This post is long; the best two paragraphs are at the end if you want to skip the minutiæ of my sleep schedule, food choices, and body aches.
On the Saturday before Memorial Day, I drove up to the ever encroaching Frederick/Firestone/Erie agropolis to drum and dance around a fire with a bunch of neat freaks. (That is, freaks who are neat to be around, not people who freak out about being tidy.) I got home around 2 AM.
On Sunday, I woke up with a slight pain in the right side of my neck. I figured it was just tight and Tam said she'd rub it for me later. I drove up past Estes Park to celebrate the occasion of my father's sixtieth birthday at our cabin. My neck felt better as the day progressed. We hiked up to Moose Plop Rock (an old standard) and came down to dinner with turkey, yams, and other tasty treats. My dad and Michael C swapped stories about the past as Mouse, my mom, and I interjected periodically and chuckled frequently. I got home around 1 AM.
On Monday, Tam and I ate a great dinner at Pad Thai with a new friend. Tam went to Red Rocks while we returned home to play Go, Gloom, walk around the lake, watch Edward Scissorhands, and cuddle in the bean bag. I fell asleep around 3:30 AM and got about three hours of sleep.
When I woke up my neck was a little sorer than the day before, but I attributed that to odd sleeping position. On Tuesday evening, I drummed at Full Moon Books. My arm and shoulder were a little sore, so I spent more time with the djembe between my knees and less with it over my shoulder. I probably went to sleep a little before 1 AM.
On Wednesday, I passed up game night at the Bakery to eat at a Pho restaurant and sign a lease for our new apartment. The Vietnamese egg rolls were great, but the real estate agent canceled at the last minute. Pain in my neck and shoulder combined with the fact that I'd missed out on hanging out with friends, playing silly games, and hearing stories of what's rotten in Denmark had me in tears in the car. Tam rubbed my neck and shoulder before she went to work out and I went home for a hot shower. I did a bad job of going to bed early, probably hitting the 12:30 mark.
On Thursday, my neck and shoulder were a little sore, but they improved before I headed up to Boulder to join mollybzz
in a search of The Hill for people we knew, employment venting opportunities, great Thai food at Khow Thai, and a Molly Flogging of Go at the Trident. I went to bed around 1 AM.
On Friday, I woke up with significant pain in my upper right arm, shoulder, and neck. Throughout the day I worked with a constant dull pain and a frequent headache in the right side of the base of my skull (a rather unusual place for a headache). I think I winced several times while reviewing the lease when we finally met with the real estate agent. I suggested we eat dinner at Jason's Deli and soak in the hot water caves at Indian Springs resort in Idaho Springs figuring a long hot soak would loosen things up. That might have work had I been a member of the vagina-enabled class, but the men's cave's pools sat at 104°F, 112°F, and 116.8°F. At Valley View I enjoy the outdoor 108° "Hot Pot" for short periods, but I prefer soaking at temperatures a little lower than that. The 104 bath felt good but the hot, humid air combined with my persistent dull headache to make staying in the cave for more than 10 minutes at a time untenable. After a few hours spent mostly outside of the cave I was more miserable than when I arrived, but at least my skin felt soft and clean. We came home and tamheals
gave me a massage on the table, popping my inner spine closer to correct position. I fell asleep (before midnight, I think) on the massage table and I think the hard surface did some good.
On Saturday my neck felt better, but it was still sore and I still had a dull headache. I drove out east to visit the aforementioned new friend. We paddleboated around a lake, cuddled for a while, and headed downtown to see Kan'Nal
at the Bluebird. Before the show we ate at Mexcal; their mole chicken was pretty good and their green salsa was fabulous. After we walked around the block and wandered in to the theatre I realized I ought to take some Advil which I'd left in the car. Fortunately a hand stamp was all we needed for reentry and I dulled the shoulder-neck-head system. The first opening act was a DJ named Ooah. He had a MacBook and a device for adding beats and blips; his set was pretty monotonous and we walked around the block again near the end. The second opening act was Ganga Giri, a group from Australia featuring DJ, drums, didg, and an aborigine in traditional body paint singing and playing some sort of stick-based percussion. They were pretty danceable and the typical colorful Kan'Nal concert costumed attendees had filled the house. I took two more Advil before Kan'Nal took the stage and danced in place without a lot of pain. The show was a lot of fun, though the audience wasn't as entertaining as the last show I attended with Boudlerites trying out their Halloween costumes. The on-stage dancers had some great Central American-inspired costumes featuring skulls and long finger bones. They also did a great piece with pictures projected on whirling cloth. I went to sleep around 2:30 AM.
On Sunday I woke up and cuddled for a while before heading home. My head, neck, and shoulder persisted in their aches and while I'd recovered somewhat from a week of less than recommended sleep I was pretty low on energy. I spent a bunch of time at the computer (maybe not the best idea for the shoulder), and went to bead early to lay on my back and read The Children of Húrin
This morning I woke with clarity as my alarm went off at 7. I was a fully aware listener of Democracy Now! which hasn't happened for several weeks. Feeling chipper but still sore, I got up and cleaned the litter box and made it to work before 8:30 (I've been closer to 9 most days in the past month). I decided to try a new desk position. I took my mouse off the stack of books and my laptop down from the pile of boxes, sitting the whole day instead of my usual "stand when there's lots of typing, sit when there's lots of reading" modality. I left work by 4 and paid a visit to Lakewood Chiropractic. The E-stim made me tense up, but the adjustment felt really good. Still a little sore, but feeling better, I drove towards home, figuring I'd go for a walk around the neighborhood. As I crossed Bear Creek I figured that would be a more interesting walk and, after some experimentation, discovered I could get on Bear Creek Trail from Fox Hollow a few blocks west of Kipling. I walked through the minor clouds of insects and scattered pollen down to Wadsworth, got a sandwich, and headed back in the sunset preview. Round trip a little more than two hours. I still feel pain in my neck and I've got a mild headache and I'm trying not to move my right arm far from the keyboard. I may need another adjustment, but I'll sleep on it for a while.
Over the past three and a half years I've been aware that I've neglected my physical health. Sometimes I'm focused on getting projects done at work; my school habit of placing more importance on long-term mental activities than short-term physical activities has continued in my professional life. Sometimes the path of least resistance is to come home, have dinner, and relax for awhile. Sometimes the pleasure of standing naked on the porch in the sun on the weekend feels more attractive than the pleasure of riding my bike (which can't be done naked in suburbia). But at least I recognize that when I'm in pain I need to step back and make my physical existence a priority. It's amazing how enjoyable the afternoon can be if you leave work at 4 on a beautiful day in a county with quality open space.
And now if you'll excuse me, I need to go wash all the floral ejaculate off and see what the freezer has to offer in the way of sorbet.