and turned and was awake frequently through the night, but my deepest sleep periods tend to be the last hour or two before waking. It is almost 10 AM now and I’m still not dressed. My tired eyes are leaking, not because I’m crying or sad…it’s just something they tend to do first thing in the morning or late at night. I need to go wash my face and get dressed, get ready for the long day ahead, but I also don’t want to move. My legs hurt. My skeleton hurts. My head hurts. I am still exhausted, and fog has invaded my brain. Bending at work is the one thing that I am still supposed to do my best to keep at a minimum, because the back pain increases if I do too much bending. And I do try to not overdo the bending but I don’t avoid it entirely. However, the past three work days have seen me do an excessive amount of bending. Mostly out of necessity. But my body feels it. I just need to get through today. Tomorrow is the chiropractor and the start of my long weekend!